The other day I attended an event sponsored by Google in Denver. I left early.
Here’s the email I sent to an employee of Google:
There’s no doubt about it, Google does some good. In our case, we’re making use of WebRTC. Google’s efforts in alternative energy are great, for sure.
But every giant company feeds both sides. Here in CO where I live, Coors has been giving millions each year to extreme right wing organizations such as the Christian Coalition. Coors also sends millions each year to Super PAC’s that fund extreme right, political candidates. Coors doesn’t talk about the money they give to the far right. Instead, they make a big deal, out of the few bucks they give to gay right’s efforts.
Google follows the same formula. In Google’s case, they do just enough good to distract people from what they’re really up to — destroying privacy and killing jobs.
Google and the downstream effects of “free”, which dates back to the dot.com boom, is damaging our society. For tech companies to say “there is no privacy, get over it”, therefore expecting us to accept that, would be like MLK accepting that blacks sit in the back of the bus. Or for gay people to accept discrimination. Or for us not to protest wars.
My tech career started in 1988. I used to buy calling cards from Larry Brilliant. Google is no longer about “Do No Evil”. I’m not sure it ever was.
People everywhere should be up in arms over what Google is up to. People complained about Microsoft being dominant? Google makes Microsoft look like a SOHO.
Google wants a world where there’s one company — Google. Everything the company is doing, their entire initiative, is setup to for them to dominate all aspects of our lives — disguised in a pretext of, “it’s free”!. It’s bullshit and brilliant, is what it is.
Yesterday I started a conversation with two young ladies, two Google employees, about privacy. Both became visibly uncomfortable, less than a minute into the conversation. One employee, refused to discuss it any further. The other walked away – she told me, “I’m not allowed to talk about this”.
Isn’t it ironic? We can’t walk away from Google. Google knows everything about me. But when I ask them about privacy, they can’t talk about it – they walk away. This is a company you’re proud of?
At some point I’ll dedicate the rest of my life to this all important topic. If you want to know how I feel, see this website we started in 2006:
We were the first one’s anywhere, to bring up the idea of “Circles”. Then when Google released Google+, the first big idea was “Circles”. I wonder where Google got its idea of Circles? zeldab.com never went anywhere, no one cared. Which of course is a sad commentary on our society. But I think Google cared about Circles.
You can also read my personal blog, here:
But then again, I’m sure Google already has – even though I have search engine indexing turned off.
I encourage young people in the valley to examine the damage that “free” has done and will do to our society. I encourage young people in the valley to start companies where you charge a fee, or a price, for what’s offered. After all, anyone with enough money can give something away. Where’s the intelligence, brilliance, business acumen, or know how, in giving something away free? It takes patience and brilliance, to charge for what you offer. I encourage young people in the valley to use your education, influence, to protect the values that our great country was founded on, not trample on and destroy them, what you’re doing now and have done so far. Throw away, “Crossing the Chasm“. Instead, make your bible “The Responsible Company“, by Yvon Chouinard. Protest the machine, don’t feed it. March. Writing about your feelings, won’t cut-it. Instead, move your feet.
Stop following. Start leading. You could start, by fixing this mess you’ve created. Have you no moral compass? Put down your selfish desires and go do something great. Working for Google, building services where the user is the product being sold, is not great. It’s immoral. Walk away from any company that does so. Your children will thank you for it. My children will thank you. You won’t be remembered for what you did in life. You’ll be remembered, for what you left behind.
Without privacy, there is no freedom. Do you want to live in a country where there’s no freedom? So right now there’s no privacy online, right? Right. Just ask Scott McNealy. Where will it stop? When will be watched in our homes? If we’re being watched in our homes, why do we need locks or curtains? We’re on the way to that train wreck now, you and your friends are driving the train. You’re creating that country, right now. You just don’t see it. Or maybe you do, but you’re being selfish. Got to get the Tesla or the phat pad in Palo Alto. Lose that way of thinking.
Here’s just one example, of what you’ve done to our society.
My friend was two weeks away from closing on her new home. She had breast cancer. She didn’t disclose this to her bank, it’s illegal for the bank to ask. She had perfect credit, 50% down. It was a slam dunk deal. One week before she was due to close, the bank called and turned her down. When she asked why, the bank gave her a bs answer, citing “market conditions”. Do you think the bank found out she had cancer? We do. How did the bank find out? Of course the bank will never say. But here’s a clue. My friend wrote about her cancer on Facebook. You think the bank found out from Facebook?? She’s since vowed to never use Facebook again. I’m trying to convince her to quit using Google.
This same thing will happen to you and you’re making sure of it. At some point in your life, the data that you put out there, the data being mined about you, the business you talked about with a smile in a carefully written script — approved by someone, will be used against you. It’ll hit you over the head. It’ll be sooner than you think.
Consider you’re helping to create a world where education won’t be enough. All that’ll matter, will be capital. Those with the capital, will stay ahead. Those without, won’t.
Hopefully you won’t get cancer, though.
You’re the problem. You can also be the solution. The choice is yours.
Read this piece about privacy, “The Right To Privacy” written in 1890, here:
“Do No Evil”? Really?
I’m happy to have a private conversation about this anytime. Feel free to call me and talk. Believe it or not, I’m trying to reach out to you.
All the best to you and yours,