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Sunday, May 14, 2006

Why We Trust Google (German Audio)

A German podcast discusses the question, why do we trust Google more than Microsoft? (Vier Nasen tanken Super is a new German podcast show by Mario Sixtus, Heiko Hebig, Nico Lumma and Sebastian Keil.)

Mario Sixtus argues people who believe in Google do so out of religious reasons, not out of knowing the facts:

You got to have a certain level of trust to use a web service, but the level of advance trust we put in Google is incredibly high. I’m not sure another company could just come and say: I read your emails; I’m watching your surfing behavior; I’m checking where you click and what you search for... and I’ll save all that data till 2038 (’cause that’s how long-lived the cookie is). And just what I’ll do with all that data is none of your business. And maybe I’ll pass on all of it to the US government, ’cause within the scope of Patriot Act I’m obliged to hand out all that data without even telling you.

If Google would publicly proclaim all that, no one would continue to use their services, yet all of it is true. We go and feed Google all kinds of data and profiles and we’re even feeling all good about it, ’cause Google isn’t evil. Google went forth and created the Star-Wars-compatible motto “Don’t be evil” – a motto which should be rephrased to “Don’t evil be,” Yoda-style – and all of a sudden, all Star Wars geeks think they’re using the light side of the force, and the dark side of the force must be somewhere else.


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