- Google Analytics is a measurement product that helps businesses better understand their web and app performance. Any data in Google Analytics is obfuscated, meaning it is not tied back to an individual and our policies prohibit customers from sending us data that could be used to identify a user. Additionally, Google has strict policies against advertising to people based on sensitive information.
- Google spokesperson in "Meta Has Been Lapping Up User’s Financial Info Sent Directly from Tax Filing Sites", by Kyle Barr, (November 22, 2022)
- We use purpose-built technology and work with child safety organisations to find, remove and report it, because we never want this material to appear in our search results. We are working with experts on effective ways to deter anyone tempted to look for this sickening material.
- Google spokesman, quoted on BBC News, "Microsoft's Bing introduces child abuse search pop-ups", (July 27, 2013).
- Don't use the camera or microphone to cross-reference and immediately present personal information identifying anyone other than the user, including use cases such as facial recognition and voice print. Applications that do this will not be approved at this time.
Quotes about Google
- In some ways the higher echelons of Google seemed more distant and obscure to me than the halls of Washington. We had been locking horns with senior US officials for years by that point. The mystique had worn off. But the power centers growing up in Silicon Valley were still opaque and I was suddenly conscious of an opportunity to understand and influence what was becoming the most influential company on earth.
- If the future of the internet is to be Google, that should be of serious concern to people all over the world—in Latin America, East and Southeast Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa, the former Soviet Union, and even in Europe—for whom the internet embodies the promise of an alternative to US cultural, economic, and strategic hegemony.
- Google is winning the game, and they are winning because the quality of their services beats the competition.
- We're agreed that child sexual imagery is a case apart, it's illegal everywhere in the world, there's a consensus on that. It's absolutely right that we identify this stuff, we remove it and we report it to the authorities.
- Peter Barron, one of Google's Communications, quoted on BBC News, "Google and Microsoft agree steps to block abuse images", (November 18, 2013).
- Google users trust our systems to help them with important decisions: medical, financial and many others. Our search results are the best we know how to produce. They are unbiased and objective, and we do not accept payment for them or for inclusion or more frequent updating. We also display advertising, which we work hard to make relevant, and we label it clearly. This is similar to a well-run newspaper, where the advertisements are clear and the articles are not influenced by the advertisers’ payments. We believe it is important for everyone to have access to the best information and research, not only to the information people pay for you to see.
- Sergei Brin and Larry Page, "Google Founders’ IPO Letter", (2004)
- You’re actually socially isolating yourself with your phone. I feel like it’s kind of emasculating. This Google Glass really takes away that excuse.… It really opened my eyes to how much of my life I spent secluded away in email or social posts.
My vision when we started Google 15 years ago was that eventually you wouldn’t have to have a search query at all — the information would just come to you as you needed it. This is the first form factor that can deliver that vision.
- Celebrities always get a lot of interest and the passing of well-known figures makes people want to learn more about them. Despite that, some of the more traditional aspects of British life, from the Grand National to the royal birth, have generated many Google searches and will be remembered as events that have characterized the year.
- Claudine Beaumont, one of Google's workers, "Facebook tops Google searches for UK in 2013", (December 17, 2013).
- I use Google all the time, I’m happy it’s there. But just as when I read The New York Times or the Washington Post, or the Wall Street Journal knowing that they have ways of selecting and shaping the material that reaches you, you have to compensate for it. With Google, and others of course, there is an immense amount of surveillance to try to obtain personal data about individuals and their habits and interactions and so on, to shape the way information is presented to them. They do more [surveillance] than the NSA.
- Noam Chomsky, interview with Byline.com, "Chomsky: I Don't Look at Twitter Because It Doesn't Tell Me Anything", (April 14, 2015).
- About 650 Google workers have signed a petition asking the company to protect users' abortion-related location data and search history.
The move comes over concerns that law enforcement agencies will seek such data from Google to prosecute abortion seekers.
Workers sent the petition Wednesday to Google-parent Alphabet's top executives, including CEO Sundar Pichai. Most of the workers belong to the Alphabet Workers' Union, according to Bambi Okugawa, a spokesperson for the group.
"If Google or Facebook or any tech company wants to present the face of being a compassionate company and an ally for people that need reproductive health care or gender affirming health care, then they need to back that up in their actions by protecting privacy," said Okugawa, who works at a data center in Tennessee, where a law is going into effect this month that will outlaw abortion.
- Raquel Maria Dillon quoting Bambi Okugawa, “Google workers sign petition asking company to protect people's abortion search data”, NPR, (August 18, 2022 )
- Okugawa said tech companies like Google have become key information providers and embedded in people's lives. So workers' demands provide an opportunity for the company to innovate.
"There are situations where a woman could die if she does not receive certain healthcare services," she said. "It's on the shoulders of tech companies to do what they can to protect them." In July, Google said it automatically purges information about users who visit abortion clinics or other locations that could lead to legal problems.
Each year, Google responds to thousands of subpoenas and search warrants by providing user location and search data to law enforcement investigators.
The workers also demanded that the company provide travel benefits to contract staff who need to go out-of-state to get abortion services.
"It's very fair for us as a union to say you should provide to contractors — security staff and vendors — the same benefits that we get," Okugawa said, on behalf of Alphabet Workers' Union members.
- Raquel Maria Dillon quoting Bambi Okugawa, “Google workers sign petition asking company to protect people's abortion search data”, NPR, (August 18, 2022 )
- This attack has a little bit of everything. It has unique social engineering at the front end. It leverages a legitimate site to help get into the inbox. It uses trickery and obfuscation to confuse security services.
- Sead Fadilpašić, "Google Translate is being hijacked by phishers to steal your data", Tech Radar, (October 14, 2022)
- Elizabeth Warren is saying we should break up Google. And like, I love her but she’s very misguided, like that will not make it better it will make it worse, because all these smaller companies who don’t have the same resources that we do will be charged with preventing the next Trump situation, it’s like a small company cannot do that.
We all got screwed over in 2016, again it wasn’t just us, it was, the people got screwed over, the news media got screwed over, like, everybody got screwed over so we’re rapidly been like, what happened there and how do we prevent it from happening again.
We’re also training our algorithms, like, if 2016 happened again, would we have, would the outcome be different?
The reason we launched our A.I. principles is because people were not putting that line in the sand, that they were not saying what’s fair and what’s equitable so we’re like, well we are a big company, we’re going to say it.
We have gotten accusations of around fairness is that we’re unfair to conservatives because we’re choosing what we find as credible news sources and those sources don’t necessarily overlap with conservative sources
- Jen Gennai (Google's "Head of Responsible Innovation") per 24 June 2019 leak by Project Veritas
- Vaccine misinformation appears globally, it appears in all countries and cultures.
- Matt Halprin, the global head of trust and safety at YouTube in ""YouTube to remove misinformation videos about all vaccines", by Dan Milmo, The Guardian, (September 29, 2021)
- This is an exciting development for preventive healthcare industry. It is likely to spur a range of other innovations towards miniaturizing technology and using it in wearable devices to help people monitor their bodies better.
- Manoj Menon, managing director of consulting firm Frost & Sullivan, quoted on BBC News, "Google unveils 'smart contact lens' to measure glucose levels", (January 16, 2014).
- Google's vision of the future is pure atom-age 1960s Jetsons fantasy, bubble-dwelling spiritless sexists above a ruined earth.
- Julian Assange quoting Eric Schmidt's The New Digital Age "Julian Assange Says "Apolitical Futurism of Star Trek" Fits Google", by Matt Novak, Gizmodo, (September 15, 2014)
- The destiny of Google's search engine is to become that Star Trek computer, and that's what we are building.
- Amit Singhal, the head of Google's search rankings team, at the South by Southwest Interactive Festival; quoted in "Julian Assange Says "Apolitical Futurism of Star Trek" Fits Google", by Matt Novak, Gizmodo, (September 15, 2014)
- Search is not used to set a political agenda, and we don't bias our results toward any political ideology. We never rank search results to manipulate political sentiment.
- Google spokeswoman Riva Sciuto, in Trump aide says president weighing regulations on Google search engine that he considers 'rigged' on (August 28, 2018)
- Google will make us more informed. The smartest person in the world could well be behind a plow in China or India. Providing universal access to information will allow such people to realize their full potential, providing benefits to the entire world.
“Google shows you ads for anti-abortion centers when you search for clinics near you” (June 22, 2023)
Laurel Wamsley, “Google shows you ads for anti-abortion centers when you search for clinics near you”, NPR, (June 22, 2023)
- When people are looking for abortion services, they often turn to Google, searching a phrase like "abortion clinic near me" or "planned parenthood."
Yet the ads they'll see at the top of the Google search results are often not abortion providers at all, but instead misleading ads for anti-abortion "crisis pregnancy centers" — facilities that use various tactics to dissuade or delay pregnant people from getting an abortion.
Any delay or confusion can have serious consequences: Strict bans in much of the country mean people seeking surgical abortions may have to travel hundreds of miles, and ordering abortion pills by mail can be legally thorny.
These ads on Google are no small business, according to a new report from the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a U.S.- and U.K.-based nonprofit focused on research, campaigns and policy to counteract hate and disinformation. The group finds that anti-abortion pregnancy centers in the U.S. spent an estimated $10.2 million on Google Search ads over a two-year period, and those ads were clicked on an estimated 13 million times.
The group's researchers began by identifying 976 websites for anti-abortion pregnancy centers. Using the enterprise analytics tool Semrush, they found that 188 of the centers had actively run Google search ads between March 2021 and February 2023. They assessed those centers' ads, websites and the keywords for which they bought paid advertising.
Among the organization's findings: 38% of the centers that advertised on Google in this period had no homepage disclaimer stating that they don't provide abortions. That appears to violate a Google policy prohibiting ads or destinations concealing or misstating information about the advertiser's business, product or service.
Researchers found that the anti-abortion pregnancy centers targeted more than 15,000 queries related to abortion, including phrases like "telehealth abortion pill texas" and "how much is an abortion in california."
- Digital marketing firms that specifically cater to anti-abortion pregnancy centers make the ad-buying strategy clear. One such firm, Choose Life Marketing, has a guide that urges the centers to buy Google keywords using abortion terms. "It's vital to reach women on their phones early in the search process, before the abortion clinic can reach them," it says.
Choose Life Marketing's guide recommends that centers note on their websites that they do not provide or refer abortions, while suggesting ad language that's vague about what the center does provide. "You can also be creative and instead use abortion terms in your ads without using them to describe a service offering: 'Get the facts before scheduling an abortion...' or 'Considering Abortion?' " it says. "Reaching abortion-minded women requires centers to be very strategic in all areas of marketing, but especially in Google advertising."
In a guide focused on reaching women in states with restrictive abortion laws, Choose Life recommends that anti-abortion centers "bid on keywords related to the next city or town where abortion is available." Paid advertising, it says, "can help reach her in the knick [sic] of time. This is especially critical for reaching women before they travel for abortion."
- Google has specific policies for advertisers running ads on abortion queries. To run ads on such queries in the U.S., U.K. or Ireland, Google dictates "you will first need to be certified as an advertiser that either provides abortions or does not provide abortions. If you are not certified, you won't be able to run ads using queries related to getting an abortion."
If the advertiser provides abortions or is a certified online pharmacy providing abortion pills, the Google ads will include a disclosure that says "Provides abortions." If it is an advertiser that does not actually provide abortions, the disclosure on the ad will say "Does not provide abortions."
- Google says it removes or blocks ads that violate its policies. "We know that people come to Google looking for information they can trust during deeply personal moments and are committed to ensuring advertisements on this topic are clear and easily understood," the company said in a statement to NPR.
After the Center for Countering Digital Hate released a report last year on similar issues with paid Google advertising — such as Google Maps results that would direct those seeking abortions to anti-abortion clinics — Google says it "took immediate action" on ads violating its policies, including those that misrepresented the services they actually provide. The company says it regularly reviews its policies and updates its list of "in-scope abortion queries" as needed.
To ensure that people seeking abortions don't get taken in by misleading ads, the Center for Countering Digital Hate is calling on legislators to ban misleading advertising on abortion. It's also asking Google to make all ads from anti-abortion pregnancy centers bear the disclaimer "does not provide abortions," to require the centers' websites to display clear disclaimers — and for Google's search results to highlight actual abortion clinics.
Ron Wyden, Anna Eshoo, Alex Padilla, Sara Jacobs, Martin Heinrich, Ted W. Lieu, John Hickenlooper, Lori Trahan, Elizabeth Warren, Jackie Speier, Jeffrey A. Merklley, Rashida Tlaib, Bernard Sanders, Yvette D. Clarke, Edward J. Markey, Katie Porter, Cory A. Booker, Veronica Escobar, Mazie K. Hirono, Jimmy Gomez, Tina Smith, Judy Chu, Tammy Duckworth, Andy Levin, Suzan K. DelBene, Mary Gay Scanlon, Earl Blumeauer, Jake Auchincloss, Suzanne Bonamici, Ayanna Pressley, Pramila Jayapal, Nanette Diaz Barragan, Rosa L. DeLauro, Mark Takano, Debbie Wasserman Shultz, Lauren Underwood, Lizzie Fletcher, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Lisa Blunt Rochester, Madeleine Dean; Congress of the United States, "Letter to Sundar Pichai", (May 24, 2022)
- [W]e are concerned that, in a world in which abortion could be made illegal, Google’s current practice of collecting and retaining extensive records of cell phone location data will allow it to become a tool for far-right extremists looking to crack down on people seeking reproductive health care. That’s because Google stores historical location information about hundreds of millions of smartphone users, which it routinely shares with government agencies.
- While Google collects and retains customer location data for various business purposes, including to target online ads, Google is not the only entity to make use of this data. Law enforcement officials routinely obtain court orders forcing Google to turn over its customers' location information. This includes dragnet “geofence” orders demanding data about everyone who was near a particular location at a given time. In fact, according to data published by Google, one quarter of the law enforcement orders that your company receives each year are for these dragnet geofence orders; Google received 11,554 geofence warrants in 2020.
- No law requires Google to collect and keep records of its customers’ every movement. Apple has shown that it is not necessary for smartphone companies to retain invasive tracking databases of their customers’ locations. Google’s intentional choice to do so is creating a new digital divide, in which privacy and security are made a luxury. Americans who can afford an iPhone have greater privacy from government surveillance of their movements than the tens of millions Americans using Android devices.
- While Google deserves credit for being one of the first companies in America to insist on a warrant before disclosing location data to law enforcement, that is not enough. If abortion is made illegal by the far-right Supreme Court and Republican lawmakers, it is inevitable that right-wing prosecutors will obtain legal warrants to hunt down, prosecute and jail women for obtaining critical reproductive health care. The only way to protect your customers’ location data from such outrageous government surveillance is to not keep it in the first place.
- We also have clear policies that prohibit videos promoting medically unsubstantiated methods to prevent the coronavirus in place of seeking medical treatment, and we quickly remove videos violating these policies when flagged to us.
- YouTube spokesperson in "Youtube moves to limit spread of false coronavirus 5G theory", by Alex Hern, The Guardian, (April 5, 2020)