July 25, 2007


Today's "Day by Day" cartoon suggests an interesting possibility.

I've seen questions and comments online which suggest that some people think the info on Google Earth is actually updated in real time. (For instance, once on Ask Metafilter someone asked why they couldn't see the result of some major physical change in their area on the Google photos.)

In reality, it's a big database of pictures Google has licensed, and a lot of it actually is aerial photography rather than satellite photos. Some of the pictures are years out-of-date. (The photo of my place still shows the tree down over the creek, and that was removed last year.)

But Google is a big company, and is growing bigger, and their stock-in-trade is information. They're in businesses where the expected result is effective monopoly due to network effect and shakeout. If Google gets big enough, they might well eventually decide to loft their own spy satellite to take photos for their web site. ...but considering their corporate plot-arc, they're much more likely to get that ability by acquiring someone else who already has it.

Is it time for me to fear Google more than I'm supposed to fear Microsoft? How soon before Google knows more about me than I do? As long as they don't start deploying bionic ducks, I think I'll be OK.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in People at 05:24 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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1 Nah, you have no need to fear Google. After all, their motto is "do no evil"...what could they (Chinese bloggers) possibly do (immortal cookie tracking) that would (no privacy policy) be considered (not mentioning politics, nope) EVIL?

PS -- my views are in no way influenced by the fact that I work at aQuantive, where we're about to finish the buyout from MS, or that Google will hopefully choke *hard* on their DoubleClick acquisition...

Seriously, though, unless you have been vigilantly zorching cookies for the past n years, they know more about you than you might be comfortable with anyway.

Posted by: Doug Oosting at July 25, 2007 10:05 PM (bQf6y)

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