Thursday, March 11, 2010

The Onion on Google's data

The Onion has a hilarious article, "Google Responds To Privacy Concerns With Unsettlingly Specific Apology", that should be enjoyable for this crowd. An excerpt as a teaster:
Acknowledging that Google hasn't always been open about how it mines the roughly 800 terabytes of personal data it has gathered since 1998, [CEO Eric] Schmidt apologized to users -- particularly the 1,237,948 who take daily medication to combat anxiety --for causing any unnecessary distress, and he expressed regret -- especially to Patricia Fort, a single mother taking care of Jordan, Sam, and Rebecca, ages 3, 7, and 9 -- for not doing more to ensure that private information remains private.

Monday's apology comes after the controversial launch of Google Buzz, a social networking platform that publicly linked Gmail users to their most e-mailed contacts by default.

"I'd like nothing more than to apologize in person to everyone we've let down, but as you can see, many of our users are rarely home at this hour," said Google cofounder and president Sergey Brin, pointing to several Google Map street-view shots of empty bedroom and living room windows on a projection screen behind him. "And, if last night's searches are any indication, Boston's Robert Hornick is probably out shopping right now for the spaghetti and clam sauce he'll be cooking tonight ... Either that, or hunting down that blond coworker of his, Samantha, whose Picasa photos he stares at every night."
[Article found via Bruce Schneier]

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