The Google monopoly and the right to be forgotten

Tom Dougherty, CEO – Stealing Share

16 May 2014

There are few monopolies anymore, but Google is one

Europe’s highest court ruled that Google must delete some search results people deem embarrassing. This is causing all sorts of blogs and opinions on what exactly are our rights to privacy. The story so far revolves around requests from convicted pedophiles, criminals and political candidates. Oh, goody.

What is not being debated and should is Google’s ever-increasing stranglehold as the arbiter of free access to information. Google controls 90% of the web search traffic and that is just too much. A decision from Google affects business, governments and individuals. It answers to no one and doesn’t even tell us how it decides the importance of what it decides we should see and read.

“So I guess Google now decides which answers to our queries are most important and worthy of sharing.”

 

IN__GOOGLE__1338298fThe court decision is even more troubling. The decision actually says if such personal data “appears to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant,” the search results must be removed.

So I guess Google now decides which answers to our queries are most important and worthy of sharing. Which web sites should be ignored and now will decide if the information is worthy.

Wake up World Wide Web! The promise of access to unlimited information and the liberty of search is being challenged by our own inability to see that our presumably benign decision as to which search engine we use has dramatic impact on openness and liberty. There was a time when there was a long list of search engines to choose from. Now most of us think there are only three: Google, Bing and Yahoo.

But trust me, there is only one and, as long as we use it exclusively, we risk what happened to my business six months ago. You can read my blog on it here.

Unless we do, Google will be free to decide what appears to be inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant.

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