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1/17/09

Prop-8-Map-Hitlist Violates Google's Terms?

Google has always been one of proposition-8's most ardent opposers, which it is of course their right to do. Yahoo, Apple... pretty much every elite company in the Silicon Valley followed. Google went a step further and recently filed a joint amicus brief aimed at overturning the vote of the people. They went yet further and powered a mapped hitlist of proposition 8 donors.

What was Google's role in the website that publishes a map of proposition-8 donors' homes, which may possibly lead to violence? It was created with a google account on googlemap's API option. In order to embed google maps on a site, the website owner had to accept Google's terms of agreement. One of these terms is that:

"...you agree not to: defame, abuse, harass, stalk, threaten or otherwise violate the legal rights (such as rights of privacy and publicity) of others..."

It's interesting that the same people trying to bring "transparency" of donors refuse to disclose who they are themselves, or talk to the media at all. I can't find where they've said their purpose in this site, but many think it is to harass and stalk.

Google's terms of agreement for the author: "Google only shares personal information with other companies or individuals outside of Google in the following limited circumstances:
We have your consent..."
Users of google map API must agree to make "use of your data in accordance with Google's privacy policy." The personal addresses provided by the author to google did NOT have the consent of the respective owners. But then, the agreement is only between the author and google, so this consent probably isn't required.

Google requires that any "reporting mechanisms" for the map be disclosed to Google. This means that either google illegally doesn't know about the program that transfered the prop-8 donors list into this map, or google knows and gave them the green light.

(I may be wrong about my interpretation of google's user agreement, please let me know if I am!)

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