Google Book Search: Protecting Privacy as the Library Moves Online

Google has begun to take important steps in the right direction, making some, but not all, of the relevant privacy promises in a recent blog post.

While those promises are welcome, they are neither complete nor enforceable and, thus, fall short of the mark.

With the settlement hearing fast approaching, Google has an opportunity to set a high standard for online reader privacy that will set a precedent for all who follow: first, by publishing a strong privacy policy for the service that covers the full range of issues raised by privacy advocates and, second, by pledging adherence to that commitment in its filing with the court.

With so many issues likely to be raised before the settlement judge, taking the privacy concerns off the table now is good for Google, as well as for readers everywhere.

Leslie Harris is president and CEO of the Center for Democracy & Technology.

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