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Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Google: We Share Many of Moore’s Concerns

“While many companies claim to put their customers first, few are able to resist the temptation to make small sacrifices to increase shareholder value. Google has steadfastly refused to make any change that does not offer a benefit to the users who come to the site”
- Google: Our philosophy

“Google’s ad programs are founded on the same premise that has made Google search the fastest and most effective way to find information on the Internet: Focus on the user and all else will follow.”
- Google: Why search advertising works


Google posted another reply to the health care blog post issue (where a Google employee on Friday criticized Google’s Sicko to then pitch reputation management ads to the health industry, angering many people):

Our internal review of the piece before publication failed to recognize that readers would – properly, but incorrectly – impute the criticisms as reflecting Google’s official position. We blew it.

In fact, Google does share many of the concerns that Mr. Moore expresses about the cost and availability of health care in America. Indeed, we think these issues are sufficiently important that we invited our employees to attend his film (nearly 1,000 people did so). We believe that it will fall to many entities – businesses, government, educational institutions, individuals – to work together to solve the current system’s shortcomings. This is one reason we’re deploying our technology and our expertise with the hope of improving health system information for everyone who is or will become a patient.

One of the posts Google’s Missy Krasner now links to is this by Adam Bosworth, who says:

I saw firsthand how challenged the health care system was in supporting caregivers and communicating between different medical organizations.

I think Google has finally managed to strike the right tone on this issue, and that for their own sake they should now take the time to reflect on how the setup of their internal ad sales departments risks affecting their supposed neutrality as data hoarder. Without trust in the company, users will be more likely to take their data elsewhere – perhaps not to a company they consider innocent, but to one they consider to have made the least number of false promises.


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