One thing you gotta say about Google – these guys have balls. A couple of years ago, Sundar Pichai, the ceo of Google’s parent company, Alphabet, tweeted that “privacy was at the heart of everything we do.” Try not to choke on your coffee.

This, of course, was before they reneged on their promise to end third-party cookies in Chrome.

For those with short memories, in January of 2020 Google promised it would phase out third-party cookies. “People shouldn’t have to accept being tracked across the web…” said Google’s Director of Product Management, Ads Privacy and Trust — Privacy?…Trust? …Google?…is this a joke?

Well, surprise!, it turns out Mr. Trust was was not so trustworthy. Within months they changed their mind and called a do-over. In golf that’s called a Mulligan. In business it’s called a lie. It turns out that people do have to accept being tracked across the web.

This week, Google management went back to their three-card monte playbook and announced that they are going to end the current practice of allowing tracking of individuals across apps using their Android mobile operating system. When are they going to do this? Um…well, uh…sometime. Well, maybe sometime but definitely not in the next two years. But don’t worry… sometime.

This horseshit got nice headlines and commentary in the pathetic advertising trade press (a wholly-owned subsidiary of AlphaGooMetaFace) and even received favorable coverage in major news outlets. The NYTimes wrote, “Google Plans Privacy Changes, but Promises to Not Be Disruptive.”

Of course, spokesquids in the adtech industry were all hyperventilating about how thoughtful and sensitive Google is to their needs. These guys know mealy-mouth bullshit when they see it, and this was definitely their flavor of mealy-mouth bullshit.

In their new Android “privacy initiative” Google is promising absolutely nothing except to continue their policies that enable the disreputable and illegal tracking of people across apps for at least two more years.

In Google world, respecting privacy is always going to be awesome some day. It’s just never any good right now.

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About Author

Bob Hoffman

Bob Hoffman is creator of the popular “The Ad Contrarian” blog and newsletter, named one of the world's most influential marketing and advertising blogs by Business Insider

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