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When Schmidt says "if you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place", he captures the argument, bringing it to his side of the fence, while nicely effacing the real point of the question in the first place. It's not that I'm doing something that I don't want anyone to know about, Mr Schmidt; it's that I might be wanting to do something that I don't want everyone to know about; it seems to me that it's on this fine distinction between public and semi-private that the privacy issues really balance. With the users-as-the-product business model you set out, Tom, it's in Google's best interest to push that line as far towards "everyone" as possible: to maximize revenue, full disclosure around the products is most profitable. But, as your warlord dilemma points out, it's important that Google bring the products to a willing state of nakedness: the last thing Google can afford is for the product to vanish entirely -- better a part of something than no thing at all.
Toggle Commented Jan 18, 2010 on Google: warlord in a world of bandits? at Whimsley
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Jan 18, 2010