Simson Garfinkel

A View from Simson Garfinkel

I want to be your friend!

This week Google’s new invitation-only Orkut service exploded, with exponential growth assuring dozens of invitations in my mailbox (and probably yours), from people that you may or may not consider “friends.”After signing up a bunch of my friends, my co-author…

  • February 1, 2004

This week Google’s new invitation-only Orkut service exploded, with exponential growth assuring dozens of invitations in my mailbox (and probably yours), from people that you may or may not consider “friends.”

After signing up a bunch of my friends, my co-author Gene Spafford directed me to look at the Orkut Privacy Policy. He then declined my invitation.

Why? For starters, Orkut is collecting a lot more information than other social-networking services.

There is this line: “We may share both personally identifiable information about you and aggregate usage information that we collect with Google Inc. and agents of orkut in accordance to the terms and conditions of this Privacy Policy”

Although Orkut does add that they do not rent or share personal information with third parties for marketing purposes without your express permission. (They can share it for non-marketing information.)

Ultimately, I didn’t think that this was a big deal — hey, it’s Google, and they’re the good guys, right?

Personally, I prefer Orkut to Friendster et. all because it is blindingly fast, like most other Google things. Why? Because they have tens of thousands (or more) servers, and they know how to make them all work together.

C|Net ran this article about some temporary problems that the social network site was having.

Uh oh–you've read all five of your free articles for this month.

Insider Premium

$179.95/yr US PRICE

Want more award-winning journalism? Subscribe to Insider Plus.

  • Insider Plus {! insider.prices.plus !}*

    {! insider.display.menuOptionsLabel !}

    Everything included in Insider Basic, plus ad-free web experience, select discounts to partner offerings and MIT Technology Review events

    See details+

    What's Included

    Bimonthly home delivery and unlimited 24/7 access to MIT Technology Review’s website.

    The Download. Our daily newsletter of what's important in technology and innovation.

    Access to the Magazine archive. Over 24,000 articles going back to 1899 at your fingertips.

    Special Discounts to select partner offerings

    Discount to MIT Technology Review events

    Ad-free web experience

You've read of free articles this month.