A New York Times article following up on the DOJ requests for search records to bolster its defense of COPA quotes Google attorney Ashok Ramani, who gets at the heart of the matter for users:
“Google’s acceding to the request would suggest that it is willing to reveal information about those who use its services,” he wrote. “This is not a perception that Google can accept.”
I hope that Dave Winer and Om Malik, when they attended Yahoo’s management retreat, didn’t let user advocacy slip from their list of game-changers for 2006. I repeat what I said in an earlier post: If companies like Yahoo want to continue to entice users to live more and more of their lives online, they need to be seen first and foremost as zealous protectors of the data they’re aggregating. Legality isn’t an issue here. It’s simple PR. Fight for me.