Googlestroika: Five Years Later

April 7, 2015

This article re-examines and revises observations made in the author’s 2009 article, Googlestroika: Privatizing Privacy. 1 Specifically, it looks to the contractual obligations and practical considerations that define how users interact not only with Google, but also with social network websites and other online service providers. Consideration is given to how an individual leaves a social network, or terminates “membership” and technical matters, such as the implications of so-called private modes in web browsers. This Article is a review of where the market in privacy stands today and discusses some, but by no means all, changes in law, policy, litigation, regulation, and contract arrangements since the first article’s publication in 2009. Its focus, as with Googlestroika, is to reconcile the user experience of Internet services with the terms of use and contractual provisions that govern the interactions between consumer and provider.