Gordon Dexter on 2 Dec 2008 13:55:21 -0800

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Re: [PLUG] OT: Why bashing Google?...

Fred Stluka wrote:
> 1.  What has Google done to violate your trust?
> 2.  What are you concerned that Google may do in the future?
> 3.  Is Google better/worse than most companies in these regards?
I don't think there's anything specific that I could point to that would 
answer those questions.  They never released search histories like AOL, 
or carelessly lost credit card info like Target.  The worst I've seen 
them accused of is being complicit in Chinese censorship, and I don't 
really think they have all that much ability to change the policy of a 
foreign government.  But I still understand why some people are 
uncomfortable with Google.  The amount of personal information they 
collect is just staggering, and there's a lot of potential for it to be 
misused.  There's no evidence that they have actually done so, but 
things like their AdWords in gmail give people the heebie-jeebies, even 
if their personal information is kept completely safe and private.

I personally think Google does a lot of neat stuff, but I'm wary in what 
personal info I share with them, and I made sure I understood their 
privacy policies.  I haven't seen anything that really scares me while 
reading them but people have different comfort levels.  A paranoid 
corporation, for example, might have good reason to avoid their 
appliance, perhaps to protect trade secrets, contract details, or some 
other form of highly confidential data that needs protection beyond an 
individual's profile data.


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