It’s tough to know what to think of Google. They’re certainly tremendously – perhaps dangerously – ambitious, but that ambition is what has made them one of the most useful, innovative companies of all time. While Google Maps can be seen as an invasion of privacy, it can also be seen as an incredible tool for cataloguing our planet and opening up the flow of geographical and spatial information.
A distinction that the above video doesn’t make is the difference between the capacity to do evil, and evil itself. Google is gearing up to be incredibly powerful, but if there was ever a company that I would be comfortable trusting with great power, it would be Google. They make their money on advertising – so what? I ignore ads anyway, and when I can’t it actually is nicer to see ads about things I care about than home mortgage payment options. I’m not saying we shouldn’t keep an eye on them, I’m just saying that in terms of power, there’s often little difference between the good guys and the bad guys. The difference lies in how that power is used.