Digital Democracy Director Slams Google’s Greed

    October 8, 2007

At the moment, Google’s stock is slightly above $600, and the company has a market cap of $187.42 billion.  Given this evidence, it would be hard to say that Google doesn’t like money.  But one onlooker has called the search giant greedy and wonders if it will “ruin the Internet.”

Digital Democracy Director Slams Google's Greed
Digital Democracy Director Slams Google’s Greed

Jeffrey Chester, the onlooker in question, has some impressive credentials, and works as the Center for Digital Democracy’s executive director.  So when he states, “Google’s new marketing strategy poses a huge threat to our privacy and democratic aspirations for the Internet,” the rest of his argument is worth reading.

Chester begins by listing ways in which Google has come to dominate various markets.  YouTube, AdSense, Gmail, not to mention the main search engine – the Mountain View’s products are simply omnipresent online.  As online media overtakes print – we’ve seen data indicating that a shift in the balance will occur by 2011 – Google will grow even more powerful.

Which leads Chester to ask, “Do we want a ubiquitous data collection system where private repositories of sensitive information can be sold to the highest commercial bidder — or turned over to the state for its own political interests?”  Even assuming that Larry Page, Sergey Brin, and Eric Schmidt stick to the “do no evil” way of business, their successors might not.

In related news, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer stated that Google reads users’ emails.