Opinion | Google’s Sundar Pichai: Privacy Should Not Be a Luxury Good

Second, products use anonymous data in aggregate to be more helpful to everyone. Traffic data in Google Maps reduces gridlock by offering people alternate routes. Queries in Google Translate make translations more accurate for billions of people. Anonymized searches over time help Search understand your questions, even if you misspell them.

Third, a small subset of data helps serve ads that are relevant and that provide the revenue that keeps Google products free and accessible. That revenue also sustains a broad community of content creators, which in turn helps keep content on the web free for everyone. The data used in ads could be based on, for example, something you searched for or an online store you browsed in the past. It does not include the personal data in apps such as Docs or Gmail. Still, if receiving a customized ads experience isn’t helpful, you can turn it off. The choice is yours and we try to make it simple.

Eight years ago, we introduced an easy way to export all your data from Google services — and even take it elsewhere. A few years later, we created the Google Account page as a place to review and adjust all of your privacy controls. Nearly 20 million people now visit it every day. But we know our work here is never done, and we want to do more to stay ahead of user expectations.

Last week, we announced significant new privacy features, including one-click access to privacy settings from all our major products and auto-delete controls that allow you to choose how long you want data to be saved. And to protect your data from security threats, we just introduced a security key built into Android phones that can provide two-factor authentication.

[Technology has made our lives easier. But it also means that your data is no longer your own. We’ll examine who is hoarding your information — and give you a guide for what you can do about it. Sign up for our limited-run newsletter .]

We’re also working hard to challenge the assumption that products need more data to be more helpful. Data minimization is an important privacy principle for us, and we’re encouraged by advances developed by Google A.I. researchers called “federated learning.” It allows Google’s products to work better for everyone without collecting raw data from your device. Federated learning is how Google’s Keyboard can recognize and suggest new words like “YOLO” and “BTS” after thousands of people begin typing them — without Google ever seeing anything you type. In the future, A.I. will provide even more ways to make products more helpful with less data.

Even as we make privacy and security advances in our own products, we know the kind of privacy we all want as individuals relies on the collaboration and support of many institutions, like legislative bodies and consumer organizations.

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