The Google privacy conundrum: Why locking down your data is a hard choice

Privacy as a right vs. privacy as a choice.

We heard a lot about AI and machine learning at the Google I/O developers conference keynote May 9, but there was one word that didn’t make an appearance on a slide: privacy. Unlike its heavyweight peers, Google didn’t use its yearly spotlight to announce any changes to the way it tracks and collects your data. If anything, it’s doubling down on data collection with things like the Google Duplex project, which uses your phone to make Assistant-powered calls in the real-world.

While Facebook is trying to salvage its image in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal and Apple is positioning privacy as a “fundamental human right,” Google continues to walk a fine line between protecting and profiling our data. Google makes no secret of the importance of data in its machine learning and artificial intelligence projects. While the tools are available to limit it, it doesn’t exactly advertise them either.

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