How may we surveil you?

May 2, 2009 / Seth Finklestein on Google’s behavioural targeting.

The quotable Seth Finklestein to those wishing to comment on his Guardian piece about Google’s behavioural targeting (which he calls “surveillance as a service”):

Please don’t “explain” to me how according to your elaborate ideological theory of moral responsibility, Google is a saint while ISPs are devils. I’ve heard it. In fact, I will hear it from experts who spend their whole professional lives in the service of trying to make people believe corporate agendas are the essence of being human, and they’re good at what they do. I’m a geek. I know all about the differences between cookie-based tracking and packet analysis. The whole point of my column is arguing that sort of thinking is the wrong way to approach these issues, because it’s very flawed in practice.

I don’t know what “comments elsewhere” he’s talking about, but I agree with him that many bloggers (and many web users generally) have a monstrous blind spot when it comes to evaluating Google. I think it’s because Google’s products generally are so useful.

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