Thursday, June 02, 2005


Is Google Evil?

We all use Google, and we all love it right? The dorky name, the cheeky logo, that simple clean interface. Google has had remarkable press over the years and has somehow developed an image as being a sort of undergraduate comp-sci project that just kept growing and has at its core an idealistic vision and wishes us to all share in it.

According to Google Watch however, there’s a whole lot going on behind the scenes in Google that you should at least be aware of: Here’s a few things for starters.

  1. The Google search results are now being corrupted and manipulated by a whole tribe of web-spammers, and bloggers who’ve figured out how to scam the game.
  2. Google records all of your web searches, your IP address, and links it back to you with a cookie that doesn’t expire for a long time.
  3. The Google toolbar’s Autolink feature has the capability to modify web pages as you view them, and insert links that the writer of the web page didn’t insert. It can direct a reader away from your website (if you’re a business) and to another website who has preferential deals with Google.
  4. Google new Gmail is being offered up as the solution to your email management problem. 1Gig of space just for you. The downside according to Google watch is that Google will trawl and index all your mail (they never really delete anything, even if you think you have), and the potential for abuse is staggering if you consider that they can cross-index all this old email and the email addresses and the email content.

A nice summary can be found here.

It could be paranoia, and maybe it is at this point in time, but will it always be so?

Anyway I hope that’s made your day. Happy googling.

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