Monday, February 15, 2010

Google Buzz educates public about data privacy

I had written about the Data Privacy Day on January 28th. One of the big corporate sponsors is (any guesses?): Google. Quoting from Wikipedia:
Data Privacy Day's educational initiative has focused on raising awareness among teens and young adults about the importance of protecting the privacy of their personal information online, particularly in the context of social networking.
It turns out that with the introduction of Google Buzz, Google itself created a lot of awareness in the public how important it is to protect privacy of personal information. To me this brought up again one of  fundamental rules of online activities:

Do not trust anybody, not even a service provider.

Before using an online service it is important to look at the risks vs. convenience. How will I use a service, what data could be possibly be exposed? The latter is about the worst case. It is about what happens when there is a leak, a change in policies, or other problems, not about the terms of use accepted when signing up. Do I trust that company? And then we are back to the fundamental rule...