Google Co-Founder Calls Apple, Facebook ‘Threats to Online Freedom’

Google co-founder Sergey Brin shared his "growing concern" with UK newspaper The Guardian over what he calls "very powerful forces" trying to restrict freedom on the internet. In an interview with the newspaper, Brin said that the efforts by governments and companies such as Facebook and Apple to control online activity are "scary."

"I am more worried than I have been in the past," he said. "I thought there was no way to put the genie back in the bottle, but now it seems in certain areas the genie has been put back in the bottle."

While we expect such behavior from countries like China, Saudi Arabia and Iran, online freedom is under threat in more subtle ways, by Brin's estimation. He points out that "walled gardens" like Facebook and the App Store are significant obstacles to further innovation on the web.

"There's a lot to be lost," he said. "For example, all the information in apps – that data is not crawlable by web crawlers. You can't search it. The kind of environment that we developed Google in, the reason that we were able to develop a search engine, is the web was so open. Once you get too many rules, that will stifle innovation."

He also criticized Facebook for making it difficult for users to transfer their personal data to other services and added that "Facebook has been sucking down Gmail contacts for many years."

Source: GamesIndustry International

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