Tech companies care about your privacy — just ask the dinosaur

In case we haven’t gotten the message, tech companies want us to know that they really, really care about our privacy. So they’re thinking big (a dinosaur!), and even breaking out the Legos.

That’s right, in the post-Edward Snowden era, Internet giants such as Facebook, Google, Twitter and others are going all out to assure users that they aren’t just rolling over and allowing governments access to our communications and personal information. The companies have released transparency reports that quantify government requests for data. (Some, such as Google, did so even before the NSA spying revelations.) They have pushed the government to allow them to disclose more information about FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) requests. They’ve stepped up their encryption efforts.

And now, behold “Way of a Warrant,” Google’s Lego-powered video explanation of how it handles search warrants in the United States.

But wait, there’s more! For its part, Facebook goes way back: It has enlisted the help of a dinosaur. The jolly blue giant popped up to remind some users that they can change their settings to control who sees their posts. It was a test done by Facebook last week in what Slate’s Will Oremus is calling a good PR move.

What’s next, Microsoft telling us it will no longer spy on user emails? That happened last week, too.

But after all the promises and transparency reports and privacy dinosaurs and Legos, can tech companies really hang on to users’ trust? Stay tuned for our next installment of tech and privacy issues, which will probably be coming up real soon.

(Hat tip to Future Tense)


Above: Screen shot from “Way of a Warrant.”


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