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Friday, September 12, 2008


Last week Google released its very own web browser named Chrome, which it claims runs better than other browsers. But privacy hawks fear it may only out-perform when it comes to collecting personal data. Google's Marissa Mayer says the company has changed procedures in light of concerns.

Comments [4]

Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

I remember thinking, as early as the '70s, that just because we hang up a (land-line) telephone, it doesn't assure that the microphone couldn't be used to eavesdrop. Similarly, I've never doubted that the on-line world's so-called privacy policies were worth the cathode rays with which they are projected. (The phrase "the paper on which they are printed” is a useless anachronism, now.)

So, I never abandoned Yahoo, despite its China policy, nor did switch to Firefox as a web browser. If some entity wants to spy on me, it will happen despite any assurances to the contrary.

Sep. 19 2008 02:01 AM
jay karoll from Houston, Texas

I was appalled by the uninformed and puffy interview. Marissa Mayer was permitted to obfuscate in response to direct questions and, in the end, constructed an alternate reality where Google is at once aware of and sensitive to users' privacy concerns, but doesn't trust a.) users to manage such privacy; or b.) its own staff to create tutorials that avoid the confusion Mayer bemoans.

Often a brilliant program, On The Media failed miserably when it came to research and intelligent questions. Nothing was asked about Google's longstanding practice of tracking search histories of those with Google/Gmail accounts. A provocative followup to the scenario of federal requests for search histories might have been how Google responds today to FBI requests (which were rejected by the firm in 2004). How Mayer reconciles deleting search history and privacy in the United States with Google's content censorship in China also bears asking.

Instead, we are treated to Mayer giving what amounts to an audio press release trumpeting Google's tepid commitment to delete search histories. Not so brilliant, my friends. Journalism deserves better.

Sep. 17 2008 01:09 PM
Chris Allen from Omaha, NE

You let Ms. Mayer off too easily. I thought for a moment you would dog her with questions about letting people set their own level of disclosure until she admitted it was a good idea, but then she slid away and you let her. Ms. Mayer said allowing people to set their own level would cause confusion among users and would ultimately lead to some people setting their permission level higher than they wanted to, so Google is protecting them. This is like saying a hardware store should not sell circular saws because some people don't know how to safely use them. Obviously Google is taking away the right of all people -- including those who DO know how to use such a feature, to "protect" those who don't. It is an often-used diversion tactic, and you fell for it.

Sep. 16 2008 11:20 AM
D. A. Smith from Charleston, South Carolina

This Mayer woman needs to listen to herself and realize it's HER privacy under threat too. Ask her to "Google Search" Ethel Rosenberg...

Sep. 14 2008 07:48 AM

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