GOOGLE CEO on Internet Identity: He’s Just Plain “Nuts”

Posted on August 18, 2010

In discussing the future of our lives on the internet, the CEO of GOOGLE, Eric Schmidt remarked confidently:

“I actually think most people don’t want Google to answer their questions. They want Google to tell them what they should be doing next.”

We have been out-flanked by GOOGLE in our searches as of this writing.  When you type in search terms, you  are presented with results that are linked to your location and to search terms you and others have used in the past.  Often it is next to impossible to move past these.  Even when you type in a country or other national location, you just keep getting the same results.  This is NOT giving us what we want or helping us get to where we want to go.

He actually has said that because young people have told everyone everything on Facebook and other social networks, they may need to change their names as adults and the CEO suggested governments make it easy to do at least once in a lifetime.

I am tired of going to sites that already know my location and user ID.  The connectivity is outrageous.  This is not convenience.  Consider some of the class action lawsuits filed against GOOGLE:

February, 2010

Harvard Law School student Eva S. Hibnick filed a class action lawsuit on Wednesday against Google on behalf of Gmail users, alleging that Google Buzz—Google’s new social networking application—discloses personal information without consent and constitutes a breach of privacy.

Buzz allows users to “follow,” or track updates posted by, their e-mail contacts. Though Google has issued apologies and made changes to the program since its Feb. 9 launch, the application continues to be an “opt-out” program, meaning that Gmail’s 31.2 million users are automatically signed up until they choose to deactivate Buzz.

Hibnick, a second year student at the Law School, said she was upset that she was automatically “following” and being “followed” on Buzz by people whom Google had chosen for her. [Harvard Crimson]

May 2010

Computerworld – Google’s secret Wi-Fi sniffing has prompted a class-action lawsuit that could force the company to pay up to $10,000 for each time it snatched data from unprotected hotspots, court documents show.

The lawsuit, which was filed by an Oregon woman and a Washington man in a Portland, Ore. federal court on Monday, accused Google of violating Federal privacy and data acquisition laws.

“When Google created its data collection systems on its GSV [Google Street View] vehicles, it included wireless packet sniffers that, in addition to collecting the user’s unique or chosen Wi-Fi network name (SSID information), the unique number given to the user’s hardware used to broadcast a user’s Wi-Fi signal (MAC address, the GSV data collection systems also collected data consisting of all or part of any documents, e-mails, video, audio, and VoIP information being sent over the network by the user [payload data],” the lawsuit stated. [ComputerWorld]

August, 2010

A judge in Spain opened an investigation into whether Google unlawfully collected data from unsecured wireless networks while gathering photographs for Google’s photo-mapping service Street View. [NY Times]

Google Street View has of late come in for the most drubbing by the public and various governments.

When CEOs of these large data gathering companies start advising people that they have to change their identities to kill the trail to them then it is time to investigate what kind of a world  GOOGLE has developed for our virtual lives and to propose constraints where needed.  For the CEO of GOOGLE to assume that people want them to plan for them and to direct them is just plain “nuts.”

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