"Privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services," declared Sundar Pichai, the chief executive officer of Google, in a New York Times op-ed this week. "Privacy must be equally available to everyone in the world." Pichai's column, published in conjunction with Google's annual developer conference, was a two-pronged public relations offensive: an attempt by the company that has been one of the chief architects and primary beneficiaries of digital surveillance to wrap itself in the mantle of privacy, while simultaneously taking a swipe at one of its competitors. In Silicon Valley, "privacy" is in 2019 what reclaimed wood was in 2010: a must-have design feature that signals a certain degree of authenticity and hipness and could also double as a weapon in a pinch. Pichai's broadside, in case you're not attuned to the subtleties of tech CEO shade, was aimed at Apple.
May-10-2019, 08:10:02 GMT