Writing for the Financial Times, Evgeny Morozov pretty much sums up to concerns—and potential legal violations— being lobbied at the tech giant. For some, Google’s ability to forecast our thoughts “may be a very enticing future,” writes Morozov. But:
For many this may be a very enticing future. We can have it, but we must also find a way to know – in great detail, not just in summary form – what happens to our data once we share it with Google, and to retain some control over what it can track and for how long.
Here’s a round up stories that might drive Morozov’s point home.
Google may have run an illegal “Mapathon” in India back in February and March. According to Pakistan’s Dawn, “Google invited users to help ‘create better maps for India’ by adding knowledge of their neighborhoods and promised the top 1,000 mappers prizes of tablets, smartphones and gift vouchers.” Survey of India, a government agency charged with surveys and mapping, filed a report with police claiming the contest may have illegally gathered “sensitive” information, undermining national security.
Broken privacy laws?
Roll out “the cannons”
Have you found yourself using this “word” yet: ungoogleable? You know, for those fleeting moments in life when you cannot answer a question by plugging it into Google? As IceNews reports, the Swedish Academy is taking flak from Google for trying to add the word to their annual list of new buzzwords after realizing so many Swedes were using the term. It seems Google didn’t have a problem with the concept per se, just the fine print in the definition itself: “term not found using internet search engines.”
The word Google is not mentioned in that definition, so Google strongly objects.
For now the Swedish Academy is dropping the word. But when asked if it still might include the word in the Swedish lexicon, one Academy official basically said “yes.” He added: “Then let Google roll out its cannons, because we have cannons too.”