Compliance Management, Privacy

Google counsel talks privacy, innovation

“Data without insight is pretty useless,” Kent Walker, general counsel at Google, said on Friday, as he as he underscored the twin needs of protecting privacy while using data to spur innovation.

Calling data's relationship to knowledge comparable to what “sand is to silicon,”  Walker told an audience at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) privacy summit in Washington that Google  has tried to put privacy in the hands of its customers. “Users are in the driver's seat for setting privacy” as well as visibility and other controls, he explained.

Walker also briefly touched on the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights proposed by the White House, giving the nod to the administration for trying to move privacy forward and, echoing the sentiments of Federal Trade Commission Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, for making it clear that the recently released proposal is “a working document.”

He cited Google's work with European regulators on the right to be forgotten ruling as evidence that the company is willing to “adjust its course” when it comes to privacy.

The Google Counsel also said the company would continue to take a strong stand on transparency, reviewing data requests from government and law enforcement as well as other less critical requests “to make sure they comply with the law.”

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