Oversharing & Under Caring

Kim Lyons for The Verge:

Most of Mozilla’s revenue comes from search engine companies like Google— as well as Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China— that pay for their search engine to be the default option in Firefox.

I really like Mozilla, their approach to something has been a bit strange, and they have wasted loads of time messing around with an OS and VR, but at the end of it all they have the open web as a whole at their heart.

But with that said, I don’t agree these agreements that Google makes to be the default search engine. They don’t just do it with Mozilla, they also pay Apple billions to be default on iOS, and I am sure elsewhere that we don’t hear about. It’s not just google, I don’t agree that any company should be the default, I believe that customer should be given the choice with transparent information about the different approaches.

Thankfully, regulators are starting to take aim at these deals. After the EU ruling on default search on Android, Google must now implement a choice screen reminiscent of the browser screen on Windows from back in the day, for all new devices. Meaning that the data mining company presents the customer with more choice, that is ultimately going to make little difference.

Killing these deal will no doubt kill Mozilla, which is a huge shame, but if your company depends on these deals and is yet to make any money elsewhere, perhaps these deals are just preventing the inevitable. I don’t like Google controlling search because they then control access to products such as maps, but more users flocking to Chrome could possibly be worse.

Any company controlling the web is bad news, but when it’s Google it should be avoided at all costs.

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