When Google started up in 1998 by two Stanford students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the motto of their new site was “Don’t be Evil.” (Thompson, 2014). Sadly, it’s probably about time that Google gave up that motto, as it no longer pertains to them at all. Beverly Kracher, CEO of Business Ethics Alliance was quoted saying “it goes back to that saying from the 1800’s: ‘Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely’” (Thompson, 2014). Google is now feared for the amount of information that is so easily accessible to them. Google’s number one business plan for 2010 (which is still true) was to collect as much information about its users as possible for targeted advertising (Thompson, 2014). Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, was quoted in the same article saying “With your permission, you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about” (Thompson, 2014). This seems about as close to admitting to internet terrorism as Google could ever get without the company crumbling.
Recently, Google spent almost a half a billion dollars on a company called “DeepMind,” which is an Artificial Intelligence lab. Google has also purchased seven robotics companies within the last year. This has also sparked Google to have an “ethics board” created (Selinger, 2014). Google has also recently paired up with Oxford University to do Artificial Intelligence research. If we were all planning on being over run like iRobot, Google will be the one that buys us all a ticket on that ride.
Beyond all the possible evil that Google may or may not be a part of, they are one of the most influential parts of the digital age to date. Google has it’s hands in Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Buzzfeed, Snapchat, AOL, Yahoo, and Square, just to name a few (VentureNet, 2013). While they may not own any of those companies, CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, and COOs of all those companies got their internet start at Google. Google is considered the leader in the organization of the world’s information, and now set’s the world’s standard for information management (VentureNet, 2013).
I AM SO SCARED.
Selinger, E. (2014, 02 03). Inside Google’s Mysterious Ethics Board. Retrieved 10 23, 2014, from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/privacynotice/2014/02/03/inside-googles-mysterious-ethics-board/
Thompson, C. (2014, Aug 19). Does “Don’t Be Evil” Still Apply to Google? Retrieved Oct 23, 2014, from CNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/id/101923422
VentureNet. (2013, na na). Google’s Influence in the Digital Age. Retrieved 10 23, 2014, from VentureNet: Making IT work for You: http://vnetinc.com/blog/googles-influence-in-the-digital-age/