Google Defends Privacy Policy

Google’s chief executive has marked his first year in the job with a letter setting out his vision for the future.

Larry Page promises what he terms “next-generation search” in which query results become less generic and more tailored to each individual user.

He also defends changes to the firm’s privacy policies, saying they will create a “more intuitive experience”. However, the post does not include any major revelations, coming a week ahead of Google’s first quarter earnings.

A decision by the company to allow private data collected by each of its services to be shared with its other platforms has caused controversy.

Last month the European Union’s justice commissioner, Viviane Reding, suggested that “transparency rules” had not been applied. Data regulators in France also cast doubt on the move’s legality.

Google said at the time that it believed it complied with EU law.

In his letter, Mr Page defends the move and suggests users will appreciate the changes Google can now make. “If you’re searching for a particular person, you want the results for that person – not everyone with the same name,” he wrote.

“These are hard problems to solve without knowing your identity, your interests, or the people you care about.”

He goes on to suggest that the more information people post about themselves and others to its Google+ social network, the better the results will become.

He says over 100 million users are now active on the site, noting that whenever he posts publicly he gets “a ton of high quality comments”.

“They still need to work on engagement,” Colin Gillis, technology analyst at BGC Partners told the BBC.

“Time spent on the Google+ is still minuscule when compared to Facebook and revenue from the site is immaterial.”

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