Civics: Is Google Evil?

Unix Sheikh:

First of all, why do we accept that the main access to information on the Internet is controlled by big corporate search engines like Google and Bing? Why have governments and independent organizations around the world not created independent search engines for the public to use? Is it because governments are just as interested in spying on people as big corporations are?

Imagine that our public libraries around the world suddenly became controlled by big corporations who would control what books you can read and when you can read them. Well, this is how most of the Internet is run today, and it’s getting much worse.

When you search on Google, the results are not independent or free, rather the results are controlled and limited. Limited by location, time, IP address, browser fingerprint and other stuff and this is not good. No corporation should have the power to control what information we – the people – have access to on the Internet.

Google is a company, not a government or an independent organization. Google makes most of its money using people’s data for targeted advertising. People get to use Googles products for free and in return the company gets access to the users personal information to better place ads. And this is how Google makes most of its money and Google very clearly describes the way they do business in their privacy policy, and if you don’t like the way they do business, then don’t use Googles services. But is it really that simple?

No, it’s not that simple because nobody has provided people with independent privacy respecting search engines or other ways to access the content on the Internet. Sure, a few alternative search engines exist like Duckduckgo, but even though these search engines are really good, they still cannot quite measure up to the quality of Googles search results, at least not yet, and they are not really independent – meaning they still rely on collection search results from the big corporate search engines.

Many taxpayer supported school districts, including Madison, use Google services.