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Google co-founder Sergey Brin  (Source: forbes.com)
Google couldn't have been created on a Web dominated by Facebook, said Google co-founder Sergey Brin; company pays $25,000 fine

Google is worried about the future of the internet, saying that governments and major sites like Facebook are killing the open nature of the web. However, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has caught Google doing some naughty activities on the internet as well.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin recently shared his feelings on the current and future state of the internet. He believes freedom and openness on the web is being threatened now more than ever by governments around the world, the entertainment industry, and huge companies like Facebook and Apple.

"I am more worried than I have been in the past," said Brin. "It's scary."

Brin said governments around the globe are trying to restrict and control the access their citizens have on the internet. He namely sees China, Iran and Saudi Arabia as the worst offenders, which is why Google partially pulled out of China in 2010. Concerns over cyber attacks and censorship made the search giant uneasy.

But world governments are not the only ones killing the Internet. According to Brin, tech giants Facebook and Apple have such tightly controlled and proprietary platforms that innovation outside of their reach is nearly impossible.

In fact, Brin said that he and Google co-founder Larry Page would have never been able to create their Google search empire if Facebook had dominated the Internet back then.

"You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive," said Brin. "The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the Web was so open. Once you get too many rules, that will stifle innovation."

More specifically, Brin mentioned that Facebook fails to make it easy for users to switch their data to other services.

"Facebook has been sucking down Gmail contacts for many years," said Brin.

Facebook, which has over 800 million users around the world now, is preparing for its upcoming initial public offering (IPO) valued at $75 billion to $100 billion.

Despite Brin's comments, some are pointing fingers at Google as well, saying that their data is in the hands of the U.S. government because it's on Google's servers. The government even occasionally asks for data from Google.

"We push back a lot," said Brin. "We are able to turn down a lot of these requests. We do everything possible to protect the data. If we could wave a magic wand and not be subject to U.S. law, that would be great. If we could be in some magical jurisdiction that everyone in the world trusted, that would be great. We're doing it as well as can be done."

That magic wand could have come in handy last Friday, as the FCC fined Google $25,000 USD for collecting personal information from users without their consent while launching its Street View project. This particular project allowed Google to collect certain information from W-Fi networks from May 2007 to May 2010. However, Google ended up collecting unnecessary information as well such as passwords and Internet history.

The FCC said Google has not been cooperating with it during this matter. Google has reportedly protected employees and emails from the investigation. Google disagreed, saying it has provided everything necessary. However, it's still stuck with a $25,000 fine.

Sources: Reuters, The Guardian



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RE: google = be evil
By chromal on 4/16/2012 6:02:38 PM , Rating: 0
First off, sit down and shut the F up, you monstrous jackass. And what the hell do you think you know about my nationality, anyway, you North Korean spy? (see how easy that is?)

That said, the point isn't whether or not one can circumvent the effect; as you implied, that's largely trivial to anyone with a modicum of skill or access to resources that make privacy turnkey. The problem isn't even that this kind of 'service' being applied to the search engine exists for those who choose to opt-in (as was the case when Google's user-customized search results were in beta). The problem, beyond the fact that google isn't doing much to share the full set of implication of this technology with its users is that they're spanning more and more of the web. If I log into youtube, for example, the next time I hit google.com for a basic search, I must log out (even though I never logged into google) or risk having results associated with my account.

There was a time when gmail, google, youtube, et al were separate entities, but now with integrated authentication, and google plus reaching out even into third party websites, compartmentalizing one from another becomes difficult or even impossible. For someone who cares about their privacy, but isn't technically saavy, the hurdles to clear become increasingly difficult.

And then trolls like you mock people with justifiable concerns, trivializing the issue and taking us all one step closer to George Orwell's 1984. Good work, though karma's a bitch, buddy.


"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007














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