Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 27th May 2011 21:50 UTC, submitted by sawboss
Legal Ding ding ding ding - I think we have a record here. Launched yesterday, Google Wallet has already attracted a lawsuit. While patent lawsuits are teh shizzle these days, this lawsuit is a little different, so sadly I can't trot out my usual 'software patents bad' lines (aww). PayPal has sued Google over its Wallet service, claiming that one key former PayPal executive who accepted a job at Google took trade secrets with him.
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jabbotts
Member since:
2007-09-06

The same company that harvested wireless network traffic instead of simply recording MAC and SSID information.

A company who's business is selling data procured through it's various services; now your email, PIM, phone calling and financial transactions can all be analyzed together for a more complete data set sold off to every marketing and gov agency that comes knocking.

A US company who will quickly bend over the table and spread wide for any official looking person in a suit waving a government letterhead rather than a legally justified warrant. "what? It's for the War on Whale Extinction? Shit. How much of our database do you need? Did you bring some DVDs?"

And, on an individual level, statistically some of the individual staff employed by Google will abuse there access to information.

I don't really trust either company as the primary purpose of both is to manufacture profits for shareholders with whatever benefit they provide to me being a bi-product of the manufacturing process. At least with PayPal, there is some small separation between Google's mega-database and my what few financial transactions I've used PayPal for.

Reply Parent Score: 3

molnarcs Member since:
2005-09-10

Now you either wear a tin foil hat or not. If you do, this link won't mean anything to you.

http://www.dataliberation.org/

And then they have their dashboard giving you full control of everything they have on you. Show which company has anything similar to that. They also have very clear policies. I know they collect contextual information to deliver targeted ads - and you know what, I prefer the non-intrusive (text based) ads they deliver, instead of purple banners trying to sell me bras at a discount in a store 5000 miles away. And if they don't scan emails for specific keywords, how do you propose to deliver relevant ads? Reading people's mind or what?

Yes, they made mistakes, but at least they were immediately cooperative with all investigations (wifi collection comes to mind). BTW, what's with that? I mean people love to ride that old horse, but essentially what they collected is PUBLICLY AVAILABLE - you broadcast your SSID, I drive by your house and see it on my phone. There isn't a single shred of evidence that they did or intended to do anything malicious with that information.

If the WIFI fiasco and the BUZZ is the only dirt you can dig up, I think they are doing fine. With facebook, for instance, you have ZERO control of your information. With GOOGLE, you can delete everything at a push of a few buttons. Now you can claim (tin foil hat on) that they don't really do it and they lie, but than we can't have an intelligent conversation, can we?

EDIT -> Forget to add - you said your data is sold to any marketing agency that comes knocking. WTF? That's facebook. In case of Google, they are the marketing agency. They don't need (indeed, it would be foolish) to sell your data to anyone, when it's the backbone of Google's success as a marketing company.

Edited 2011-05-29 16:20 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 2

jabbotts Member since:
2007-09-06

No tinfoil hat here. Just a healthy consideration of what information I hand over and when the benefits do not outweigh the service provided.

Sure, they provide the mighty dashboard but what's the data retention policy on what information you de-list (ie. "delete"). And you really think Google is not selling analysis to other marketing companies also?

The wifi indiscretion and the Buzz issue. How about Android; how much effort does it take to make use of the OS without feeding your information back up into Google's servers?

And this still does not address the primary questions:

- Why should one trust a corporation who's primary function is to manufacture profit? Exploitation of your information is just a CEO or market change away.

- Why should I rely on the Google provided services which I can easily provide through my own servers? Why involve a third party between me and my data?

Don't get me wrong; credit where due. Speaking out against Internet censorship is fantastic even if it is a tactic intended to benefit Google's commercial strategies.

I'm just saying that the default when dealing with companies this big should be skepticisms in general and minimal use of services when one must use them.

Reply Parent Score: 2