Google CEO: ‘Data Belongs to the User’; Yet Opposes New Privacy Measure

In an interview at the World Economic Forum earlier this year, Google CEO Sundar Pichai said his company is not only committed to but always believes that “Data always belongs to the user and as companies we are only stewards of it.”

The comments come as the tech giant is funding opposition to the California Consumer Privacy Act. 

If approved, the California Consumer Privacy Act would enforce more transparency over data stored by companies, and give consumers a way to opt out of companies selling their data. The measure, sponsored by local real estate developer Alastair Mactaggart, is on the November ballot in California.

The California Consumer Privacy Act website states:

  • The California Consumer Privacy Act empowers you to find out what information businesses are collecting about you, your devices, and your children, and gives you the choice to tell them no.
  • If a business collects your personal information, once a year and free of charge they have to tell you what categories of information they have collected on you, your devices and your children.
  • If a business sells your personal information, they have to tell you what categories of personal information they are selling and then tell you to whom they sold your personal information.

GOOGLE Funding the Opposition

The CCPA is being opposed by the California Chamber of Commerce.

A link on the California Secretary of State’s website shows all the contributors to defeating the measure:

In addition to Google, the campaign that has financial support from Comcast, AT&T and Verizon.

Facebook had donated $200,000, but following Mark Zuckerberg’s testimony before Congress, pulled that money and has stated they will not be funding opposition to CCPA.

Alastair Mactaggart cheered the decision and in a statement noted, “We’re gratified that Facebook has dropped its opposition to the California Consumer Privacy Act. We call on the remaining corporations who have contributed to the Super PAC opposing this common-sense measure to drop their opposition.”