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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Google – the evil empire?

The San Francisco Chronicle has an article entitled: Who’s Afraid of Google, which addresses concerns from Silicon Valley, Madison Avenue, Hollywood, and from Privacy advocates worried that the search engine’s collection of personal information will create a massive database that can be mined by government.

Since going public in 2004, the Internet giant’s market value has grown to dwarf Disney and McDonald’s combined. Earlier this year, it became the most visited Web property in the world and was named the world’s most valuable brand. And its runaway success in search and advertising has big corporations like AT&T and Microsoft crying monopoly without a trace of irony.

Is Google taking all of the talent out of the market by using it’s wealth to deny smaller competitors access to key personnel?

James Currier, a former venture capitalist and serial entrepreneur who sold the social networking site Tickle to job site, said that a company on whose board he serves recently lost a prospective employee to Google. The worker, whom he described as a genius, turned down an offer of $120,000, plus stock options, in favor of a $375,000 salary from Google.

A major worry is the search engine’s collaboration with the Chinese Government:

Nowhere is Google’s control of information more controversial than in China, where it built a search engine that censors results deemed dangerous by the Chinese government.

Human rights groups and members of Congress have attacked Google over the matter, comparing the company to a Nazi collaborator. Google responded that it censors reluctantly under the theory that providing some information to China’s residents is better than none at all.

4 Responses to “Google – the evil empire?”

  1. double brush says:

    I wonder how “google checkout” is doing? You give all of your personal and credit card info to them for the convenience of saving time when purchasing at online stores who accept google checkout. How secure is their data base, and how will they use and track the information they receive from consumers in order to make more money for themselves?

    jb says: I don’t wanna go there, DB.

  2. Iain Rowan says:

    Last time I looked, a google images search for Tiananmen on returned lots of pictures of happy tourists exploring the Square. No tanks. I can’t read the Chinese characters that are there now.

    jb says: Yes, I remember the old site, Iain. I’m sure someone’ll give us a translation . . .

  3. Well yes, I too came across some of my very old pictures which I thought was deleted from the net for good. But with Google around I should have thought more.

  4. Lyle and Scott says:

    Google has everything about my life. Which scares me a little bit too. Privacy is certainly an issue with Google around but now we can’t do anything about it I guess.