Google Privacy Shakeup And Shakeout After Continued Data Leaks

Google Chief Privacy Officer Keith Enright wrote in a LinkedIn post Tuesday that he will leave the company in the fall. The note comes after a series of high-profile data leaks.

"This will be an uncharacteristically personal post from a guy who predictably tends to keep things private," Enright wrote in an upbeat post about his future. "After over 13 years at Google, I’m ready for a change, and will be moving on this fall, taking all that I’ve learned and trying something new."

He went on to commend the team "we built" and the work done to keep "billions of people around the world safe and in control" of their data.

Google told Forbes, which initially reported Enright’s departure, that its restructuring plans will increase the number of people working on regulatory compliance.

Enright’s departure comes during a time when the company faces scrutiny across the ad industry and among lawmakers. Privacy Sandbox, the industry-wide initiative led by Google, is one consideration, the data leaks are another.



Google plans to continue its focus on user data privacy and a broader restructuring of its policy and privacy teams amid the exodus. 

Yesterday, 404 Media reported on an “accidental” collection of children voice data, leaked trips and home addresses of car pool users, and that Google made YouTube recommendations based on users' deleted watch history, among thousands of other employee-reported privacy incidents.

404 Media had obtained a copy of an internal Google database that had tracked six years of potential privacy and security issues.

Matthew Bye, who has been part of Google’s legal council since 2009, will also leave, Forbes reported.

Aside from the departures of Google employees related to security jobs at the company, there has been an onslaught of data breach and leak details flowing into my email from search marketers.

Matthew Woodward, SEO expert and director at Search Logistics, analyzed the recent leak of Google API documentation. He wrote that some of the most important revelations that haven’t been discussed in any other analyses include the collection of skin tone data.

There’s what he calls restaurant section anomaly, where an unusual description in Google's restaurant section segregates Google-owned properties, a detail he says has not previously been highlighted in other analyses.

The data also discusses how Google might "whitelist" certain websites, giving them preferential treatment during significant events like elections and pandemics.

The data also suggests that a "siteAuthority" metric, similar to domain authority, is used by Google, as well as click-data use to evaluate page relevance and quality, categorizing different types of clicks to assess user interactions.

He also points out Privacy Sandbox effects, and multiple algorithms that consists of microservices rather than one algorithm, each handling different aspects like crawling, indexing, and rendering.

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