December 07, 2007

To "Hal" With Privacy

Scott McNealy's utterings caused a stir back in the late 90s when he declared that privacy is dead. Almost a decade later, we hold this truth to be self-evident...

At one of the sessions at the Online Information conference in London today, Invisible Web author Chris Sherman shared the association of HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey and Google's privacy "control" button.
One is green. One is red. Both watch and learn all the time. But we hope that the former, unlike its movie-like counterpart, does not end up killing anybody.

For the record, Chris is one of the least paranoid among the search gurus. He believes that the benefits gained from personalization (which can be as mundane as typical Amazon recommendations) far outweight the threats. Or continuing McNealy's reported quote, "get over it."

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