@Mary, you know you raise a very valid point. Google's marketing sure is lofty at best, but they do seem well meaning as a company overall. Especially now that Eric Schmidt is gone as CEO and Larry Page isn't making embarrassing comments to the mainstream media. Although saying "super excited" on a call with investors about Google+ is pretty embarrassing.
It's nice to see they're shutting down failed projects and starting to centralize their focus.
It's a PR issue shared by a number of the Internet giants. They started out with a compulsion to be perceived as - and perhaps actually to be - "alternatives" to mainstream corporations. As they grow, it's hard to reconcile the cool and cuddly, Silicon Valley images with the realities of the cut-throat struggle for profit. See Apple and Facebook, of course.
I suppose it depends on your definition of "evil." Or what you believe to be an evil practice. To me, the Google marketing and PR machine is just broken. But what seems "evil" is to maintain a commitment to not being evil and then to do things like that which is described in this video blog.
You know, now that I think of it, perhaps Google's biggest mistake was coming up with the company slogan, Don't Be Evil. Without it, maybe it wouldn't seem so hypocritical!
Hi @nasimson. Google has to undergo mandatory audits of its practices for 20 years according to its FTC order. You can hear more about that from the FTC in this vblog. It's not that the FTC just woke up to it -- rather, a complaint was filed way back when Buzz came about, and I believe it was last year that the FTC settled with Google, which had to agree to the privacy audits. The government does work verrrryyy slow, though.
I'm starting to form a theory that maybe Google isn't entirely evil. I keep hearing about what a great tech company it is -- how innovative, how liberal, how broadminded, how packed with clever, dedicated engineers. But the marketing and PR keep falling down horribly. Failing even.
Is it possible that Google, the Web innovator, isn't evil, but that its marketing is, if not evil, then accident-prone, with questionable motivation?
Facebook's "Improved Friends Lists" are rolling out, but they're very different from Google+ Circles. The latter are like private labels; you're the only one who sees them. The former are like rooms you can invite visitors to, where they see you and each other. Google's approach is better.
Google's replacement of CEO Schmidt by founder Page has a lot of Valley types agog with expectations of a renewed 'startup' mindset. But the Google of today can't be a startup, and it may well be that chasing the next Internet fad is the wrong approach for the company.
What can users today do to protect their online privacy? The simplest and most obvious option is to not use the Internet – at all. However, once all digital information is consolidated over the Internet, trying to protect digital identity by simply unplugging from the Internet becomes impossible – a fact that has manifest implications for civil liberties, Saunders says.
By 2011 the number of Internet-connected sensors will exceed 1 trillion, making your chances of doing anything or going anywhere unnoticed pretty much zero. Saunders talks about how the 'sensortization' of the Internet is eliminating the traditional divide between online and offline populations.
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