by Gordon Hull
To the long list of rich entities trying to generate academic research that supports their business model, add (maybe) Google. This piece in ProPublica discovered that the Stanford Center for Internet and Society had promised not to use any Google money to fund privacy research, after research done at Stanford led to a substantial fine for Google. The article was immediately followed by a lot of backpedaling and denials on everyone’s part (there’s an update on top), and it’s unclear at this point exactly what’s happening. The Stanford Center has also been the source of a lot of very good work on the Internet over the years.
That said, the blurring of boundaries between corporations and the academy has been going on for some time, and Stanford has always been at its epicenter. I suppose it’s encouraging that folks at least felt the need to deny the allegations