Associated Press is reporting this morning that CNET news has been banned by Google for a year. Their offense? “Google told News.com, the online tech news service of CNET Networks Inc. (CNET), last week that it would not speak to any of its reporters for a year, according to News.com’s editor.” (from the AP story)
Apparently Google didn’t like a story focused on potential threats search engines pose to personal privacy.
To demonstrate the point, writer Elinor Mills googled CEO Eric E. Schmidt, and included a link to Schmidt’s home address, his net worth of $1.5 billion and noted that he has attended the Burning Man art festival and is an amateur pilot. Mills reported that it was all publicly available information and she got it all from Google itself!
This is silly. Getting mad at CNET for reporting something that everyone who has ever considered the matter understands completely is ridiculous. It isn’t like you can’t Google yourself and find out what’s known about you. If you haven’t spent a half hour doing it, you might try it. You might be surprised at what’s out there.
There is no such thing, and there never has been such a thing, as privacy. It is just easier now for the hoi polloi to access data on the elite, where before, it was the other way round.
Am I at all concerned that some process automation vendor might take the same tack if I say something they don’t like? No. And it should be obvious to everyone why I’m not. CONTROL is the voice of the enduser, not the vendors.
Your comments are welcome.