First let me start with something completely irrelevant. The presentation on Saturday was highly enjoyable, and I thought everyone there had a great time even though the topic was quite serious. Prof. Siva Vaidhyanathan did a great job in presenting so that the audience could actually enjoy the time rather than be bored and fall asleep (like one person in the crowd that I noticed).
Anyhow, he basically talked about how much our lives have changed due to the internet. He started off talking about google and how it's market is spreading like butter on a bread. It's everywhere. He believes that by giving so much private information to a single company, it gives that firm a mega-power unmatched by anyone in around.
He said something like this
When google enters a market, the firms in the market are scared
Not sure of the exact quote, but he touches on the fact that google, not a super-rich company, can have such influence due to it's power of innovation. Google earth, google mail, whatever market has a demand google's there. This reaction to, and success in meeting the demand of the people has made google one of the most feared firms on the online industry.
He probably did not know this, so I really wanted to tell him about the ability to search private security cameras and look through them. That would have definitely caused some sort of excitement. Anyways, he also mentions how Google has something that no one can ever get. Tons and tons of private information through the premium services. Through this Google can target ads to certain people, hence making a lot of money. But I have to say, it is extremely scary to think that what we think is private information, actually isn't so. What if, the owner of google were to change into a Hitler-esque person. He then has all the information he needs to embarass or hurt a large amount of people.
I'm starting to ramble, but what I'm trying to say is, we as a community of people need to decide and govern the wellfare of the digital world. As the professor said, it's our will that needs to change rather than the media.