Google Revises ‘Privacy’ Policy to Eliminate Privacy, Under the Guise of AI Training

Sarah Prentice | July 7, 2023
Text Audio
00:00 00:00
Font Size

On July 1st, Google updated its privacy policy, which now says the Big Tech company has the right to scrape the internet for just about anything and everything ever posted in order to train artificial intelligence (AI).

In the policy’s section on information disclosure, Google's website reads, “we use publicly available information to help train Google’s AI models and build products and features like Google Translate, Bard, and Cloud AI capabilities.”

Before the change, Google only stated having the ability to scour the internet in order to train “language” models like Google Translate, but now the policy includes AI programs like Bard and Cloud AI.

This is an unusual clause for a privacy policy because generally such policies would only allow the company to gather information posted through the company’s own services – but Google’s new policy seems to be saying that it can gather data from any part of the internet, as if all of the internet is Google’s domain.

This means anything you have ever put on the internet – public social media posts, horrible restaurant reviews, you name it – could be intercepted by Google and used to train these creepy AI programs, which are still clouded by so much uncertainty.

Whether this is or should be considered legal at all (seems like it should be an obvious “NO”) is, unfortunately, still an unanswered question.

Clarkson Law Firm recently filed a lawsuit against AI chatbot ChatGBT in a northern California court. The firm claims the AI company is using “stolen private information, including personally identifiable information, from hundreds of millions of internet users, including children of all ages, without their informed consent or knowledge.”

It seems that, now, Google is acting in a similar fashion. Will anyone be brave enough to take them to court?

Twitter CEO Elon Musk has expressed concerns about the dangers of companies’ ability to comb through the internet collecting information and, in response, he initiated a new temporary policy on Twitter limiting the number of posts that verified, versus unverified, accounts may read daily.

However, in order to truly prevent people’s data from being harvested, privacy-protection policies like these would have to be implemented across all social media and internet platforms – a conceivable scenario, given the zeal of Meta and other Big Tech companies to cash in on their data-mining power.

Ultimately, Google’s scheme threatens to create a dangerous precedent endangering an individual’s right to privacy when using the internet. Until now, internet users’ main concern has been about just who might be seeing their information, but now they must also worry about how much of that information is being collected and how it’s being used.