Google ranks dead last among Internet sites for protecting user privacy, a new study by watchdog group Privacy International concludes. In its 6-month analysis of top e-commerce, social networking, e-mail, and search sites, PI singled out Google for what it called a "entrenched hostility to privacy," citing fuzzy corporate practice around key issues such as how it handles its users' data.
The report has sparked a war of words between the two organizations, with PI accusing Google of launching a smear campaign against it. But Wired's Cott Gilbertson wonders whether Google's dismal showing matters much at all. Or, he writes, "Is information gathering just so rampant that it isn’t even possible to fight anymore?"