Google Says User Data is Private, Protected From PRISM

Following an announcement this afternoon from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who affirmed that Facebook “is not and has never been part of any program to give the US or any other government direct access to our servers,” Google is making a similar statement through company CEO Larry Page.

Page confirms that Google also has nothing to do with the top secret surveillance program known as PRISM.

“First, we have not joined any program that would give the U.S. government — or any other government — direct access to our servers,” Page said. “Indeed, the U.S. government does not have direct access or a ‘back door’ to the information stored in our data centers.” As Apple did, Page claimed Google had not heard of a program called PRISM until yesterday.”

Page added that Google provides user data to governments only in accordance with the law.

“Our legal team reviews each and every request, and frequently pushes back when requests are overly broad or don’t follow the correct process,” Page wrote today. “Press reports that suggest that Google is providing open-ended access to our users’ data are false, period. Until this week’s reports, we had never heard of the broad type of order that Verizon received—an order that appears to have required them to hand over millions of users’ call records. We were very surprised to learn that such broad orders exist. Any suggestion that Google is disclosing information about our users’ Internet activity on such a scale is completely false.”

To read the full announcement from Larry Page and David Drummond, Google’s Chief Legal Officer, click here.