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CNET: We've been blackballed by Google
Tech news site says Google froze out its reporters for publishing Eric Schmidt's personal info.
August 5, 2005: 6:13 PM EDT
By: Jennifer Westhoven, CNN correspondent

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Google Inc. has blacklisted all CNET reporters for a year, after the popular technology news website published personal information of one of Google's founders in a story about growing privacy concerns for the Internet search engine, according to a CNET statement.

CNET on Friday reported "Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET News reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story." That story, by reporter Elinor Mills ran under the headline "Google balances privacy, reach."

Google spokesman David Krane told CNN the company declined comment.

The CNET story, dated July 14, focused on privacy concerns since Google is amassing such enormous amounts of data about people. It reported that some analysts fear it is becoming a great risk to privacy, because it would be a tempting target for hackers, "zealous government investigators, or even a Google insider who falls short of the company's ethics," the article said.

To underscore its point about how much personal information is available, the CNET report published some personal information about Google's CEO Eric Schmidt -- his salary; his neighborhood, some of his hobbies and political donations -- all obtained through Google searches.

Schmidt is officially Google's chief champion and defender, and has publicly said that there has to be a trade-off between privacy concerns and functionality. He has brought up Google's corporate motto, "Don't Be Evil" in those defenses.

Just last week, a different technology changed its mind about cutting its ties with a Wall Street analyst.

Altera Corp's chief financial officer apologized, and reversed its decision to stop talking to Tad LaFountain, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities LLC who had argued that the company's share buyback program would hurt Altera's stock.

Altera CFO Nathan Sarkisian said in a press release, "Regrettably, as a result of our action and the ensuing press coverage, some have concluded that our intention was to manipulate opinion."  Top of page

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