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The US Internet Industry Lowdown: Latest Developments

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Part 3
The US Internet Industry Lowdown: Latest Developments PART 3 OF 12

Alphabet Has a Subtle Policy Update That Speaks Volumes

Removing personal data from Internet research

Alphabet’s (GOOGL) Google has quietly updated its policy page to include a line that says it also removes personal medical records. A Google spokeswoman later told Bloomberg that the company removes such information if it is asked to do so.

Private medical record now joins the list—along with other personal data, such as national identification numbers, credit card numbers, and revenge porn—that Google may remove from its search results.

Alphabet Has a Subtle Policy Update That Speaks Volumes

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Steering clear from potential fines

Updating the privacy policy to include the removal of private medical records could go a long way into saving Google from certain legal pitfalls tied to privacy violations. Online privacy is a matter of serious concern for many Internet users, and regulators and violations can carry a heavy cost.

Having recently been slapped with a $2.7-billion fine in Europe (EFA) for allegedly abusing its market strength, Google clearly wants to be careful to avoid whatever could land it in hot legal waters.

Keeping away from controversies

Besides attracting fines, privacy issues can also impact user confidence in a product and potentially hurt sales. Having witnessed brands ditch YouTube advertising over inappropriate content appearing next to their campaigns, Google likely aims to steer clear of potential controversies that could trigger a loss of advertisers.

As it relies on advertising for the majority of its revenues, Google is in fierce competition with Facebook (FB), Twitter (TWTR), and Microsoft (MSFT) for advertisers’ money.

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