Greg's Bite; Google, do no evil?
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Greg's Bite; Google, do no evil?

By Greg Mills

Google has famously chosen the mantra, "Google will do no evil." Recently, in a number of situations that mantra has been tested where, if not evil, questionable things have been done by Google. While certainly, the executive staff at Google has been generous in giving money to worthwhile charities, the ethics of some Google business practices have recently been the subject of lawsuits.

Google has, just in the last few weeks, been caught with their collective pants down in the discovery phase of a lawsuit. The top end of management at Google discussed, in writing, intentionally, using Oracle's Java code without a license to create the Android OS. When you virtually print your own money with a multi-billion dollar a year advertising company, trying to cheat Oracle by using its Java code without a license is a pretty lame thing to do.

Further, they rewrote some of the code to try to mask the fact that they were using aspects of Java they liked and then lied about it. That is dishonest Google. Now, Oracle has Google in floundering court hearings trying to get around the Oracle law suit claiming intentional infringement and asking for triple damages. (See http://www.dailytech.com/Judge+Suggests+Googles+Android+was+Brazen+in+In... .)

Also in the last week Google paid half a billion dollars to settle a Department of Justice inquiry into Google doing advertising for Canadian pharmacies that are barred from doing business with Americans over the Internet. Again, Google intentionally broke the law. It turns out, the Department of Justice had enough proof to have actually filed criminal charges against the current CEO of Google, Larry Page. That might be one reason Google settled out of court for half a billion dollars instead of fighting the charges. (See http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142405311190478740457653269298875136... .)

Google has long held the belief that anything that can be posted on-line ought to be posted on-line. Copyrights are for other companies to honor. Google thinks the right to publish copyrighted material shouldn't apply to them. Book authors tended to disagree, and there was a major discussion as to the rights of authors in the digital world we now live in. Google pressed to convert entire libraries to digital form without honoring the rights of individual copyright holders. =That discussion is still going on as to what a copyright ought to amount to in the digital age. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Book_Search_Settlement_Agreement .)

Google did sort of wear the white hat in the facial recognition debate, where FaceBook added a feature that allowed its servers to "suggest" the name of a person in a photograph so that future pictures of that person could be labeled by FaceBook's servers without the consent of the party. European regulators are asserting that FaceBook is violating privacy laws by turning the feature on without the consent of the people photographed. In fact, turning the feature off is hidden behind a number of specific actions required to even find the preference. Many have argued that the feature should be an opt-in, instead of an opt-out.

Google, likely out of fear of legal action, rather than a strong moral code, decided to not turn a similar facial recognition feature on until FaceBook had taken the beatings in court that Google's attorneys expected correctly were to come. This isn't because Google didn't want to do no evil, it was because they figured FaceBook could take the bullet for them and that after the court tests were settled by FaceBook, they could either launch the facial recognition feature or not, but save the expense of litigation. Pretty slick legal thinking, but not action based upon a moral code.

Google, or actually its former CEO Eric Schmidt, was on the Apple board during the time iPhone was in incubation. Shortly before Schmidt left the board he was seen getting his ears laid back by Steve Jobs who had discovered that the Android Phone program at Google was too close for comfort for there to be any co-incidence. Apple and Google have had a rather stressed relationship ever since.

While Apple hasn't directly sued Google over the Android, every handset maker who produces a phone for Android has felt Apple's wrath. I would like to have been a fly on the wall hearing exactly what Jobs had to say. Rumors are that he was slightly upset. The screaming, pounding the table and gestures of rage, for which Jobs is famous, were noted by frightened civilians nearby.

Sometimes Google just happens to be the target due to errors as well intentional actions. A woman in Utah sued Google over being run over while "following a Google walking route"." Since the woman was run over, she or her attorneys finally figured out walking along a busy highway without a sidewalks might be hazardous. What duty did Google have to judge and be legally responsible the dangerousness of such a route? (See http://mashable.com/2010/05/30/google-maps-lawsuit/ .)

Google has had its share of privacy issues come up even before the facial recognition flap. Part of its mapping data was gathered at street level by cars equipped with video, GPS and WiFi sniffing electronics. Not only did they videotape people sun bathing in their birthday suits, they also got charged with electronic eavesdropping by accidentally recording passwords and the like while sniffing for active WiFi routers. (See http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9218106/Judge_rules_against_Googl... .)

When you operate all over the world, sometime local standards can expose you to legal issues you never anticipated. Google got sued and lost for hosting a video on its video search area that was protected by French law .Google protested that there is an easy way to get videos taken down by simply following on line instructions. They still lost the case and are appealing the judgement. France, like a lot of other third world countries, has Byzantine legal procedures. (See http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110310/12200013430/google-found-guilt... .)

Google has learned there are local standards of decency around the world. They were also roundly criticized for co-operating with Chinese censorship rules. So you see, the mantra of doing no evil is quite complicated when you are as big as Google.

That is Greg's Bite for today.

 
AAPL
$102.50
Apple Inc.
+0.25
MSFT
$45.43
Microsoft Corpora
+0.55
GOOG
$571.60
Google Inc.
+2.40

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

Path Finder 6.5.5 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder is a file browser that combines the familiar Finder interface with the powerful utilities and innovative features. Just a small selection of the Path Finder 6 feature set: Dual pane... Read more
QuarkXPress 10.2.1 - Desktop publishing...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Rhonna Designs Magic (Photography)
Rhonna Designs Magic 1.0 Device: iOS Universal Category: Photography Price: $1.99, Version: 1.0 (iTunes) Description: Want to sprinkle *magic* on your photos? With RD Magic, you can add colors, filters, light leaks, bokeh, edges,... | Read more »
This Week at 148Apps: August 25-29, 2014
Shiny Happy App Reviews   | Read more »
Qube Kingdom – Tips, Tricks, Strategies,...
Qube Kingdom is a tower defense game from DeNA. You rally your troops – magicians, archers, knights, barbarians, and others – and fight against an evil menace looking to dominate your kingdom of tiny squares. Planning a war isn’t easy, so here are a... | Read more »
Qube Kingdom Review
Qube Kingdom Review By Nadia Oxford on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: KIND OF A SQUARE KINGDOMUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Qube Kingdom has cute visuals, but it’s a pretty basic tower defense game at heart.   | Read more »
Fire in the Hole Review
Fire in the Hole Review By Rob Thomas on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: WALK THE PLANKUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Seafoam’s Fire in the Hole looks like a bright, 8-bit throwback, but there’s not enough booty to... | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwi...
Alien Creeps TD is Now Available Worldwide Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Dodo Master Review
Dodo Master Review By Jordan Minor on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: NEST EGGiPad Only App - Designed for the iPad Dodo Master is tough but fair, and that’s what makes it a joy to play.   | Read more »
Motorsport Manager Review
Motorsport Manager Review By Lee Hamlet on August 29th, 2014 Our Rating: :: MARVELOUS MANAGEMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Despite its depth and sense of tactical freedom, Motorsport Manager is one of the most... | Read more »
Motorsport Manager – Beginner Tips, Tric...
The world of Motorsport management can be an unforgiving and merciless one, so to help with some of the stress that comes with running a successful race team, here are a few hints and tips to leave your opponents in the dust. | Read more »
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Add...
CalPal Update Brings the App to 2.0, Adds Lots of New Stuff Posted by Ellis Spice on August 29th, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... Read more
A&D Medical Launches Its WellnessConnecte...
For consumers and the healthcare providers and loved ones who care for them, A&D Medical, a leader in connected health and biometric measurement devices and services, has launched its... Read more
Anand Lal Shimpi Retires From AnandTech
Anand Lal Shimpi, whose AnandTech Website is famous for its meticulously detailed and thoroughgoing reviews and analysis, is packing it in. Lal Shimpi, who founded the tech site at age 14 in 1997,... Read more
2.5GHz Mac mini, Apple refurbished, in stock...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 2.5GHz Mac minis available for $509, $90 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included, and shipping is free. Read more
13-inch 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999,...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pro on sale for $999.99 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $100 off MSRP. Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.