When will Google’s “Hailstorm” come?
A new article in the New York Times discusses the privacy concerns raised by Google’s acquisition of Jaiku. In fact, Nick Carr pointed out a specific quote on his blog tonight from Jaiku’s founder about the “illusion of privacy” held by most people using the Internet. While this quote may prove to be unfortunate from a PR perspective, the question that this raises is when will Internet users start to view Google more skeptically based on their growing base of applications and treasure trove of user data that comes from use of GMail, user search behavior, and many other interactions with the Google “service cloud”.
This situation reminds me of Microsoft’s Hailstorm initiative. As Scoble predicted two years ago, it is just a matter of time before Google recreates their own Hailstorm. The concept of Hailstorm wasn’t a bad one, but the concerns around platform and data “lock-in” threw users into an uproar when Microsoft introduced the concept nearly 6 years ago. Today, I wonder if/when users will reach a similar level of outrage against Google as their services continue to evolve and more data is owned by Google’s infrastructure.