Pardon us if we seem cynical, but the latest push by Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) to get government intervention out of its business practices seems to be a bit ironic. Google has been involved in many a legal skirmish with government officials around the world over user privacy and the amounts of personal information gathered by the company on its various affiliate web sites.
Yes, we find this pretty rich that Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG), which makes no secret that it scans the em-mails of Gmail users and compiles a ton of personal information about users, used “Data Privacy Day” to begin its advocacy campaign to fight government entities from accesing personal information of users without a search warrant.
This new campaign is based on the Electronic Communications Act of 1986, which many say is outdated and does not protect Internet users nearly enough. Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) reported in its most recent transparency report that is gets more than 1,4000 requests for user information, e-mails and documents every month – just by U.S. government entities alone. The goal behind the new campaign is to update the law to account for cloud storage, where Google and other companies have started to move their data into the cloud instead of keepin them on serves and hard drives.
Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) is making the stance that cloud storage should be treated the same as the other data-storage methods in the past in that law enforcement should be denied access to the data without a search warrant. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, who helped write the Act, tried to install language in a bill in 2012 that would have updated the Act, but that was struck down by the Congress. Leahy said he intends to bring forth some legislation to upgrade electronic privacy.
Just after 2 p.m. ET Monday, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock is down slightly on the day to $749.20 a share.
What do you think? Should government entities be required to provide a search warrant to access electronic databases? Is Google on a noble campaign? Do you smell the irony? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.
DISCLOSURE: I won no positions in any stock mentioned.
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