Is this the end of the “Do no Evil” era for Google?

September 5, 2008

yesterday a coleague asked me what if I thought Microsoft is worried about Chrome. My answer was that I think Microsoft is paranoid of anything that Google does, that new browsers are much less of a threat for Microsoft than in the Netscape era when the internet threatened to make desktop-OS platforms irrelevant, and that Google sometimes seems to be playing blindfolded basketball.

But then I thought – the people who should be worried are the users. Google already collects incredible ammounts of information for each individual because of our reliance on search, and they own an incredible ammount of intelligence about the aggregate searches of the population in general. With Chrome, Google will get even more information about everything you do online beyond what you search for. Don’t be mistaken – Google is not a charity and is not investing in Chrome just to help advance the internet.

In fact, I was surprised to learn the license agreement for Chrome gives google absolute ownership of anything you create, post or submit via the browser.

By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. “

With the paranoia going on around privacy, I am surprised Google can get away with something like this and that people have not paid more attention to the issue. Google started with a mission to index the world’s information. Now they want to own the world’s information. scary.


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