Google slammed in privacy report…

The blogosphere is going full tilt on a privacy report that says that Google is worst in its approach to privacy.

Danny Sullivan has the best response I see. I was hoping this report was more factual than it looks cause we need to have a real conversation about privacy. If you read the privacy report you should read Danny’s blow-by-blow response to it.

That said, Google’s PR is really stinky. Google isn’t paying attention to what normal people think of it anymore and it’s getting a bad reputation because of that. I heard it slammed over and over again for street-level views on Google Maps and no one from Google responded in most of the mainstream talk shows I heard talking about it. They should have a full-court “feel good” initiative where they have normal everyday citizens come in and meet the engineers, and look at the privacy issues.

Google’s PR is focused on the wrong things and isn’t warm and fuzzy and with big companies who are taking over our online data they need to have a warm and fuzzy feel.

Who runs Google PR? Why isn’t he or she blogging? Frank Shaw, the guy who runs PR for much of Microsoft at Waggener Edstrom is blogging and shows up to lots of events so we know who to call, or who to link to and wait for an answer. The fact that I don’t even know who to link to on this post demonstrates that Google PR is being out hustled by its competitors. This report demonstrates that in a big way.

Bad PR is a predictor of government action. Everyday Americans are getting very nervous about Google. They aren’t getting good messages from Google. No transparency. Tons of secrecy. No warm and fuzzy meetings with Google about privacy. No one responding to talk radio, which, if it didn’t have Paris Hilton to pull talk show hosts off of the Google story was getting seriously slammed.

First thing that Google should do? Put up a damn YouTube video! Search “Google Privacy Policy” on YouTube and do you find anyone from Google talking about its privacy policy? Why not? (Not that Microsoft is any better, but Google should be out front and leading here).

UPDATE: I actually did find a video from Google’s Rajen Sheth talking about its privacy policy (he’s responsible for the development and management of enterprise products at Google).

Here’s Microsoft’s privacy center and Google’s privacy center pages (first results for “Microsoft Privacy Policy” and “Google Privacy Policy” on Google).

UPDATE 2: Google’s own blog search engine demonstrates that Google is losing the PR war on this one. Danny Sullivan’s voice is nearly alone out there in defending Google.

UPDATE 3: to see just how badly Google is doing on blogs tonight, let’s look at the latest posts from just the past hour’s results:

  • Google rated bottom for privacy.
  • Shelley Powers: “What’s particularly scary, and I think the report mentions this, is that Google can’t understand why we’re concerned.”
  • BungaTech: “So, what does the company that promises to “never be evil” have to say for themselves? Not a whole lot: Nicole Wong, Google’s general counsel explains that the company stands behind its users and is sticking to their aggressive privacy strategy.”
  • Tainted Kernel: In terms of privacy … Google fails.
  • InfoWorld:Google executives were not immediately available to comment on the report’s findings.”
  • Tess McBride: “Is somebody watching me? It’s probably Google… .”
  • Scott Cleland: “Why Privacy is a competitive issue in FTC’s Google-DoubleClick merger review.”

What do you think?

Oh, and how should corporations fight the perceptions that come out in text? Go into video IMMEDIATELY! Get conversational. Take open public questions and answer them in chat or in Twitter or in Facebook or in blog comments or in YouTube comments (best yet, all the above). Appoint a team to answer questions 24 hours a day until the story dies down (and even then make sure you watch blog search engines to see if they start getting talked about again). Make sure every blogger knows where you’re hanging out and where to link for the best information.

Can you tell I’m hanging out with a bunch of PR professionals right now? ;-)

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Hi Robert,

    This is good point you brought up. May be Google is thinking that people has short memories and they think they have done everything what is legal why bother explaining it again and again (or may be first time).

    There are enough people online talking about how Google has not violated privacy policy. PR is important and it can save businesses. Zooomr is great example of good PR and good product. Google has nothing to prove about their product (their product are believed as superior due to Google Brand).

    Regards,
    Pinal Dave

  2. “Can you tell I’m hanging out with a bunch of PR professionals right now?”

    No, but we can tell you’re open to an offer… ;-)

    You might want to sit tight where you are. Something tells me that Google — the company whose mission is to “organize the world’s information” (via their proprietary stores and algorithms)– is in for a rough ride as watchdog agencies start demanding more transparency from them in how they are building their business. They’ve been coasting on good faith until now.

  3. Hi Robert,

    This is good point you brought up. May be Google is thinking that people has short memories and they think they have done everything what is legal why bother explaining it again and again (or may be first time).

    There are enough people online talking about how Google has not violated privacy policy. PR is important and it can save businesses. Zooomr is great example of good PR and good product. Google has nothing to prove about their product (their product are believed as superior due to Google Brand).

    Regards,
    Pinal Dave

  4. “Can you tell I’m hanging out with a bunch of PR professionals right now?”

    No, but we can tell you’re open to an offer… ;-)

    You might want to sit tight where you are. Something tells me that Google — the company whose mission is to “organize the world’s information” (via their proprietary stores and algorithms)– is in for a rough ride as watchdog agencies start demanding more transparency from them in how they are building their business. They’ve been coasting on good faith until now.

  5. “Google isn’t paying attention to what normal people think of it anymore and it’s getting a bad reputation because of that.”

    Sure they are. Because I’m guessing they know that most NORMAL PEOPLE (I’m not sure you know a NORMAL person, Scoble) simply use Google for search and that’s it. Most normal people don’t think beyond that. “Did Google find was I was looking for? Great! Thanks! Now on to more important things.”

  6. “Google isn’t paying attention to what normal people think of it anymore and it’s getting a bad reputation because of that.”

    Sure they are. Because I’m guessing they know that most NORMAL PEOPLE (I’m not sure you know a NORMAL person, Scoble) simply use Google for search and that’s it. Most normal people don’t think beyond that. “Did Google find was I was looking for? Great! Thanks! Now on to more important things.”

  7. LayZ: I’ve been hanging out with a lot of normal people the past few days. I didn’t say I’m one. :-)
    And Google isn’t playing well to those outside the valley echo chamber.
    When that happens, what follows? Governmental action.
    SpragueD: I’m committed to staying at PodTech well into 2008. If I ever am in the place where I need a new job you’ll see advertising show up here well before I go looking for new employment.
    I agree with you that a rough ride is ahead. They don’t understand where the bad PR is coming from and they are far from reactive enough (or proactive enough). They aren’t answering either InfoWorld or blogger claims.
    That’s a prescription for bad PR getting worse. Anyone remember Dell Hell?

  8. “Everyday Americans are getting very nervous about Google.”

    Again, no they aren’t. Ask any random person in Hays, Kansas what they think about Google. Tell me what their answer is.

  9. LayZ: I’ve been hanging out with a lot of normal people the past few days. I didn’t say I’m one. :-)
    And Google isn’t playing well to those outside the valley echo chamber.
    When that happens, what follows? Governmental action.
    SpragueD: I’m committed to staying at PodTech well into 2008. If I ever am in the place where I need a new job you’ll see advertising show up here well before I go looking for new employment.
    I agree with you that a rough ride is ahead. They don’t understand where the bad PR is coming from and they are far from reactive enough (or proactive enough). They aren’t answering either InfoWorld or blogger claims.
    That’s a prescription for bad PR getting worse. Anyone remember Dell Hell?

  10. “Everyday Americans are getting very nervous about Google.”

    Again, no they aren’t. Ask any random person in Hays, Kansas what they think about Google. Tell me what their answer is.

  11. LayZ, ask any random person in Hays, Kansas if they think the earth is five million years old, and Iraq had WMD and chances are, they’ll say yes to both, too.

    It is up to the knowledgeable to be the watch dog–to express the concerns, to note the potential for problems and abuse. Letting the less interested (ie less informed) find out the hard way got us President Bush.

  12. @4 “And Google isn’t playing well to those outside the valley echo chamber.”

    You DO know how many people live in the US, right? Now, from that take how many people are connected to the internet. Show me the data that says that Google isn’t playing well. Not saying they are, not saying they aren’t. But again, ANECDOTAL evidence does not prove anything. You’ve not provided any evidence to support your position.

  13. LayZ, ask any random person in Hays, Kansas if they think the earth is five million years old, and Iraq had WMD and chances are, they’ll say yes to both, too.

    It is up to the knowledgeable to be the watch dog–to express the concerns, to note the potential for problems and abuse. Letting the less interested (ie less informed) find out the hard way got us President Bush.

  14. @4 “And Google isn’t playing well to those outside the valley echo chamber.”

    You DO know how many people live in the US, right? Now, from that take how many people are connected to the internet. Show me the data that says that Google isn’t playing well. Not saying they are, not saying they aren’t. But again, ANECDOTAL evidence does not prove anything. You’ve not provided any evidence to support your position.

  15. LayZ: I talked with someone from St. Louis today. They didn’t like what Google’s doing with Google maps and are worried about other privacy incursions.

    How many “real people” do I have to bring you to make you believe?

    How many radio talk shows or mainstream press reports do I have to bring you to make you realize that Google has a major PR problem on its hands?

    Let’s just start with Google News: http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=%22Google+Privacy%22&btnG=Search+News

  16. LayZ: I talked with someone from St. Louis today. They didn’t like what Google’s doing with Google maps and are worried about other privacy incursions.

    How many “real people” do I have to bring you to make you believe?

    How many radio talk shows or mainstream press reports do I have to bring you to make you realize that Google has a major PR problem on its hands?

    Let’s just start with Google News: http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&ned=us&q=%22Google+Privacy%22&btnG=Search+News

  17. Two and a half lines of reasoning I think Google is playing by (Aside from the third “real people” point which was made above, and which not being in the states is hard for me to assess myself)

    1) The technology is here, the idea is widespread, people aside from Google are already doing it, and it can’t be stopped (Sounds a bit like p2p) Google know that if they don’t do it, someone, everyone else will. So why not just ride out the storm? Honestly, privacy is more and more becoming a thing of the past and those cameras will be there without Google, all they are doing are making them even more accessible.

    2) Is anyone going to stop using Google? Are users going to start some sort of protest? It’s sad that it works that way but Google really can stand the bad PR, and if they responded to it, they might just fuel the fire. This way it will blow over. Bloggers make a post and since they lack a response from Google, it dies there. It’s on the radio, and dies when they start talking about Iraq. Has it been on TV yet?

  18. Two and a half lines of reasoning I think Google is playing by (Aside from the third “real people” point which was made above, and which not being in the states is hard for me to assess myself)

    1) The technology is here, the idea is widespread, people aside from Google are already doing it, and it can’t be stopped (Sounds a bit like p2p) Google know that if they don’t do it, someone, everyone else will. So why not just ride out the storm? Honestly, privacy is more and more becoming a thing of the past and those cameras will be there without Google, all they are doing are making them even more accessible.

    2) Is anyone going to stop using Google? Are users going to start some sort of protest? It’s sad that it works that way but Google really can stand the bad PR, and if they responded to it, they might just fuel the fire. This way it will blow over. Bloggers make a post and since they lack a response from Google, it dies there. It’s on the radio, and dies when they start talking about Iraq. Has it been on TV yet?

  19. Tomer: Microsoft thought the same thing and got hit with government action after government action.
    Do Google’s execs want to end up in courtrooms or talking in front of Congress and the media? They should ask Microsoft execs just how fun that was (the ones I asked about it told me it was the worst experience of their lives).
    This isn’t going to die. The press loves this story (most reporters see themselves as warriors for our rights) and will continue to chew on it and bring it back up with every new move that Google makes.
    This story is NOT being driven by bloggers. Go look at Google News. I don’t see a single blog there.

  20. Tomer: Microsoft thought the same thing and got hit with government action after government action.
    Do Google’s execs want to end up in courtrooms or talking in front of Congress and the media? They should ask Microsoft execs just how fun that was (the ones I asked about it told me it was the worst experience of their lives).
    This isn’t going to die. The press loves this story (most reporters see themselves as warriors for our rights) and will continue to chew on it and bring it back up with every new move that Google makes.
    This story is NOT being driven by bloggers. Go look at Google News. I don’t see a single blog there.

  21. I have to agree with LayZ on this one. Most people don’t care how Google is viewed whether in or outside the echo chamber. The only complaints I’ve heard about Google are how they release a bunch of half-baked products. I think the blogosphere just needs something to complain about and Google is the new Microsoft when it comes to internet whipping boy. Do these people you hear complaining about Google still use them for search?

  22. I have to agree with LayZ on this one. Most people don’t care how Google is viewed whether in or outside the echo chamber. The only complaints I’ve heard about Google are how they release a bunch of half-baked products. I think the blogosphere just needs something to complain about and Google is the new Microsoft when it comes to internet whipping boy. Do these people you hear complaining about Google still use them for search?

  23. Robert, your view on this issue echo’s my opinion. Google’s problem is not their Privacy Policies. I think the biggest issue Google has is their “Secret Squirrel” mentality.

    The Watchdog groups report on this issue seems to be driven by the fact that Google didn’t give them any attention or response. Perhaps they expected too much…but this lack of engagement is a growing theme within Google that the press will definitely feed on (and is feeding on).

    Matt Cutt’s has frequently tried to encourage more Blogging from inside Google, as well as more general interaction and availability. The lack of this engagement could be responsible for such negativity, and shows a chink in Googles Armour.

    As you say..Google needs better PR, Warm & Fuzzies and more Openness…BIG TIME. But they don’t deserve the FUD and context of Privacy International’s report. PI sure are getting a lot of press coverage in their favor though, and I am not sure that’s deserved either.

  24. Robert, your view on this issue echo’s my opinion. Google’s problem is not their Privacy Policies. I think the biggest issue Google has is their “Secret Squirrel” mentality.

    The Watchdog groups report on this issue seems to be driven by the fact that Google didn’t give them any attention or response. Perhaps they expected too much…but this lack of engagement is a growing theme within Google that the press will definitely feed on (and is feeding on).

    Matt Cutt’s has frequently tried to encourage more Blogging from inside Google, as well as more general interaction and availability. The lack of this engagement could be responsible for such negativity, and shows a chink in Googles Armour.

    As you say..Google needs better PR, Warm & Fuzzies and more Openness…BIG TIME. But they don’t deserve the FUD and context of Privacy International’s report. PI sure are getting a lot of press coverage in their favor though, and I am not sure that’s deserved either.

  25. Brett: it’s quite obvious you aren’t looking at the PROFESSIONAL PRESS on this issue.

    Did you even click on the Google News link?

    Did you see the dozens of PROFESSIONAL STORIES about Google’s privacy problem?

    This isn’t a blogosphere thing. Do your homework, please.

  26. Brett: it’s quite obvious you aren’t looking at the PROFESSIONAL PRESS on this issue.

    Did you even click on the Google News link?

    Did you see the dozens of PROFESSIONAL STORIES about Google’s privacy problem?

    This isn’t a blogosphere thing. Do your homework, please.

  27. Having worked at Google when the mass media when collectively insane over privacy issues when Gmail launched, I encourage you to compare this to the reaction then. When you’re done, you won’t be saying “This is a sign things are changing!”, you’ll be saying, “Wow, another tempest in a teapot”.

    Given that caveat, your comments on Google’s PR needing to blog, you’re spot on. But it’s always worth a moment to check the sanity of using as a metric ‘number of times story is copied verbatim in traditional media’ to measure importance.

    I’ve seen big, and this ain’t it.

  28. Having worked at Google when the mass media when collectively insane over privacy issues when Gmail launched, I encourage you to compare this to the reaction then. When you’re done, you won’t be saying “This is a sign things are changing!”, you’ll be saying, “Wow, another tempest in a teapot”.

    Given that caveat, your comments on Google’s PR needing to blog, you’re spot on. But it’s always worth a moment to check the sanity of using as a metric ‘number of times story is copied verbatim in traditional media’ to measure importance.

    I’ve seen big, and this ain’t it.

  29. @5 and 11 – The Google Maps Street Views has people talking about privacy issues. How many sites have cropped up of images from Street Views – and although people see it as funny – it is funny when it is other people.

    A report that states that your policy is Hostile to Privacy, is going to get press, and the public are starting to pay attention.

    Personally I am unsure of the bias of the report from Privacy International. Privacy International says they tried to contact Google, Google says they would have liked to talk before the report was released. Something isn’t quite right here, and I think the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

    Google is starting to take a hit on consumer confidence, and I will be interested to hear what they are going to do about. At this point all they have put forth is they will now delete user data in 18 – 24 months.

  30. @5 and 11 – The Google Maps Street Views has people talking about privacy issues. How many sites have cropped up of images from Street Views – and although people see it as funny – it is funny when it is other people.

    A report that states that your policy is Hostile to Privacy, is going to get press, and the public are starting to pay attention.

    Personally I am unsure of the bias of the report from Privacy International. Privacy International says they tried to contact Google, Google says they would have liked to talk before the report was released. Something isn’t quite right here, and I think the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

    Google is starting to take a hit on consumer confidence, and I will be interested to hear what they are going to do about. At this point all they have put forth is they will now delete user data in 18 – 24 months.

  31. But Google isn’t a company, it’s a cult. Privacy, hah, what’s that, does it come with a 2038 cookie?

    You thinking Vic can bend the rules? You been yakking up Google too much.

    Head start on ole skueel Microsoftisms, yah member them? And not just the Surface FUD demos.

    Microsoftisms: “Longhorn Reloaded” (joejoe’isms), Kitchen Clients, the “Big Green” push, Acropolis, Vista SP1 sightings, Mobile finally syncs with Vista (yeeeesh ’bout time), Xbox 360 price cut rumors, Tom Hanrahanisms, NBC/Microsoft = Dow Jones (not happening), Tim Sneath saying Microsoft’s YouTube gonna do 720p and gosh much much more…

  32. But Google isn’t a company, it’s a cult. Privacy, hah, what’s that, does it come with a 2038 cookie?

    You thinking Vic can bend the rules? You been yakking up Google too much.

    Head start on ole skueel Microsoftisms, yah member them? And not just the Surface FUD demos.

    Microsoftisms: “Longhorn Reloaded” (joejoe’isms), Kitchen Clients, the “Big Green” push, Acropolis, Vista SP1 sightings, Mobile finally syncs with Vista (yeeeesh ’bout time), Xbox 360 price cut rumors, Tom Hanrahanisms, NBC/Microsoft = Dow Jones (not happening), Tim Sneath saying Microsoft’s YouTube gonna do 720p and gosh much much more…

  33. Agree with you and then some Robert – they need clarity and communication fast. Also transparency (in simple terms) as to what they do with the data.

  34. Agree with you and then some Robert – they need clarity and communication fast. Also transparency (in simple terms) as to what they do with the data.

  35. I think the privacy concerns are unwarranted… as has been stated many many times: street view doesn’t show you anything that you couldn’t see if you just stepped outside. It’s not showing the insides of houses, it’s not going on private property… IT SHOWS WHAT YOU COULD SEE IF YOU WENT OUT ON THE STREET. That’s public and there’s no reason why Google can’t do this.

    I think it’s really funny that people are so concerned about this. Celebrities have been trying to raise awareness about the paparazzi and invasion of privacy (Princess Diana, anyone?), but no one seems to care. It’s only when people feel that they are going to be photographed that they raise a stink. Paparazzi… google… no one is breaking any laws… so nothing is going to change.

    Personally, I think Google is great and I love that they are developing new technology like this.

  36. I think the privacy concerns are unwarranted… as has been stated many many times: street view doesn’t show you anything that you couldn’t see if you just stepped outside. It’s not showing the insides of houses, it’s not going on private property… IT SHOWS WHAT YOU COULD SEE IF YOU WENT OUT ON THE STREET. That’s public and there’s no reason why Google can’t do this.

    I think it’s really funny that people are so concerned about this. Celebrities have been trying to raise awareness about the paparazzi and invasion of privacy (Princess Diana, anyone?), but no one seems to care. It’s only when people feel that they are going to be photographed that they raise a stink. Paparazzi… google… no one is breaking any laws… so nothing is going to change.

    Personally, I think Google is great and I love that they are developing new technology like this.

  37. I think most people are stupid. Has it taken this long for someone to realize that Google is collecting vast amounts of statistical data (read: potential to print money) from the various services it offers?

    1. Gmail: they admit that they will scan your sent and received emails, and extract information from them. And you admit to this by accepting their terms of use. They also have all the IP addresses from which you check your Gmail account. Thus they can tie content to IP addresses, and so to rough geographical locations.

    2. Google Analytics: by putting a little javascript on your web pages, you get a really neat stats service from Google, which lets you track tons of different usage parameters in beautiful Ajax’d interfaces. Google also gets to collect all the IP addresses that visit your site, and the browsing habits of said IPs. Start tying this up with #1 above.

    3. Google search: they admit they keep logs of all searches. Tie this with #1 and #2, and you have very detailed profiles of the online habits of millions of people.

    Scared yet?

  38. I think most people are stupid. Has it taken this long for someone to realize that Google is collecting vast amounts of statistical data (read: potential to print money) from the various services it offers?

    1. Gmail: they admit that they will scan your sent and received emails, and extract information from them. And you admit to this by accepting their terms of use. They also have all the IP addresses from which you check your Gmail account. Thus they can tie content to IP addresses, and so to rough geographical locations.

    2. Google Analytics: by putting a little javascript on your web pages, you get a really neat stats service from Google, which lets you track tons of different usage parameters in beautiful Ajax’d interfaces. Google also gets to collect all the IP addresses that visit your site, and the browsing habits of said IPs. Start tying this up with #1 above.

    3. Google search: they admit they keep logs of all searches. Tie this with #1 and #2, and you have very detailed profiles of the online habits of millions of people.

    Scared yet?

  39. What’s funny to me is that people are making it sound like you can’t a) use a different search engine if you’re so “mortified” or b) opt out of a Google Account.

  40. What’s funny to me is that people are making it sound like you can’t a) use a different search engine if you’re so “mortified” or b) opt out of a Google Account.

  41. “In summary, Google’s specific privacy failures include, but are by no means limited to:”

    Every single one of the issues Google fails in, Microsoft, and Yahoo also fail in the same exact way.
    AOL actually released 5GB of search data with SS numbers ect… I had downloaded it for research before they had taken it down.

    If I ever built a massive search engine, hmmmm…, then I would have to make sure that a user could at least disassociate their ip and identifier info from the searches. But what are the chances of me building a massive new search engine anyway?

  42. “In summary, Google’s specific privacy failures include, but are by no means limited to:”

    Every single one of the issues Google fails in, Microsoft, and Yahoo also fail in the same exact way.
    AOL actually released 5GB of search data with SS numbers ect… I had downloaded it for research before they had taken it down.

    If I ever built a massive search engine, hmmmm…, then I would have to make sure that a user could at least disassociate their ip and identifier info from the searches. But what are the chances of me building a massive new search engine anyway?

  43. […] Be aware of the motives on both sides of any survey. In the case of Google, the company can’t afford doubts to arise about its privacy policies–especially with its DoubleClick acquisition awaiting approval from the Feds. Meanwhile, the Privacy International study touches on a raw nerve–we’re all prepared to believe that Google is evil already, or getting there. It’s the fear of Google that’s everywhere. If you’re Google you face the following: The privacy genie is out of the bottle and it’s too late to recover–it’s not like the press is going to do a big story on why the Privacy International survey is flawed (although Danny Sullivan and Matt Cutts will). In addition, Google is PR clueless (a side effect of arrogance?) so it really has issues. Robert Scoble has more on Google’s PR. […]

  44. After closing down Google News on my Blackberry 8800 a dialog box came up stating that Google wanted access to my phone records, would I allow it? Um, no. So I clicked No and a java exception popped up on the screen, something to do with a blackberry security package.

    I hope that means by request to not allow Google to access my phone records was followed. Maybe BB doesn’t test their security for people saying no?

    And what does Google do with my phone records anyway?

  45. After closing down Google News on my Blackberry 8800 a dialog box came up stating that Google wanted access to my phone records, would I allow it? Um, no. So I clicked No and a java exception popped up on the screen, something to do with a blackberry security package.

    I hope that means by request to not allow Google to access my phone records was followed. Maybe BB doesn’t test their security for people saying no?

    And what does Google do with my phone records anyway?

  46. @15 224 stories? Wow!!! Well that certainly proves this is a HUGE issue. 224! But wait! A quick check of google news shows….1,99$ stories on the final episode of the Sopranos. 1,995 vs 224. So, what do NORMAL PEOPLE care more about? I know it’s close but is seems the final episode of the Soprano’s is more top of mind for NORMAL PEOPLE. And then there is Bush Russia relations, which yields 5,692 stories. Again, close, but seems relations with Russia are more important than Google privacy, if we are going mainly on news stories. Too broad you say? Okay, let’s do a “tech” topic. Apple iPhone? 5,396 stories. Seems more NORMAL people care about the iPhone than Google privacy

    Call me when the Google privacy issue reaches the coverage level of the final episode of the Sopranos.

    And those 224 stories? the majority seem to be coming from tech trade sources, with other news outlets simply picking up those stories. Call me when is shows up on Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dateline NBC, or 20/20. Then you will have somewhat of a point. Scoble you know how this is. You’ve ranted about it in the past. More NORMAL people care about Paris Hilton being in jail than they do about what Google may or may not be doing.

    Yes, it is an important issue. But have some perspective and stop with the hyperbole. Internet geeks and IT pros care about it…. but not NORMAL people.

  47. @15 224 stories? Wow!!! Well that certainly proves this is a HUGE issue. 224! But wait! A quick check of google news shows….1,99$ stories on the final episode of the Sopranos. 1,995 vs 224. So, what do NORMAL PEOPLE care more about? I know it’s close but is seems the final episode of the Soprano’s is more top of mind for NORMAL PEOPLE. And then there is Bush Russia relations, which yields 5,692 stories. Again, close, but seems relations with Russia are more important than Google privacy, if we are going mainly on news stories. Too broad you say? Okay, let’s do a “tech” topic. Apple iPhone? 5,396 stories. Seems more NORMAL people care about the iPhone than Google privacy

    Call me when the Google privacy issue reaches the coverage level of the final episode of the Sopranos.

    And those 224 stories? the majority seem to be coming from tech trade sources, with other news outlets simply picking up those stories. Call me when is shows up on Oprah, Dr. Phil, Dateline NBC, or 20/20. Then you will have somewhat of a point. Scoble you know how this is. You’ve ranted about it in the past. More NORMAL people care about Paris Hilton being in jail than they do about what Google may or may not be doing.

    Yes, it is an important issue. But have some perspective and stop with the hyperbole. Internet geeks and IT pros care about it…. but not NORMAL people.

  48. I’ll roll my comments from Matt’s blog here – and expand on a few others.

    Just because Google stands to collect the most user information based on its size and reach doesn’t make it an automatic that it is the biggest threat to Net privacy. Aside from the flaws brought up by Danny Sullivan and Matt Cutts with the PI report, I wonder if it is purely coincidental that the timing of this damning report falls on the heels of a DoubleClick deal awaiting approval.

    Should we not be looking at things such as what the company is doing in the way of privacy safeguards for its users, and the overall culture of sensitivity towards privacy, the kind of company they keep (ie. like-mindedness and suitability of partners and affiliates), regardless of whether the company is big or small? I also wonder whether companies like this one will be covered in their September report?

    Why doesn’t Google participate or engage in online discussion? The optics of not participating does lend itself to this view of Google being this arrogant and unassailable Internet despot. But I guess that’s what also makes vibrant online discussions so fascinating – there is that self-regulating aspect of online discussion that allows us to learn from the differing opinions, views and perspectives with or without Google’s or company x’s participation.

    Part of this is also related to the fact that we have a tacit allegiance to Google because their tools make all our lives easier, and as such we might be prepared to assume the position of evangelist or defender if unfair online mudslinging warranted it.

    I’m of the view that an opinion from the inside is certainly welcomed in such debate, and is definitely encouraged when its the kind of negative online attention packing persuasion and reach.

  49. I’ll roll my comments from Matt’s blog here – and expand on a few others.

    Just because Google stands to collect the most user information based on its size and reach doesn’t make it an automatic that it is the biggest threat to Net privacy. Aside from the flaws brought up by Danny Sullivan and Matt Cutts with the PI report, I wonder if it is purely coincidental that the timing of this damning report falls on the heels of a DoubleClick deal awaiting approval.

    Should we not be looking at things such as what the company is doing in the way of privacy safeguards for its users, and the overall culture of sensitivity towards privacy, the kind of company they keep (ie. like-mindedness and suitability of partners and affiliates), regardless of whether the company is big or small? I also wonder whether companies like this one will be covered in their September report?

    Why doesn’t Google participate or engage in online discussion? The optics of not participating does lend itself to this view of Google being this arrogant and unassailable Internet despot. But I guess that’s what also makes vibrant online discussions so fascinating – there is that self-regulating aspect of online discussion that allows us to learn from the differing opinions, views and perspectives with or without Google’s or company x’s participation.

    Part of this is also related to the fact that we have a tacit allegiance to Google because their tools make all our lives easier, and as such we might be prepared to assume the position of evangelist or defender if unfair online mudslinging warranted it.

    I’m of the view that an opinion from the inside is certainly welcomed in such debate, and is definitely encouraged when its the kind of negative online attention packing persuasion and reach.

  50. Even more astonishing is that slashdot readers are by-and-large siding with MS against Google regarding Google’s demands regarding Vista’s desktop search.

    Times, the are a-changin’.

  51. Even more astonishing is that slashdot readers are by-and-large siding with MS against Google regarding Google’s demands regarding Vista’s desktop search.

    Times, the are a-changin’.