A large chunk of the world’s population has a great fear of data-mining, however the paranoia of being spied on could be costing people their lives, according to Google’s co-founder Larry Page. The Mountain View executive recently addressed concerns about the way that Google handles sensitive information and Page made the argument that there are some benefits to data-mining.
“For me, I’m so excited about the possibilities to improve things for people, my worry would be the opposite,” he told The New York Times. “We get so worried about these things that we don’t get the benefits… Right now we don’t data-mine healthcare data. If we did we’d probably save 100,000 lives next year.”
Yesterday, Google officially announced its new fitness platform that focuses on tracking your eating, sleeping and exercise habits by pooling user data from multiple apps into a central location. No doubt this concept make some of the search giant’s critics feel a bit uneasy. Public ouotcry aside, Page feels that mass fear is a natural reaction to emerging tech.
“In the early days of Street View, this was a huge issue, but it’s not really a huge issue now,” Page told The New York Times. “People understand it now and it’s very useful. And it doesn’t really change your privacy that much. A lot of these things are like that.”
While several of Google’s new ideas were received with oohs and aahs from developers attending its conference, I/O’s San Francisco-based venue was also lined with protestors concerned about the company’s ethics.Unfazed by the event’s party crashers, the Google boss displayed his thick skin. “We’re in San Francisco, so we expect that,” Page told the New York Times. “There’s a rich history of protest in San Francisco.”
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