Google snubs press in privacy fury

Google seem to be over reacting here:

Google has thrown a hissy fit and blacklisted tech news site CNET’s News.com – vowing not to provide quotes or statements to the site for a year.

“Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET News.com reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story,” noted reporter Elinor Mills here.

I think the bit they didn’t like from CNET’s report was this:

Google CEO Eric Schmidt doesn’t reveal much about himself on his home page.

But spending 30 minutes on the Google search engine lets one discover that Schmidt, 50, was worth an estimated $1.5 billion last year. Earlier this year, he pulled in almost $90 million from sales of Google stock and made at least another $50 million selling shares in the past two months as the stock leaped to more than $300 a share.

He and his wife Wendy live in the affluent town of Atherton, Calif., where, at a $10,000-a-plate political fund-raiser five years ago, presidential candidate Al Gore and his wife Tipper danced as Elton John belted out “Bennie and the Jets.”

Schmidt has also roamed the desert at the Burning Man art festival in Nevada, and is an avid amateur pilot.

That such detailed personal information is so readily available on public Web sites makes most people uncomfortable. But it’s nothing compared with the information Google collects and doesn’t make public.

I agree with El Reg here

By dispensing with the obligatory Google spin, CNET may be emboldened to take an even more critical look at the company.

There are many employees at Google who take its responsibilities as one of the world’s largest databases of personal information and behavior seriously. But those responsibilities don’t appear to be shared by their management.