Currently Google and Microsoft are battling it out via passive aggressive statements over who is in the wrong in this whole user privacy tracking ordeal, when of course, both of them, along with the rest of the tech giants, are doing the same wrong things. After learning that Google tracks iPhone users via Safari, we learned Google and others, including Facebook, bypass similar settings on Internet Explorer. With everyone throwing around the phrase "violated privacy settings," it sounds like we're living in a scary Big Brother-esque mess, where all these technology companies disregard important privacy policies and track users, compromising personal data. It sounds scary, it's not. Or rather, it's now standard practice.
When Google's not tracking users on Safari, Apple is. And, thousands of companies bypass Internet Explorer's cookie settings, arguably because the policy is archaic, as Tech Policy's Lorrie Faith Cranor explains. "The excuse everyone uses to justify this circumvention is that P3P is dead and IE breaks the cool things they want to do on their website, so therefore it is ok to circumvent browser privacy controls," she writes. And, Google indeed uses that very logic in its spatty statement defending itself: "Today the Microsoft policy is widely non-operational. A 2010 research report indicated that over 11,000 websites were not issuing valid P3P policies as requested by Microsoft," it said in a post via Paris Lemon.