Not sure I really get the hatred for Google of this sort. They aren’t a government; they’re a business. They aren’t the beneficiaries of any sort of government-enforced monopoly; they win customers by the quality of their products.
They are a platform that makes possible billions in transactions for all sorts of small businesses that would otherwise not be able to tap into that sort of global consumer market. Ok, their leadership is politically liberal, Democrats, whatever, but that’s a function of the fact that they are Stanford graduates and Palo Alto residents. Being a progressive Democrat is basically a given for that crowd, no matter what line of business they’re in.
But the business itself is pure free market capitalism, and a very innovative and useful one at that. And yes, they do collect tons of information about the activities of their users, but they have no business interest in knowing anyone’s actual personally-identified activities; their interest is in creating statistical aggregations of data that can be used for marketing purposes. And why should I be worried about Google counting my clicks and selling that information to advertisers, when I know that the Federal government is data mining every last bit of data in existence anyways? (And no, I don’t work for or own stock in Google!).
Check into the retention rate for those small businesses. It is abysmal. Business owners get sick of the stacking the deck for larger players and inappropriate ad choices.
Guess I should have added that "brilliant marketing strategists" may have been a better term... :-)