Home » Business News » 2012 » March » March 16, 2012

Ex-employee calls Google 'ad-company' obsessed with harvesting users' private info

March 16, 2012 - London

A former Google executive has slammed the search engine for turning into an 'ad company' obsessed with harvesting people's private information.

James Whittaker, currently Partner Development Manager at Microsoft and ex-Engineering Director at Google, lambasted his ex-employer in a Goldman Sachs-style rant by posting the 1328-word attack on the search engine on his blog this week.

"Perhaps Google is right. Perhaps the future lies in learning as much about people's personal lives as possible. The Google I was passionate about was a technology company. The Google I left was an advertising company," Whittaker wrote.

The accusation comes in the wake of Google's controversial new 'privacy policy', which allowed the search giant to 'pool' information from 60 separate services including Gmail, Google Search and Android phones, to create 'personalised' advertising, The Daily Mail reports.

Whittaker says that CEO Larry Page had a focus on 'beating' Facebook in advertising, which led the company to shift its focus from established products such as Google Mail onto its controversial social network Google Plus and other 'social products' built for advertising.

"Google could still put ads in front of more people than Facebook, but Facebook knows so much more about those people. Google took it personally. Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong," Whittaker said.

"The old Google made a fortune on ads because they had good content. It was like TV used to be: make the best show and you get the most ad revenue from commercials. The new Google seems more focused on the commercials themselves," Whittaker added.


Comment on this story