Microsoft has posted its take on Google’s privacy policies, somewhat ironically, on YouTube.
The campaign centres around the software giant’s bid to sell itself as a viable alternative for any Google users who find themselves frustrated by the search titan’s knack for delving into their private emails and chat messages in order to sell targeted advertising.
The video features “the Gmail man” rifling through people’s private post before delivering it. According to leading tech news site TheNextWeb, the video was first shown at Microsoft’s Global Exchange sales conference and leaked thereafter. Only recently, however, has Microsoft made the video public.
The clip is also meant to draw people into making the jump to Microsoft’s Office 365 product.
Microsoft has also accused Google of taking its users data without consent on more official channels. The Redmond-based tech titan made a number of accusations about Google’s privacy policies.
In an official post on its public policy blog, Google attempted to rebut a number of these claims, labelling them “myths”:
A number of myths are being spread about Google’s approach to privacy. We just wanted to give you the facts.
- Myth: In 2011, Google made $36 billion selling information about users like you. [Fairsearch -- PDF]
- Fact: Google does not sell, trade or rent personally identifiable user information. Advertisers can run ads on Google that are matched to search keywords, or use our services to show ads based on anonymous data, such as your location or the websites you’ve visited.
- Fact: 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.
- Fact: 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.
- Myth: Google reads your email. [Microsoft]
- Fact: No one reads your email but you. Like most major email providers, our computers scan messages to get rid of spam and malware, as well as show ads that are relevant to you.
- Myth: Google Apps aren’t safe, and aren’t government-certified. [Microsoft]
- Fact: Google’s Apps are certified for government use because they are secure.
- Myth: Microsoft’s approach to privacy is better than Google’s. [Microsoft]