Google Numbers

Google Numbers

According to the Oct. 6 BusinessWeek (Google Numbers), you will soon know exactly how influential you are through Facebook. Patent pending software produced by Google would rank your Facebook profile through criteria such as how many friends you have, how many friends they have and how often your friends read a news story or view a video clip that you posted. Since Google would be tracking users more closely it would allow them to be able to better serve their advertisers. They would know exactly how influential a person was and what the interests of that person or their friends were, allowing them to target advertising more directly. Google declined to comment to BusinessWeek.

Public Domain
Is your Facebook profile public domain? Would it be ethical for Google to use your interests, activites or group memberships to tailor advertising?
Some would argue that privacy does not exist on the Internet, while others would say that you should be given a reasonable amount of privacy when sharing information with your family and friends on Facebook.
Facebook’s privacy policy has this to say about third-party advertisers, “Unlike most sites on the Web, Facebook limits access to site information by third party search engine ‘crawlers’ (e.g. Google, Yahoo, MSN, Ask). Facebook takes action to block access by these engines to personal information beyond your name, profile picture, and limited aggregated data about your profile (e.g. number of wall postings).”
But goes on to say:
“We may provide information to service providers to help us bring you the services we offer. Specifically, we may use third parties to facilitate our business, such as to host the service at a co-location facility for servers, to send out email updates about Facebook, to remove repetitive information from our user lists, to process payments for products or services, to offer an online job application process, or to provide search results or links (including sponsored links). In connection with these offerings and business operations, our service providers may have access to your personal information for use for a limited time in connection with these business activities. Where we utilize third parties for the processing of any personal information, we implement reasonable contractual and technical protections limiting the use of that information to the Facebook-specified purposes.”
And finally, “This privacy policy covers the use of cookies by Facebook and does not cover the use of cookies or other tracking technologies by any of its advertisers.”
If Facebook allows Google to implement Google numbers, then they will have to re-write their privacy policy.
Facebook has been somewhat sneaky in the past on implementing new technology. Since their creation they have not needed too much of a communication plan. People joined Facebook because they wanted to connect friends. In light of new technology and the new interface recently introduced, Facebook will need to some serious campaigning in order to keep members from deleting their Facebook accounts.
I am curious to know why Google declined to comment on the BusinessWeek article. Does Facebook know about this proposed Google Number? Is it a stunt to get everyone’s mind off of “New Facebook”?
What do you think?
-Miranda H.
Another blog about how the logarithm of “Google Number” would work: http://johnbell.typepad.com/weblog/2008/09/a-google-number.html
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1 Comment

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One response to “Google Numbers

  1. I know it’s wrong, but I’m curious to see how influential Google would rate me as being.

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