About the discussion we had in a class sometime ago, I thought it would make sense to share my views on the online/internet giants and the heat they are facing currently for the privacy issues. There is such a huge outcry by the media and the public alike over this issue. I agree with my good friend about change in business patterns as companies evolve but there are more pragmatic issues involved with such decisions. Companies like Google and Facebook started as small ventures with only a handful of people working for the company. Every start-up always needs to be competitive and progress with time to survive, especially in the IT industry. Now when companies start getting bigger, they eventually have to find ways to pay for their employees. Who in present time does not want to be part of Google or Facebook?
Facebook and Google survive on ad revenue and that is why their customers (users) get free access to their products & services. Privacy invasion would be an issue & unethical if these companies did not inform their users. They put out all the details of how the data is collected and what is it used for. No one wants to listen to how the data mining has made our lives easier. I do not think it is sane to oppose technology development,that’s only RIAA who believes in 20 century life. If privacy is such a concern, users can refrain from using Facebook or at the least monitor what data is being put up on the sites.
Verbatim from Google TOS – “11.1 You retain copyright and any other rights you already hold in Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. By submitting, posting or displaying the content you give Google a perpetual, irrevocable, worldwide, royalty-free, and non-exclusive license to reproduce, adapt, modify, translate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute any Content which you submit, post or display on or through, the Services. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling Google to display, distribute and promote the Services and may be revoked for certain Services as defined in the Additional Terms of those Services.” Can the words be any more explicit? Not to forget the revenue and credibility these companies bring to the country and their employees.
Ethical issues need to be addressed in a practical way otherwise ethics will remain only in discussions.