CNETNews.com got on the wrong side of giant search engine Google after staff writer Elinor Mills used the service to dig up information on Google CEO Eric Schmidt. Mills had used the information to show readers what type of personal information can be found on Google raised questions about what type of information Google collects about users of its service.
As a result Google has now told CNETNews.com that it won’t answer any questions from the company until July 2006! So much for the idea of free speech.
What information did Mills dig up about the CEO on Google. Well he lives in the pricey suburb of Atherton, Calif., his stock in Google is worth $1.5 billion and that he hosted a $10,000 a plate fundraiser for Al Gore’s presidential campaign.
So what got Google’s goat? Was it the fact that anyone can dig information that is public information, but before the internet was pretty private? Or maybe they were more upset at the revelation of the Gore fundraiser showing the liberal bent of a company that claims to only gather information and not editorialize. After my experience last year when AIM was banned from Google after advertising pro-gun bumper stickers it’s most definitely the latter.