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Big Brother Google?

Google doesn’t merely point users to existing information on the Web; it also collects information that it doesn’t share about its users’ behavior. That gives Google a degree of power that both the company itself and governments around the world could readily abuse.

MOSCOW – “Google violates its ‘don’t be evil’ motto.” To Google’s credit, if you Google that sentence, you can find reference to a debate on that claim that I took part in recently.

As it happens, I have a complex relationship with Google. I have fed at its trough many times – as a personal guest; as an advisory board member of Stop Badware, an NGO it sponsors; and as a speaker at its events. I also sit on the board of 23andMe, co-founded by the wife of Google co-founder Sergey Brin. 

But I also sit on the boards of Yandex in Russia, one of a small number of companies around the world who beat Google in their local markets, and of WPP, a worldwide advertising/marketing company famous for its rivalry with Google. Finally, I’m suspicious of concentrations of power of any kind.

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