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Google Secret Privacy Document Leaked 281

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the don't-look-there dept.
siliconbits writes "A confidential, seven-page Google Inc. 'vision statement' shows the information-age giant in a deep round of soul-searching over a basic question: How far should it go in profiting from its crown jewels—the vast trove of data it possesses about people's activities? Should it tap more of what it knows about Gmail users? Should it build a vast 'trading platform' for buying and selling Web data? Should it let people pay to not see any ads at all?"
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Google Secret Privacy Document Leaked

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  • and... (Score:5, Funny)

    by ae1294 (1547521) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:53AM (#33202970) Journal

    Should they be evil?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Thanshin (1188877)

      MWAHAHA?

    • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by digitalchinky (650880) <dtchky@gmail.com> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:02AM (#33203060)

      How evil are the shareholders? Will google become evil over the apparent need to make a few extra billion every year? Why is it not okay just to coast along when you're on a good thing already? How much money is enough?

      • Re:and... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by drewhk (1744562) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:08AM (#33203106)

        What shall we use to fill the empty spaces
        Where waves of hunger roar?
        Shall we set out across the sea of faces
        In search of more and more applause?

        Shall we buy a new guitar?
        Shall we drive a more powerful car?
        Shall we work straight through the night?

        Shall we get into fights?
        Leave the lights on?
        Drop bombs?
        Do tours of the east?
        contract diseases?
        Bury bones?
        Break up homes?
        Send flowers by phone?
        Take to drink?
        Go to shrinks?
        Give up meat?
        Rarely sleep?
        Keep people as pets?
        Train dogs?
        Race rats?
        Fill the attic with cash?
        Bury treasure?
        Store up leisure?
        But never relax at all

        With our backs to the wall.

        ---
        Eh, Pink Floyd deserves the sacrifice of some karma points...

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Hit the nail right on it's head. Google is a company, which is owned by its shareholders who solely want profit. Google is currently the most valuable brand in the world. By engaging in activities like selling users information, brand value will decline and so will profits (long term). However, not selling the information (short term) will make shareholders angry.

        The problem is that Google is a company, which is an anonymous entity in society solely created for the purpose of generating profit. If they chan

        • by bsDaemon (87307)

          If all the employees owned the company, then it'd be a cooperative and exist solely for their own benefit. And who's to say that Google employees wouldn't turn out to be just as evil without the direction from outside shareholders? Likely, they'd also turn out to be a bunch of greedy meatbags.

        • Re:and... (Score:5, Informative)

          by icebraining (1313345) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:03AM (#33203758) Homepage

          Google has two classes of shares: A and B.
          A are only worth 1 vote, B are worth 10.
          A are all publicly traded, B are all hold by founders, directors and executives.
          At least in 2007, 67% of the votes were owned by Eric Schmidt, Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

          So being publicly available does not mean they don't control the company anymore.

          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by metrometro (1092237)

            > being publicly available does not mean they don't control the company anymore.

            Minority shareholder lawsuit. Google it.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by icebraining (1313345)

              If other shareholders file a lawsuit and win, the situation might change. But right now they do control the company, regardless of being a publicly traded company and having a minority in shares, and this probably won't change as long as Google continues to raise their profits and reduce their operating expenses as they have been doing year after year [wired.com].

              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by metrometro (1092237)

                They don't have to win to have power. To use a slashdot-grade analogy, holding a gun to your head will influence your behavior even if I never pull the trigger.

                Google will lose money some day. And when it does, all kinds of Not Evil stuff will be under assault.

        • by digitig (1056110)

          Google is currently the most valuable brand in the world.

          Really? Last thing I heard it was second to Walmart [brandirectory.com].

          • Walmart? That brand is J-U-N-K, and no amount of smiling faces will change that fact. They're only in business because they sell cheaply, not because people think well of them.

            Brand is about what you mean to customers, not investors. That "brand" directory explains it's not about brand, but about market caps.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Elektroschock (659467)

          3 Aug 2010 - P-6552/2010
          Question for written answer to the Council under Rule 117
          MEP Stavros Lambrinidis (S&D)

          Council recommendations for combating ‘radicalisation’ in the EU

          The conclusions adopted at the Council meeting of 26 April recommend, as
          a means of combating ‘radicalisation’ within the EU, a mechanism for the
          collection of personal data for the purposes of political, religious and
          psychological profiling in order to assess the likelihood of recruitment
          by terrorist organisa

      • Problem... (Score:5, Informative)

        by mrops (927562) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:42AM (#33203512)

        In traditional sense, shares of a company XYZ were meant to buy you, well exactly, "shares" of the company. Company made X amount of dollars, you got to share profits in accordance with what you own in that company. Company grew, the shares were worth more, however the idea was you got to share the profit. Sure you could sell your shares, however the concept got turned head over heals when shares themselves became trading commodities, so unless prices of shares rise, they are not valued, it does not matter if company is making a fixed X amount of profit year over year.

        3 cheers for greed!

      • How many yachts can you surf behind, indeed. Problem is, the REAL mission of any public company is to make profits for its share holders and if such a concern doesn't show healthy and consistent growth every quarter the stock is considered "not great", or at least not as good as it could be, so companies are always looking to grow. Being a money maker, but a stagnant one, is almost as bad as being a cash burner.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by curunir (98273) *

        Why is it not okay just to coast along when you're on a good thing already?

        I think it's drilled into students in business school (if not earlier) that perpetual growth is the only reasonable goal.

        A few years ago, I had an opportunity to tag along with a graduate business school trip to Japan (a parent was the faculty chaperon for the trip.) On the trip, we met a diverse selection of Japanese CEOs and executives. One of the most interesting to me was the head of a Sake brewer who was running the business that had been in his family since the early 1600s. It wasn't really his respon

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Lumpy (12016)

      Or only Quasi-evil.

      Evil-lite.

      just a little evil?

      don't gnaw on your kitty.

    • by Wiarumas (919682)
      Google had the good vs evil scale when considering whether or not they should pull out of China. There is no doubt in my mind they have some sort of good vs evil or profit vs privacy scale on some executive's dashboard.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by bertoelcon (1557907) *
      Not being evil doesn't mean they have to be good. They could just be lawful neutral.
  • ...thanks to Adblock [mozilla.org]
    • by betterunixthanunix (980855) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:13AM (#33203154)
      My thoughts exactly, although Google would probably make quite a bit of money selling no-advertisements, if only because the majority of people are just not familiar with ad blocking. Reminds me of the various "remote desktop" packages that charge people for what is essentially a rebranded VNC.
      • by IBBoard (1128019) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:50AM (#33203612) Homepage

        All that they need to do on Google's pages is to move away from graphics and iFrames and on to embedded text. I could put adverts on my site very easily that AdBlock+ couldn't catch because there would be no easy way to distinguish it from text. On Google's own pages, it wouldn't make a difference about counting views etc, because they're already capturing that data and can handle it in code. The only problem (for them) comes in tracking one person across multiple sites since the "simple HTML with no markers screaming 'I am an advert'" ads wouldn't be able to share cookies.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by RabbitWho (1805112)
      Ads keep the Internet free and support websites like slashdot and countless others. Adblock is evil.
  • Ads as social media? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by nlvp (115149) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:58AM (#33203026)

    I quite like the idea that you could use ads that you pay for (that don't cost much) to advertise your party or to post silly messages to your friends. Of course the privacy implications of what google needs to know in order to be able to do this are absolutely terrifying, but the idea remains cute.

    Additionally, I liked the idea when they turned it on its head, saying that certain individuals can agree to receive adverts of a certain type and you can then pay to have your adverts targeted to those people... such as recruiters.

    I wonder the extent to which these ideas are just that : great ideas, but completely impractical in the real world, but this kind of brainstorming is what gives rise to the really good ideas in the end anyway, so its not surprising that they should be having this sort of discussion internally.

    • by somersault (912633) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:37AM (#33203452) Homepage Journal

      I quite like the idea that you could use ads that you pay for (that don't cost much) to advertise your party or to post silly messages to your friends

      I'd love to be able to pay for what I can do for free on Facebook!

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Me too, if it meant that I would always be treated like a valuable paying customer when it comes to problems with privacy and usability.

        And I'm not joking either. You often get what you pay for.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Free? You pay Facebook your privacy - that sounds expensive. Not as expensive as Google might be: you'd pay with your privacy plus money for the ads.

    • by RMH101 (636144) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:51AM (#33203624)
      I vote "meh". Seems self-evident that
      a) Google (if it chose to) could mine a lot more data than it does - e.g. contents of gmail, results of using Google DNS, etc
      b) There are ways that Google could make a lot of money out of mining more data from the contents of their servers
      c) There is a point where customers would get pissed off/could be illegal if they over stepped the mark
      d) That it's entirely reasonable for Google to debate and investigate what further data mining they could do without Being Evil.
      I presume the document in TFA is a debate over where they draw the line. I'm glad they're debating it. I'll let you know what I think of them when they've decided where that line is.
      • My impression from TFA was that the document was a Doubleclick Devil tempting Brin and Page in the desert.

        (pardon the sacrelicious metaphor, I couldn't resist)

    • by IBBoard (1128019)

      Additionally, I liked the idea when they turned it on its head, saying that certain individuals can agree to receive adverts of a certain type and you can then pay to have your adverts targeted to those people... such as recruiters.

      Sounds a bit like what Bynamite are doing with their plugin. I've been running it a while (on my works dev machine) to see what it picks up and what advertisers think I'm interested in.

      The idea is that I can also use it to feed back a message of "no, I'm not interested in X", sin

  • I gotta say... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @08:58AM (#33203030) Homepage

    ...while I abhor some of Google's actions in recent years, they are in a simultaneously fortunate and unfortunate position. They are fortunate in that they have gotten where they are based on their own merits, including their ability to navigate the market with ease and giving people what they want.

    They are unfortunate in that they are such a huge business; while customer and user satisfaction is still at the top of their list, nothing will ever be a higher priority than profit (as it should be with a business). This causes them to get sloppy, though...

    I'm glad to see they are having at least some form of internal dialogue about just how greedy they should actually be ("greed is good", after all). This indicates that they are at least aware of the recent downturn in the public's perception of them.

    • Re:I gotta say... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ImNotAtWork (1375933) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:14AM (#33203172)
      The good thing is that they are actually asking these questions in the first place. We all know other companies (not all) that wouldn't give some of these balancing ideals even a moment of reflection.

      and no I'm not a Google fanboy
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by dollarwizard (1806856)
        I find it interesting that doing evil but at least reflecting on it a bit beforehand has now become what passes as a "good thing."
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by mlts (1038732) *

        I have worked at businesses who wouldn't even think of bothering with these questions. Instead it would look like this: "Would selling the stored info we have on our customers help this FQ's numbers? Yes? Get legal to sign the contract, and the DBA to do an export of the database and E-mail [1] it to the client."

        [1]: These are PHBs talking, so they wouldn't understand a 1TB database export can't be E-mailed.

    • The highest priority of any business should be dealing ethically with everyone. Otherwise, if Profit is their highest principal, then RIAA is performing exactly as they should and we have no reason to scream at them for taking any and everyone to court for piracy.

      So Sorry Pojut but we didn't sell you anything but the sizzle. There wasn't any product nor will there ever be any product (vaporware/duke nukem forever) is the results of that kind of thinking. It also results in dangerous products such as the For

      • by Pojut (1027544)

        That's the kind of corporate thinking you're pushing.

        After re-reading my OP a few times, I can see how that could be grokked from what I said...but I assure you, those types of practices weren't what I was referring to.

  • I ran over and glanced at the holding of GOOG [yahoo.com] to see if the insiders have much control. As far as stock ownership is concerned, management doesn't have that much direct voting power.

    The key questions are:

    1. Will some of the big holders get bitchy and want Google to start whoring they're data.
    2. Does the management have enough backing votes to block other big shareholders from forcing the whoring.

    When some of the shareholders get wind that Google is holding back to be "good", you can bet you asses that ther

    • IIRC, the two founders own more than 50% of the shares, but don't quote me on that as I can't find any current proof.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        The link I posted shows Mutual funds holding 81% (more than enough to do anything they please) , Brin has only 79,000 shares and I don't even see Page on the list. In other words, if came down to a vote of share, the founders have no voting power.
      • by Zerth (26112)

        Brin and Page only hold 49% of the voting class shares, but CEO Eric Schmidt holds an additional 12%. They've still got it locked down as along as the 3 agree.

    • by bsDaemon (87307)

      1. Will some of the big holders get bitchy and want Google to start whoring they're data.

      So long as that's all they're doing we're fine. Hell, even if they start whoring their data, that's ok. Just not our data. That would be too far.

  • I understand... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheMidnight (1055796) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:01AM (#33203058)
    Google's hesitancy to move into places where DoubleClick once trod with near impunity. I don't mind Internet ads on websites. What I hate are the scummy, one-flat-stomach rule, teeth whitening, acai berry, and other similar ads that show up on almost every website, major and minor. This says nothing of the older types of annoying ads, like audio, flashing banners and pop-ups. I don't even like seeing the graphics of these sorts of ads because they're so visually displeasing. These sorts of ads are why I use Ad-Block, not because I am opposed to all advertising. Cookies had a reputation similar to these ads, and that's why Google was so hesitant.
    • Now I'm not a big fan of ads myself, but I do wonder sometimes what would happen if google did actually deliver content relevant ads to the web pages I regularly visit, or based off interests I had in my facebook/google buzz or similar online profile. Then I wouldn't be delivered the one-flat-stomach rule, teeth whitening ads, but more likely WoW, PS3, Archery, movies etc ads that I might actually be interested in.

      I'm not saying that I'll suddenly start clicking on every ad I see as it would appear to be in

      • Re:I understand... (Score:4, Informative)

        by VJ42 (860241) * on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:32AM (#33203378)

        Then it might be possible for the people at Adblock to give a settings selection like no-script does, to white-list specific advertisers who deliver you relevant and unobtrusive ads.

        I know the current setting on Adblock allow for the disabling of certain filters, but it's not very user friendly.

        You already can white list in Adblock. You just need to add "@@" (without the quotes) before the expression you want to stop it blocking - add it to your filter and you're done.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by UberMorlock (1391949)
        You know, for a short time I ran ads on a feline-related site I am responsible for and kept waiting for the ads to be relevant to the content of the site. Three months in, they still were not relevant. So, I dumped all the ads and just kept the Google searchbox. If they can't even make the ads relevant to the content of the site, then why should I subject my visitors to the ads and why should I muck up the look of the site by displaying ads?
      • Re:I understand... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Zerth (26112) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:59AM (#33203702)

        That is one useful thing about this article. I was unaware that Google would actually show you what information you had in their cookie.

        Not only that, they even let you edit it. Mine had some garden stuff in it that I deleted, then I added in some more categories I'd actually be interested in. I wish somebody had done that before.

      • Re:I understand... (Score:4, Informative)

        by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:50AM (#33204300) Journal

        Now I'm not a big fan of ads myself, but I do wonder sometimes what would happen if google did actually deliver content relevant ads to the web pages I regularly visit, or based off interests I had in my facebook/google buzz or similar online profile.

        My facebook is full of college girls, and Facebook for like 2 months constantly delivered every other ad as "DATE A COUGAR!" I'm also single (I have NEVER had a girlfriend, EVER) and disinterested in relationships entirely; Facebook loves to show me expensive, multiple-diamond-encrusted engagement rings. Now seriously, I'm not LOOKING for the perfect girl, I'm AVOIDING it; if I met a girl I wanted to marry, she'd be something so special I'd get her a white gold engagement ring with a single beautifully set diamond, and some simple but beautifully carved wedding bands in white gold. Who buys a girl an ugly, gaudy, heart-shaped ring with 47 diamonds just crammed in there in the ugliest manner possible?!

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by MikeBabcock (65886)

          The guy whose girlfriend says "I want a gaudy, heart-shaped ring with 47 diamonds just crammed in there in the ugliest manner possible!"

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:12AM (#33203140)
    Better to jump than be pushed. Maybe it's time for Google to consider splitting into 2 companies: all the search stuff in one and all the other (FB, docs etc.) in the second. That way they get to control their own destiny rather than have outside interests decide it for them.

    You never know, a bit of a break-up may even be good for them.

  • ironic (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bluhatter (583867) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:14AM (#33203170) Homepage Journal
    Does anybody else notice the irony here?

    Maybe this will give them an idea of how it feels to have your privacy invaded.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Does anybody else notice the irony here? Maybe this will give them an idea of how it feels to have your privacy invaded.

      You're assuming the document wasn't deliberately "leaked". If I wanted to make it look like I took my users' concerns seriously I'd certainly make an effort to pull off a stunt like this.

    • Maybe this will give them an idea of how it feels to have your privacy invaded.

      While I share your concerns and it's a hot debate the latest years consider this...

      The greater part of people go online these days and enter personal data, as a matter of fact, plenty of then do no other thing online as entering data on servers owned by others.

      These services these people enter data and content (gmail, google, facebook, slashdot, fora, flickr, twitter, ...) without needing to host or create a platform themselves i

  • by circletimessquare (444983) <circletimessquare&gmail,com> on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:25AM (#33203294) Homepage Journal

    the marketing assholes in the board room, but if google sticks by its loyalty to privacy, they will remain a respected and profitable company for a very long time

    if however they break their commitments to privacy, they will, indeed, reap a flurry of greater profits. but at the cost of driving away customers. the problem in a business like google's is there is always another search website, and even if its not quite as fast or accurate as google, if it makes a loud point of pledging to not rape your privacy, then it will even beat google, eventually

    before there was google, there was altavista. before facebook, myspace. the king of the web does not have to stay the king of the web, and it can be quite sudden and amazing at how sudden and fast that fall can be. google better remember this

    • by diegocg (1680514)

      if google sticks by its loyalty to privacy

      Too late.

    • if it makes a loud point of pledging to not rape your privacy,

      Kind of like these guys [ixquick.com]?

    • by chris_7d0h (216090) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:06AM (#33203810) Journal

      Just to be clear, Google's customers are the advertisers. We the users are their products.
      But yes, if their products evaporate it will be a might challenge to sell anything to their customers and the nickle-and-dime folks at Google will feel that.

  • A couple years ago, I had the idea for de-google. Don't like the results that come up when your name is searched?? For a fee, those results can be modified to hide embarrassing things (or whatever else). I thought it was a good idea, I'm still waiting to see it applied.
    • by StripedCow (776465) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:34AM (#33203406)

      It can be applied easily. Just make some script that posts random stuff with your name in it to thousands of forums. Then, when people search for your name, there will be so much noise that the results are useless. Noise is google's enemy.

      • by Tim C (15259)

        Or in my case, have a famous namesake. Zero effort on my part, and any reference to me drowns in the sea of references to him.

    • by Rockoon (1252108)
      Hello, my name is [competing product to the company I represent] and I dont like the results that come up when people search for my name. You say that you can change the results for a small fee. Where do we...I mean I... send the check?
  • ... the Guild of Calamitous Intent was formed. When part of Col. Lloyd Venture's league decided THEY knew better what was best for the world and should profit from the power of the ancient orb themselves.
  • Yawn... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by HuckleCom (690630) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:34AM (#33203398) Homepage
    Such a well timed 'leak' of something after a shitstorm of privacy sensationalism. Nothing to see here, imho.
  • by moxley (895517) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @09:35AM (#33203420)

    Never in the history of American business has a company as large and powerful as Google NOT taken advantage of something this profitable and desired by those in control of the country.

    I don't care what they say, or how many slogans they have that they sometimes follow and sometimes ignore - they're going to use this data. The only question is to wha extent - and given Eric Schmidt's recent statements on privacy and the future of the web (which were completely disgusting to me and likely to anyone else who values the internet as a place of freedom and growth), I expect that they will fully exploit all that they have.

    I am not anti-Google, I love Google's products and I think their search engine is the best, and as far as large companies go they certainly aren't anywhere near the most evil - but the power and data they have, along with some of the places they've received funding from, combined with the attitude of their CEO is greatly concerning.

  • Google, as a publicly traded company, only has one obligation: To make a profit for shareholders
    Few companies set out to do bad deeds but most won't rule them out. Google was supposed to be different. Regarding "Don't be evil"(tm), CEO Eric Schmidt recently clarified the policy saying that it was simply meant as a conversation starter.

    Here's Google from good to bad...
    +7.1 - Philanthropy
    Creating a foundation to fight poverty.
    +5.3 - Coddling staff
    Establishing on-site day care as an emplo
    • you gave them a minus for "assisted the police in a child porn case"?
      Or for obeying to China's censorship law when operating in China?

      I consider those less "evil" and more "obeying the law as every company should".
  • Privoxy is pretty fair at killing ads (even Slashdot's), and costs zip. You do need to be smart enough to guess how to set it up correctly, but after that, plain sailing.

    Google has gotten worse at basic mission (finding stuff) over the years, until the in-your-face privacy invasions have reached a level of such cavalier disdain for private users it's insulting.

    What a screwball business model: Deliver value to advertisers by trying to satisfy individuals it could care less about. Just like newspaper
  • Excerpts (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @10:49AM (#33204298)

    They don't seem to have actually posted the document, only excerpts. And to be extra annoying, they embedded them in some stupid flash interface. Here they are:

    Vision Statement: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-text1.png [wsj.com]

    Interest Targeting: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-text2.png [wsj.com]
    This section pertains to Google's plans to sell ads targeted to users' interests across the Google Content Network (GCN) -- the more than one million websites on which it sells display ads. It argues that Google can better identify users' likely interests than competitors through sophisticated analysis and richer data.

    Retargeting: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-retarg.png [wsj.com]
    Document discusses targeting ads at users who have already visited a particular website, known as retargeting. It notes that smaller ad companies have referred to such technologies as the "holy grail" of behavioral targeting, known here as "BT," but have struggled because they don't see users across enough sites. Google has since launched the feature across its display ad network.

    Search: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-text5.png [wsj.com]
    This section discusses how Google could begin to use its knowledge about what individuals have searched for to determine what graphical ads to show the person as they browse around the web.

    Google Services: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-text6.png [wsj.com]
    The excerpt identifies how Google could use data from services it owns to target ads across the web. Of those listed, YouTube is the only site where Google uses some data about what pages users visit to target ads on its display ad network.

    "Wacky" Ideas: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-text8.png [wsj.com]
    Once Google had the technology to be able to target ads to individual web browsers, it contemplated a range of ideas, including letting individuals pay not to see ads, block individual advertisers or share data about themselves in exchange for a discount on their Internet service bill. At least one idea, the Larry Page ad, was never pursued.

    Advertising Exchange: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-text9.png [wsj.com]
    Google planned to limit use such data about what websites people visited for targeting on sites where it sold ads, known as the Google Content Network, or GCN. Over time, allowing other ad buyers and sellers to use its data to identify people to target could boost business.

    Data Exchange: http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-text10.png [wsj.com]
    The document contemplates how Google could build a new data marketplace, where companies could trade lists of web users they wanted to target with ads.

    Unlinked Excerpts:
    http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-text3.png [wsj.com]
    http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLEDOCS1008-text4.png [wsj.com]
    http://online.wsj.com/public/resources/media/info-GOOGLE [wsj.com]

  • by rickb928 (945187) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:24AM (#33204680) Homepage Journal

    You should pay to not see ads.

    In 2009, Google earned about $0.1016 per visitor. So pay them about $37 a year and never see an ad.

    There. Next question?

    Anyways, the math:

    620 million visitors per day.

    23 billion yearly revenue.

    $37.0968/visitor. .1016/day/visitor.

    Actually, subscription search services are sounding like they are practical. This adds $3.09/month to your Internet bill. Add in obscene escalators for ludicrous groth in revenue, and this isn't much worse than your current ISP's rate increases, certainly not as bad as the TV bill.

    Wow. And we could let the advertisers torture those too cheap to pay. Nice.

  • Beta (Score:3, Funny)

    by 605dave (722736) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @11:47AM (#33204996) Homepage
    Don't worry, any evil policies are only in beta.
  • by affenhund (1371117) on Tuesday August 10, 2010 @12:06PM (#33205234)
    In my opinion, the problem is Eric Schmidt. I trust both Larry Page and (even more so) Sergey Brin that they really try to live by "don't be evil". But Eric Schmidt transforms the company more and more into a profit-oriented, shareholder-controlled, greedy mess. I'm afraid that it will get a lot worse once Page and Brin lose give up control over the company. After all, most shareholders are concerned with return of investment, not things as silly as ethics. "By 2014, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin will have sold enough of their stock to give up majority control of the company, Google announced Friday evening." http://news.cnet.com/8301-30684_3-10440005-265.html [cnet.com] Not something I'm looking forward to.

"Of course power tools and alcohol don't mix. Everyone knows power tools aren't soluble in alcohol..." -- Crazy Nigel

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