Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Avoiding the very appearance of evil at Google | Tech news blog - CNET News.com

Avoiding the very appearance of evil at Google | Tech news blog - CNET News.com:
"The Economist has an amazingly good article this week on Google, and its growing influence and power. Rather than ring alarm bells about Google's sometimes casual approach to privacy concerns, the article suggests that Google...
...needs a deeper change of heart. Pretending that, just because your founders are nice young men and you give away lots of services, society has no right to question your motives no longer seems sensible. Google is a capitalist tool--and a useful one. Better, surely, to face the coming storm on that foundation, than on a trite slogan that could be your undoing.
Amen. Open source provides such transparency, and it's one reason that open source is spreading like wildfire. But Google doesn't play by these same rules (nor do its competitors), which makes it all the more critical that the company embrace 'Transparency at all costs' rather than 'Do no evil' as its mantra. The former ensures the latter, as Wikipedia is finding."
Google has had its share of embarrassments, from its method of dealing with China's demand for censorship, to a Google Earth feature that shows street level views of certain areas ... and a lot more. These things, and a recent controversy over Google's claiming certain rights over online user content, have put Google on the defensive. This is ironic for a company whose corporate motto is "Don't Be Evil."

I should note here that the links I located to support some of Google's recent peccadilloes were located using a Google search....

I should also note that I use a lot of Google services, including gmail, the Google calendar, Google Documents, the Google toolbar and Google Earth. These are useful, and they work whether I have my Windows XP or my Linux hard drive inserted in my laptop. These tools ARE convenient, and I have weighed the privacy issues against convenience -- and choose to continue to use Google's tools. Even if Google has plans to take over the world, the user base seems more than up to the task of monitoring them, even if they don't do it for themselves.

If all else fails, Google it.

No comments: