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Techdirt blames Google Buzz victims
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2010-02-19 12:46
Unfortunately I have to respectfully challenge Mr. Masnick of Techdirt for his reflexive apologia of Google in blaming Google's victims for exerising their legal rights to protect themselves and to get their day in court -- in filing a class action privacy suit over Google Buzz.
- See Mr. Masnick's post: "And of course, class action lawsuit filed against Google Buzz"
Mr. Masnick appears to be ignoring some extremely relevant Google facts, history and serial patterns of misbehavior.
First, Google has NO customer service!
- Everyone knows there is no way for a Google user with a problem/concern to connect with a human being by phone or email in order to be heard.
- Google believes personal interaction and common human courtesy is inefficient and does not scale.
Second, Google routinely represents itself to the public as highly valuing privacy, security and users. When the record clearly shows it does not.
- (Note: Please see my Watchdog site www.GoogleMonitor.com for copious evidence/proof of how Google does not live up to its representations and how many complaints/lawsuits there are against Google on many of the same subjects: privacy, IP, security, and antitrust.)
- What are people supposed to do when they feel wronged or injured by Google and they can't reach Google for personal resolution? Comment on Techdirt?
Third, Techdirt is aware, much better than most, that Google is a serial offender on privacy issues.
- This same Google disrespect for user privacy and security and the consequent public outcry -- occurred with gmail, streetview, latitude, and Buzz to name only the most obvious.
- If this was truly a one-off rare "mistake" Mr. Masnick might have a point, but he knows that could not be further from the truth.
- This problem emerged predictably from Google's standard MO, push the envelope, Google Knows Best, ask for forgiveness not permission, transparency is more important than privacy ... approach to business.
- Any privacy advocate can recite Google's serial decade-long disrespect and disdain for privacy in its actions.
- Remember Privacy International ranked Google worst in the world on Privacy.
- Moreover, EPIC just filed a formal deceptive practices complaint against Google Buzz at the FTC, which is characteristically very strong, objective and effective.
Fourth, Google has over a billion users! Millions of Americans were harmed by Google's "mistake" and "mishap' as Mr. Masnick characterizes it.
- What other practical avenue but a class action lawsuit is there available to thousands of people who feel seriously harmed by Google?
- Does Mr. Masnick really expect individual Americans and individual courts to try and pursue their case alone and not consolidate them into a class like it is routinely done in these circumstances?
- Even in the case of a massive class action suit, like the one that led to the pending Google Book Settlement, the aggrieved copyright holders have been slow-rolled and worn down by Google for FIVE years!
- It is also ridiculous that Mr. Masnick thinks this is "a money grab".
- In the Google Book Settlement, an Author is due a pittance of a payment of about ~$60 a book for Google's copyright violation. That's not big money... its about the principle of the rule of law, copyright law.
In short, I know that Google's legendary PR machine is out working over their friends and allies to come to their rescue over Google Buzz (when Google only has only itself to blame), but often times Google actually deserves grief for their inherent disrespect for people and their privacy like they are getting on this.
The least becoming PR trick in Google's playbook is when they try and play "the victim."
- May I respectfully advise Mr. Masnick that he should count to ten next time before blogging a quick post coming to Google's defense, when so many users are legitimately complaining over a serial privacy disrespect problem that Google serially repeats.