Wednesday, May 23, 2007

What About Google?

Google admitted today that its ultimate goal is getting as much personal information on its users as possible. Eric Schmidt, Google's Chief Executive, said,
“We are very early in the total information we have within Google. The algorithms will get better and we will get better at personalisation.

“The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as ‘What shall I do tomorrow?’ and ‘What job shall I take?’ ”

The question that we users have to ask is whether we trust Google with such personal information. While Google has been fairly resolute so far in keeping its users' data from government in the US and Brazil, this is the same company that has a track record of playing nice with dictators (though not with the United States under a Republican).

Being a corporate employee myself, I do not subscribe to corporate paranoia theories, so do not automatically ascribe demonic or evil tendencies to Google. However, I also am a little worried by the company's preference for working with Communist China as opposed to the democratic U.S. Thus I recommend that we should watch Google closely in their effort to gather data. After all, isn't this data mining? If the federal government (which already stores vast amounts of info on each of us) is not allowed to do it, why should Google?

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