The guy who is complaining about Google “Search plus Your World” also once complained about Caller ID being a massive invasion of privacy

Much is being made of the fact that the Electronic Privacy Information Center has called upon the FTC to investigate Google for tying its Google+ social network to its search results.

Some of the more excitable members of the hackery seem to have leapt to the conclusion that if EPIC writes a letter then inevitably an FTC investigation will follow. From the hysterical tone of some articles, you’d think the government has already filed a lawsuit, and that Google had already been found guilty.

But one letter from EPIC does not an antitrust case make. For one thing, EPIC’s director, Marc Rotenberg, has long had an erection for Google — he hates Google even more than MG Siegler, and that’s saying something.

What you also might not know is that Rotenberg has a long history of bitching about tech companies invading privacy, and that one of his most curious crusades was against Caler ID. Rotenberg’s argument was that before Caller ID, you were the one who controlled whether to give out your number, but with Caller ID the phone companies had taken that control away from you.

EPIC’s Web site has a page devoted to Caller ID. Here is an article from the LA Times from 1990 where Rotenberg discusses the scourge that is Caller ID. And here’s one from the New York Times in 1995.

Funny thing is, I learned about this from Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s communications guy, in 2010 when Rotenberg was going after Facebook for pushing its members to share more info about themselves. Schrage was trying to make a point about Rotenberg being the kind of guy who freaks out over new technology.

Now, of course, Rotenberg is going after Google, and (kind of) carrying water for Facebook. My sense is Schrage and his team might have a higher opinion of Rotenberg now than they did last year.

7 Responses to “The guy who is complaining about Google “Search plus Your World” also once complained about Caller ID being a massive invasion of privacy”

  1. Boudica

    Dan -

    Last month I thought you’d finally gotten your grove back but the posts this week make me think you are really loosing it. Makes me sad.

  2. Kevin Kunreuther

    Whoa, that post was so Marty McFly, still using Windows 98SE or Apple OS9, I think 2002 is calling, it’s wants it “week” “grove” back, ya’ “looser”

    P.S. you forgot the sad emoticon,:(

    P.P.S. if you claim you were being ironic, let me just congratulate you for being really really terrible at being ironic on the internet. Keep up the mediocrity.

  3. Nick

    You attract a lot of douche bags, Dan. They loved it while you were pretending to be dear leader, but something changed since. Makes you wonder… Was He-Man right? The dude has no reason to have double identity, and yet he does, just because he can. Would the same happen to him if he stayed Prince Adam the whole time? I cant stop thinking about this. Peace.

  4. Google Takipci arttirma

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