Google-hug ?

Give them your mobile phone number and they’ll give you a GMail account.
Hmm… they promise to never reveal or sell your phone number to any third party but read that small print finely. If you use their desktop search, you’ve already agreed to this:

Google Desktop Search may collect certain non-personally identifiable information that resides on your computer, including, without limitation, the number of searches you do and the time it takes to see your results. Unless you (and the users to whom you distribute in accordance with these Terms and Conditions) choose to opt out, either during installation or at any time after installation, non-personal information collected will be sent to Google.

Note – ‘including’. They are looking at information that resides on your computer. What info ? License keys ? Mp3 collections ? Images ? Porn ? You have let them look at what they want, when they want and then do what they choose with that information. That’s nice. I’ll bet you wouldn’t want me looking at your HD, or your boss, or your other half – but Google is lovely and cuddly and totally trustworthy isn’t it. ‘Course it is.

If Microsoft released such a product in such a way, there would be people yelling about the evil Bill Gates, nasty Microsoft blah drivel blah – but just because it Google all is sunshine and smiles ?

From Googe Watch:

  • Google records everything they can: For all searches they record the cookie ID, your Internet IP address, the time and date, your search terms, and your browser configuration.
  • Google retains all data indefinitely: Google has no data retention policies.
  • Google won’t say why they need this data: Inquiries to Google about their privacy policies are ignored.
  • Google’s immortal cookie: Google was the first search engine to use a cookie that expires in 2038. This was at a time when federal websites were prohibited from using persistent cookies altogether. … Google set the standard because no one bothered to challenge them.

I’m not against Google per se, but I can’t get my head round the fact that Google release something and people run to snatch it all up when if that very same product were offered by almost any other company at all, people would stand back, ponder and say “But why …?”

New!! Search Google Talk! Find out what customers are saying about your products! Get the edge on your competition!

Talk to your customers ! Google are delighted to announce the all-new ‘Talksense’ ! Customers using Google Talk at the basic level are now having their conversations monitored by algorithms that will determine the content of the speech and if appropriate will play a short infomercial. Buy your TalkWords today! (All races and genders available, sign language extra)

Target your junk mail ! Google can now supply you with information on people who have talked about your product because we monitor everyone, all the time and with this you can refine your marketing strategies to maximise your cost/profit lines. Google. We care xx

It’s new, it’s Google-Cell ! We’ve got their numbers, we know their provider and we know their location. So when they are out and about, if they pass within 300 yards of your store, we’ll ring their phone and play YOUR invitation for them to browse your wares. (Hey … we aren’t giving your phone number away at all. Just using it to bug the hell out of you by getting ads to phone you.)

….
Google-hug anyone ?

Be interesting to see if this gets anywhere down under:

“Google’s extraordinary gain in market cap from nothing a few years ago to close to $US80 billion is more due to their massive misappropriation of intellectual property than anything else,” he said. Link

14 thoughts on “Google-hug ?

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  3. I’m not really against Google – I mean I have Gmail (which is where I send my junk mail) and I use there search, but otherwise I’m rather resistent. I’m that way with everything, though. So, I do have to agree that I don’t understand why anything Google comes out with is, like, the next big thing. It’s really mindboggling.

    And that whole thing about the cell phone and desktop search just freaks me out.

  4. Sigh.

    I don’t get what the hell the big deal is here. If you install Google desktop, just don’t check the little box that says you want to share your information. If you don’t like GMail – don’t use it. If you don’t like Google Talk – don’t use it. The cell phone numbers is just another channel to take subscriptions from without opening up the Gmail homepage to bot registration.

    Instead of the paranoia – explain to me what the big deal is? Explain to me what the problem is? Google made a shedload of money because they produced a damn good search engine and then went public.

    This stealing content argument is crap. It’s easy enough to lock down a web page so nobody get’s the information … but then what would be the point of having it?

    If it was so evil then it’s bloody simple for me to block it and go use another search engine like Yahoo or MSN. But if you actually look at it with a level head … those results just aren’t as good as Google.

    I’m not going to diss this point by point but that Google Watch crap is just that. I can put a tiny script on my homepage that would throw exactly the same bloody information back at you. Look on a million forums and you’ll find somebody who has that script in their signature. What’s so bad about that?

    Google are one of the few search engines (although icerocket are making similar noises now) that are fighting back against blogspam.

    Instead of crying ‘What if Microsoft did it?!’ tell me in level terms what the problem is. I have Google desktop on this laptop and it doesn’t phone home because I unchecked the box. That’s not spyware.

  5. Gary – if people know what they are doing, fine. The vast majority do not.

    ID cards. A contentious issue here in the UK …. but Google (a private company) has way more data on us, can sell that, give it to whoever and no-one says a word. I find that strange.

  6. But what data? What data does Google have that you do not wish or allow it to have?

    If you don’t agree to that data being sent from Desktop search it isn’t. Data from using their search engine? Don’t use it. Data from any of their other apps? Don’t use them. Data from your site(s) block them. I find the comparison to data stored on ID cards and the data Google has ridiculous. Google holds no information on me than I would want anyone be able to gather. And as for Google being a private company … they IPO’d and have a bunch of shareholders now.

    This is just sheer paranoia with no basis in hard fact. It’s like the whole gmail scare mongering over ‘They will read your email!!’ when in reality anybody if they so desired can sniff your email unless you encrypt it, and copies are stored on a number of servers worldwide.

  7. Gary – What google does is actually of no consequence to me. I use GMail. I use their SE along with many others and I regularly purge cookies anyway.

    The point I am getting at is that Google can do one behaviour and get a certain reaction from the masses, while virtually any other company would get a different, less welcoming result.
    That is the issue.
    What they do or do not do with their data is the business of the end-user, Google and the US Govt :) and future uses of the data that arise.
    Do people know Google ? If not, then why takes it’s sweets ?

    It’s not paranoia – more a healthy scepticism of an internet behemoth.

  8. I’m unaware that Google’s behaviour with regard to Fair Use and anything else a lawyer could come up with has ever been fully tested in not just a court of law, but a court outside of the US, save for something I vaguely remember that had more to do with links to certain sites rather than it’s core business and advertising. It would be good to see that happen.

  9. Is the reaction because Google haven’t screwed anyone over yet?

    Microsoft get kicked because of the browser wars, and well they blatantly used a forced monopoly to profit. Anyone remember that MS were accused of working on early versions of OS/2 for IBM deliberately slowly because they wanted to increase Windows dominance? Google have arguably got where they are today because they produce great apps and nobody got hurt along the way.

    Aren’t you pointing a bit of an accusing finger when nothing has actually haappened? Tsk, Tsk ;)

    What has Google done wrong? Why can’t they get a bit of kudos for good work?

    Debate is good though.

  10. What have they done wrong ? Arguably, nothing.
    I say arguably because of the CNET business which I’m sure you’ve read about. Now why do Google get annoyed at their info being published when it was discovered using their tool ? I would bet this computer that Google have since sanitised much of their company employee information – esp the upper beanbags – yet they do not afford that priviledge to others. If they have nothing to hide, then why throw a hissy fit at CNET ?

    But people are putting a lot of eggs into one basket – and that is always a bad thing.

  11. Publishing personal information about an individual to make a point wasn’t the cleverest move IMO. Who’s going to lose out there? Google don’t have to talk to CNET, but CNET need to cover the news that Google makes. That was just poor judgement, bad manners, and political idiocy on CNET’s part. They threw a hissy fit because of that. Do you really blame them for that? I certainly don’t.

    I still don’t see how this makes Google ‘bad’ or why people shouldn’t be positive about Google releases.

    Good instant messenger and VoIP app – free
    Great search engine – free
    Good webmail with 2gig+ of storage and POP access – free
    Good desktop search for the windows users – free

    All pretty well designed and implemented, and not tied in like a rats nest to the OS.

    I do understand your feeling, but to be crude in summing it up …

    If me Aunt had balls she’d be me Uncle”

    ;)

    Don’t hang Google for what they haven’t done yet.

  12. “They [Google] threw a hissy fit”
    That also sent a powerful message to other news organisations – play ball our way or we take our ball back. They wrote Google, so I really don’t see how they can blame someone for using it. As I said, they will not remove information that a regular private individual wants gone.

    And I’m not hanging Google – I’m just pointing out that they seem to be the equivalent of a stranger handing out the goodies while planting mics and cameras all over your home/work/play :)

    I do agree though that they have brought to consumers a HUGE benefit in their products. They have raised the bar for performance, expectation and cost (you missed Google Maps and Google Earth ;)) but that has also brought derision and attacks from those whose vested interests were in the opposite direction.

    Google may not be bad, but as it’s intentions are decidely unclear, neither can it be considered to be as benevolent as some would have us imagine.

  13. That also sent a powerful message to other news organisations

    That happens more than people think. It’s a ‘You rub my back and I’ll rub yours’ relationship … CNET decided to kick Google in the arse though :) CNET shouldn’t have expected less, it wasn’t another Watergate now was it. Was there really a need to piss off the directors?

    you missed Google Maps and Google Earth

    Ah as a OSX user I can’t use Google Earth yet … OSX is normally the last thing supported on shiny things like this :) Unless they originate there :)

    but as it’s intentions are decidedly unclear, neither can it be considered to be as benevolent as some would have us imagine.

    That’s the key though. I’ve seen a decided turn in Google coverage towards the negative, and I’ve seen no reason apart from Google got big and successful. The reasons behind it interest me. I don’t understand what intentions you mean? Rumour has it they plan free wifi across the States – that doesn’t sound evil ;) The ‘benevolent’ thing is weird as well. What peoples are trying to pretend they are benevolent? I see Google as a successful corporation bringing out well made, free apps that are turning the web into a development platform. I just don’t see the evil/benevolent thing apart from in editorial pieces.

    I don’t see the conspiracy. Might just be me though :)

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