• Petitioned Paul Flusche

This petition was delivered to:

Communication Director for Cliff Stearns
Paul Flusche
Communication Director for Joe Barton
Sean Brown
Communication Director for Edward Markey
Giselle Barry
Communication Director for Henry Waxman
Karen Lightfoot
Federal Trade Commission - Office of Public Affairs
Claudia Bourne Farrell
Communication Director for Mary Bono Mack
Jill Shatzen
Communication Director for G.K. Butterfield
Kim Atterbury
Communication Director for Douglas Gansler
Steve Ruckman
Spokesperson, European Commission
Matthew Newman
Public Relations
Google
Investor Relations, Google Inc.
Willa Lo

Google: Ask Fairly About Our Privacy

    1. Ken Evoy
    2. Petition by

      Ken Evoy

Stop Big Google and Big Government from becoming Big Brother.

If you think that this is alarmist, it's not. Please read this in its entirety and you will see that it is based on fact.  Google is misleading its users and using an unfair process to get your consent for its new Privacy Policy. The ramifications are profound.

This petition's request to Google appears in the final sentence of this document. 

--

As background, please watch the video above (made by a Google employee) to understand how little the average user of Google understands about the Internet.  Most people believe that a browser is a search engine!

Google understands the low level of sophistication of most users of the Internet. What chance do they have against Google's plans to railroad them into "accepting" this?

None.

Google plans to railroad us into allowing Google to track and store all our activities across all of its services that we use, combining all that data into one massive "file" on each of us.  We cannot stop them from changing the terms of their policy, but we can influence them to inform fully and ask fairly.

This policy starts on March 1, 2012, so this is URGENT. Once started, it cannot be reversed.

Up to now, people don't really understand how much information they are letting Google have on each service, separately.  They should, but who actually reads those long, complicated agreements before they click "I agree"?

What is new? You will now be allowing Google to assemble all that information across virtually all of its services that you use. That includes tracking what you do and say on such services as...

- Google Search (all your searches and clicks are tracked)

- Google's Chrome browser (consider all that you do on their browser)

- Mobile phones (have an Android phone or other device?)

- Image Search (all your searches and clicks are tracked)

- News (what stories you click on)

- Google apps

- YouTube (all your searches and clicks are tracked)

- Docs (all the content)

- Groups (your discussions)

- AdSense (how much you earn)

- Google+ (similar to Facebook, largely public)

- Gmail (yes, all the contents of your e-mail, too)

- and on and on and on.

Basically, Google's policy is this...   

 You can opt-out by not logging in to ANY of their services, as explained here.

That is railroading. It takes advantage of "default behavior" and low user comprehension to slide our surrender of privacy past us again.

Major media have covered this story...

Google knows too much about you

Daily Mail UK ("Google will know more about you than your partner")

Washington Post ("Users can’t opt out")

Many Other Concerns

US Congressmen and the European Commission have concerns. Google has told them, essentially, that "you can't stop us."

Maybe we can, all together.

Here's the thing...

Legally, Google can try to do this. It does need some kind of agreement by you, since the change is not trivial. So they are making your continued use of their services amount to such an agreement...

"You can opt-out by not logging in to ANY of our services."

As soon as you login and use one service, you agree to give all your information on all the services you use, including all information from the past.

As long as you truly, fully understand that, it's your choice.But Google's permission-getting approach amounts to pulling the wool over our eyes.

Users will not understand it, nor will they realize the risks. Google knows that we will just slip into the new policy without giving it any thought.

Here is their announcement. It sounds benign. But their information is one-sidedly positive ("better products, better ads") and they don't mention the downsides. They know you won't read the fine print of the actual agreement, and if you do that you'll miss the "GOTCHAs"...

For example, they don't mention that (according to Simon Black of  Sovereignman)...

"In the first half of 2011, the US government requested information on over 11,000 Google accounts. Google complied with a full 93% of those requests. Your account might have been one of them, and you would never know."

The numbers go up every quarter, too. Given goverment's increasing intrusion into our private lives and curtailment of liberties, we face an unpleasant equation...

BIG GOOGLE + BIG GOVERNMENT = BIG BROTHER 1984

Under their new privacy policy, Google will send to the government a combination ALL of your private information (every search you've done, e-mail that you've made, text message that you've sent, how much money you've made from AdSense, what you watch on YouTube, and so on.)

Much of it may highly sensitve information for which you have a far greater expectation than anything you may post to Facebook.  And yet, Google does not even alert you to a request for your information.

Did you catch that particular hiccup in the fine print of their agreement? It's there. And there are others. Most people, though, won't get past their "sales copy" and click to read the actual agreement, despite its importance.

[ADDENDUM: After writing this petition, we wrote about 5 GOTCHAS...

GOTCHA 1
GOTCHA 2
GOTCHA 3
GOTCHA 4
GOTCHA 5

We could have added several more, but the point is made. Agreeing to Google's new Privacy Policy is high-risk. We deserve to be fully informed of the risks. Google fails to do so.]

Stop and think about every service by Google that you use and all the information about you that you generate while using their services...

It's all available for the asking by government and it does not seem that Google fights hard for us, not with a 93% rate of surrender.

I have written to Google about this in a 7-part reply to one of Google's 3 attempts to defend their new Privacy Policy in their Public Policy Blog.

Since then, they censor my replies, so I have posted follow-up replies here.

Yes... Google, the company that fought SOPA due to its inherent censorship, is now suppressing dissent.

So I'm bringing this to change.org, where they cannot censor any of us.

---------------------------------------

Here is the bottom line of this petition...

Google's services are not "free." You pay for them by giving Google everything you say and do while using their services.  

As long as Google is changing their privacy policy (combining your information from all services pulls everything about you together), let's be sure that everyone fully understands both the change and what they actually give to Google.

NOW is the chance to press "RESET" on privacy. Let's start all over...

Google must FULLY INFORM and ASK FAIRLY.

Google owes every user of its services a fully informed opt-in opportunity (including potential downsides that are explained as clearly as the upsides)...

1) The first time a user logs into any Google service after this policy comes into effect, Google must offer this fairly worded opt-in to have all their information tracked.

-and-

2) They must offer it at every Google service that each person uses, so people fully understand that all information across all opted-in services is being tracked and pulled together.

Google may make it clear, of course, that the user cannot have access to the particular service if s/he refuses, or even all of its services (which is what the new policy proposes). Those policies, and their consequences, are Google's own business choice.

But Google must ask while informing fully and fairly. As long as people understand exactly what they give up in order to get Google's free services and as long as they understand the risks, this is a free world.

Why won't Google ask fairly? Because many people, if they fully understood the upsides and the downsides, might decide not to use Google's services.

Listing all the GOTCHAs would be bad for business. So Google would be forced to re-work its policy to afford us all greater protection. For example...

1) Google should defend us against requests for information.

2) Google should alert us to those requests.

3) Google should delete information within 3 months, sufficient time to assimilate our data in their algorithms.

Those simple changes would remove most of our risk.

Google is just the beginning. This unique window of opportunity, during which Google requires us to "re-consent" (however misleading their process), closes on March 1, at which time the Policy comes into effect.

Ultimately, full disclosure should be required of all companies. A successful campaign now would ripple and and companies with competing products or services would compete not just on features, but on how well they protect our privacy.

Please "sign" this petition.  Doing so not only adds your support to this cause, it sends an e-mail to Google, the FTC, Congressmen, and the European Commission.

Finally, please share this petition with all your friends (through Facebook, e-mail, chat, etc.), asking them to sign, too. The "social web" is a powerful way to make the voice of the average individual heard.

By working together, we can influence the mighty to turn wrong into right. Here is what this petition asks of Google...

Delay your implementation date of March 1st, 2012 in order to institute a fair and fully informed opt-in process to get our permission to track, store, combine and protect all data generated by each user of your services, as outlined herein, for the reasons herein.

Recent signatures

    News

    1. The Spring Of 1984...

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      Yesterday, Google's new Privacy Policy came into effect. It is a turning point in easy access to your most private information by increasingly intrusive governments.

      What happened to all those government agencies in Europe and the U.S. who threatened that they MUST meet with Google BEFORE March 1? Nothing. They WANT access to our private e-mails, searches, etc.

      What happened with this petition? Nothing. 5,000 concerned citizens is a sad number. People are apathetic. They either trust Google (mistake), truly believe that this does not apply to them (wrong and self-centered) or simply could not be bothered to work to change how companies trick us into signing away our privacy.

      This is the final update. Our flagship product, SBI!, will be our ongoing statement to enable INDIVIDUAL liberty. More information at our final post on this...

      http://on.fb.me/yNsFdW (see, too, my 2 comments lower down).

      Thank you to those who supported this.

      With sadness,
      Ken Evoy
      Founder, SiteSell.com

    2. Reached 5,000 signatures
    3. 37 Attorney Generals are Fighting For Us. Are YOU?

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      I've just issued an update announcing that we've passed 4,000 signatures and that 37 State AGs are now asking for a meet with Google before March 1. Please see...

      http://www.facebook.com/SiteSell/posts/370664666279882

      We're adding two of them to the cc list of the letter that is sent every time someone signs the Petition. There is unique information in our petition that is important but that others are missing.

      Help spread it. Support the bodies fighting Goggle on this (Congressmen, the EC, EPIC, the Attorney Generals, etc) by signing the agreement and then going to this page to market it...

      http://www.sitesell.com/widget-it.html

      Only 8 days left to turn the tide!

      All the best,
      Ken Evoy
      Founder, SiteSell.com

    4. Reached 4,000 signatures
    5. Google Privacy Petition Passes 3,000. Where To From Here?

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      The Petition is beginning to accelerate, jumping by several hundred overnight through the 3,000 signature mark. People are starting to put widgets on sites, blogs, and tumblr, which will leverage growth.

      We'll release a special webpage to show you exactly how to BEST do that, along with a summary of marketing strategies and sample copy, tomorrow.

      Right now, we're sensing bit of fatigue from the readership of SiteSell Facebook. So we've started a discussion there that asks, "Where to from here?" Please see...

      http://www.facebook.com/SiteSell/posts/353196998044915

      I'd love to hear your comments on the matter.

      All the best,
      Ken Evoy
      Founder, SiteSell.com

    6. Reached 3,000 signatures
    7. What's The Point of INFORM FULLY and ASK FAIRLY?

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      We're 1/4 of the way towards Goal #2, which is 10,000 signatures.

      That's great... IF we had more time. But the new policy starts March 1. We need to accelerate. We need your help to do so.

      To communicate more effectively, we need to remove a point of confusion...

      Some folks have asked what's the point of asking Google to INFORM FULLY and ASK FAIRLY. Why not tell them to change their privacy, and how to change it?

      INFORM FULLY and ASK FAIRLY would force Google to re-write certain clauses in their Privacy Policy. It is riddled with GOTCHAs that they would have to reveal (i.e., to the satisfaction of the FTC).

      So they'll re-write. Let Google itself protect us better, instead of us getting bogged down in re-writing THEIR policy.

      Please read this extremely important post ( http://on.fb.me/ydk5ES ) that...

      1) explains this in more detail

      2) shows how to market this petition.

      Big Google + Big Government = Big Brother 1984.

      Stop it now.

      All the best,
      Ken Evoy
      Founder, SiteSell.com

    8. Reached 2,500 signatures
    9. EPIC Agrees With Our Stance, Suing FTC

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) is suing the FTC to stop Google from implementing its new Privacy Policy on March 1...

      http://epic.org/privacy/ftc/google/consent-order.html

      The reason for the suit?

      Google is misleading the public and the FTC, the agency charged with YOUR protection, is doing nothing about it. (Google spends tons on lobbying, remember -- it's a true "BIGCO" now.)

      We've posted more information on this at our Facebook page...

      http://on.fb.me/wHclUg

      Bottom line of EPIC's suit and this petition?...

      Google must INFORM FULLY and ASK FAIRLY.

      If you have not done so already, sign and share, please.

      All the best,
      Ken Evoy
      Founder, SiteSell.com

      P.S. The Federal Court has granted an accelerated hearing date, given the urgency...

      http://epic.org/2012/02/federal-court-grants-accelerat.html

      AND LATEST UPDATE....

      Google refuses to answer questions about impact of the new Privacy Policy!

      http://epic.org/2012/02/google-report-raises-new-quest.html

    10. Reached 1,500 signatures
    11. "GOOGLE ASK FAIRLY" PETITION HITS GOAL #1 AND SETS GOAL #2

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      Congratulations everyone!

      Less than 4 days after launching this petition...

      http://www.facebook.com/SiteSell/posts/188027394631963

      ... we've already hit the first goal of 1,000.

      As promised, we've now multiplied Goal #1 by 10, to...

      10,000

      How do we get there?

      By using BAM! It's all explained at our announcement at...

      http://on.fb.me/wztnKP

      Congratulations to all!!

      And now... it's time to shift into "VIRAL HYPERDRIVE!"

      All the best,
      Ken

    12. Reached 1,000 signatures
    13. Approaching 1st Goal of 1000 Already!

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      Since posting these marketing tips yesterday...

      http://on.fb.me/x0gJYM

      ...signatures have TRIPLED to 900!

      We'll be multiplying by 10 to Goal #2 of 10,000 shortly.

      To get THERE takes emotion, devotion, execution. Yes, sign and share this petition. But most importantly, market it....

      "Facebook it" until your friends beg you to stop. Most people don't see most posts, so don't be shy to post it several times.

      That goes double for Twitter, so tweet it every day or two.

      Blog it.

      Add a Change.org widget to your site. More on this later.

      Even pin it (if you use Pinterest?)...

      http://bit.ly/yJPvhb

      See more marketing tips (fb URL above). AND...

      See our new Facebook post...

      GOOGLE PRIVACY GOTCHA #2
      http://www.facebook.com/SiteSell/posts/186474214793825

      ... one more example of what Google does NOT tell you in their rosy picture. It's hidden in the fine print of their Privacy Policy. It's why...

      Google must INFORM FULLY & ASK FAIRLY.

      All the best,
      Ken Evoy
      Founder, Sitesell.com

    14. Reached 750 signatures
    15. "Google Ask Fairly" Passes The 600 Mark -- How YOU Can Multiply That

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      Great news! We broke 600 signatures overnight, 400 more since yesterday's update. It's now 3 full days since we took this from planning to rollout. Response is excellent AND emotional. BUT...

      There are only 20 days before Google rolls out their process to get your consent...

      "You can opt-out by not logging into ANY of our programs."

      NOT fair.

      Please hurry! Spread this!

      This is NOT a simple message like many other successful petitions. To help you communicate "Ask Fairly About Our Privacy," we've posted a copy-and-paste message AND a page for Pinterest fans at...

      http://on.fb.me/x0gJYM

      Copy-and-paste and send to EVERYONE you know... Facebook and every other social network you may use. Have a friend at a privacy or any other group that would support this? E-mail it to them.

      Use Pinterest? Pin it!

      And please read the other update posted on our Facebook page...

      GOTCHA #1 (first in a series)
      http://on.fb.me/wzCNm3

      More to come.

      All the best,
      Ken Evoy
      Founder, SiteSell.com

    16. Reached 500 signatures
    17. "Google Ask Fairly" Passes The 250 Mark!

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      I posted an update to our Facebook page that we had hit the 200 mark...

      http://www.facebook.com/SiteSell/posts/383022738378138

      Well, by the time I update here, we have already broken the 250-signature mark!

      Please read the above update. I can't post it all here because there is a 1,000 character limit.

      Then hurry! If you have not yet signed the petition, please do.

      More importantly, there is only 21 days left until this policy becomes official...

      So please spread this in every way you know how (ex., Share this with your friends on Facebook -- if you are using Timeline, hover over the share that appears on your Wall and "Star" it). Remember..

      YOU may be the next one that Google hands over to a government agency.

      Google should be really clear about the downsides. That's part of asking fairly.

      All the best,
      Ken Evoy
      Founder, SiteSell.com

    18. Reached 250 signatures
    19. I Have Announced This On Our Company's Facebook Page

      Ken Evoy
      Petition Organizer

      I have just announced this on my company's Facebook page, where it is stirring support and conversation. And I have received an e-mail from a supporter who has sent this petition to a contact in one major foundation already.

      We're off to a good start. It's going to take a lot of work, but with a little luck, we must may change HOW large companies ask for permission to track our every move online... fairly.

      Feel free to follow and join the conversation at...

    20. Reached 50 signatures

    Supporters

    Reasons for signing

    • Alex Pomorski WHITMORE LAKE, MI
      • about 2 years ago

      A free society cannot exist without privacy.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carla Aloi NEWINGTON, CT
      • about 2 years ago

      Big Brother is real.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Danièle MINIER LES PONTS DE, FRANCE
      • over 2 years ago

      J'ai 75 ans et ma vie est faite mais je veux que mes petits enfants soient informés et par extension tous les jeunes.Ils ne mesurent pas le danger:la mort de leur intimité.Protégeons-les.Merci pour votre démarche.

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • corri middleton KAMLOOPS, CANADA
      • over 2 years ago

      because I feel it is MY right to decide who, what, where and why, someone should have my private information ...!

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Paul Sheley FORT PIERCE, FL
      • over 2 years ago

      For my unborn children's sake

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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