At its I/O 2022 developer meeting on May 11th, the tech giant disclosed a range of privacy measures that it says would help users keep more control over how their data is utilized by Google applications and declared to the world through search.
The company also revealed many new security features at its I/O event. But, for Google, a company that created its reputation on organizing the world’s information, the most delinquent sales gradient to users is that it will attempt to do more with less of it.
One new modification introduced at the conference is the My Ad Center interface: a hub that lets users customize the types of ads they see by selecting from a range of topics they are interested in or seeing fewer ads on a given topic.
Google states that My Ad Center will support giving users control over how their data is used and how this affects their web experience.
In another announcement disclosed at the conference, Google said that users would be able to ask that personal information like email or address details be extracted from search results through a new tool that will be obtainable from a user’s Google profile page.
Perhaps expectedly for a discussion geared toward developers, some of Google’s most significant privacy announcements involved changing strategies to software engineering. As a result, the safety and security segment of the event, conducted by Jen Fitzpatrick, Google’s SVP for core systems and affairs, emphasized the idea of “protected computing”: a set of technologies that Google says illustrate a transformed approach to where and how data is processed.
Protected computing suggests that more data will be processed on gadgets (e.g., Android phones) without being transmitted to Google’s cloud servers. And when user information is dispatched to Google’s servers, more of it will be anonymized through techniques like edge computing and differential privacy.
Fitzpatrick said that the modifications justify the trust that users place in Google to maintain their security.
“Protecting your privacy needs us to be rigorous in designing private products,” she said.
The safety and security presentation recognized that users’ expectations of privacy are transforming and that the company needs to recognize and adapt to them. Notably, Google is increasingly trying to demonstrate to users that it can hold at least some of their data out of the indicators of the advertisers that obtain the vast majority of the company’s earnings.
And under the guiding opinion, “private by design, secure by default,” Google is also stretching to boost user safety across its products by executing additional security benchmarks.
Security announcements created at the I/O event included measures meant to increase user protections across many Google products. For one, a new account safety rank icon will exhibit a warning on a user’s profile across all Google apps when any security problems are persistent and direct the user toward suggested actions to correct the problem.
And the company will raise two-step verification for accounts by transmitting an “Is this you?” notification to smartphones when a user tries to sign in to a Google account elsewhere.
Phishing protection will also be coming to the Google Workspace suite, with the Docs, Sheets, and Slides applications soon to display warning notifications about malicious links in documents.
Phishing protection refers to security measures companies can take to prevent phishing attacks on their employees. Phishing is a form of cybercrime where attackers dupe targets into revealing sensitive data: bank account numbers, credit card information, login credentials,
Social Security numbers, and other personally identifiable information. First, attackers contact targets through email disguised to appear as if it is from a trusted source or a legitimate company. Then, by convincing marks that there is a problem they must remedy quickly, attackers get users to tap on a link that directs them to a fraudulent website where their sensitive information is captured. Malware may be downloaded to their computer.
Google’s safety announcements offer a company that wants to be seen as centering users’ security concerns. However, at an I/O event full of new and creative uses of user data, it’s heartening to see that privacy was by no means forgotten on the face of things.