Monthly Archives: June 2007

Google antitrust case: Is it time to fight against the new monopoly?

Dear Mrs Kroes,
Google abuses of monopoly power (Article 82) by leveraging its near monopoly in the market of internet applications onto the markets of online Office applications.

When you use GMail and receive an email containing MS Word or an MS Excel document, GMail proposes you three options (Click on the screenshot below to see it full size):

  1. View the document as HTML
  2. Open [the document] as a Google document
  3. Download the document

GMail - open as google document

The problem with this approach is that GMail doesn’t allow you to open your document with his competitors like Zoho, Thinkfree or gOffice.

A much better/competitive solution should allow the GMail users to modify his settings. If the user subscribed to a competitor, he should be able to select the competitor.

In the future, the user should be able to load his attached documents with the Web2.0 application of his choice (Click on the screenshot below to see it full size)

GMail - open as Zoho document
Now, dear European commissioners, isn’t the time to put pressure on this new monopoly like you did with Microsoft in a recent past?

List of online Word processors :
http://itredux.com/office-20/database/?family=Word Processor

List of online Spreadsheet applications:
http://itredux.com/office-20/database/?family=Spreadsheet

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Google – the evil – is the last while evaluating the data privacy protection!

When I participate to meetings with nerds, I always see people who don’t want to share their email with the event organisers claiming that their data privacy is important. Off course, I’m sure that the majority of those people use Google, its toolbar and certainly GMail.

Here is the result[1] of a study I’ve started but never finished studying the level of data privacy between big Internet players like Amazon, AOL, Apple, BBC, eBay, Facebook, Google, Lastfm, LinkedIn, LiveJournal, Microsoft, MySpace, Orkut, Skype, Wikipedia, Windows Live Space, Yahoo! and YouTube.

Nobody has a green colour meaning that they are privacy-friendly!

You can see that BBC (European company isn’t it), eBay, Lastfm, LiveJournal and Wikipedia take care of your data privacy but all other companies that are paid by the advertising don’t take care of it.

It’s sure that the correlation between the collection of data (for any business intelligence reporting) and relevance of the advertising showed to the user force those companies to completely forget the basic (European) policy that says that : “any collection of data must clearly have a finality that allows the owner of data to do his job and nothing else”.

It’s clear that many Google applications don’t run correctly if you have your cookies disabled. It’s because the evil is inside the company for a long time now and it’s clear that they will not be able to come back from hell if they don’t want to be sanctioned by the (holly) market.

Google is not the only bad company, in Belgium we have SWIFT that shared, under the pressure of the US administration, worldwide financial transactions without noticing the European Commission or any European Member States!
Once again the American hegemony allows to do everything we our private data.

Now, what can we do? Delete our GMail accounts, disable the cookies, remove our profile from LinkedIn… or could we push them to take care for us? If yes, do you know any kind of pressure we could use?

[1] http://www.privacyinternational.org/article.shtml?cmd[347]=x-347-553961