Saturday, January 21, 2006

War on Your Desktop

Google courts our trust, in bid for market share consolidation

Google fighting the US Governments request for information (1 week of search terms and 1 million domain names) is their way of saying 'Trust us with your information, including your email, we will keep it private.' We all know the problems that Google have had with the Chinese government , a far nastier animal then the US Govt. and they did roll over for them!.
So Google do not have a philosophical problem with the request. It does however give them a serious marketing opportunity.

This is the essence of the War on Your Desktop . Google have 'inadvertently' told us in this PR effort that MSN,AOL and Yahoo have already complied with the government requests and so they are less trustworthy then the Google team. MSN have already had an own goal this week with the Chinese blogger at the The New York Times - they pulled a site on the request of the Chinese government - hosted and written in the US.

We the consumers will only have stuff on our computer that we control or feel we control and that can trust implicitly not to leak our information out all over the internet. The company that can instill and install the most trust on us and our computers will win the desktop wars.

Anybody who runs search with Adwords can see the sort of searches that are popular I don't think that consumers will really want this search history handed over to Governments.

The question is does the government have the right to know everything about you?
We need a definition of personal space over which no government would have domain nor could claim it. Whoever carves out this space online will have a good chance of winning the prize.

Opensource applications online are a very compelling and successful business model. The same sort of rigour with peer and end-user review driving up excellence, could easily be applied to the workings of government departments, who are now migrating to the online world as well.

It is not OK for the state to have secrets and not us. Internet companies are more influential for good then bureaucrats on the lives of ordinary people. They do that by being honest and committed to the original ideas that made them successful, unlike politicians. Becoming quasi government bodies like banks would be a way for Internet companies to lose the trust of consumers who already to a great extent don't trust politicians and governments.

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