In The Plex: How Google Thinks, Works, and Shapes Our Lives

Author: Steven Levy
This Month Hacker News 1


by spondyl   2021-06-14
I'd like to take this opportunity to share some relevant exercepts from In The Plex[^1] about Eric Schmidt, then-CEO of Google.

> One day Denise Griffin got a call from Eric Schmidt’s assistant. “There’s this information about Eric in the indexes,” she told Griffin. “And we want it out.” In Griffin’s recollection, it dealt with donor information from a political campaign, exactly the type of public information that Google dedicated itself to making accessible. Griffin explained that it wasn’t Google policy to take things like that out of the index just because people didn’t want it there. Principles always make sense until it’s personal,” she says.

> Then in July 2005, a CNET reporter used Schmidt as an example of how much personal information Google search could expose. Though she used only information that anyone would see if they typed Schmidt’s name into his company’s search box, Schmidt was so furious that he blackballed the news organization for a year.

> “My personal view is that private information that is really private, you should be able to delete from history,” Schmidt once said. But that wasn’t Google’s policy...

I guess they've since changed the policy a bit?


by killjoywashere   2019-06-03
> Google operated in China several years ago, but it withdrew from the market because of the censorship requirements from the government

Google hesitated to enter China because of the censorship requirements (1) but eventually entered anyway, led by a researcher they hired away from Microsoft, Kai-Fu Lee (1, 2). They exited because they caught the Chinese associates stealing source code, and only after their first "war room" effort to nail down exactly what was going on (1, 3).