Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Google, Privacy and Stuff Like That

I dunno, it took me a while to say something about this whole Google vs Privacy Intl debacle.

First, I actually learned about it from (see this thread), where the author takes a pretty extreme (IMHO) view, siding with Privacy Intl. '

I commented thus: 'This looks to me like an opportunity to SCREAM: “You have no privacy, GET OVER IT.” So they collect and analyze data on us - great. So? :-) Yes, one can create nightmarish “New 1984″ scenarios but then again you are much more likely to get something useful out of it. My conclusion on this: overoveroverblown concerns. It reminds me of the recent blooper by some guy who said “blogs are the evil guys’ tool”'

On the other hand, if "Privacy Intl is bought by Microsoft" is indeed the official position of Google, than I guess we are all screwed, since saying stuff like this without any proof sounds pretty freaking evil ...

Still, I somehow believe (and I am willing to admit that I was somehow brainwashed into doing this), that stuff like this is more "real Google." (a quote: 'should the German federal government failed to drop its controversial draft bill on the monitoring of telecommunications and Internet traffic Google has threatened to shut down its e-mail service Google Mail in Germany. [...] These plans were "a severe blow to privacy," Peter Fleischer, the man globally in charge of protecting Google user data')

Overall, my take on this is "we'll see" - I have a sneaking suspicion that privacy will be redefined in the coming years and what was once private will be freely shared. And this is how this conundrum will be solved ...

UPDATE: and after stuff like this people still think Google sux at privacy. Maybe Privacy Intl is indeed bought by MS folks.... (a quote: "Are you using Windows Vista? Then you might as well know that the licensed operating system installed on your machine is harvesting a healthy volume of information for Microsoft. In this context, a program such as the Windows Genuine Advantage is the last of your concerns. In fact, in excess of 20 Windows Vista features and services are hard at work collecting and transmitting your personal data to the Redmond company.")

Dr Anton Chuvakin