No Newspeak : Do no evil means it does no evil

Privacy activists have a constant borne against Google alleging a simple name search on the engine reveals more information than ordinarily should be available. Well I think that all that Google is doing is its function. Web users (excluding public personalities who do not enjoy press coverage) do not realise that most of the information found by a Google search is put onto the internet by them. It is generated by them by posts on boards, on blogs and websites. There is certainly a degree of acquiesce in all this self generated information finding its way on Google. The great advance in such intelligent and intuitive technologies requires training by humans, training in the form of personal information which is provided by users.

Sample, Dragon Naturally Speaking, a voice to text software which required a person to train the software by reading passages so that the software could in future correctly and accurately transcribe the voice of the user to the text it generated. The same principle holds well with web cookies, with privacy activists decrying them as advertising tools and websites using them to store local information on your computer to make your surfing experience much more personalized.

Coming to the information on Google which is generated by third parties I do have my concerns. Presently Google has a policy of not taking down information from its search engines which is under the control of third parties. They deem it a dispute between the entity which is harmed by the information and the entity hosting the information. They state they are merely indexing information and thus they are not liable for the contents. However, I find fault with this logic, Google certainly makes the offending information more accessible and saves it from oblivion in the terabytes of the internet. Thus it becomes responsible for the content to a degree.

However, whose job is it to make a legal code to regulate such information. Google? I don’t think so. Voluntary self regulation can only go as far, as “Im feeling Lucky”. It exposes the company to lawsuits for improper take downs of materials by hosts who published information which may be controversial but true. The job is of government(s). UNCITRAL actually (the folks who came up with the model law on e-commerce, extremely influential, most of the enactments regulating e-commerce in different countries are based on it)… its time for an international legal minimum standard of regulation of search engines.

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