[LINK] Google's WiFi bungle

Stilgherrian stil at stilgherrian.com
Wed May 19 07:46:53 AEST 2010

On 19/05/2010, at 7:38 AM, Richard Chirgwin wrote:
> For mine, the flaw is that Google didn't "discover" and then own up to 
> the problem. The company only acted when challenged - and its response 
> was denial followed by apology.

This bit I'd missed. It wasn't framed that way in the story I first read, and I didn't dig too deeply once the discussion on Link descended into flame-link stuff. This does change my view a bit.

> Google does not respect privacy: its habitual stance is to do exactly 
> what it wants, then adopt a belligerent "you can't stop us" stance. This 
> probably feeds a public psychology tending to paranoia, since the only 
> way to stop Google is to get in its way loudly and frequently. And that 
> kind of undermines its apology - it gives the world this "we respect 
> privacy" guff when everyone already knows it doesn't.

True enough. There's also an element of "Hey, it would be really cool if we did X!" at Google, thinking of the possibilities of making some useful too, without thinking of the broader implications. Perhaps this is the result of people working in self-referential "campuses" where the bulk of their conversations are with like-minded folks.


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