What do Microsoft and Yahoo have on their home pages that Google doesn't? They have links to their respective privacy policies.
Aesthetic treason though it may be to clutter the nearly pristine Google.com with an additional seven letters, Google really ought to comply, even if doing so results in a slight statistical diminution of "user happiness" -- Google's measure of how pages perform. (Believe it or not, Google pays a lot of attention to tiny details that affect page load times and user response. Tenths of seconds matter to Google.)
Clearly, Google is not keen to set a precedent that anyone with a grievance is entitled to redress on its home page. But the company has to make sure its public statements about privacy remain consistent with its actions. And it just looks bad for Google to insist that it reads the law differently than everyone else. It makes Google look like it's trying to pull one over on its users.
Google's stance is particularly perplexing given that in 2005 and 2006 the company publicly resisted the U.S. Department of Justice's demand for user search data to protect user privacy. Google associate general counsel Nicole Wong said at the time in a blog post that Google worried that "if the government was permitted to require Google to hand over search queries, that could have undermined confidence that our users have in our ability to keep their information private."
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