The other chilling effect of the DOJ vs. Google

The other chilling effect of the DOJ vs. Google

Summary: Regarding my two earlier blogs (Phone calls, e-mails and now search data. Where will Bush stop and    Microsoft: No personal data went to DOJ) I just got this super-long email from someone that started with this sentence: Google created their own problem by collecting this information in the first place.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Data Management
2

Regarding my two earlier blogs (Phone calls, e-mails and now search data. Where will Bush stop and    Microsoft: No personal data went to DOJ) I just got this super-long email from someone that started with this sentence:

Google created their own problem by collecting this information in the first place.

So, let's think this through.  You're an entrepreneur looking to start a business and you realize that one of the keys to your success is to keep certain information in a database.  But then you realize that if you do, the Feds might issue you a warrant for its contents.  Then you realize that the incident could become a headline in the news .. the sort of publicity (if you give in) that could hurt your business.  So, you decide not to keep that database and in the process, may be selling yourself short of the complete opportunity that stands before you. Sounds like a chilling effect to me (on innovation, entreprenuerialism, etc... you name it).

Topic: Data Management

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

2 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Sounds like life -

    just all full of tradeoffs. The overused term chilling effects - in other words how to overhype a crisis when one does not exist.

    Think of all the chilling effects gravity poses for example. The inability to toss product into the general direction of your target is greatly impeded - and the lack of the spectacular vista afforded by jumping off the Golden Gate bridge (well, the view is certainly there, but the ability to share that view is constrained by the final splat when one hits the Bay).

    And of course is the problem posed by proprietary software and software patents - the economic chilling effect caused by the inability to simply lift the IP.

    Instead of spanking Google and the rest for keeping the data in the first place you wish to complain about the DOJ. Kinda typical to generate the Government Out Of Control hype because it's those evil nasty republicans in charge, hmmmmm? Oh of course since Google says it won't do any harm it of course is trusted, right?
    quietLee
  • But what about other uses

    Maybe Google wasn't keeping this data just to keep it. I have often thought what a unique situation they are in. If a company is thinking of buying another company, what do they do? Search the web trying to find information out about that company. If a company is thinking of developing a new product, what do they do? Search the web to find out what existing products might exist. Suppose a lawyer is researching a particular angle to prosecute a space, what do they do? Search the web to find out what prior cases might exist in this area.

    Google can data mine these searches. They can decide to invest in these companies based on what is going on. The can of course sell this information to others that can make use it.

    Okay, maybe they aren't big brother - but they do have more than just a bunch of search strings.
    richard_nikula9