“We’re here to help.” And if you are lobbying for an American tech firm in Europe, you may find that a lot of those countries’ political and business leaders are not very convinced of our benign intentions. Google appears to be the most successful to date in helping our European friends fill a funding gap that exists there, particularly in terms of technology improvements for schools and museums. Perhaps the biggest challenge for Google is to convince European leaders that they will fully protect citizens’ privacy rights online.
Another major concern appears to be that Google will have too much control over how Europeans gain access to digital services. I don’t think that this has become a major concern in the U.S. ? I believe we have come to use Google as our all-purpose search engine, “Google it!” Is it a question of losing our individual autonomy by using the most powerful and reliable search tool at our disposal? We still have the prerogative of using other search engines, but let’s be honest, size and scope of these searches do matter. Yahoo!
But it seems apparent that Europeans’ perceptions of American interests in Europe and elsewhere might always be tinged by the impressions we left behind after the Second World War: “oversexed, overpaid, and over here.”