Sunday, February 14, 2010

Welcome to the Dark Side

For anyone who doesn't know me, I work for Google. Have done for almost 3 years. Enjoy it. A lot. I'm just stunned at the level of antipathy getting directed at Google lately. Talk about being in the down part of the news cycle. It used to be people loved Google and what Google did for them. The media couldn't write enough positive stories. The excellent search. The free email with lots of space. And the ads were occasionally useful. These days, though, there's this nebulous fear that Google Will Do Something Evil. That the data Google collects, which is collected in the service of giving you better information when you search, is going to be turned over to... the government? the advertisers? Someone Who Will Do Unspeakable Things With Their Newfound Knowledge Of Me And My Searches And Email And Photographs And Everything Else I Put In The Cloud. Today Google had to pull their Olympic-themed logo because of outcries that Google was capitalizing on the very sad death of a luger in a practice run.

Yes Google collects information. It also makes a lot of what it knows available to you and gives you control over a lot of it. But how is it wrong or evil to show you an advertisement that interests you, as opposed to one that doesn't? Are you such a marketing tool that you can't resist when you see an advertisement for something you want? I didn't think so.