Particularly over the past few months, Google
has run into a few issues over privacy. The main issue that got them into hot water was a realization that their Street View cars had inadvertently collected Wi-Fi data
while cruising, picking up some rather private information along the way. Google has become a large enough company now that people can reasonably question whether or not they should be collecting all of this private/location data, and Google's clearly aware of that.
In an effort to control the damage and the fallout, and to regain the trust of anyone who had considered giving up on their services due to this event, Google has announced a few key changes internally as well as providing an update on the May Street View mess. First off, the company has hired Alma Whitten as their director of privacy across both engineering and product management, with her focus to be on ensuring the company builds effective privacy controls into their products and internal practices. She's basically in charge of driving home new privacy and security changes in order to keep anything like the Street View snafu from happening again.
Secondly, Google is ramping up training. They are enhancing our core training for engineers and other important groups (such as product management and legal) with a particular focus on the responsible collection, use and handling of data, and starting in two months, all employees will also be required to undertake a new information security awareness program, which will include clear guidance on both security and privacy.
Finally, the company is making some changes to their internal compliance procedures, mostly to reflect that Google is now a huge corporation. As an update to the Street View case, Google has confirmed that select e-mails and URLs, as well as some passwords, were captured by the vehicles, but they're working with investigators to close up any ends and get those deleted as soon as possible.