Google (and UC Berkeley’s) Hal Varian’s failure to communicate on privacy

UC Berkeley professor and currently Google chief economist Hal Varian in a company blog post conveniently dodges the real reason why Google desires our search data. Notably missing from Prof. Varian’s “Why Data Matters” is any mention of online marketing. He fails to acknowledge that data “matters” to Google because its how Varian and other Google employees get paid–via the 99% of annual company revenues derived from interactive advertising and marketing.

As Google’s chief economist, Prof. Varian should do a new post where he identifies the financial benefit Google receives when it collects data about our searches, YouTube views, and interactions with interactive advertising.

Author: jeff

Jeff Chester is executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. A former journalist and filmmaker, Jeff's book on U.S. electronic media politics, entitled "Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy" was published by The New Press in January 2007. He is now working on a new book about interactive advertising and the public interest.

Leave a Reply