Feeds

Google snubs press in privacy fury

Adds CNET to Do Not Call list

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Google has thrown a hissy fit and blacklisted tech news site CNET's News.com - vowing not to provide quotes or statements to the site for a year.

"Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET News.com reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story," noted reporter Elinor Mills here.

The previous story, by the same reporter and published on July 14, drew on information largely gleaned from Google itself to note Google CEO Eric Schmidt's political affiliations and hobbies.

"Like so many other Google users, his virtual life has been meticulously recorded," wrote Mills. Since Schmidt is on the public record with a promise to build "a Google that knows more about you", he's hardly in a position to complain when his company is demonstrated to be functioning as designed.

"Shouldn't he resign if he feels that searching through Google's index is so evil?" wrote one correspondent to Dave Farber's IP mailing list.

The move is likely to backfire on two counts. Google isn't alone in amassing one of the world's largest databases of personal information and behavior - as Yahoo! and Microsoft have too. But the retaliation against the news site is only likely to focus more attention to Google's often contemptuous attitude to press and analyst scrutiny (on its first ever financial analyst day the company offered its chef, but not its CFO) and puts its privacy issues firmly in the spotlight.

Secondly, Google's official PR statements typically fall into two categories: the useless and the downright misleading. (We discovered that the hard way, when a promise to deliver a written news policy for its Google News aggregator made one Friday had vaporized by the following Monday; to this day Google has never made a public policy statement of its criteria for including sources in Google News).

By dispensing with the obligatory Google spin, CNET may be emboldened to take an even more critical look at the company.

There are many employees at Google who take its responsibilities as one of the world's largest databases of personal information and behavior seriously. But those responsibilities don't appear to be shared by their management. ®

Related stories

Search pioneers join Yahoo! - but is the web beyond search?
Google seeks RSS ad patent
MS nixes Google hire
Google puts the brake on Web Accelerator
Google AutoLink: enemy of the people?
Google to Wall St: our CFO couldn't make it. So meet the Chef
Google News' chief robot speaks out
Gmail accounts 'wide open to exploit' - report
Google finally fixes Desktop security vuln
Google's Gmail: spook heaven?
Google's Ethics Committee revealed
Google values its own privacy. How does it value yours?
PR rules, OK? Google ducks promised news policy pledge

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Scrapping the Human Rights Act: What about privacy and freedom of expression?
Justice minister's attack to destroy ability to challenge state
WHY did Sunday Mirror stoop to slurping selfies for smut sting?
Tabloid splashes, MP resigns - but there's a BIG copyright issue here
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
EU to accuse Ireland of giving Apple an overly peachy tax deal – report
Probe expected to say single-digit rate was unlawful
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Hey Brit taxpayers. You just spent £4m on Central London ‘innovation playground’
Catapult me a Mojito, I feel an Digital Innovation coming on
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
EU probes Google’s Android omerta again: Talk now, or else
Spill those Android secrets, or we’ll fine you
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.