Google Founder on the Dismal Future of the Internet
Yesterday, Google Founder Sergey Brin shared his concern about the future of the Internet with The Guardian. Dominant companies, anticompetitive behavior, compliance with U.S. law?! You bet we were interested!
Though we couldn’t believe what we read. In fact, here are the three most unbelievable moments from Sergey’s interview:
1. “Brin said he and co-founder Larry Page would not have been able to create Google if the internet was dominated by Facebook. ‘You have to play by their rules, which are really restrictive.’”
Is Brin concerned about smaller upstart players having the opportunity to become the next Google? Concerned about companies like Yelp and Nextag who testified before Congress last year that they would not start their companies today because Google prohibits a level playing field? Nope, Brin’s complaining that Facebook exerts control over information that Google wants access to on its own terms.
2. Brin “criticised Facebook for not making it easy for users to switch their data to other services.”
As The Daily Telegraph wrote, “the Google co-founder seems to have forgotten about Google+, his company’s own attempt to create a social network – which prides itself on offering users total privacy…Google+, by its very own definition, is the newest walled garden trying to make it big on the internet.” And that’s just social data, with control over 79% of search and 80% of search advertising in the U.S., Google’s AdWords is a “must buy” for businesses that advertise online. Google uses this power to lock in advertisers, imposing limits on advertisers‟ ability to port their AdWords data other ad platforms using third party tools and preventing advertisers from syncing updates or changes to their campaign data across multiple platforms.
3. “If we could wave a magic wand and not be subject to US law, that would be great.”
Actually, given Google’s model of breaking laws and skirting blame (take today’s Street View fine and the recent $500 million fine for selling ads to illegal pharmacies), that last one is totally believable.