An unofficial blog that watches Google's attempts to move your operating system online since 2005. Not affiliated with Google.

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July 12, 2006

Google - Behind The Screen

A wonderful documentary (47 mins) created by Ijsbrand van Veelen features some interesting discussions with Marissa Mayer, Vint Cerf, Ian Brown (Open Rights Group), Brewster Kahle (founder of Internet Archive) and some Google engineers. They talk about PageRank, targeted advertising, life at Google, user privacy, machine translation, the story of "Don't be evil", book search, the danger of Google's monopoly, Google Earth. The video is really well-made, it tries to be objective by showing different opinions on the same subject, even though it's more inclined towards conspiracy theories.

Marissa Mayer says Google collects information about users' activity to improve the quality of search results, not to create a profile for each user. They need to store it for an indefinite period of time as there are services that require a huge quantity of data to process, like the spell checking feature on Google Search.

The documentary puts tough questions like: "How can you convince people that Google isn't a Big Brother company?", "Can we see how do you scan the books?", "Should the digitization of books be made by a company like Google who may require fees to query the database for a research project?", "What happens if a search engine becomes dominant?".

The conclusion of the documentary? Google shouldn't be let to become a monopoly, they shouldn't be the only source of information, they shouldn't become the Ministry of Truth. Although Google's neutrality and unbiased results are a proof that it deserves our trust, it's always the best to diversify the sources of information.

And here's the full video:

This blog is not affiliated with Google.