Google Australia: Not evil, just uncomfortable

Google Australia: Not evil, just uncomfortable

Summary: Opportunities to quiz an executive from search giant Google in person come few and far between. That's why when I attended the launch of Google's new Australian office last week there was only one question on my mind.

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TOPICS: Google, Browser
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Opportunities to quiz an executive from search giant Google in person come few and far between.

That's why when I attended the launch of Google's new Australian office last week there was only one question on my mind. It related to Google's famous informal corporate motto: "Don't be evil".

As Google Australia's executive team fielded questions from the press I knew my opportunity had come.

      Kate Vale

"Have you guys done anything evil in Australia yet?" I asked as the room erupted into laughter.

Google Australia's head of sales and operations, Kate Vale, looked confused and asked me to repeat the question.

"Never, we do no evil," was her eventual reply.

While I'm obviously not privy to secrets held close to the chests of Google's Australian crew, Vale could be right.

Google Australia's main activities seem to consist of quietly gathering Web site traffic, selling ads and building more functionality into its Google Maps product.

But it wasn't all easy street for Vale during the press visit.

At one point her singing skills were publicly outed as Google played a kitschy promotional video of employees around the world singing a version of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough".

Photos from Google's offices

As Google's Australian staff put in a brief cameo on the video, Vale and her engineering counterpart Lars Rasmussen looked distinctly uncomfortable on the other side of the stage.

It appears that despite the massive amount of hype surrounding Google, the company is not immune from a plague that has troubled the best of corporate giants -- bad marketing videos.

Topics: Google, Browser

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6 comments
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  • Evil has already been done

    Google already falsely advertised Sydney jobs as being located in Melbourne.
    anonymous
  • Evil?

    I'm not sure that this can be classified as evil - maybe just an accident? ;)

    Renai
    anonymous
  • new Google Earth photos of properties

    For security reasons I totally resent my property being able to be accessed via the new site Google earth. It is a total disregard for people's privacy and also, unless I am mistaken breaking the law within Australia regards to the privacy act. I would not be supprised to see a class action to have this stopped as I would not be the only one who is upset by this.
    anonymous
  • Not illegal at all

    It doesn't break any privacy laws and is not illegal. In short there is nothing you or anyone else can do about it. There is no law in Australia that says that anyone can't take photos of anything, rightly or wrongly.
    anonymous
  • Not illegal

    I think you had better check your facts! It is illegal to take certain photos. Try taking one of children and see how far you get. It is an invasion of privacy to have your home photographed for all to see and you have no say in it. I am sure others agree.
    anonymous
  • not illegal at all

    actually they dont show anything that you wouldnt see from walking down the street

    anything that is viewed from a public street/place is not illegal to be videotaped or photographed

    there is no invasion of privacy and it certianly does not break any laws at all

    there have been cases where they where on a private road and those images have been removed

    and btw yes you can take pictures of children as long as they arent inappropriate

    and i cant see how you can think that the front of your home being photographed is a invasion of privacy when anyone and everyone could walk past and see in more detail and see inside your house
    anonymous