Privacy (3)

“Google+ is Google itself. We are extending it across all that we do–search, ads, Chrome, Android, Maps, YouTube–so that each of those services contributes to our understanding of who you are…. if you and I are talking about where we’re going to dinner on Sunday, and the system is smart enough to recognize the nature of that discussion and offer me a 20 percent discount for a local restaurant, that’s not a nuisance. That’s an incredibly valuable offer…. I firmly believe we would not be where we are today with Google+ but for the lessons we learned in Buzz. Google+ is extremely privacy-sensitive and considerate.” Bradley Horowitz, Google’s Vice President of Products, Wired, October 2011.

“Without realizing it, we have slipped into a world where institutional access to personal data has become a default condition. This transition has occurred incrementally, without national reflection on the world we are fostering. The fact that people so readily yield their data to impersonal institutions should hardly be taken as affirmation of their support for an un-private world, any more than driving should be taken as evidence of enthusiasm for global warming. Loss of control over personal data presents itself to most people not as a choice to be made so much as the normal condition of everyday life. Progressives need to challenge the premises of such a world and seek to extend meaningful choice in these respects.”–James B. Rule, “The Whole World is Watching,” Democracy, Fall 2011

“With each hour Google amasses unspeakable volumes of information about its users—their search histories, their emails and voicemails, their photos, their travels, their moment-by-moment locations, their purchases. Who can gain licit or illicit access to this information (the Chinese government?) and how it might be used are the great unaddressed issues. Forget antitrust. Almost inevitably the day will come when Congress will seek to regulate these worries by regulating Google.”–Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., “The Google Problem isn’t Antitrust,”  The Wall Street Journal, September 20, 2011

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