Sunday, November 22, 2009

On Chrome OS

Google is going ahead with Chrome OS initiative.

In Bobtuse Bobservations blogger-friend Bob MacNeal quoted Google founder Sergey Brind's words:
We really focus on user needs rather than think about strategy relative to other companies...a web platform on stateless machines that are performant.
Nowadays it is hard not be impressed by anything that Google comes up with. Let me confess I am a big Google fan, I use free Google cloud services, Google search engine, GMail, iGoogle, Google Reader, Blogger (including this blog) to name a few. I appreciate Google's positive contributions in making information available to masses, and their support of open source movement.

However I question Google's capacity to adequately analyse and act upon political, ethical and philosophical consequences of their blunt cloud strategy and I see everyone in the same bandwagon. Nowadays we are like fireflies attracted to the light of Google, we go everywhere with them without much questioning. This seems wrong.

While openness of information and ease of access is a good thing for people, the right to own private information and protect it from preying eyes of abusive and oppressive regimes is an important human right we cannot and we should not neglect.

After all Google is a business and it has to act not necessarily in the interest of noble humanistic ideals but in the direction of its commercial interests. In 2006 Google bowed to Chinese Government to censor itself in China.

Today there are hundreds of millions of people around the world who suffer as minorities, they are being oppressed, silenced and discriminated against with regard to basic human rights.

How do we know cloud computing will not take us to Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four ? How do we know the cloud itself will not become the big brother?

1 comment:

Bob MacNeal said...

The balance between commercial interests and noble ideals is tenuous at best. I concerned that I'm one of those fireflies because I'm consistently wowed by Google's boldness and creativity. Perhaps we should co-author a blog called Google-Watch where we examine the social impact of their decision-making...or maybe someone is already doing that. Excellent post by the way.