Responding to a question from the Economic Times, Enright said that following this principle also meant reducing the risk in case of a cybersecurity incident.
“We maintain that the privacy commitment that we make to our users is of paramount concern for us, so we do not want to overshare. When we do share (data), we want it to be limited to the requirements that are imposed by the jurisdiction in which our services are operating,” Enright said at a select media briefing.
Google, Enright said, would cooperate with law enforcement agencies “that is appropriate and legally required”, but that also will be done on a case-to-case basis.
Enright’s comments come at a time when the government in India has asked virtual private network (VPN) service providers to maintain a log of their customers’ data such as their names, e-mail addresses, the purpose for which the VPN service was hired among other details for a period of at least five years.
Privacy and data protection as well as storage laws, which are being developed by more countries across geographies, while having a common theme, also present a risk of being “divergent” and make compliances for global companies like Google “extraordinarily challenging”, he said.
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“It could result in an inability to offer the same services in one jurisdiction that people in another jurisdiction are enjoying. Some of this fragmentation, some of these laws could have unintentional policy consequences, including things like eroding our ability to protect and secure data, eroding individual privacy if there are requirements to share data that do not allow for appropriate protections to be in place,” Keith said.
In its efforts to shore up privacy, Google is working towards a future where publishers and advertisers can continue to be successful and monetise without tracking individual users across sites to show them relevant advertisements.
“The first major step that we have done in this direction was the announcement of our intention to phase out third-party cookies in Google Chrome once alternatives that address the key risk and use cases but do not rely upon cross-site tracking are developed,” he said, adding that akin to the browser Chrome, Google is also working on a sandbox project for Android, which moves beyond the analogous mobile identifiers.
“These are extremely ambitious and extremely challenging projects. We know that there is a need, and we can see that the ecosystem is moving in this direction. Users expect and will ultimately demand a future without third-party cookies. At the same time, we recognize that a large ecosystem has been built around these legacy technologies. We want to work together with that ecosystem and with regulators to make sure that we’re proceeding responsibly and creating a more private future,” Keith said.
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