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» Enterprise IT Planet » Security » Security Features

AntiOnline Spotlight: The Great Google Snub

By Enterprise IT Planet Staff
August 12, 2005

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Spend more than a few minutes on Google researching somebody and chances are that you may uncover some interesting info. The trouble is that sometimes search engines expose more information than people are comfortable seeing about themselves online.

It appears that Google CEO Eric Schmidt learned this lesson when CNet published an article that let slip some details, that while publicly available, hit too close to home. And so begins a yearlong Google snub, a particularly damaging prospect for a tech site that regularly covers the search engine scene.

The article touched on the thorny topic of search engines and personal information, using Schmidt's data to illustrate the point of just how much you can learn about somebody with little more than a Web browser.

As with any good controversy, the Internet is abuzz with arguments on both sides. Did Google go too far? Did CNet? Is your personal information fair game if it's available online?

Or are they more serious underlying reasons for the rift? Theories abound...

This week, we spotlight a thread that on the surface may look like a juicy topic to spice up an otherwise sedate month in tech but actually raises big questions about privacy.

Note: Any opinions expressed below are solely those of the individual posters on the AntiOnline forums.

This Week's Spotlight Thread:
Google doesn't like CNET anymore

Negative alerts the community to the news...

CNET runs a story on Google and privacy issues, and in the article "reveals" a bunch of personal info on Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Schmidt doesn't like that, and institutes a policy of not talking with CNET reporters until July 2006 "in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story."

Where did CNET get the personal info on Schmidt? From simple Google searches... HAH!

HTRegz thinks the timing is strange.

I have to agree with Google for putting a stop on talks with CNET... The article was just slander and makes the privacy issue seem a lot bigger than it really is. American media always has a way of trying to inspire fear in people... why can't they just report facts?

...The article that originally raised the issue was July 14th, shortly after the rumors began that CNET was for sale. Also one of the interested parties was IAC (InterActiveCorp), which owns Expedia, TicketMaster, AskJeeves,,, and several other fairly big Internet names...

mohaughn has another take on the situation.

Perhaps it is just me, but when I read the article it appears that the issue they are trying to get across to people is the amount of data that Google collects on people through the use of Gmail, the never ending Google cookie, and the desktop search tool. And I have to totally agree with the article. Google keeps tons of data on people, and if that information was available to criminals or three letter government agencies it could be a major invasion of what people in the US consider to be private information.

Cnet News is not the only news agency that has done this type of article before...

It would seem that you are focusing on the first two paragraphs of the original Cnet article and not even looking at the rest of the article. In all fairness to Cnet it is a balanced article, and I don't see very much sensationalism or FUD...

What are your thoughts? Discuss them here.

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