×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Google Secret Privacy Document Leaked

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the don't-look-there dept.

Google 281

siliconbits writes "A confidential, seven-page Google Inc. 'vision statement' shows the information-age giant in a deep round of soul-searching over a basic question: How far should it go in profiting from its crown jewels—the vast trove of data it possesses about people's activities? Should it tap more of what it knows about Gmail users? Should it build a vast 'trading platform' for buying and selling Web data? Should it let people pay to not see any ads at all?"

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

281 comments

Incoming sopssa/SquarePixel/odies trolling ... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33202950)

sopssa = SquarePixel = odies. Three sockpuppets, one stupid troll. Remember it moderators!

Peace out!

and... (4, Funny)

ae1294 (1547521) | more than 3 years ago | (#33202970)

Should they be evil?

Re:and... (4, Insightful)

digitalchinky (650880) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203060)

How evil are the shareholders? Will google become evil over the apparent need to make a few extra billion every year? Why is it not okay just to coast along when you're on a good thing already? How much money is enough?

Re:and... (5, Insightful)

drewhk (1744562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203106)

What shall we use to fill the empty spaces
Where waves of hunger roar?
Shall we set out across the sea of faces
In search of more and more applause?

Shall we buy a new guitar?
Shall we drive a more powerful car?
Shall we work straight through the night?

Shall we get into fights?
Leave the lights on?
Drop bombs?
Do tours of the east?
contract diseases?
Bury bones?
Break up homes?
Send flowers by phone?
Take to drink?
Go to shrinks?
Give up meat?
Rarely sleep?
Keep people as pets?
Train dogs?
Race rats?
Fill the attic with cash?
Bury treasure?
Store up leisure?
But never relax at all

With our backs to the wall.

---
Eh, Pink Floyd deserves the sacrifice of some karma points...

Re:and... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203444)

Hit the nail right on it's head. Google is a company, which is owned by its shareholders who solely want profit. Google is currently the most valuable brand in the world. By engaging in activities like selling users information, brand value will decline and so will profits (long term). However, not selling the information (short term) will make shareholders angry.

The problem is that Google is a company, which is an anonymous entity in society solely created for the purpose of generating profit. If they change this, then they can be "not be evil" and then they won't have such dilemma's.

I don't see buying google employee's buying up stock untill they have 100%, to convert Google into a different form then being a company, though.

Re:and... (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203504)

If all the employees owned the company, then it'd be a cooperative and exist solely for their own benefit. And who's to say that Google employees wouldn't turn out to be just as evil without the direction from outside shareholders? Likely, they'd also turn out to be a bunch of greedy meatbags.

Re:and... (5, Informative)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203758)

Google has two classes of shares: A and B.
A are only worth 1 vote, B are worth 10.
A are all publicly traded, B are all hold by founders, directors and executives.
At least in 2007, 67% of the votes were owned by Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

So being publicly available does not mean they don't control the company anymore.

Problem... (5, Informative)

mrops (927562) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203512)

In traditional sense, shares of a company XYZ were meant to buy you, well exactly, "shares" of the company. Company made X amount of dollars, you got to share profits in accordance with what you own in that company. Company grew, the shares were worth more, however the idea was you got to share the profit. Sure you could sell your shares, however the concept got turned head over heals when shares themselves became trading commodities, so unless prices of shares rise, they are not valued, it does not matter if company is making a fixed X amount of profit year over year.

3 cheers for greed!

Re:and... (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203468)

Or only Quasi-evil.

Evil-lite.

just a little evil?

don't gnaw on your kitty.

Re:and... (1)

Wiarumas (919682) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203666)

Google had the good vs evil scale when considering whether or not they should pull out of China. There is no doubt in my mind they have some sort of good vs evil or profit vs privacy scale on some executive's dashboard.

Re:and... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203668)

Time to hire a conscience.

All your info (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33202976)

All your info are belong to us...

how much would you pay? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33202990)

how much would you pay a month to see no ads on any website?

Re:how much would you pay? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203006)

I would pay one adblock+

Re:how much would you pay? (1)

envirotex (1710018) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203820)

I send them and noscript some money periodically but I don't promote the ABP add-in. If too many people use it the adults will take it away from us. I have not seen an ad in 5 years.

Re:how much would you pay? (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203134)

http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/business/index.html

you can already pay google. dunno about other sites.

Re:how much would you pay? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203446)

That's a sucker's question. Cable TV is $100/month and you still see ads. There is no end to the greed.

Re:how much would you pay? (1)

Capt James McCarthy (860294) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203530)

That's a sucker's question. Cable TV is $100/month and you still see ads. There is no end to the greed.

You also go to movies and see ads before the movie and product placement throughout the movie.

I don't see any ads at all... (2, Informative)

dollarwizard (1806856) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203004)

...thanks to Adblock [mozilla.org]

Re:I don't see any ads at all... (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203154)

My thoughts exactly, although Google would probably make quite a bit of money selling no-advertisements, if only because the majority of people are just not familiar with ad blocking. Reminds me of the various "remote desktop" packages that charge people for what is essentially a rebranded VNC.

Re:I don't see any ads at all... (3, Interesting)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203612)

All that they need to do on Google's pages is to move away from graphics and iFrames and on to embedded text. I could put adverts on my site very easily that AdBlock+ couldn't catch because there would be no easy way to distinguish it from text. On Google's own pages, it wouldn't make a difference about counting views etc, because they're already capturing that data and can handle it in code. The only problem (for them) comes in tracking one person across multiple sites since the "simple HTML with no markers screaming 'I am an advert'" ads wouldn't be able to share cookies.

Ads as social media? (4, Interesting)

nlvp (115149) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203026)

I quite like the idea that you could use ads that you pay for (that don't cost much) to advertise your party or to post silly messages to your friends. Of course the privacy implications of what google needs to know in order to be able to do this are absolutely terrifying, but the idea remains cute.

Additionally, I liked the idea when they turned it on its head, saying that certain individuals can agree to receive adverts of a certain type and you can then pay to have your adverts targeted to those people... such as recruiters.

I wonder the extent to which these ideas are just that : great ideas, but completely impractical in the real world, but this kind of brainstorming is what gives rise to the really good ideas in the end anyway, so its not surprising that they should be having this sort of discussion internally.

Re:Ads as social media? (3, Funny)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203452)

I quite like the idea that you could use ads that you pay for (that don't cost much) to advertise your party or to post silly messages to your friends

I'd love to be able to pay for what I can do for free on Facebook!

Re:Ads as social media? (5, Insightful)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203624)

I vote "meh". Seems self-evident that
a) Google (if it chose to) could mine a lot more data than it does - e.g. contents of gmail, results of using Google DNS, etc
b) There are ways that Google could make a lot of money out of mining more data from the contents of their servers
c) There is a point where customers would get pissed off/could be illegal if they over stepped the mark
d) That it's entirely reasonable for Google to debate and investigate what further data mining they could do without Being Evil.
I presume the document in TFA is a debate over where they draw the line. I'm glad they're debating it. I'll let you know what I think of them when they've decided where that line is.

Re:Ads as social media? (1)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203660)

Additionally, I liked the idea when they turned it on its head, saying that certain individuals can agree to receive adverts of a certain type and you can then pay to have your adverts targeted to those people... such as recruiters.

Sounds a bit like what Bynamite are doing with their plugin. I've been running it a while (on my works dev machine) to see what it picks up and what advertisers think I'm interested in.

The idea is that I can also use it to feed back a message of "no, I'm not interested in X", since it lets them better target their ads, which saves them money/makes them more sales while leaving me with more adverts I "want" to see (for a given value of 'want' that is small to non-existant).

So far I'm just using it to see what it thinks, since I've also got adblockers. Overall it seems moderately accurate, but Google dominates by a mile (only got one or two topics from elsewhere - Yahoo) and it seems excessively twitchy in that I hit one story on how Toyota screwed up their latest hybrid or something and suddenly I'm "interested" in hybrid cars (where as I was interested in the cock-up).

I gotta say... (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203030)

...while I abhor some of Google's actions in recent years, they are in a simultaneously fortunate and unfortunate position. They are fortunate in that they have gotten where they are based on their own merits, including their ability to navigate the market with ease and giving people what they want.

They are unfortunate in that they are such a huge business; while customer and user satisfaction is still at the top of their list, nothing will ever be a higher priority than profit (as it should be with a business). This causes them to get sloppy, though...

I'm glad to see they are having at least some form of internal dialogue about just how greedy they should actually be ("greed is good", after all). This indicates that they are at least aware of the recent downturn in the public's perception of them.

Re:I gotta say... (1)

QuijiboIsAWord (715586) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203132)

They are unfortunate in that they are such a huge business; while customer and user satisfaction is still at the top of their list, nothing will ever be a higher priority than profit (as it should be with a business).

Not. True.

Re:I gotta say... (2, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203158)

Yes true. Profit should be the highest priority for business. Don't mistake profit for bad business practices...most companies would likely make even more money if they treated their customers right and listened to their concerns.

Again, you don't have to be an asshole to make good money...despite the common stigma.

Re:I gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203324)

A business's chief priority SHOULD be customer service. It never is, but it should be. Personally there is a grand total of 0 companies on this planet that get my money without giving me exactly the service I want, with the customer service offering to back it up.

I changed phone companies last year because the company I was with wouldn't give me (a client of 3 years) the same offer that they were offering a new customer. They lost a customer because of one stupid decision. I've been with my current provider happily for 5 years now, and they offer me their "new customer" offerings when my contract is up.

Prime customer service leads to profit. If you make customer service your priority, profit will come on its own.

Re:I gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203392)

... Well isn't that special.

entitlement much?

Re:I gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203524)

So you'd rather all the businesses in the world providing valuable services shut their doors to provide you the service you want? When you've got your fill of service and the company closes it's doors, what reasonable person will step in to be the next one? Customers sometimes demand service that companies cannot meet... free product, insane pricing, etc.

Re:I gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203366)

Not true. Profit is a means to an end. High profit is often the best way to achieve it.

But the real end is to maximize shareholder/owner satisfaction. (At least in the UK), the directors are required by law to act in the best interests of the company, and generally the directors are assigned by the shareholders to perform that role.

So, for example, a company may be wound up and assets sold off, because the shareholders want their money back. Pretty much puts a bullet between the eyes of any further profits.

Or a company may deliberate avoid potential sources of high revenue because its shareholders have a moral objection to them. Or it may choose to charge less for goods because its objectives are to help people. In the end it comes down to the company's purpose, and that is usually - but not always - to make money.

Some companies happily dump waste in 3rd world countries. They pay the fines when they are caught, and their profits are higher than the responsible companies. There are enough greedy people around to keep investment interest high in such companies. My company wouldn't do such a thing given the opportunity, even if the profit was high, because I think it's morally repugnant. Profit isn't the highest priority.

Re:I gotta say... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203458)

Shareholder satisfaction is measured in profit. In the US all publicly traded companies are legally required to try to maximize profit for their shareholders.

Just to put a finer point on profit. (1)

whovian (107062) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203680)

There is no legal time scale inherent in maximizing profit for shareholders. Is that profit to be done over...the long haul? Five years? One year? Financial anal cysts^W^Wanalysts do look at quarterly and annual increases and earnings per share. This information is used to set up shareholder expectations.

(rant)
I'll add that my derisive treatment of analysts is warranted, IMO, in how they project the idea that making a profit is not good enough if they believe the company could have done better. Also, there is nothing *in practice* (yes, there are laws and perhaps ethics against it, but this is the US) that is stopping them from making too high of expectations and profiting on that "information."
(/rant)

Re:I gotta say... (2, Insightful)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203496)

Yoiu are missing one thing from that.

Profit at the expense of quality. 99% of all corperations dont care about anything but next quarter. if I can piss off 30% of my customers but increase profits for next quarter then I am a freaking hero.

Re:I gotta say... (5, Insightful)

ImNotAtWork (1375933) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203172)

The good thing is that they are actually asking these questions in the first place. We all know other companies (not all) that wouldn't give some of these balancing ideals even a moment of reflection.

and no I'm not a Google fanboy

Re:I gotta say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203338)

Are they really asking it or was this a "leak"?

Re:I gotta say... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203356)

We all know other companies .. wouldn't give some of these balancing ideals even a moment of reflection.

do we really know that? sounds like google fanboi spam to me.

is this officially from google anyway??
 
PS. you suck.

Re:I gotta say... (2, Funny)

dollarwizard (1806856) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203584)

I find it interesting that doing evil but at least reflecting on it a bit beforehand has now become what passes as a "good thing."

Re:I gotta say... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203202)

They've been on top of everything for a while now, and that hasn't corrupted them as it has Microsoft or Apple. They're doing fine.

Re:I gotta say... (-1, Troll)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203206)

nothing will ever be a higher priority than profit (as it should be with a business).

So if a business can maximize your investment profit by investing in slave trading, then it's perfectly proper for the business to do so?

Re:I gotta say... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203234)

As I said to another poster who responded to me, people seem to always associate "concentrate on profit" with "being a dick"...the two are not mutually exclusive. In fact, the more you focus on customers, the more your profit will increase (in theory, at least).

Making as much money as possible isn't inherently bad...it's all in how you go about it.

Re:I gotta say... (0, Troll)

somersault (912633) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203684)

Making as much money as possible isn't inherently bad...it's all in how you go about it.

"Making as much money as possible" will only be possible through being "bad".

Being nice will ensure happy customers, happy employees, not breaking any laws etc, but it doesn't guarantee the highest profits.

What if you're a nice company that already has a monopoly on your market? What if you've branched out into every market in the world and have a monopoly on everything that is sold anywhere? To make more profit you then have to start being a douche by raising costs on the customer's side, cutting down on employee benefits, or start breaking laws (environmental as someone mentioned above, or dodging taxes etc).

"Making as much money as ethically acceptable" isn't quite so profitable, but it is nicer.

Re:I gotta say... (1)

UberMorlock (1391949) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203330)

That is not at all what he said or implied. If I had mod points, I'd have modded you troll

Re:I gotta say... (5, Insightful)

mpeskett (1221084) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203422)

There's a sensible point hiding under the hyperbole about slavery though; sometimes a company can turn a better profit by doing something unethical, so commitment purely to the bottom line will fail to produce businesses that do good things.

Doing something unethical (of the type that your customers care about) then getting publicly busted for it... that's where ethical behaviour is a more attractive option for the profit-chaser. But too often companies are able to slide along despite unethical practice by being so big (and the bad stuff so remote) that people just buy from them out of habit, without giving a lot of thought to exactly what they might be supporting.

Re:I gotta say... (1)

Nadaka (224565) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203522)

Only if slave trading were legal.

A publicly traded company may be required to seek a profit, but that does not give them license to break other laws to do so.

This is why they pay so much money to buy new laws. So they can have more profit without running the risks involved in breaking the law.

Re:I gotta say... (1)

fast turtle (1118037) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203582)

The highest priority of any business should be dealing ethically with everyone. Otherwise, if Profit is their highest principal, then RIAA is performing exactly as they should and we have no reason to scream at them for taking any and everyone to court for piracy.

So Sorry Pojut but we didn't sell you anything but the sizzle. There wasn't any product nor will there ever be any product (vaporware/duke nukem forever) is the results of that kind of thinking. It also results in dangerous products such as the Ford Pinto Hatchback that exploded if hit in the rear. Ford was actually caught with hands in the cookie jar for failing to spend the $10-20 dollars to fix the problem on the line because it was cheaper to pay out the few lawsuits. That's the kind of corporate thinking you're pushing.

Hell it sounds just like the Corporate thinking in the damn Star Wars Prequells.

Re:I gotta say... (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203636)

That's the kind of corporate thinking you're pushing.

After re-reading my OP a few times, I can see how that could be grokked from what I said...but I assure you, those types of practices weren't what I was referring to.

Actual Document? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203046)

Where is the actual document? May this be linked with cryptome.org [cryptome.org] only a "403 Access Forbidden" at the moment?

Just speculating...

Re:Actual Document? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203070)

Where is the actual document? May this be linked with cryptome.org [cryptome.org] delivering only a "403 Access Forbidden" at the moment?

Just speculating...

Must... double... check... before... posting..

Sucky part about being a public company (2, Informative)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203048)

I ran over and glanced at the holding of GOOG [yahoo.com] to see if the insiders have much control. As far as stock ownership is concerned, management doesn't have that much direct voting power.

The key questions are:

1. Will some of the big holders get bitchy and want Google to start whoring they're data.
2. Does the management have enough backing votes to block other big shareholders from forcing the whoring.

When some of the shareholders get wind that Google is holding back to be "good", you can bet you asses that there's going to be some fighting and these are the times when founders and their values get thrown out the window.

What could save them is that most of the shareholders are mutual funds. Those guys are usually passive and are just along for the ride.

Re:Sucky part about being a public company (1)

PatrickThomson (712694) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203100)

IIRC, the two founders own more than 50% of the shares, but don't quote me on that as I can't find any current proof.

Re:Sucky part about being a public company (2, Informative)

AnonymousClown (1788472) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203180)

The link I posted shows Mutual funds holding 81% (more than enough to do anything they please) , Brin has only 79,000 shares and I don't even see Page on the list. In other words, if came down to a vote of share, the founders have no voting power.

Re:Sucky part about being a public company (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203390)

Only some of the shares are "voting" shares. Brin, Page, and Schmitt together own the majority of those.

Re:Sucky part about being a public company (1)

Anubis350 (772791) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203514)

Doesn't google have dual class stock? I don't know how much of the "A" class Brin and Page have, but I'm sure it's more than 19%

Re:Sucky part about being a public company (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203856)

Brin and Page only hold 49% of the voting class shares, but CEO Eric Schmidt holds an additional 12%. They've still got it locked down as along as the 3 agree.

Re:Sucky part about being a public company (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203104)

1. Will some of the big holders get bitchy and want Google to start whoring they're data.

So long as that's all they're doing we're fine. Hell, even if they start whoring their data, that's ok. Just not our data. That would be too far.

I understand... (4, Insightful)

TheMidnight (1055796) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203058)

Google's hesitancy to move into places where DoubleClick once trod with near impunity. I don't mind Internet ads on websites. What I hate are the scummy, one-flat-stomach rule, teeth whitening, acai berry, and other similar ads that show up on almost every website, major and minor. This says nothing of the older types of annoying ads, like audio, flashing banners and pop-ups. I don't even like seeing the graphics of these sorts of ads because they're so visually displeasing. These sorts of ads are why I use Ad-Block, not because I am opposed to all advertising. Cookies had a reputation similar to these ads, and that's why Google was so hesitant.

Re:I understand... (1)

RivenAleem (1590553) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203196)

Now I'm not a big fan of ads myself, but I do wonder sometimes what would happen if google did actually deliver content relevant ads to the web pages I regularly visit, or based off interests I had in my facebook/google buzz or similar online profile. Then I wouldn't be delivered the one-flat-stomach rule, teeth whitening ads, but more likely WoW, PS3, Archery, movies etc ads that I might actually be interested in.

I'm not saying that I'll suddenly start clicking on every ad I see as it would appear to be interesting to me, but I might actually look at them and not block them, as I feel that someday there might be something useful there.

Then it might be possible for the people at Adblock to give a settings selection like no-script does, to white-list specific advertisers who deliver you relevant and unobtrusive ads.

I know the current setting on Adblock allow for the disabling of certain filters, but it's not very user friendly.

Re:I understand... (3, Informative)

VJ42 (860241) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203378)

Then it might be possible for the people at Adblock to give a settings selection like no-script does, to white-list specific advertisers who deliver you relevant and unobtrusive ads.

I know the current setting on Adblock allow for the disabling of certain filters, but it's not very user friendly.

You already can white list in Adblock. You just need to add "@@" (without the quotes) before the expression you want to stop it blocking - add it to your filter and you're done.

Re:I understand... (3, Interesting)

UberMorlock (1391949) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203402)

You know, for a short time I ran ads on a feline-related site I am responsible for and kept waiting for the ads to be relevant to the content of the site. Three months in, they still were not relevant. So, I dumped all the ads and just kept the Google searchbox. If they can't even make the ads relevant to the content of the site, then why should I subject my visitors to the ads and why should I muck up the look of the site by displaying ads?

Re:I understand... (4, Informative)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203702)

That is one useful thing about this article. I was unaware that Google would actually show you what information you had in their cookie.

Not only that, they even let you edit it. Mine had some garden stuff in it that I deleted, then I added in some more categories I'd actually be interested in. I wish somebody had done that before.

Paying not to see ads? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203086)

You mean like someone still can see those advertisements? Adblock+ and greasemonkey work already.

Time to split off the search arm? (2, Interesting)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203140)

Better to jump than be pushed. Maybe it's time for Google to consider splitting into 2 companies: all the search stuff in one and all the other (FB, docs etc.) in the second. That way they get to control their own destiny rather than have outside interests decide it for them.

You never know, a bit of a break-up may even be good for them.

Re:Time to split off the search arm? (4, Insightful)

Missing.Matter (1845576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203304)

The search arm makes makes 99% (not an exaggeration) of Google's revenue through ads, and is effectively keeping every other Google product on life support. You can't break them up or the other projects will die.

ironic (3, Interesting)

bluhatter (583867) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203170)

Does anybody else notice the irony here?

Maybe this will give them an idea of how it feels to have your privacy invaded.

Re:ironic (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203410)

Does anybody else notice the irony here? Maybe this will give them an idea of how it feels to have your privacy invaded.

You're assuming the document wasn't deliberately "leaked". If I wanted to make it look like I took my users' concerns seriously I'd certainly make an effort to pull off a stunt like this.

Re:ironic (1)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203692)

Maybe this will give them an idea of how it feels to have your privacy invaded.

While I share your concerns and it's a hot debate the latest years consider this...

The greater part of people go online these days and enter personal data, as a matter of fact, plenty of then do no other thing online as entering data on servers owned by others.

These services these people enter data and content (gmail, google, facebook, slashdot, fora, flickr, twitter, ...) without needing to host or create a platform themselves in a 1990s online-experience.

In return they have their data analyzed and shown "discrete ads".
Seems a fair tradeoff in business terms and value-return.

OTOH, google owes you nothing; you can always close your account and seek alternatives.

So where's... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203256)

So where's the goddamn document? It got "leaked," didn't it?
I don't want to browse some shitty web-2.0 info-graphic, I want to read the primary source.

To be fair, I think the article is extremely well-written.
But a reliance on secondary sources is insufficient. Give us the source.

Also, get off my lawn ;)

A privacy-protecting search engine (1)

dollarwizard (1806856) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203276)

After reading that article, I hope some people are a little more hesitant about the evil Gorg. This part here I found particularly interesting:

Consider 26-year-old Ari Brand, an actor living in Manhattan's East Village. Google has access to the fact he paid $733 for a flat-screen TV, because he uploaded his budget to Google Docs, an online word processor and spreadsheet. It has access to the 23,000 emails he has sent through Gmail.

At this point I need to put in a plug for the Start Page Search Engine [startpage.com] , which does not store your IP address.

Re:A privacy-protecting search engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203368)

You could try also try DuckDuckGo.com

Re:A privacy-protecting search engine (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203380)

I started to use ixquick [ixquick.com] (which is the same) a long time ago. They also support TLS/SSL, and have their search form tells the browser to make POST requests rather then GET. This means that when I click on a link returned by a search, the target site doesnt know from the referrer what search terms I entered.

The only drawback is that it's marginally slower, but after a month of using it you won't notice that anymore.

it will be hard to shut down (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203294)

the marketing assholes in the board room, but if google sticks by its loyalty to privacy, they will remain a respected and profitable company for a very long time

if however they break their commitments to privacy, they will, indeed, reap a flurry of greater profits. but at the cost of driving away customers. the problem in a business like google's is there is always another search website, and even if its not quite as fast or accurate as google, if it makes a loud point of pledging to not rape your privacy, then it will even beat google, eventually

before there was google, there was altavista. before facebook, myspace. the king of the web does not have to stay the king of the web, and it can be quite sudden and amazing at how sudden and fast that fall can be. google better remember this

Re:it will be hard to shut down (3, Insightful)

chris_7d0h (216090) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203810)

Just to be clear, Google's customers are the advertisers. We the users are their products.
But yes, if their products evaporate it will be a might challenge to sell anything to their customers and the nickle-and-dime folks at Google will feel that.

Where is de-Google? (1)

pspahn (1175617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203306)

A couple years ago, I had the idea for de-google. Don't like the results that come up when your name is searched?? For a fee, those results can be modified to hide embarrassing things (or whatever else). I thought it was a good idea, I'm still waiting to see it applied.

Re:Where is de-Google? (1)

Combatso (1793216) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203342)

A couple years ago, I had the idea for ........., I'm still waiting to see it applied.

you are a few ?????? away from Profit!

Re:Where is de-Google? (4, Informative)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203406)

It can be applied easily. Just make some script that posts random stuff with your name in it to thousands of forums. Then, when people search for your name, there will be so much noise that the results are useless. Noise is google's enemy.

And this is how... (1)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203364)

... the Guild of Calamitous Intent was formed. When part of Col. Lloyd Venture's league decided THEY knew better what was best for the world and should profit from the power of the ancient orb themselves.

Yawn... (4, Insightful)

HuckleCom (690630) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203398)

Such a well timed 'leak' of something after a shitstorm of privacy sensationalism. Nothing to see here, imho.

Targeted Ads (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203414)

I'm not opposed to Ads on webpages, I understand this is how people make money off websites. So I turn off adblocker+ on any sites that I truly like (/., Ars, Wired, etc..) and leave it on to block all the other crude ads out there for sites that I feel don't deserve my money (FB) But if Google were to start selling my information to make more targeted ads I would have to start f'ing with them. Change my sex to female, spend 2 days searching stuff about the bible and Glen beck, then the next 2 days searching for stuff about the Koran and Micheal Moore. So at the very least their data on me would be crap!

Should Google Admit : +1, Revealing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203418)

it is a front for the N.S.A.?

Yours In Novosibirsk,
K. Trout

Never in the history of American business (4, Insightful)

moxley (895517) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203420)

Never in the history of American business has a company as large and powerful as Google NOT taken advantage of something this profitable and desired by those in control of the country.

I don't care what they say, or how many slogans they have that they sometimes follow and sometimes ignore - they're going to use this data. The only question is to wha extent - and given Eric Schmidt's recent statements on privacy and the future of the web (which were completely disgusting to me and likely to anyone else who values the internet as a place of freedom and growth), I expect that they will fully exploit all that they have.

I am not anti-Google, I love Google's products and I think their search engine is the best, and as far as large companies go they certainly aren't anywhere near the most evil - but the power and data they have, along with some of the places they've received funding from, combined with the attitude of their CEO is greatly concerning.

Re:Never in the history of American business (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203754)

You disgust me.

"Confidential"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33203448)

Does anyone think that this "confidential" document was intended to be leaked?

Where's the document itself? (1)

ManiaX Killerian (134390) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203606)

Does anyone have a link to the original document? Most of the FA is useless drivel.

Re:Where's the document itself? (1)

mwsw (1011777) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203690)

I was about the ask the same thing. Two paragraphs about the document, with the rest about Google's history and possible future.

Also, from TFA:

"A person familiar with the matter called the vision statement a "brainstorming document" and said it wasn't presented to senior executives. Some of its ideas are "complete non-starters," this person said. Efforts to reach Mr. Weinberg weren't successful."

So yes. Nothing to see here.

DoubleClick? (2, Informative)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203648)

It is funny that an article explaining the evil nature of DoubleClick and Microsoft, is actually using DoubleClick and MSN trackers, funny, ain't?

To see where the story has come since 2008... (1, Redundant)

dollarwizard (1806856) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203716)

...you should see this blog post from Google: Personalized Search For Everyone [blogspot.com] .

Whether a computer is signed in or not, the Gorg is tracking everything the computer does, in order to "personalize" the search results for it.

It seems the concept of "opt in" is now gone forever, since tracking is the default. I wonder if privacy advocates even understand the implications, given how often Google is the Internet for so many people.

(By the way, for Google fanboys, a non-evil company would have a toggle on the search page saying, "Personalized Results: ON - OFF"... But I won't hold my breath waiting for that to happen.)

Google reality check. (1)

i_want_you_to_throw_ (559379) | more than 3 years ago | (#33203748)

Google, as a publicly traded company, only has one obligation: To make a profit for shareholders
Few companies set out to do bad deeds but most won't rule them out. Google was supposed to be different. Regarding "Don't be evil"(tm), CEO Eric Schmidt recently clarified the policy saying that it was simply meant as a conversation starter.

Here's Google from good to bad...
+7.1 - Philanthropy
Creating a foundation to fight poverty.
+5.3 - Coddling staff
Establishing on-site day care as an employee perk.
-2.4 - Moral Triage
Giving Brazilian police access to private photo albums on Orkut to assist an investigation into child pornography.The lesser of two evils is still pretty lame
-4.8 - Immaturity
Google's on going smear campaign against Privacy International [google.com] for giving them a last place rank.
-6.7 - Screwing staff
Raising cost of on site day care to $57,000 per year.
-8.3 - Censorship
Instituting keyword filters at the request of the Chinese government. Google's do no evil policy only applies to the U.S.
Source: Wired 16.10
"Do no evil"? They should change their motto to "We do less evil than everyone else"
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...