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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/10/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (

Google, Yahoo, others don't want to be scrutinized for their information gathering

Certain cliché sayings come to mind: The kettle calling the pot black, having one's cake and eating it too . Google, along with Facebook and Yahoo have come down hard on the Obama administration for information gathering - but NOW don't want their data-gathering processes lumped in with those of the federal government.

An old cliche -- that bears repeating --

An old cliche -- that bears repeating --


By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (

4/10/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in Technology

Keywords: Google, Yahoo, NSA, information gathering, privacy

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Such Internet stalwarts have made very public their outrage over U.S. surveillance practices. They have all lobbied for new rules to keep their customer's data safe from the government.

The bad news is that the White House is holding the two for comparisons. President Obama's speech in January outlined National Security Agency reforms. He also ordered a John Podesta-led review of "big data," the collection and storage of massive amounts of personal information . which includes those by private companies.

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While the public has raised legitimate privacy concerns about NSA spying, the White House argues, similar data-mining practices by private companies should also be held up to the same standards.

When White House officials invited outside input from the public on the "big data" review, the Internet giants were all too happy to chime. "Don't conflate your spying practices with our data-privacy plans," was the message they sent.

"We urge the administration to be cognizant that government surveillance and commercial privacy are separate and distinct issues," the Internet Association, a lobbying group that represents Google, Facebook, Yahoo and others, wrote in a comment.

"Given that Internet companies aim to provide transparency, choice, and control to consumers, efforts to conflate these issues are counterproductive, particularly given how little transparency citizens currently have when it comes to government surveillance."

BSA-a software lobbying group that includes Apple, Microsoft, and IBM-urged the White House to make all efforts to "avoid conflating government and commercial interests in data."

All of the parties are reportedly nonplussed. According to one tech lobbyist, there is widespread frustration with the White House for conducting the big-data and NSA reviews in parallel.

"Companies have very specific relationships with their users, and they tell them what they're doing with their data," the tech lobbyist says.

The White House has since declined comment.


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