Is Google still as worthy of our trust and love as it's always been? I've asked this question during several episodes of TWiG over the past year. Gizmodo's +Mathew Honan makes a case for the answer "no" in his story linked below.

I don't think the answer is a binary yes or no. But it's a question I never felt so compelled to ask.

The Kenya fraud, the mobile Safari hidden form trickery--both embarrassing missteps by teams within the company whose guiding principle was clearly not "don't be evil." Search Plus Your World is less obviously egregious (and still evolving), but focusontheuser.org convinced me of Mat's assertion: that Google doesn't deliver the highest quality search results at a default setting.

Then, the privacy policy consolidation. A great thing for users--simpler, clearer, with great potential to unlock interesting new features. However, your web search terms are the most intimate bits of data you type into your computer every day, and Google wants to use them to inform other products. If there's a question about whether or not Google is deserving of the privilege, well, you might not want to search the web using Google.

Google is an incredible company who makes incredible products that make my life and the web better every single day. You'll have to pry Gmail, Voice, Maps, Calendar, Chrome, Android, Analytics, and Docs from my cold, dead hands. (I'm probably forgetting some products because they're so entrenched in my daily online life I don't even realize they're there. Update: Oh yes, forgot YouTube.)

But I switched Chrome's default search engine to DuckDuckGo about a month ago and never looked back. It feels good to break one company's monopoly on your most personal data. Also, it turns out that DuckDuckGo is a really good search engine.

In short, Google no longer deserves the free pass the tech community's used to giving it. Question and make informed decisions, friends.
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