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"Google's emergence as one of the scariest companies on planet"

The San Diego Union-Tribune "gets it" -- in  its editorial on Google:

  •  "The Google Threat, Needed: a guaranteed private search engine."  

A couple of my favorite parts of this dead on editorial:

  • "Google's emergence as one of the scariest companies on the planet continues with a story in the Financial Times describing the Silicon Valley firm's goal of maximizing and cataloging personal information gleaned from every user's use of its vastly popular search engine."
  •  "... but should mortify Google's users – because the company has never come close to adequately acknowledging the vast privacy concerns raised by its already massive database."
  • "... The potential for government snooping, harassment, financial manipulation, blackmail and all sorts of online crime is stunning."

Add to the list of scary things Google is working on is a "truth meter" where Google CEO Eric Schmidt posited in FT just before the last US congressional election, that in the future Google could help voters gauge in real time whether a politician was telling the "truth" or not.

  • Talk about 1984 scary Big Brother stuff.
  • What is Google's version of the "truth"? (Is it the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?)
  • And who appointed Google to the Federal Election Commission or the Federal Trade Commission?
  • Maybe Google will offer alogrithmic juries to determine guilt or innocence?

I am sorry I did not get around to blogging on this original 5-23-07 Financial Times story last week  -- that this editorial is responding to --  "Google's goal to organise your daily life."

  • What scares me the most about Google is the megalomania!
    • Not only does Google think in its mission statement -- that everyone wants Google to organize their information and intellectual property without permission, Google apparently thinks people want Google to be the world's nanny and life advisor.
    • In that article, Google CEO Schmidt says:  "the goal is to enable Google's users to ask: what job shall I take?"
      • Has it ever occurred to Google how creepy it sounds that a search company wants to know so much deeply personal and intimate information about an individual that they could advise algorithmically one of the most important and personal questions someone faces in their life -- like their employment?
      • Are they so megalomaniacal that they think they can program algorithms to do "personal" job/life counseling?

The last time I remember this level of megalomania being worn on a company's sleeve was Michael Saylor of Microstrategy.

  • Enjoy this gem of a memory from Fortune in 1999 before the bubble burst:
  •  "The Value of Vision -- Michael Saylor wants MicroStrategy to last as long as the Roman Empire and be as important as GE. Hubris?
  • Sure, but his ambition infects employees and fires up customers."

Google has hubris/megalomania -- BAD.