Google says Apple, Facebook and government are biggest privacy threats

Google boss Sergey Brin has listed three threats to Internet freedom: Facebook, Apple, and governments that censor their citizens.

While many of them would have a similar list, which would feature Google high on the list, Brin is now claiming that Facebook, Apple and governments trying to censor their citizens are actually threats to the internet.

Chatting to the Guardian, Brin said that the rise of “restrictive” walled gardens such as Facebook and Apple, were a major threat because they tightly control what software can be released on their platforms.

This was just as bad as the efforts of countries such as China, Saudi Arabia and Iran to censor and restrict use of the internet.

Facebook and Apple could stifle innovation and balkanise the web, he said.

He said that there was a lot to be lost, because that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can’t search it.

If Facebook had existed before Google, there was no way that the search engine could exist, he said.

Search engines require an open web, and too many rules not only close it down, but they “stifle innovation,” Brin said.

Brin said nothing about Google’s Search plus Your World (SPYW) feature, which mainly prioritises Google+ over other social networks, but he wouldn’t would he?

Google banned Facebook from accessing Gmail contact data by tweaking the terms of service for its Google Contacts Data API, so that websites which access Google Contacts had to offer access to their data too.