According to Internet Live Stats, every second is made approximately more than 63,000 searches on Google . This means 5.5 billion searches per day, that is, more than two trillion annual consultations . These are figures that almost do not fit in our heads and that, in one way or another, end up translating in one word: data . Companies such as Google manage a huge amount of information from a huge number of people, which arouses some misgivings among users, who feel that Your privacy may be violated.
The voices that make the most noise on the Internet are those that present these companies as spies and that they accuse them of “Sell your data to earn money” , likeorThey were a kind of ‘Big Brother’ in “1984”, an exquisite novel by George Orwell. A great power carries a great responsibility, and today we are going to know how are you doing it from Google .
Anaïs , trained as a journalist at the Carlos III University of Madrid, started working at Google in July 2007 , being chosen as Head of Communications of Spain and Portugal in October 2014. The communication director has found a space in her agenda to chat with us about privacy, data and, of course, the future of Android. Can you come with us?
Many people believe that Google is just a search engine, but what is Google really? How can we define it?
Google is a technology company that aims to organize the world’s information and make it accessible and useful to all users, at any time, anywhere. We carry it out by developing technology and initiatives that try to make life easier for users and businesses.
Recent events related to the exposure of personal data (Facebook and Cambridge Analytica) seem to have generated some sensitivity for online privacy. Has this affected Google or the perception that people have of Google in any way?
From Google we have been working conscientiously for many years to protect the data of users and companies in all our platforms.
All the engineers of the company have to go through training on privacy and security on a regular basis (we have more than 600 engineers and analysts solely focused on the privacy and security controls are implemented in all our products and services correctly).
If we analyze the protocols we implement for data security we have, among other examples, SSL encryption for services such as Gmail, Search Engine, Drive, etc; the encryption of data that flows between our data centers; our two-step verification system that offers a more robust layer of security when logging in to an account; our Advanced Protection Program, specially designed for those users who have a high risk of attacks.
On this website you can find all the protocols and tools that we use to protect the data of the users, in addition to all the information of what we use the data for, what options the user has to do with them, etc.
There is a belief that companies like Google (and other big .com) “keep your data”, “know who you are and what you do”, “spy” … What is Google’s point of view regarding these claims? ?
As we have made public over and over again , the data belongs to the user, not Google. That is why we offer the possibility, through the platform(launched 5 years ago) that any user can decide what to do with the data he has shared with Google: edit, delete, download and / or take them to another platform.
We believe that there are three fundamental pillars on which to base and develop the relationship in this respect with the user and are: transparency with the use we make of their data, protection of them and control so they can decide what they want to do with them .
The data is from the user, not Google.
Through the My Account platform, users can review their security: which devices are associated with the Google account, what passwords they have, what applications access their account; Decide if you delete data that you share with us, if you want to pause activities like My search history or Location, if you prefer not to see ads based on your interests etc.
But also,You can find an answer to all the key questions about: what we use the data for, how ads are served, what tools you can use to protect your account, etc.
How does Google manage the personal data of each of its users? Should users be concerned about Google’s use of their data?
You should not worry, as I said before we take the security of user data very seriously and we are transparent with the use we make of them, inThe privacy page is explained in detail at the same time we share how users’ data improves the products they use later. Users must have knowledge and awareness of our privacy and security in the digital environment just as we have it in the offline world.
In less than a month, the RGPD will be mandatory. What is Google’s opinion about this new regulation? How will it affect the use made by Google users and the rest of the services that base their model on data analysis?
From Google we have always worked to adapt our products and services to the current legislation on privacy and, in this case, we will continue to evolve our privacy protections to meet the requirements of the GDPR and put users and publishers in complete control .
How do you see from Google the future of privacy, online data and Internet security? Is Big Data the future of society?
We believe that the future must be based on the key pillars mentioned above: transparency, security and control. The data is necessary to advance technologically and create products and services that are useful for society.
It seems that there is a widespread myth about which companies use or not data, putting the focus, on a regular basis, in technology companies for having already been born digital. An assertion that is far from reality. The data is inherent to any company that maintains a contact with a user or client, however, the Internet and technology have allowed an exponentiality of the volume of data generated that, connected together, also facilitate decision making and improvement of processes, efficiencies, etc.
The data is necessary to advance technologically and create products and services that are useful for society.
Big data is key if we think about a future that will facilitate our lives. Each company will have to decide to what extent to use it and apply it and what it is for, to make more personalized products, to reduce costs, to generate efficiencies … And as a result, create a professional team that is able to translate the data into something that can be implemented and operated.
With the arrival of smart loudspeakers and other home automation devices, several voices have been saying that now Google can get to know how long the user turns on a light bulb, turn off the oven, etc. Do IoT devices pose a risk to the user’s privacy?
I do not believe that a technological device by itself is a risk for privacy. It is the user who decides how to use it and what information to share through the products and services he uses. Companies, in parallel, we have to offer the user the possibility of having control over their data so that they decide, at all times, what they want to do with them.
From the Google settings you can delete all the data that the user has offered to Google, and even delete your account (after downloading said data if desired). Does that mean that Google no longer has access to my data? If not, what tools does Google make available to the user to prevent such access?
When a user deletes their Google account, through the My Account page, all the information associated with that account is deleted from our servers and there is no way to retrieve it, which is why the user is asked twice if they are sure to want to do it.
Another way to proceed, if you do not want to lose anything, is to download all the data from your account on the device associated with the account, and then delete it.
When a user deletes their Google account all information associated with that account is deleted from our servers.
Let’s talk about devices and smartphones. One of the biggest problems in Android, is the famous fragmentation. We know that Google is working on it, with programs like Android One. What are the next steps in this regard?
One of the things that has driven such a rapid growth of Android has been its openness and the ability of device manufacturers to drive differentiation in their products and devices developed on Android. At the same time, we wanted to create a consistent experience for developers worldwide, so we have implemented Google Play Services that provides an API and Material Design layer that provides a set of visual libraries and guidelines for the creation of applications.
In addition, with Project Treble, device manufacturers can reduce the time and effort required to upgrade a phone to a new version of Android, starting with Android O.
We could say that Pixel phones are in Google what the iPhone in Apple. However, from the outside we get the feeling that they are not designed to reach the general public in general as the Apple device, but rather a niche of somewhat specialized users. Is it a thoughtful strategy, or is it being worked on to reach more users?
On the one hand, I think it is still early to measure Pixel’s success in the market and, on the other hand, our philosophy is that users have a wide range of devices to choose from, which fit their needs.
Currently there are 24,000 Android devices on the market ranging from 50 to 900 dollars, approximately, and there are 1300 brands that have manufactured a device using our operating system.
The idea is to encourage and facilitate access to information and knowledge and that the user has the ability to choose through what device to do so.
There are currently 24,000 Android devices on the market ranging from 50 to 900 dollars.
At the beginning of 2018, Google completed the purchase of an important part of HTC, one of the manufacturers of mobile phones longevity. What plans do you have for the brand?
It is still early to know, but our goal is to offer the best Google experience by interlacing the best hardware, software and artificial intelligence and reaching people around the world. Through this agreement with HTC, a partner within the industry for a long time, we are greatly developing our efforts in the world of hardware with phones like the Pixel range.
To finish, let’s look at the future. How does Google raise the future of mobile telephony? Is the end of the smartphone near as we know it, or is there still some time to go?
In the short term I do not think so, but it is true that it will be more and more difficult to differentiate, to generate a device that offers something so distinctive that it draws attention to the rest. In short, it is what has happened with all the technologies that we have seen grow and evolve.
The important and interesting thing will be to see how voice technology really becomes a form of real assistance to the user, where the level of interaction and conversation is useful and functional. And how companies adapt to this reality to have a dialogue with their potential customers.