• http://www.pagezero.com Andrew Goodman

    Good coverage, Greg. For better for worse, the clear sense I get directly from Google (in the form of new product rollouts, explicit goals set, etc.), is that they have zero intention of being “reined in”. Indeed, they plan to double down.

    Google sees many of the limitations on their ability to collect data for accurate targeting (etc.) as simply barriers to be busted. Recall the “whoops, Street View was really collecting IP information, sorry it was an accident” caper.

    Google won’t be reined in in this regard. Not voluntarily. Only government has enough clout to limit what the company is doing. Private companies and individuals do not. [Yeah sure, users can opt out of everything. ;)]

    In the past, they were quite far ahead of competitors in terms of how well they understood the zeitgeist of user appetites for intrusion and interruption.

    But either something has shifted, or it was always the case that Google always had enormous capacity for intrusion and was judicious in how it made use of that.

    Google’s self-image has always been ambitious in that it believed somehow there was such a thing as being a private very large company that was nonetheless “benevolently omniscient”. There is enough Dr. Evil in all of this now to give us all pause.

    The media takes a huge slice of the blame here. Multiple players are always beneficial for consumer choice, but as soon as some slightly lesser player (RIM) lags a bit in terms of convenience or financial performance, let the trashing begin. What we forget is that such companies offer us choices to avoid the monolithic, totalitarian rein of any one player.

  • http://screenwerk.com Greg Sterling

    Thanks Andrew. The “beg for forgiveness” attitude prevails over at Facebook as well. It may be the Europeans to really erect barriers to the strategy that Google and others are pursuing with tracking and targeting. We’ll see. But too many transgressions and you will see government action.

  • http://screenwerk.com Greg Sterling

    See also this article I wrote: http://bit.ly/xY2KOL

  • http://www.pagezero.com Andrew Goodman

    There’s a remarkably simple action that millions of people today could take to protect themselves, if that’s something they wanted to do (in light of your other article): simply say no to Android.

    The price paid for all the convenience users seek may be invisible to most, but it’s real.

    I’ll take the stairs.

  • http://europeforvisitors.com Durant Imboden

    Maybe the best solution would be for Google to block Safari users, or to serve Safari users a page that says their browser isn’t compatible with industry standards. Let Apple try to convince its users that Apple are the good guys and Google is the Evil Empire.

  • http://sites.google.com/site/winooski/ Winooski

    I’m glad that Greg Sterling and Third Door Media are keeping their eyes on these types of issues, but I can’t help but feel that these behemoth corporations are slugging it out for the prize of being the one that exploits consumers’ data the most.