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My friends at Google: it is time to return to not being evil


tao

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A monopoly both in search and advertising, Google, unfortunately, shows that they are not able to resist the misuse of power.

 

I have known Google longer than most. At Opera, we were the first to add their search into the browser interface, enabling it directly from the search box and the address field. At that time, Google was an up-and-coming geeky company. I remember vividly meeting with Google’s co-founder Larry Page, his relaxed dress code and his love for the Danger device, which he played with throughout our meeting. Later, I met with the other co-founder of Google, Sergey Brin, and got positive vibes. My first impression of Google was that it was a likeable company.

 

Our cooperation with Google was a good one. Integrating their search into Opera helped us deliver a better service to our users and generated revenue that paid the bills. We helped Google grow, along with others that followed in our footsteps and integrated Google search into their browsers.

 

However, then things changed. Google increased their proximity with the Mozilla foundation. They also introduced new services such as Google Docs. These services were great, gained quick popularity, but also exposed the darker side of Google. Not only were these services made to be incompatible with Opera, but also encouraged users to switch their browsers. I brought this up with Sergey Brin, in vain. For millions of Opera users to be able to access these services, we had to hide our browser’s identity. The browser sniffing situation only worsened after Google started building their own browser, Chrome.

 

Now, we are making the Vivaldi browser. It is based on Chromium, an open-source project, led by Google and built on WebKit and KHTML. Using Google’s services should not call for any issues, but sadly, the reality is different. We still have to hide our identity when visiting services such as Google Docs.

 

And now things have hit a new low.

 

As the biggest online advertising company in the world, Google is often the first choice for businesses that want to promote their products or services on the Internet. Being excluded from using Google AdWords could be a major problem, especially for digital companies.

 

Recently, our Google AdWords campaigns were suspended without warning. This was the second time that I have encountered this situation. This time, however, timing spoke volumes.

 

I had several interviews where I voiced concerns about the data gathering and ad targeting practices – in particular, those of Google and Facebook. They collect and aggregate far too much personal information from their users. I see this as a very serious, democracy-threatening problem, as the vast targeting opportunities offered by Google and Facebook are not only good for very targeted marketing, but also for tailored propaganda. The idea of the Internet turning into a battlefield of propaganda is very far away from the ideal.

 

Two days after my thoughts were published in an article by Wired, we found out that all the campaigns under our Google AdWords account were suspended – without prior warning. Was this just a coincidence? Or was it deliberate, a way of sending us a message?

When we reached out to Google to resolve the issue, we got a clarification masqueraded in the form of vague terms and conditions, some of which, they admitted themselves, were not a “hard” requirement. In exchange for being reinstated in Google’s ad network, their in-house specialists dictated how we should arrange content on our own website and how we should communicate information to our users.

 

We made effort to understand their explanations and to work with them on their various unreasonable demands (some of which they don’t follow themselves, by the way). After almost three months of back-and-forth, the suspension to our account has been lifted, but only when we bent to their requirements.

 

A monopoly both in search and advertising, Google, unfortunately, shows that they are not able to resist the misuse of power. I am saddened by this makeover of a geeky, positive company into the bully they are in 2017. I feel blocking competitors on thin reasoning lends credence to claims of their anti-competitive practices. It is also fair to say that Google is now in a position where regulation is needed. I sincerely hope that they’ll get back to the straight and narrow.

 

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While what the author is trying to suggest here is kind of different. I have another example of Google's practices. Trying opening Google and Google Images on Firefox Android and Chrome Android. Notice how it's different in minor, yet helpful things.

 

Now, changing the user agent in Firefox Android shows that it does have a problem loading the page properly in the Chrome Android's user agent, but it's likely that Google never bothered to look into it nor Google asked Mozilla to look into it. To add to that, Google could still add small features that would not cause the page from slowing in Firefox Android, but it does not even do that.

 

Here is an article saying the same about it.

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Don't be evil was when they 1st started out in 2000 this is before they had Android or Google Chrome .. I done been on the internet for years by the time I knew who Google was I started using there search in like 2006 it was great but they being doing evil along time now it's billions of dollars  too late too tell them too change  now . Thats not there motto anymore  since 2015 It's  Do the right thing.

 

Quote

Regarding privacy concerns with the technology corporation Google, Google's privacy change (March 1, 2012) enables the company to share data across a wide variety of services.These embedded services include millions of third-party websites that use Adsense and Analytics. The policy was widely criticized for creating an environment that discourages Internet-innovation by making Internet users more fearful and wary of what they put online.

Around December 2009, after privacy concerns were raised, Google's CEO Eric Schmidt declared: "If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place. If you really need that kind of privacy, the reality is that search engines—including Google—do retain this information for some time and it's important, for example, that we are all subject in the United States to the Patriot Act and it is possible that all that information could be made available to the authorities."

Privacy International has raised concerns regarding the dangers and privacy implications of having a centrally located, widely popular data warehouse of millions of Internet users' searches, and how under controversial existing U.S. law, Google can be forced to hand over all such information to the U.S. government. In its 2007 Consultation Report, Privacy International ranked Google as "Hostile to Privacy", its lowest rating on their report, making Google the only company in the list to receive that ranking.

At the Techonomy conference in 2010, Eric Schmidt predicted that "true transparency and no anonymity" is the path to take for the internet: "In a world of asynchronous threats it is too dangerous for there not to be some way to identify you. We need a [verified] name service for people. Governments will demand it." He also said that, "If I look at enough of your messaging and your location, and use artificial intelligence, we can predict where you are going to go. Show us 14 photos of yourself and we can identify who you are. You think you don't have 14 photos of yourself on the internet? You've got Facebook photos!"

In the summer of 2016, Google quietly dropped its ban on personally-identifiable info in its DoubleClick ad service. Google's privacy policy was changed to state it "may" combine web-browsing records obtained through DoubleClick with what the company learns from the use of other Google services. While new users were automatically opted-in, existing users were asked if they wanted to opt-in, and it remains possible to opt-out by going to the "Activity controls" in the "My Account" page of a Google account. ProPublica states that "The practical result of the change is that the DoubleClick ads that follow people around on the web may now be customized to them based on your name and other information Google knows about you. It also means that Google could now, if it wished to, build a complete portrait of a user by name, based on everything they write in email, every website they visit and the searches they conduct." Google contacted ProPublica to correct the fact that it doesn't "currently" use Gmail keywords to target web ads

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Privacy_concerns_regarding_Google

I stop signing  into any of there services  when they changed there privacy policy in 2012  .  Sitting back talking about it is not going change them..  people has been doing  it for years and they just get worse..  You dont have too use all there services there are some  that you cant avoid that are used in websites  too make things work . But you can stop using  there search and use something else ,   Use a different browser  and use IPhone  instead  at lest Apple had the guts  too stand up for you're   privacy in court . Use a non Google  email etc. Hit em were it hurts  right in the money belt, and dont do it because  you have too.. do it  because it's the right thing too do.. do it too stand up for you're rights.

 

People who use Google 24/7 and sit back and complain  about them are no better than there master Google  because they are just enabling Google too keep all there power and are causing there own problems.  Lol fussing because Google is giving  them a hard way too go and  blocking them from using there services  that Google owns  want change the fact they do  it .  They caught some sites using there  services  before  and made it so  hard on them they had too shut down. And this was years ago . It's  just like that Startpage  i dont trust them they give you're data over too Google in order  too use it. And here not long ago  they ban Disconnect  for using  there search api they want  data in return for using there services on you're website  or software. :P

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