Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Earth to Google -- Or is it just me?

Some people who read my blogs and articles on a regular basis may think Google is the company I love to hate. Not really, I just want them to step off their high holy horse of Internet Iconomy.

I know Iconomy is not a word, but what better term to describe a major established Internet brand shot full of hubris. Google has many times been found to be one of the worlds strongest corporate brands by marketers who do this type of research.

But Google is more than a major brand it is an Internet Icon that has become synonymous with search.

Furthermore they have a bounty of capital and even more intellectual capital. I guess for such a company a little hubris is to be expected.

However, at some point they have to come back to earth with their product Google Earth. Recently in India and also other so called "3rd world countries" are asking that Google Earth not show high resolution satellite photographed images of their capitals.

Governments abroad are asking for privacy because they are afraid terrorists will get their hands on these aerial photos and plan attacks. This is of course a reasonable fear the foreign governments face. It is reported that Google has backed away from providing photos of the US capital and government buildings.

This on the heals of Google providing autolink features to add links to webmasters pages and image search which enables web searchers to ripoff webmasters copyrighted art files. Is it me -- or is Google totally out of control?

Can you imagine a stalker or criminal watching your house and observing your movements from a remote location for days in order to attack or rob you? Earth to Google -- not just governments, but we regular people need some privacy too!

The big companies and governments may be able to negotiate privacy from Google's peering eyes, but the rest of us seem like an after thought to Google's grand scheme of domination of the digital ether.

Google as the search engine of all human knowledge and information seems to be the end, but their means to achieve this goal is threatening.

A prominent technologist once said "privacy is dead... get over it."

But if you erode privacy isn't freedom ultimately also at risk?

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