The article “Google to Offer More Privacy for Owners of Wi-Fi Routers” by Kevin O’Brien discusses the announcement made by Google, which stated that the company would give the owners of residential WiFi routers an opportunity to opt-out from Google registry, thus ensuring their privacy. This announcement goes in line with the new European privacy legislation, however it has its implications globally. Google’s actions aim to avoid privacy violation investigations, which could damage the reputation of the leader search engine and the producer of the number one operating system for smartphones, the Android. Although, the opt-out system would decrease Google’s ability to use their tracking system, cell towers and global-positioning satellites still offer an opportunity for the company to locate cell phone users and to distribute mobile advertising.
The example of Google shows us the conflict between privacy and wide information accessibility nowadays. Targeted advertising and marketing research can greatly help companies in promoting their products in the market. Therefore, managers tend to refer to this method very often, constantly tracking customer behaviour and purchase patterns. These methods, however, leave little privacy to people, thus causing numerous complaints. The situation is becoming more complicated when business is operating globally. In this case, companies should consider a number of different opinions on private information collection and comply with the privacy laws, specific to particular country or region. Therefore, managing in a global economy requires careful consideration of the thin line between information collection and privacy violation, which could significantly damage company’s reputation and drag it into endless lawsuits. The article sends a clear message to the global managers of tomorrow, warning them about the potential threats of using private information despite its significant benefits for the company.
O'Brien, Kevin J. "Google to Offer More Privacy for Owners of Wi-Fi Routers." New York
Times 13 Sep 2011. Web. 20 Sep. 2011.