back to article Google slightly less open than Interpol

Google is one of the world's least accountable and transparent organisations, only slightly less accountable than Interpol. Research from One World Trust ranks intergovernmental organisations, international non-governmental organisations and transnational corporations. It awards points towards accountability based on …


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  1. Lexx Greatrex
    Dead Vulture

    "On social and environmental impact evaluation capabilities Google again scored zero."

    Well that is just plain retarded isn't it, General electric one of the biggest polluters in the world scores higher than Google, one of the greenest companies in the world. A company who is fighting for open access. open standards and consumer choice. A corporation who is funding the development of solar energy, hybrid vehicles, wind farms and other green technologies. They really did their research there. I wonder what search engine they used?

  2. Spleen

    Not again

    This is just that Greenpeace survey again which rated Nintendo zero in everything because they didn't send any information to Greenpeace. Google decides it has better things to do than fill out forms for One World Trust, whoever the fuck they are, so One World Trust rates them zero in transparency and evaluation and gleefully releases a press release which they know will get them attention. Really the only thing Google scores zero in is "Responding to surveys by One World Trust", but that doesn't grab the headlines so well.

    Even putting that aside, rating multinational corporations on the same scale as governmental and non-governmental bodies is manifestly stupid. Governmental organisations and NGOs should be accountable to make up for the fact that they're not reliant on satisfying consumer demand. Companies, from Google down to Joe Bloggs & Son Plumbers, don't have to be accountable, there is only one thing they have to be: profitable. Publicly traded companies must fulfill some openness obligations for the sake of their shareholders, but that's it; clearly Google shareholders are happy with Google's openness or they wouldn't be buying the shares.

    The only people who are unhappy are these jumped-up dickheads who think that companies have an obligation to go "Tell the customers to wait, Clarice, I've got to fill out this form for Greenpeace/One World Trust/Busybodies United" because they've latched on like leeches to some fashionable cause.

  3. robert pryde

    contact google not difficult

    umm, makes you wonder about their research

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Easy to contact?

    Do you see any e-mail addresses on that "contact us" page?

    No, just bloody web forms.

  5. David Jones

    Contact google not difficult?

    O rly?

    Yes, there's a page with 'Contact Us' at the top but there is no general way to actually contact them save from the Address and Phone number (both of which are mentioned in the report).

  6. Nick Stallman


    You can contact them via any method bar direct email.

    Chances are that instead of using email, those web forms feed a system which makes it easier for them.

    It works for me. I get replies relatively snappy.

    Another piece of FUD to throw in to the bin.

  7. Spleen

    ...Not again again

    I've just seen a third instance of a pressure group mass-mailing companies with pointless questionnaires on their ethical or environmental behaviour, waiting for some of them not to reply, then ringing up the press to tell them that "A recent study shows that <Popular Brand Name Here> is one of the worst companies for the environment/accountability/cuddling pandas" for not sending back their forms.

    The WWF has pulled the same trick and given Bulgari & Tod's an F for "social and governance performance and reputation" because, you guessed it, it failed to respond fully to the questionnaires they sent them. See

    Presumably the "F" stands for "Fuck off and mind your own business, we're a jewellery maker not a logging company or a coal power station and have no obligation to fill in forms for pro wrestlers".

    Greenpeace, The One Trust and now WWF. Is this a new thing or does it go on all the time and I've only just noticed it?

  8. Walter Brown

    @Contact google not difficult?

    I've contacted Google many times via their web forms, and, i've gotten a prompt and helpful / useful / accurate response every single time.

  9. Sceptical Bastard

    I wonder...

    ... where the Metropolitan Police stand on accountability?

    The Met's very easy to contact, however - all you need is a sallow complexion and a tube ticket from Stockwell.

  10. Svein Skogen

    Has google _EVER_ responded to their actual privacy policies

    With anything but the vague "do no evil" slogan?

    Has anybody succeded in getting google to show what they have collected as information on them, and thus gotten a chance to correct any wrong info?




  11. Lexx Greatrex


    I'm guessing you either work for Microsoft or must not read the news much. There's really no excuse for either, but Google have been very responsive (imo overly sickeningly responsive) to people's privacy concerns.

  12. fred base


    In the US corporations are given similar rights as individuals (referred to as Corporate personhood). It could be argued that this gives them a responsibility to be held accountable in the way governmental organisations are. Either that or they should lose their priviliged status.

    This bizarre law acts against the public interest (see!)

    Nevertheless, even if Google was an unethical company, most of the planet would still use it. Yahoo's recent activity in cooperating with Chinese law didn't do it any real harm - there are many other American corporations actively 'collaborating' with the Chinese government to provide them the means to spy on their citizens (to who knows what end) that aren't hauled over the coals like Yahoo was.

  13. The Sceptic
    Paris Hilton

    Whats the point?

    Ok Google got a mention - so did Interpol - Google are more honest than Interpol - Interpol are a trusted international organisation!!

    So what - all the bad things about Google we are hearing must be lies (or at least something thats about to come out is).

    This may or may not be a marketing tactic but why is The Register bring this to our attention, are they getting free search rankings from Google now to highlight this utterly useless piece of information? I don't know but between irrelevant Microsoft articles & pointless Google write ups I am starting to lose faith in this site, feeling the urge to respond less and less to articles produced by The Register!

    Back to the important stuff: Ms Hilton

    The Register search for Paris Hilton - 93 results

    Google search for Paris Hilton - 25,100,000 results

    Microsoft Live Search for Paris Hilton - 46,600,000 results

    Go figure!

  14. ben edwards

    google isnt so easy to talk to

    Quite often using a 'contact us for help' form degenerates into a python script offering help for topics unrelated to a specific request. Google prefers to feed users into generic 'you may get help' user groups, rather than get yet-another-silly-email-request, which is the only gripe I have with their overall technology.

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