Sunday, October 24, 2010

"Don't be Evil"

"The greatest trick the Devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist" - The Usual Suspects

Let me just say that I'm sure Google knows more about me than my own Mother does. I use Google to search, Maps/ Earth for directions , Gmail for practically everything, and heck - you're reading this on Blogger, aren't ya?

Ya - I'm a fan.

But unlike everyone else in the world who is upset with Google for wi-fi privacy infringements and those who want there homes blurred in Google Street View, I think the company's biggest problem in this case is one of ignorance.

I secure my wi-fi network at home - everyone who lives around me has a secure network. If you are broadcasting an open signal to anyone who cares to jump onboard, you're an idiot.

That being said, I think Google, and especially the people who were involved in the data collection, are ignorant to the fact that there are people out there who aren't "tech" savvy and aren't going to accept the blame for leaving their digital front door wide open. I also think that Google"s ignorant (or arrogant) in thinking that nobody would catch them doing this - they are one of the most powerful/noticeable corporations in the world. Even if your slogan is "Don't be Evil", there are people out there who will assume you are doing your worst, and they live for moments like this - when they seemingly catch you with your hand in the cookie jar, inadvertently or not.

As for not wanting your home on Street View, I don't understand the fuss - anyone can get your address from a phone book, and can walk by and see the front of your home every day. Having the front view of my house accessible on the Internet really doesn't bug me - except that now some guy in Germany might notice that I needed to mow my lawn the day the Google Car drove by. The same people who are too ignorant to secure their wireless networks are probably the same ones who don't want their dwelling online, for fear of "teh h@ck0rz". Maybe there's a point I'm missing, but I don't think so.

Either way - I and millions of others around the world are going to continue to use Google and their products. I can still see Google's halo shining - it's tarnished, but in my book it's still there.


1 comment:

  1. Anonymous9:59 am

    I've been meaning to weigh in, too, on the Google scanning thing. Glad you did, so now I can without looking like the fanboy I am.

    Mike at Techdirt said it best: Not only was it not particularly Evil, but it was also something ANYONE could have done ! (and likely already has)

    The meaty bit is that we have a dumb law here about intercepting radio traffic, whether the sender thinks it's private or not. The rule is, you can receive it and record it, but you can't send the traffic on.

    Now, I know what you're saying: store-and-forward is part of the internet, and as soon as your network device deserializes the biststream, it's 'stored' the byte in memory and then forwarded it.

    More importantly, if you're beaming crap at me and I can discern what's in the radio signal you're beaming to me, and if you can't claim it's harmful to me (as radiation goes), then at the very least, I get that copy of your data to do with as I see fit.

    We should out the losers for their open wireless.