Google Agonizes on Privacy as Advertising World Vaults Ahead – WSJ.com


By JESSICA E. VASCELLARO

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?

These and other ideas big and small—the third one was listed under “wacky”—are discussed in the document, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and compiled in late 2008 by Aitan Weinberg, now a senior product manager for interest-based advertising. Along with interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees, the vision statement offers a candid, introspective look at Google’s fight to remain at the vanguard of the information economy.

Google is pushing into uncharted privacy territory for the company. Until recently, it refrained from aggressively cashing in on its own data about Internet users, fearing a backlash. But the rapid emergence of scrappy rivals who track people’s online activities and sell that data, along with Facebook Inc.’s growth, is forcing a shift.

Read the rest via Google Agonizes on Privacy as Advertising World Vaults Ahead – WSJ.com.

Comment

Privacy is dead, live with it.

2 thoughts on “Google Agonizes on Privacy as Advertising World Vaults Ahead – WSJ.com

  1. Maxim: follow the money. Then you will discover more than you bargained for.
    Some one said privacy is dead live with it. It implies blame. Who? Well Google and Facebook comes to mind.
    That statement is absurb. Its time for a revolution. Read what Doc Searls and David Wienberger said in World of Ends.
    Then you will understand why privacy should not be ignored. It might already be too late.

    • Michael you are right here.

      Follow the money and discover…

      Yet as long as money is what is on the forefront of everyone’s list of interests, in fact is still the biggest idol of them all, it will take until hell freezes over before things will actually change.

      Thanks for the World of Ends reminder. I do recall however that that deals with the internet only. The person that said “privacy is dead, live with it” was Steve Rambam and I now realize he said “Privacy is Dead, Get Over it.” He discusses the subject from a slightly broader perspective including other technologies and databases as well.

      Personally I think we have other more pressing matters to worry about.

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