Google’s New Good to Know Privacy Portal

This week, Google very quietly launched a privacy portal called Good to Know.  In the UK, you may even have already seen their adverts on the London Underground or elsewhere last week, a campaign teamed with the Citizens Advice Bureau.  The portal provides internet security advice, tips and privacy policy information on Google applications and pages to users worldwide.  A huge first for the big players in the business.

The Good to Know portal is made up of four main sections and offers information in simple breakdowns and short clips.  It even offers a ‘jargon buster’ in order to make privacy advice and information accessible to the least tech-savvy users of Google.  Bloggers, tech junkies and critics alike seem to be impressed at Google’s innovative approach to providing, ensuring and explaining internet security and privacy.

Google’s approach to the portal is also incredibly welcome after repeated concerns with internet security have plagued some of its competitors, in particular Facebook.  Facebook has taken hit after hit with regards to its privacy policy and transparency.  Recent issues with its ‘Like’ button and tracking users, wire tap accusations in the US, and ever changing privacy settings have triggered major criticisms and complaints.  Google has, it appears, learned much from the issues where its competitors have not.

As a major internet mogul, Google has established itself as the one provider of advice on how to maintain internet privacy and security.  It even offers up (although it may not be entirely comprehensive) an explanation of what information it holds on you, the user, and what it does with that data.  Both Apple and Facebook have been found wanting in this area, and Google has set itself apart from the pack.

We at Big Brother Watch applaud the portal, as it not only addresses real concerns of privacy for Google users, but also offers tips on how to maintain your own security in cyberspace.  In a digital world, its extremely important that providers such as Google and Facebook be transparent about their privacy policies and what they do with your data, but it is equally important the users have some idea of how to protect themselves as well.  Google has done well by us with the Good to Know portal, and it will be interesting to see if and how its competitors will follow.  Google, we give you a +1 for this.



  1. John Robertson
    20th October 2011

    About time! Well done Google for leading the way to greater Internet privacy – facebook………we are waiting for you to pick up the baton.

  2. Winston Smith
    22nd October 2011

    Are you serious? I have a choice whether to use facebook. google, however, has photographed my home without permission, and it’s been a nightmare getting it removed from the monstrosity known as streetview. I don’t trust google any more than I trust facebook.

    • Carrol Quigley
      30th October 2011

      I totally agree with you, Winston. Google are simply doing a PR exercise after so many own goals in recent years. They want people to use their new social media tracking system, so it’s in their interest to score one over FB. Also, many people are “waking up” to the fact that they are an intelligence creation and that they are at the forefront of internet censorship, by banning videos on YouTube that are critical of the govt. – at least in US. “Don’t be Evil” is an ironic motto.

  3. » Blog Archive Gmarketing: the Good to Know campaign » blur Marketing
    21st November 2011

    […] campaign seems to be working, with civil liberties sites like Big Brother Watch lauding it as “a huge first.” It’s even been recommended by the Welsh police website. You could even interpret the campaign […]

  4. Antiphones
    26th November 2011

    Google watch your searches and your youtube browsing and sell that information on.  I have proof of this in an number of situations.  Here’s one example: When I go to Amazon it suggests books and DVDs for me what are based entirely on which videos I’ve watched that week on youtube.  These are things I have absolutely not searched for on Amazon itself.  Now, how could Amazon possibly know I’ve been watching certain obscure 1990’s British TV comedy shows on youtube?  Only if google sold that information to them.  This is just one of numerous examples I could site.  Another example.  I start searching for guitar lessons on google.  Next thing I know I’m on a news and public affairs blog and the google adverts are all for guitar lessons, not only that, but one of the non-google ads on the page is also about guitar lessons.  I don’t remember singing an agreement with google saying they can watch my browsing and sell that information on…