I’d be curious to know how much truth their is to the article found on the UK’s Register. I was glancing through slashdot and was pointed to an article on Google working on ways to utilize a PC’s built-in microphone to essentially catalog the conversations, sounds, etc. around the machine to target advertising to the user. Here’s the article: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/09/03/google_eav… I’ve mentioned this before, but for a company whose mantra started as “Do no evil”, a somewhat obvious jab at the large mega software shop to their north, they have been doing just about everything that they can to snub privacy advocates and collect more data on you and me.
What I will find curious will be how folks react if this indeed is a legitimate story. I’ve noticed in the past that Google and to some degree Apple, gets a free pass when in comes to many issues dealing with privacy. Will they continue to get this free pass? Will less scrupulous individuals figure out how to utilize this new functionality to do things that might be less desirable (more than likely).
Finally, at what point will folks start to look at the Googles, Microsofts, Red Hats as what they are — large companies that really don’t have the public or individuals best interests at heart. They may provide some very useful services — provide some public good — but you’d better believe that every project is produced with some strategic purpose in mind.