Word leaked out on Friday in Brussels that The European Parliament is going to call for the break-up of Google. That must be a tough pill to swallow for Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt. Sorry Mr. Schmidt, apparently you can't bully the European continent the way you've recently attempted to bully technology leaders such as Tim Cook about Google's modus vivendi.
Recently I wrote about how Google, for all intents and purposes, exists as a textbook example of an overbearing monopoly. In that regard, John D. Rockefeller and his Standard Oil Company have nothing on Schmidt and his cast of Google characters. That led to my second point, mainly questioning why the U.S. doesn't lay down the gauntlet by enforcing The Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the 4th Amendment.
Someone finally has, albeit from a different continent. While America ignores its own laws and turns the other cheek, look who comes along to drop a nuclear bomb on Google? Europe. Forget about Europe's stand on the right to be forgotten, in which to date, some 171,000 requests have been sent to Google to remove links. That's marbles compared to if the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, follows through on Parliament's recommendation. I sense there's a storm of sweat cascading down foreheads on the Menlo Park campus..
So what does this mean to you, me, and the guy down the street? Nothing yet in the U.S. of A. But over in the old world, which suddenly becomes a new one mind you, you could expect the following to happen. Google will have to unbundle its search engine from all its other services such as Gmail, Google Maps, Google Docs, and more. Google will also be prohibited from giving favorable treatment in its search results to its own services. According to the Financial Times, "The commission has been investigating concerns over Google's dominance of online search for five years, with critics arguing that the company's rankings favor its own services, hitting its rivals' profits." Apparently, no one's having the wool pulled over their eyes overseas.
Don't think Google doesn't see the writing on the wall. In a speech last month in Berlin in defense of his baby and integrating Google's own content within search results, Schmidt claimed, "We created search for users, not websites." Furthermore, regulation would "deprive sites of valuable traffic and disadvantages their businesses." Really? Then tell me this sir, why, as I like to point out, does Google collects the following information:
Consider that at this very moment, Google has the means to know:
• What you are doing online (Google Chrome)
• What you are doing offline (Android and Chromebooks)
• What you are doing at home (Nest)
• Where you are in your home (Nest)
• What you are working on (Google Drive)
• Who you are connected to (Android, Gmail, Google+)
• Who you are talking to (Android, Google+)
• Who you are emailing (Gmail)
• What you are listening to (Google Play)
• What you are watching (YouTube)
• Where you are (Android)
• Where you are going (Google Maps and self-driving car)
• When you are going (Google Calendar)
• What you are looking for (Google Search)
• How to manipulate your reality (Magic Leap)
• Watching you everywhere (DigitalGlobe)
Money talks which is why Google walks away with your information and sells it to the highest bidder. It's downright creepy. Now that Europe is about to shake Google's moneymaker, you can rest assured that Google will fight back guns a blazing. Good luck with that because Europe is a lot less sympathetic to your causes. And where there's smoke, in this case, Europe's regulatory actions, there will ultimately be a call within the U.S. for fire, which Google, in its best Smokey the Bear impersonation, will want to avoid at all costs.
This is a monumental action and an important first step in people around the world taking back their rights and information. I can only hope that it leads us to follow suit within our own borders. Way to go Europe!