Google Wireless, Advertising and Privacy [8:27 am]
But even before the city announced the winning bidder, privacy advocates had begun to criticize the Google approach for what they say is its potential to violate consumer privacy. Early last week, the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Electronic Privacy Information Council released a joint report calling the EarthLink and Google proposal “privacy-invasive,” because it would involve “cookies” that track users from session to session to enable customized delivery of ads.
Mr. Vein said the criticism was premature given that the city and the companies had not yet negotiated the details of the network.
“While we have picked somebody, we haven’t necessarily agreed to the details of the proposal,” Mr. Vein said. “It is just a starting point.”
Mr. Vein said the city would make decisions related to privacy as the issues came up during negotiations. “I will be pushing to maintain the privacy and security of citizens as best I can as I put this deal together,” he said.