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FairSearch Recognizes the Face of this Flip-Flopper

Google’s position as the world’s largest Internet company, controlling more than two-thirds of all online searches and more than 90% of all mobile searches in the U.S. alone, gives it a lot of power to influence user behavior. But don’t worry, says Google – trust us – we’d never abuse that power to advantage our own products or services…

That’s why we find Google’s “change of heart” in online travel so troubling.

Need more evidence of Google saying one thing and then doing another in the marketplace? Take last week’s rollout of facial recognition technology in Google Plus.

Earlier this year, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt called such technology “very concerning,” saying Google would not build a database capable of recognizing individual faces but warning “some company by the way is going to cross that line.” (That line being “the creepy line,” of course.)

But funny how things changed after Google bought a firm that specialized in facial recognition technology this July. Last week, Google announced it would, in fact, be adding facial recognition tools to its social network.

Sure, it’s an “opt-in” feature. But does that make it any less creepy? Or any less counter to the company’s previously stated position?

In our view, it’s just one more reason why antitrust enforcers around the world are right to be investigating Google’s business practices.

Trust us is not enough.