No Robert, Google isn’t being held to a higher standard, it’s being held to a standard of personal privacy. At my house, in my city they have a law that states that garbage cans need to be back tucked behind the fence within 24 hours of pickup. One day we got busy and left them out by the fence. Someone from the city drove by and they mailed us a fine notice. In the notice was a digital photo of my house with the garbage cans in plain site. The fact that someone drove by my house and took an upclose photo felt weird. I knew that they did it for enforcement purposes, to showcase that we were out of compliance, but I didn’t authorize them to take a photo of my house, showing the street address and now it’s in some database somewhere.
When Mary Kay invited the photographer inside her house she INVITED HIM INTO HER HOUSE. None of us have invited Google, or Yahoo, or Microsoft or any of these web 2.0 ventures into our homes.
In all of these privacy issues the ultimate decider of what is ‘too far’ is the person making the decision. It’s like that old saying “I’ll know p_rn when I see it…” Privacy is different to different people. Sometimes I’m very public on this blog, and sometimes I’m not. But it’s my decision.
Privacy is in the eye of the beholder and we all need to be aware of that.