Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Google Blogspot Platform Is Providing Country Specific Results

As you are aware, Google is planning to use a new privacy policy and terms of service (ToS) on 01-01-2012. Many people have raised valid concerns that this may be adoption of a more intrusive and e-surveillance oriented approach by Google. On the other hand, consolidation of various privacy policies and ToS at a single place has many benefits and advantages as well.

Only time would tell whether the new privacy policy and ToS of Google would be beneficial or counter productive. However, its effects have already been visible. In the past, Google has been giving country specific news and SERPs. To meet this objective Google has been using the internet protocol (IP) address of the user.

This is a serious issue that may have grave privacy violation implications. IP based results are also the requirement for Google to place the most relevant online advertisement based upon users location, behaviour and tastes. This policy of Google deserves to be taken note of by the federal trade commission and department of justice of United States.

However, the most bizarre act of Google is bifurcation of blogspot domain into India specific results and non India specific results. If you are an Indian blogger at blogspot domain, you must have realised that your blog’s address is automatically assigned to ***.blogspot.in instead of the ***.blogspot.com.

The legality of various acts and omissions of Google Incorporation and Google India need to be legally scrutinised. Google is already facing a criminal trail in India for non removal of objectionable contents. Similarly, a DMCA notice to Google Incorporation and legal notice to Google India has also been served. In other cases, it appear that Google is deliberately ignoring and violating Indian laws like copyright law, trademarks law and cyber law of India.

Undoubtedly, Google must comply with Indian laws to escape various civil and criminal liabilities. Similarly, India must also develop alternative mechanisms to DMCA notice that Google and others must follow. This is more so when the cyber litigations against foreign websites would increase in India.

The latest privacy policy and ToS of Google as well as providing Indian and non Indian based blogspot results is not going in the right direction. There is a need to analyse the same and federal trade commission and department of justice of United States and Indian government must legally scrutinise the same. The possibilities of any unfair trade practice by Google must be ruled out before Google’s new privacy policy and ToS are made operational.