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Microsoft launches ads campaign to slam Google over privacy policy

(Xinhua)

08:22, February 02, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) -- Microsoft on Wednesday lashed out at Google hard over the search giant's recent changes in privacy policies, announcing it will place ads in major U.S. newspapers to promote Microsoft's products as alternatives to current Google users.

In a blog post, Frank Shaw, corporate vice president for Microsoft's corporate communications, said the recent changes of Google's privacy policies make it harder for users to control their own information, and Microsoft is placing a series of ads in some major U.S. newspapers this week to promote its products on what it sees as Google's missteps.

According to Shaw, the ads, which will run in major newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and USA Today, have a big headline of "Putting People First" and goes as following:

"Google is in the process of making some unpopular changes to some of their most popular products. Those changes, cloaked in language like 'transparency,' 'simplicity,' and 'consistency,' are really about one thing: making it easier for Google to connect the dots between everything you search, send, say, or stream while using one of their services."

"The way they're doing it is making it harder for you to maintain control of your personal information. Why are they so interested in doing this that they would risk this kind of backlash? One logical reason: Every data point they collect and connect to you increases how valuable you are to an advertiser."

Last week, Google announced that it will rewrite its privacy policy, consolidating user information across its services. The move immediately stirred up worries and blames as Google is not offering users an opt-out option. If users don't want their information from services like Gmail, Google search results and YouTube combined to give a detailed description of them, the only way is to stop using Google services.

On Tuesday, Google sent a letter to eight members of the U.S. Congress to defend its policy changes, contending that users still have control over how they use Google's services. It said the main change in the updated privacy policy is for users who sign into Google accounts, but people don't need to sign in to use many of its online services.

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