www. O S N E W S .com
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
Google: it is time to return to not being evil
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-09-05 11:08:30
Jon von Tetzchner, CEO of Vivalvi (and former CEO of Opera):

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?

Large technology companies have an immense amount of control over and influence on our society, far more than they - or anyone else, for that matter - care to admit. We're way past the point where governments should step in and start to correct this dangerous situation. It's time for another breakup of the Bell System. It's time we, as society, take a long, hard look at corporations - in tech and elsewhere - and ask ourselves if we really want to be subject to the control of organisations we effectively have no democratic control over.

I'm not a proponent of nationalisation, but I am a proponent of breaking up Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Microsoft, and possibly others (I'm sticking to technology for now) to severely limit their power and influence. The products and services these companies create have become too important and too vital to the functioning of our society, and they should be treated as such.

It wouldn't be the first time we, as society, decide a certain product has become too vital to leave in corporations' unrestricted hands.

 Email a friend - Printer friendly - Related stories
.
Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-40 -- 41-42
.
RE[4]: Comment by TheCovvboyOnline
By Lennie on 2017-09-06 12:47:38
MAC-addresses are not transmitted by IPv4 from outside the LAN to the Internet (web,dns,mail,etc)server. That is all I'm saying.
Permalink - Score: 4
.
RE[5]: Comment by TheCovvboyOnline
By Morgan on 2017-09-06 14:21:54
Fair enough, my point was that it's one of the many identifiers Google uses to track people even if they don't use Google's services directly, and I should have made that more clear in my first post.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE: Don't make a really successful company
By M.Onty on 2017-09-06 16:15:38
The lesson is; become a really successful company so you bud new companies.

Its really not the end of the world for companies to be split up.

Their shareholders could still buy into or automatically retain shares in the new entity. Splitting up companies isn't seizing assets after all. Employees keep their jobs, only with a different entity. Customers are moved over and get their bills/emails with different letter headings.

The important thing is separate boards, management, legal responsibility and so on, so they don't act as a homogeneous whole.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
Comment by M.Onty
By M.Onty on 2017-09-06 16:59:21
My worry is the accumulated information on a quarter or more of the population of the planet (and growing). Facebook alone knows more usable secrets than the sum every blackmailer and secret police in history. GCHQ have to bust a gut to get a fraction of what we give Facebook for free.

Its nice that these companies seem to be largely run by moderately nice people, or at least people who aren't actively interested in holding the world to ransom one individual at a time.

But the weight of that information and that possible power and that potential for control... Its inconceivable that it doesn't start to seep out, at some point.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE: Comment by M.Onty
By M.Onty on 2017-09-06 18:07:29
Oh, and by the way, I don't mean to sounds paranoid. I'm not suggesting Facebook will start blackmailing people. I mean being in that position of omniscience is unprecedented and I can't see it being healthy. Literary dystopian mega-corps know less about people than these moderately friendly Internet giants. It cannot but change the dynamic of company, State, consumer, citizen, and law.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE: Strange list
By JLF65 on 2017-09-07 01:08:27
It's telling who is and who ISN'T on that list. Long before you break up anyone on that list, you should break up major banks, telecom companies, and media conglomerates as they've done far more harm to the market and the people than all the companies on that list combined.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
Agreed
By Poseidon on 2017-09-07 02:15:18
Totally agreed Thom, it only makes common sense. There should be government ran local options on certain things, and search engines perhaps should be one, but then again USA is struggling with infrastructure so no hopes up there.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE[2]: Don't make a really successful company
By Kochise on 2017-09-07 09:15:10
The question is, why and what is the need for ? Look at Intel different business units (pro vs consumer) unable to keep up demand because unable to 'share' data between people, like if they were separate entities. It only make things more complex and some jobs redundant.
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE[5]: Comment by judgen
By The123king on 2017-09-07 12:47:00
I'd like some of that stuff your smoking. Must be pretty good stuff
Permalink - Score: 2
.
RE: What good would it do?
By Sabon on 2017-09-07 15:34:31
The key is that they would be legally banned from talking to each other. No deals at all between the companies.
Permalink - Score: 2

Read Comments 1-10 -- 11-20 -- 21-30 -- 31-40 -- 41-42

No new comments are allowed for stories older than 10 days.
This story is now archived.

.
News Features Interviews
BlogContact Editorials
.
WAP site - RSS feed
© OSNews LLC 1997-2007. All Rights Reserved.
The readers' comments are owned and a responsibility of whoever posted them.
Prefer the desktop version of OSNews?