22 November 2006

Google 2.0 and its growing power [The Mercury News]

Be the first to share
putting people first
by experientia

Google
The Mercury News, a California newspaper, has published a long article by staff writer Elise Ackerman about Google 2.0 and its growing power. Some reflections in the article really caught my attention:

Not everyone is comfortable with Google’s growing power. “Google has this imperial digital ambition that frightens me,” said Jeffrey Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit focused on maintaining media diversity and openness. […]

Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive, said he is concerned that Google 2.0 could represent the first glimpse of a future dominated by a handful of giant companies whose control over vast computer networks lets them broker both digital advertising and access to digital content, possibly controlling what information and which ads users can easily locate online. […]

“What I believe is threatening to people in many fields is that we will lose the independent distribution model of the Web,” said Kahle. “That would be a horrible waste of 20 years of promising developments.” […]

For some critics, the most worrisome aspect of Google’s transformation is how it has begun to use the copious personal data it collects from users to deliver personally customized responses.

The old Google did not target advertisements to individuals. Instead it analyzed words typed into its search box to determine what ads might be most relevant.

The new Google tracks individuals who are logged into their Google accounts, noting, for example, which search results draw their attention and which ads receive their clicks.

Google accounts are required to use Google’s free online productivity applications, including Gmail, the Google calendar, Google docs and the Google notebook, as well as other services.

Chester said consumers are not prepared to deal with the kind of sophisticated data collecting and data mining that has become routine for Google, Microsoft and Yahoo, as well as for smaller Internet companies. Earlier this month, the Center for Digital Democracy filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, requesting an investigation into online marketing and data collection practices.

The Mercury News wrote about the data collection practices of Internet giants in a special report published in August that found the companies’ privacy policies did not protect personal data from disclosure under certain circumstances.

“I don’t think one can trust Google, and I think the direction that Google is going in should send civil-liberty chills and privacy chills throughout the user community,” Chester said. “Google 2.0 is simply a 21st-century version of one of the media giants.”

Read full story

Be the first to share
Related Article
2 March 2015
Human-centered design should be a CMO’s best friend
The average tenure of a CMO is just 45 months, according to a recent study released by executive recruiting firm Spencer Stuart. Fortunately, for CMOs in need of help, there's an elegant and simplistic process called …
Related Article
2 March 2015
Ethnographic research increasingly informing business strategy
Corporate ethnography isn’t just for innovation anymore. It’s central to gaining a full understanding of your customers and the business itself, writes Ken Anderson, anthropologist at Intel Research, in the Harvard Business Review. The ethnographic …
Related Article
24 February 2015
5 imperatives of user experience design in mobile health technology
David Lee Scher, MD - Owner & Director, DLS Healthcare Consulting discusses what he thinks are five important issues in achieving the ideal mobile technology user experience, specifically for those technologies hoping to enter the …
Related Article
24 February 2015
“I’m divorcing my Nest thermostat”
Kara Pernice, the Managing Director at the Nielsen Norman Group, was a proud early adopter of the unique, cool, and pretty Nest device: "It helped me save energy, and communicated to me. But things went …
Related Article
20 February 2015
[White paper] Digital assurance: Reaching a seamless customer experience
Digital Assurance: Reaching a Seamless Customer Experience by Shawndra Hill (Wharton professor of operations and information management) and Kumudha Sridharan (vice president and global head of testing services at Wipro Technologies) White paper produced by Knowledge@Wharton and …
Related Article
31 January 2015
The last-mile problem: How data science and behavioral science can work together
Analytics is typically discussed in terms of computer technology, machine learning algorithms, and big data. Behavioral nudges, on the other hand, concern human psychology. What do they have in common? Quite a bit, says James …
Related Article
31 January 2015
The startup “that helps companies fix their user experience problems”
Davey Alba explains in Wired how UserTesting runs an online panel of over 1 million testers—volunteers mostly—who can test products and other company materials on demand. : "The company has developed a way for businesses to …
Related Article
31 January 2015
The rise of the Chief Behavioral Officer
After the Chief Experience Officer, the new trendy job title from corporate America is the Chief Behavioral Officer: "Dan Egan of the automated investing service Betterment estimates that between 10 and 20 Fortune 500 companies have …

We are an international experience design consultancy helping companies and organisations to innovate their products, services and processes by putting people and their experiences first.

1 January 2015
Happy Playful New Year
21 December 2014
Experientia’s Twitter feed live

Experientia has now its own Twitter feed. Four months of Putting People First posts and other links have already been uploaded. If you followed Experientia on Twitter through the feed of its CEO, Mark Vanderbeeken, make sure to now also follow the company (but don’t unfollow Mark, who will keep on tweeting away). And while […]

19 December 2014
Putting People First blog redesigned

Experientia’s Putting People First blog has been redesigned. It is now entirely responsive, allows for easier browsing, searching, and filtering, and features larger images on the posts. The entire history of posts remains accessible as before. We are still tweaking things and welcome any feedback.

27 November 2014
Why the world needs anthropologists – an update

Why the world needs anthropologists – Coming out of the ivory tower Location: Padua, Italy, Centro Culturale Altinate/San Gaetano Date and time: Friday, 5 December 2014, 13:00 – 18:00 Padua, Italy, 5 December 2014 – The second edition of the international symposium of applied anthropologists attempts to erase the boundary between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ anthropology, […]

30 October 2014
The BancoSmart ATM by Experientia for UniCredit selected for ADI Design Index

Last year Experientia designed the interface of an ATM of UniCredit, a major Italian bank. The interface is now rolled out across the bank’s ATMs in Italy, to great satisfaction of the bank and the customers alike, since interaction speed is much faster and error rates went down dramatically. Last year UniCredit and Experientia also […]

29 October 2014
Experientia at EPIC: UX transforming a financial institution

In September 2014 Experientia gave a presentation on working as UX professionals with financial institutions at the EPIC conference in New York. The paper is now available on the EPIC site in HTML and PDF versions (free registration req’d). Abstract Application of a user-centered approach rooted in ethnographic methodologies facilitates a major European bank’s transition […]

See all articles