This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

Stop Calling Google 'Big Brother'

Stocks in this article: GOOG AAPL AMZN SBUX SHLD

I mean I think I have reread George Orwell enough times to fully understand what he was getting at. Or is "big brother" just another construct we have hijacked and dummied down into an improperly used, casually tossed around catchphrase?

If you have ever met people who actually work at Google or any of the millions of likeminded souls who work in innovative tech and I would argue share the broad ideals Google embodies, you likely agree -- it's absurd to make the charge that Google is or even has an interest in being "big brother."

Makes a seemingly great headline, but it's idiotic.

Most folks I know in tech have a genuine drive to positively impact the world. They want to make people's lives better in whatever way they are best positioned to. In fact, sometimes when I consider the impact they say they want to have and/or think they have had, I feel like some egos have grown a bit too large. But it's all good because their intentions are good.

Cats who work at Google or Apple or Amazon or Starbucks or another equally-as-successful, household name technology company have no interest in amassing power to spy on you and somehow hurt you physically, emotionally, financially or otherwise. They simply want to make a difference in your life and in the world within the context of their ability to do so.

We're too damn lazy, collectively, as a society to read the privacy notices these companies send out. We just click agree and move on because we want what we want and we want it now. We want Google and Apple and Amazon and Starbucks to make our lives better. In fact, many of us wouldn't know what to do without their minute-by-minute presences.

Our laziness morphs into intellectual stupor.

We make serious accusations -- that Google wants to be or is about to become "big brother" without a) even considering how damn off base the accusation is and b) stopping to understand the culture that drives the people who work at these companies. They're not evil. They're not waiting for us to become complacent (because, newsflash, they actually don't have anything to wait for!). They mean no harm. And anybody who claims that they do is just trying to make something out of nothing.

But that's the world we roll in -- we hate tech even though we couldn't live without it. We hate that people in tech are rich and dynamic and successful. That's why we saw more outcry over a relatively small glitch with Yahoo! (YHOO) Mail and nary a comparative peep over what's going on at Target (TGT).

(And don't tell me you're worried that what happened at Target will happen at Google, Apple, Amazon or Starbucks because, if you were, you wouldn't be lazy and click "I agree" on every privacy notice and attendant disclaimer that comes across your screen).

--Written by Rocco Pendola in Santa Monica, Calif.

Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks. Rocco Pendola is a columnist for TheStreet. Whenever possible, Pendola uses hockey, Springsteen or Southern California references in his work. He lives in Santa Monica.
2 of 2

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs