Google fires back against Microsoft's privacy ad

Well, that didn't take very long. Just a few hours after Microsoft announced it was running a newspaper ad that was critical of Google's recent changes in its privacy polices, Google has fired back with its response via its official blog site.

On Microsoft's claim that Google's policy changes make it harder for people to control what personal information they might have while using Google products, Google said:

Our privacy controls have not changed. Period. Our users can: edit and delete their search history; edit and delete their YouTube viewing history; use many of our services signed in or out; use Google Dashboard and our Ads Preferences Manager to see what data we collect and manage the way it is used; and take advantage of our data liberation efforts if they want to remove information from our services.

Microsoft also claimed that Google's changes will make its products better for advertisers. Google's response is:

The vast majority of the product personalization Google does is unrelated to ads—it’s about making our services better for users. Today a signed-in user can instantly add an appointment to their Calendar when a message in Gmail looks like it’s about a meeting, or read Google Docs within their email.

Microsoft also tried to make the case that its privacy polices for its online products like Hotmail, Internet Explorer, Bing and Office 365 were better than Google's. Google took exception to that, saying:

We don’t make judgments about other people’s policies or controls. But our industry-leading Privacy Dashboard, Ads Preferences Manager and data liberation efforts enable you to understand and control the information we collect and how we use it—and we’ve simplified our privacy policy to make it easier to understand. Microsoft has no data liberation effort or Dashboard-like hub for users. Their privacy policy states that “information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information obtained through other Microsoft services."

It's clear that there is no love lost between these two companies at the moment. It will be interesting to see where this war of words will go in the future.

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