Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Google: Evil or not?

We all know Microsoft is evil. At least we've been told that so many times, we almost believe it. Similarly, Google was the good guy. The anti-Microsoft, the little guy that got big but still cared about the users and their privacy.

Well, disabuse your mind of that notion. Google is evil. At least on their way to being evil. Why? Read these 2 blog items:

consumerist.com
smoking gun

The gist of it: Google has been taking pictures of people's homes (without notice) and using it in its "Streets View". It's one thing to take pictures of public spaces but to drive into a private driveway, take high-rez pictures of private property, use it to make money and potentially expose the owners of the properties to burglary...if that's not evil, what is?

Case #2: Google keeps a history of your search activity. For a looong time.

Case #3: Google released "Google Search" and didn't even disclose that the software is really a webserver in disguise. What's the harm? Now your computer is exposed to potentially dangerous incoming traffic. Plus, running Google search renders your computer to any and all vulnerabilities in the webserver.

Case #4: Very similar practice to what Microsoft does. First it was simply search, then gmail, then google videos, then google checkout, then google talk, then orkut. Now they are out with something called "AppEngine" that's gonna compete with Amazon's S3 cloud computing.

While am not saying Google is wrong is expanding their empire, it's just ironic to me that this is exactly the kind of practice for which Microsoft is wildly criticize.