Friday, February 12, 2010

I've Lost Top Billing

But it was time, and this was important.

For a long, long time, this was the top post if you searched "fuck you google". It was a response to Google Maps pinpointing a location in Virginia when you searched "Maryland" (they've fixed the problem).

This post, about Google's new "Buzz" product, at Fugitivus is also titled "Fuck you, Google". Now I found Buzz a mix of perplexing and annoying, so I pretty quickly turned it off. But what was a minor aggravation for me, was a serious threat to her, as it essentially involuntarily passed on private (or semi-private) data towards people that the author might not have wanted to see it. Like her abusive ex-husband. Or her abusive ex-husband's friends. Or creepy blog-stalkers. To be sure, Google has now taken steps to mitigate the damage, but not all of the harm can be put back in the box.

Her post is now tops on the "fuck you google" search. And quite deserved. For as incensed as I may get over disrespect towards my home state, being reckless with the lives of one's customers is clearly a leap and bound beyond that. Privacy on the internet is nothing to be trifled with -- you don't know why someone chooses to hide or reveal what they do. Google wasn't thinking, and while I'd like to say they paid the price, they really didn't. Some of their most vulnerable customers did.

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