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October 20, 2005


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If you don't have access to the WSJ, the Google blog reprinted Eric Schmidt's commentary in full.


Imagine the outcry if it were the federal government, rather than Google, monitoring out clickstreams and mining for personal information. And yet government would be more easily constrained from selling this information to third parties. Given that such an info-selling strategy might well maximize Google's near-term profits, we probably have their long-term growth strategy (maintaining current users and increasing their usage) to thank - more than their motto - for keeping Google from "being evil."

"Part of what Google wants to do is to increase the sheer number of clickstreams that it sees." Google Print might be the most controversial just now, but I'll wager that Google Maps/Local is much more effective at collecting sensitive personal clickstream information. Still, I use it because it's so very cool.

Joaquim Barbera

One step beyond: clickstream used to generate taylor-made news pieces. A scenario predicted by Robin Sloan and Matt Thompson
and legally "analyzed" by lawyer Julie Hilden http://writ.news.findlaw.com/hilden/20050524.html

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