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.

Bing Vs Google – Why You Rank Well on One Search Engine But Not the Other


With Microsoft and Yahoo combining their muscle in the search space, it is imperative that you do not ignore it in your search engine optimization efforts, especially since it will be the Bing search engine that works behind Yahoo search as well. There have been countless articles written online and in technology magazines comparing Bing to Google, but you need to know the differences between how these two search engines rank their pages so that you can optimize your web pages for both of these as well as Yahoo.

Why Would You Rank Higher in One, but Not in Another?

Most small business owners get frustrated that their site either ranks highly in Bing, but poorly in Google or vice versa. Here are some of the reasons why this may be happening and more importantly some workarounds to tackle this problem.

Read the rest of the post at Bing Vs Google – Why You Rank Well on One Search Engine But Not the Other.

Ghostery blocks the sneaky spies


When you surf the net, and visit a website, there are a number of trackers that are keeping an eye on your behaviour. This is how for instance Google or Statcounter are able to create profiles of visitors. Firefox now has a plugin that prevents that and protects the privacy of users. The Ghostery plugin has been a useful addon to Firefox and recently version 2.0 was made available, which encompasses TrackerBlock. I am really happy with its smooth performance. Besides blocking 'web bugs' Ghostery also blocks advertisements, widgets and other trackers.

The release of TrackerBlock another step in obtaining a collection of tool to protect your privacy and manage your relation with Third  Party Advertisers, Behavioral Targeters and web analytics.

Or in the words of the site itself:

"Ghostery alerts you about the web bugs, ad networks and widgets on every page on the web.
Web bugs are hidden scripts that track your behavior and are used by the sites you visit to understand their own audience."

Ghostery 2.0 is can be downloaded at Mozilla Addons as well.

Posted via email from John Dierckx

Robbery Captured on Google Streetview


Karin Sitalsing of “De Volkskrant” a Dutch newspaper, reported how the Dutch Police was able to arrest to men in relation to a street robbery.
The two men, 24 year old twin brothers without a permanent residential address were recognized on a picture in Google Streetview. The Police admitted it was one very lucky shot.

A 14 year old boy filed a criminal complaint in relation to a street robbery of which he was a victim. He had been pulled of his bike by a man ater which another man sat on top of him after which the two men took his mobile phone and 165 Euro. Half a year later the victim found a picture of himself and the two robbers in Google Streetview and cntacted the police immediately.

Tge Dutch Police contacted Google because the faces on the picture had been made unrecognizable. When the original pictures came in from Google, the men were recognized. The brother reciognized themselves on the pictures but denied having committed the robbery. Other denials and admissions make it at this stage unclear if and on what basis the men will be prosecuted.

Source: de Volkskrant