If a Google employee rampages through my email, Google Voice or other data for no justifiable reason I expect a lot more from the company than simply terminating them. There needs to be criminal charges brought as well.
We’ve asked Google if they’ve pressed charges against either of the two engineers they’ve fired for inappropriately accessing user data, and they won’t comment.
So much of our life is lived online, and so much of our highly sensitive personal data is stored on Google’s servers, that it is absurd that there aren’t more dire consequences facing those that choose to molest that data. If a Google employee broke into my home and stole files from my office they’d go to jail. And frankly I’d be far less concerned with that situation than if they were perusing my email for entertainment during their lunch break.
A few days ago, for no particular reason, I asked people on Twitter if they’d trust Google with their money and data if Google launched a bank. The overwhelming response was “no.” Surprised, I wrote “wow, most of you say no way you’d trust Google Bank with your money. I certainly would. My bank sucks.”
I think I’d like to amend my answer. My bank certainly does suck. But I’m pretty sure they’d have an employee arrested if they, say, accessed my data and tried to extort me with it.
I’m not so sure Google would do the same.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...