Monday 25 Aug 2008
Pesky Googlers Peeking In Your Windows?
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All Joking Aside…
How do you feel about a company that makes Americans feel this way?
“There isn’t any privacy, get over it,” says Google’s Vint Cerf and then tries to revise his statement by saying,” I was trying to suggest that we really have entered a period when things are a lot less private.”
I can only ask, why doesn’t Cerf take credit for the fact that Google hasn’t ‘entered’ this age – they’ve been the #1 force behind its creation.
Whether or not Google actually believes (privately) that there’s no privacy in fact it’s ill advised for the company to aggressively take that position publicly.
How do you really feel about the world according to Google in which nearly anything you own could become fodder for their advertising revenue? I’ve already voiced my opinion of this in ladylike terms, but readers of Valley Wags’ How Street View Will Harsh On Your Buzz were rather more pointed in their response to Google mapping the marijuana plantations of Humboldt county:
- Driving down a private road in Humboldt? That’s a fast way to get shot, seriously.
- With a hugely conspicuous camera rig mounted to your roof, no less.
The public response I’ve encountered to Google’s actions ranges from who cares, to tolerant, to supportive, to up-in-arms, to an entire community in Minnesota telling Google to get out of town. Say Google is violating your privacy and you risk being styled a techo-phobe. Say you love it and risk being likened to Stalin. Either way, we are all awaiting the results of any court actions that are revolving and will revolve around new technologies like Street View.
I continue to laugh to myself (albeit in a bitter, cynical kind of way) about the Google Street View car driver who pleaded not to be photographed by the public, and the reports I hear every time someone I know visits the Googleplex and is carefully instructed as to where they are and aren’t allowed to take photos. Irony? Hypocracy? Controversy, at the very least.
In the meantime, some really web 2.0 nursery ought to swipe my idea and start selling Google-proof hedges. Guaranteed to work until Google starts equipping their drivers with clippers.