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August 09, 2005

Google gets googled, throws tantrum

From WorldNetDaily...

Anyone who has used the popular search engine Google knows how easy it is to collect information on virtually any subject, but the company is apparently not happy about being "Googled" by a reporter getting information about a company executive.

The search engine is now giving the silent treatment to CNET News, after an article featured facts about company CEO Eric Schmidt, facts that were gleaned from using Google.

From the New York Times...

The move came after CNET published an article last month that discussed how the Google search engine can uncover personal information and that raised questions about what information Google collects about its users.

The article, by Elinor Mills, a CNET staff writer, gave several examples of information about Google's chief executive, Eric E. Schmidt, that could be gleaned from the search engine. These included that his shares in the company were worth $1.5 billion, that he lived in Atherton, Calif., that he was the host of a $10,000-a-plate fund-raiser for Al Gore's presidential campaign and that he was a pilot.

After the article appeared, David Krane, Google's director of public relations, called CNET editors to complain, said Jai Singh, the editor in chief of CNETNews.com. "They were unhappy about the fact we used Schmidt's private information in our story," Mr. Singh said. "Our view is what we published was all public information, and we actually used their own product to find it."

He said Mr. Krane called back to say that Google would not speak to any reporter from CNET for a year.

From Jason Stamper at Computer Business Review Online...

The point of the article was to show that Google holds a lot of personal data, some of which is accessible to all over the Web. CNET could have made their point by saying that Schmidt's salary, net worth, home town and even music preference can be discovered online, without actually detailing them.

But if CNET's claim is true, it seems rather sad that Google should batten down the hatches and refuse to talk to journalists, when most of what News.com revealed was publicly accessible information, and none of it was likely to cause Schmidt any real embarrassment by it being made public. News.com revealed that Schmidt makes a lot of money and is also worth an awful lot of money, which will come as little surprise to anyone.

CBR recently voted the founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, among the 10 Most Influential people in technology in our recent CBR 10 Most Influential Special Report. So come on guys, don't make us wish we hadn't. 'Blackballing' journalists is not big and is not clever.

Sometimes people with too much power have a tendency to not think in terms of what's fair and equal, as much as what bets for them personally. We see it with Congress as well as the courts, all the time. The only reason we don't see it as often with media figures, is because they control so much of what we see and hear, but with the upsurge of alternative media, that's changing.

Google's gotten away with so much nonsense (probably because they fund the Left, and therefore the MSM feels they need to protect them) that it'll still take more than this to shake them up.

Posted by Danny Carlton at August 9, 2005 08:31 AM

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