Google reassures users on data security

Joel Guinto, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 13 2018 06:28 AM | Updated as of Apr 17 2018 02:22 PM

Google president for operations Asia Pacific Karim Temsamani speaks at the Growing Google conference in Singapore on April 12, 2018. Google handout photo

SINGAPORE - Google has not faced "issues" similar to those besetting Facebook, the search giant's top officials in the Asia-Pacific region said Thursday. 

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg endured 2 days of congressional hearings in the US this week, after data from 87 million users of the world's largest social network were shared by consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica.

"For a very long time, we haven't seen any of the issues Mark Zuckerberg has talked about in our platform," Google Asia-Pacific president for operations Karim Temsamani told reporters here.

"We have a very different business model than Facebook. People use our products, our platforms when they intend to do something. The way the ecosystem works is very very different," he said. 

Some 1.2 million Filipinos might have been affected by the Facebook breach, according to the social network and there have been calls from Philippine legislators for separate investigations.

Google is "deeply committed" to securing user data and wants users to feel that their information is secure, said its Asia Pacific head for trust and safety, Arjun Narayan. 

"From an architectural and data quarantine perspective, we're deeply committed. What Facebook is talking about is not an issue we find in our platforms," he said.

"We know we have to earn consumer trust by keeping our products secure. We don't take this lightly," he said. 

Narayan said Google was moving to address "bad actors" in cyberspace, including content farms and malware, and more recently, false information and possible cryptocurrency scams. 

Last year, Google released 28 new ad policies and 20 new publisher policies, he said. During the same period, 3.2 billion "bad ads" were taken down, he said. 

"If you look at the sophistication, of the nature of attacks, it has gone up. Our work at protecting our ecosystem is ongoing," he said.