“Got kitesurfing on the mind, mixed with some search & classification tech, and a dab of political ranting”

Google (and Yahoo!) privacy issues

Posted by direwolff on July 14, 2005

I’m never trustful of any one who says that their motto says that they won’t do evil. Probably because such statement should go without saying, so if they’re saying it they must need to remind themselves of not following a natural tendency (that of doing evil). Given that that’s been Google’s motto, I’ve been very suspect of their initiatives ever since they released their toolbar.

Since then, Gmail and Google Desktop have come out, and these have put me on greater edge yet. I’m a user of Gmail for non-essential e-mail, though slightly more essential than my Yahoo!Mail which I use for one time offers and such. I’ve opted for Copernic for desktop search because of my heavy distrust for all things Google.

Having said all of these things, I do like their search engine better and do see the services they provide as useful, but as the article I’m referencing below states, the amount of data they have on users is pretty tempting, and really only a matter of time before someone or some entity (government or otherwise) decides they want at it. I’m glad that there are organizations like EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) and the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) who are out there keeping an eye on the future that will be, and working to enable regulations and protections ahead of the inevitable.

“Google balances privacy, reach”…5787483.html

It’s worthwhile to note, which is clearly stated in this article, that Yahoo! is in just as much if not more of a position to do all of these things as well. I put Microsoft at a distant 3rd for now. Given that Yahoo! disproportionately contributed current presidential administration’s fundraising campaign, I’m probably more worried about them then I am about Google. Also why I stopped my using My Yahoo! page and their search engine nearly altogether.


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