[LINK] Google Code of Conduct

Jan Whitaker jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Sat Feb 4 19:37:07 AEDT 2012

Remember the 'Don't be evil' mantra? It's written in their Code of 
Conduct. One of my students referenced it today.

It also has a relatively useful Serve our Users section that has a 
piece on privacy and freedom of expression.
They also say that they want to hear from users and also require 
(this is a company code of conduct, to yes, require) employees to 
raise issues they see.

What is a pity is that this Code of Conduct, which should be easily 
found by USERS as well as staff, is in the Investor Relations 
subdirectory. What about the rest of us? No where is it provided to 
users. The terms of services info from their user facing pages
  is about protecting Google's back and NOTHING about their high 
concept openness to user comments. Even in the terms of service they 
ask users to do something that they do NOT provide the ability to do:

"6.3If you become aware of any unauthorized use of your password or 
of your account, you agree to notify Google immediately at 

Pretty threatening, isn't it? Except when you go to that page, it 
doesn't provide a means to do what they insist you must.

There relationship severance clause is interesting too:
13.2If you want to terminate your legal agreement with Google, you 
may do so by (a) notifying Google at any time and (b) closing your 
accounts for all of the Services which you use, where Google has made 
this option available to you. Your notice should be sent, in writing, 
to Google's address which is set out at the beginning of these Terms.

This is the address they mean: subject to the terms of a legal 
agreement between you and Google. "Google" means Google Inc., whose 
principal place of business is at 1600 Amphitheatre Parkway, Mountain 
View, CA 94043, United States.

NO Complaints section on their Contact Us page

There is a buried email address for reporting security problems on 
http://www.google.com/about/company/security.html , but NO email 
contact information on their Contact Us page or for any of their 
international offices: http://www.google.com/about/company/address.html

Their Contact Us page Help section also ends with: "or send us your 
comments and suggestions." However, when you follow the links from 
the Help sections, there is never any ability to do that. It is made 
up of help pages and FAQs. There is a Contacting Us additional link 
at the bottom, but that ends with this little gem:

Email us

Currently, we accept email reports for the issues below. In most 
cases, you won't receive a personal response, but we do carefully 
review each report we receive.
trademark questions
gadget that violates our policies

For all other issues, please search the 
<http://support.google.com/websearch/>Help Center or ask for help in 
the Help Forum.

Therefore other than writing a letter or ringing them up, there is NO 
electronic means to lodge a complaint. None.

They talk a good game, but they don't follow-through. They have put 
themselves behind one Great Firewall of Google in terms of their users.


Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
blog: http://janwhitaker.com/jansblog/
business: http://www.janwhitaker.com

Our truest response to the irrationality of the world is to paint or 
sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer

_ __________________ _

More information about the Link mailing list