Fully agree and understand what Chris is saying as an x-director of Knowledge of Ethics and Research at WHO/HQ in Geneva. Two encounters with Google’s people setting in one of the Swiss cities: Google wanted to use the ICD to organize its health/medical websites. They wanted the ICD data so that they disintegrate the ICD system and organize their search accordingly. WHO said fine but can the WHO sites host the Google search engine? The answer is no. This is totally in the hands of the commercial department at Google to sell the engine. Then selling the ICD. The price that Google wanted to pay for the it was USD 1000 yes one thousand US dollar. The answer from WHO was take it free instead of this trivial amount, the answer no we want the license to use it. Legal copyright issue. The other incident with them was to use their machine translation engine by which WHO said they will be ready to give the full text of the WHR since its inception in the six languages or as available, with a condition to make this available on WHO websites. The answer from them was no. Money money money. Google as a commercial entity looks for what is good tor the shareholders they do not care about information. For them it’s business. For HIFA it’s a mission.
Chris said “Any collaboration with Google should be embarked on very (very very my addition) carefully indeed!”. I add also that Google is ready to eat HIFA alive, as they say in English.
Best regards. Najeeb Al-Shorbaji
HIFA profile: Najeeb Al-Shorbaji recently retired from the World Health Organization (WHO), where he has worked since 1988 in different capacities. He was most recently Director of the Knowledge, Ethics and Research Department at WHO headquarters, Geneva. Previously he was Coordinator for Knowledge Management and Sharing in EMRO (Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office), Egypt. He is a member of a number of national and international professional societies and associations specialised in information management and health informatics. He has authored over 100 research papers and articles presented in various conferences and published in professional journals. He is a member of the HIFA Steering Group and the HIFA Working Group on Multilingualism.
Email: shorbajin AT gmail.com