Posted April 14, 2008 10:17 am by with 12 comments

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I know that every reader of Marketing Pilgrim will agree with the ethics of Google’s decision to share account information of 3,261 suspected pedophiles, with Brazilian authorities. If you’re an innocent user of Google’s Orkut, you have nothing to fear. If you are guilty, then you certainly don’t deserve any privacy protection from Google.

OK, now let’s extract the heinous nature of the crime from Google’s decision.

Google just handed over private information of more than 3,000 individuals, without giving those individuals the opportunity to fight the court ruling.

This isn’t anything new. If you use Google, you (should) know that the company’s privacy policy means your rights go out the window, once a court rules the search engine must hand over your data. So, it’s pretty amazing that Google’s able to convince individuals, and companies of all sizes, to let it handle everything from email to word documents.

When you hand the keys of your company to Google, you basically give up your right to fight for the privacy of your information. The decision to fight a court order is no longer in your hands. Those emails you thought were deleted, are probably stored on a Google server somewhere. That memo showing the back-dating of stock options? That’s likely stored too.

The "big brother" we all feared didn’t turn out to be the government, after all. Nope. At this rate, Google will indeed become our big brother–but one that we seem happy to trust without much question.

If you’ve handed the keys to Google, that tingling sensation you’re feeling is the hairs standing on the back of your neck.

  • I think it is right decision!

  • Andy, I think it’s great that they handed over information of pedophiles but it does make me wonder what other information they are giving out for whatever reason. Everyone cheers because these pedophiles should be “outed” but who’s going to cheer when Google hands out your private information just because someone wanted to buy it. With more buzz about personal branding, and online identity, it’s very nerveracking on where your personal information actually ends up. ~Steve

  • I agree with Seomotion. Google helping fight crime… cool!

  • “When you hand the keys of your company to Google, you basically give up your right to fight for the privacy of your information.”

    I couldn’t have said it better myself, yet people continue to give into the Googlemonster for slight ease of use.

  • Not sure how different this is from having the authorities obtain a warrant to search your house. You don’t really have a choice.

    I have been on the other side of internet crime before. I am very glad Google had this clause and acted as “big brother” to help me.

  • Saw your tweet on Twitter and came to read the post. While I approve of pedophiles being tracked down, I too have noticed the irony that “Big Brother” has turned out to be private. Well, the US is privatizing public schools, prisons, you name it, so it goes with the times.

    I don’t have G seach on my computer though I am sure I would love it. I don’t have their toolbar either. But I do use gmail because the ease of use in my particular situation is tremendous. I thought long and hard, and decided that there really is nothing in my emails that would come back to haunt me later.

  • Hard to argue against catching pedophiles.

    Still there’s a lot for all of us to consider. What constituted suspicion? Is an accusation enough to hand over the data? Was there something more?

    I applaud both sides attempts to catch pedophiles, but I still want certain protections in place before our private data is given out.

  • Sticky subject. I can’t fault with Google for using or abusing information we give them. They’re in it for the profit, after all. Perhaps we should all be more mindful about what information we give Google / any other search engine, OS or platform.

  • Hmmmm, big baaad google. They also turned information on chinese dissidents over to that government. Don’t want to know what happened to those poor people! The onus is on oneself to be circumspect as to what information gets made available in the public domain.

  • AMC

    Google is a private company for cryin’ out loud! They can do with their information whatever they want. The public has no constitutional right to have Google protect them or their privacy. If you don’t like it, don’t Google. You have a choice.

  • jono

    yes, a bit of paedophile hysteria is a great rationale for trimming privacy protection and other rights. i’m surprised the fascist police state didn’t think of it centuries ago.

    oh well. can’t be helped. to late to do much now.. oh, hello mr hitler. can i get you a drink?

  • No one likes pedophiles or terrorists. That is why they are always used as justification for intruding on everyone’s privacy.

    AMC is right. Using Google is a choice. I use the Sub Rosa email service where the privacy policy is in my favor rather than the favor of any corporation or government.

    Rick’s last blog post..Katzman’s Cinema Komments # 13?4/13/08