Mark M. Hoffman on 3 Dec 2008 06:36:04 -0800

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


* Gordon Dexter <> [2008-12-02 16:55:06 -0500]:
> 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.

Excellent post.  I like their stuff too, but...  such a concentration of
knowledge/power is scary, even if not misused so far.


Mark M. Hoffman

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