Google Agonizes on Privacy as Ad World Vaults Ahead
Aug 10, 2010, 23:06 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Jessica E. Vascellaro)
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"A confidential, seven-page Google Inc. "vision statement" shows
the information-age giant in a deep round of soul-searching over a
basic question: How far should it go in profiting from its crown
jewels—the vast trove of data it possesses about people's
"Should it tap more of what it knows about Gmail users? Should
it build a vast "trading platform" for buying and selling Web data?
Should it let people pay to not see any ads at all?
"These and other ideas big and small—the third one was
listed under "wacky"—are discussed in the document, which was
reviewed by The Wall Street Journal and compiled in late 2008 by
Aitan Weinberg, now a senior product manager for interest-based
advertising. Along with interviews with more than a dozen current
and former employees, the vision statement offers a candid,
introspective look at Google's fight to remain at the vanguard of
the information economy."