Friday, January 20, 2006

India Googled

Google is really driving Indian institutions nuts these days !!!

First, it published high-resolution images of several Indian metropolitan cities which incidentally included some key defense installations in Bangalore and other places. A hullabaloo was raised and prominent Indian personalities rallied along with our geeky President to blast Google on allowing sensitive data to fall into terrorists'’ hands. Other countries like Israel, Thailand too voiced similar concerns. Google immediately went on the back foot and managed to do some damage control by reiterating that its open to discussions with the respective governments.

Now it is the Indian film industry that has found itself being googled. Last week when Google showcased its new Video search, it threw open a whole new Pandora's box with Bollywood immediately feeling the heat. New movies that were yet to see the light of the day were available for download on Google. Its search spiders had acted too smart for once !!! Neal n' Nikki, Bunty aur Babli, Aitraaz were all available. While Bollywood started screaming its lungs out, fans were having the last laugh.

These two incidents tend to portray the image that the America based search giant cares little for the niggles its services cause to institutions around the world. While this may not be true, the public image of Google in India has taken a beating for sure.

Google does need to chalk out more elaborate release plans for its services to ensure it lives up to its credibility. It should act more proactively and try and shed the stance of acting only when an institution comes out crying hoarse. I, for one, back Google to quickly learn from its mistakes and be more sensitive to the privacy aspect of institutions across the world.

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