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All of the blackmail-able info "J. Edgar Google" collects on you -- that's not subject to privacy laws!Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2008-07-17 17:08
Below is the segment of my House testimony on Internet privacy where I list the exceptional depth and breadth of intimate (potentially blackmail-able) information that Google routinely collects and stores about you with their "unauthorized-web-surveillance" of Internet users - even users who have no idea Google is tracking/stalking them.
"Consider the depth and breadth of intimate information Google collects:
o What you search for;
• (a Ponemon Institute survey of 1,000 Google users found that 89% thought that their searches were private and 77% thought Google searches could not reveal their personal identities – wrong on both accounts.)
o Where you go on the web;
• Google has pervasive unauthorized-web-surveillance capability (web tracking/stalking) through a combination of Google’s search, Google’s cookies, DoubleClick’s ad-view recording capability, Google’s extensive content affiliate network of hundreds of thousands of sites, and the wide variety of Google apps.
o What you watch -- through YouTube;
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2008-07-17 20:33
Growth: 39% YoY revenue growth on a ~$20b base, in a slowing global economy is impressive. Hats off to Google. Lots of network effects at work as Google sites revenue grew 42% YoY.
Tone: I did note the slightest whif of humility this quarter that external factors had some effect on Google's business, in stark contrast to last quarter's more bold statement that Google saw no effect of the external market or economy on Google's business.
DoubleClick: As I suspected, CEO Schmidt said in an answer to a question, that Doubleclick was going well but that he would not break out any information -- in Google's well-established sorry-Charlie-style... no insight or guidance for you... The only thing interesting that was said about DoubleClick was indirect, in that Sergey Brin said that the big problem in display is that it is highly-fragmented." Couple that with CEO Schmidt indicating that Google was only months away fom offering a one-stop advertising solution, one can surmise that Doubleclick will indeed prove to be a material growth kicker to help Google fight off some of the natural drag of the law of large numbers.
Mention most worth follow-up: In Q&A my ears perked up when the CFO explained part of a cost jump was "legal costs" and CEO Schmidt chimed in that these costs were "bursty." I am amazed that a $20b company that gives minimal detail would mention that legal costs were a factor. Do you know how unusually big a legal number has to be to pop up in an earnings call? Did they settle some case that we don't know about? or is the Viacom-Youtube discovery work a lot more costly than Google has let on? Something is amiss and worthy of followup.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2008-07-18 11:26
In my testimony Thursday on Internet privacy before Chairman Markey's House Internet Subcommittee, I documented for Congress the detailed case of how Google, which is subject to no Federal privacy laws, is the single biggest threat to Americans' privacy today.
From my testimony:
Case Study: How Google Systematically Threatens Americans’ Privacy:
To begin, I am not alone in believing Google’s privacy practices are a particularly serious consumer protection problem.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2008-07-21 12:26
Following up on my House testimony on Internet privacy and how Google is by far the biggest threat to people's privacy, let me share some tid bits.
First, John Naughton of the Observer in the UK did a good piece: "Google is watching you. Ready for your close up?"
Second, if you are interested in how secure Google's system really is and how seriously Google responds to warnings of breaches in their privacy "walls", see this post: "Gaping Hole in Gmail privacy."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2008-07-22 14:29
Saul Hansell's New York Times blog post on "The FTC Bully Pulpit on Privacy" discussing the FTC privacy chief's views on privacy, did a public service in flagging an unnecessary and problematic gap in the Federal Trade Commission's protection of Americans' privacy.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2008-07-22 22:03
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2008-07-24 16:15
Knol, Google's newly announced online publishing service, is an ominous direct competitive threat to traditional newspaper/magazine/journal publishers, NOT a challenge to Wikipedia as many in content circles naively and wishfully think.
Wake up publishers/editors! Google, with by far the world's largest:
Google's Cerf continues push for nationalization of Broadband -- Favors forced structural separationSubmitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2008-07-25 10:10
Google's Sr. VP Vint Cerf, took his call for effectively nationalizing America's broadband infrastructure to a new level of freedom-crushing, Big Government expropriation by calling for the forced structural separation of competitive phone and cable companies into wholesale and retail arms, per the CBC News.
Where does one begin in addressing this self-serving, outrageous and clearly socialist proposal?
First, Mr. Cerf is calling for a policy that would treat the country with the most facilities based broadband competition in the world by far... as if it were a proven monopoly guilty of monopoly abuses!
Second, Google's structural separation proposal of broadband, (remember Google pulled this outrage in the 700 MHz auction as well), is a full scale repudiation of the bipartisan purpose of 1996 Telecom Act, which was "to promote competition and reduce regulation... to encourage the rapid deployment of new...technologies."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Mon, 2008-07-28 10:02
Peta-kudos to FCC Commisioner Robert McDowell for his spot-on Op Ed in the Washington Post warning against potential Internet micromanagement by the FCC in: "Who should solve this Internet crisis?"
Commissioner McDowell's sage analysis gets right to the crux of the net neutrality debate: the Internet's genius is that free people in a free market process of voluntary collaboration are best positioned to solve the Internet's ever-changing operational and engineering problems and challenges -- NOT the FCC with bureaucratic engineering, "Mother-may-I" regulation, and over-reaching governmental coercion.
Commissioner McDowell understands the policy choice: support a path of Internet collaboration or net regulation.
Commissioner McDowell is right to warn that the Internet "would certainly die of clogged arteries if network owners had to seek government permission before serving their customers by managing surges of information flow."
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2008-07-29 13:24
I was amused at the near total absence of business analysis in most of the coverage of, and commentary on, the new hyped "Cuil" search engine, the reportedly most-promising potential Google-beater.
Most commenters on Cuil totally miss that it is NOT their user perspective that determines success or failure of a search engine's business, but the BUSINESS perspective that matters.