The bloggers are cranked about the Google version of smart tags, and they should be. Content is altered by linking but linking is what the web is about. Yet so seldom is it discussed as a purposeful act and that is really what the debate comes down to. The web is not about progress; it is about purpose and this has all the implications of every network-as-ecology article ever written.
On the other hand, some are glossing right past the ChoicePoint fiasco in which a dataMegaMart is conned out of product and opened up potentially half-a-million people to identity theft. The deeper bad news is that ChoicePoint has just purchased I2, one of the more powerful link analysis engines used for crime analysis. Had the hustlers also purchased the link profiles, they would have had not just the identities, but potentially first rate extortion opportunities and some other great behavioral data. Combine this sort of thing with surreptitious RFID scanning and you get a first rate criminal enterprise.
You see, people fear government when they should fear administrations. People think there are smart people out there in the technical community protecting them when actually the geeks are making a buck. Meanwhile, the web like life isn't evolving hierarchically into better forms but extending itself into every niche it can and aggregating these into ever larger entities. One confuses progress with proliferation. Life only propagates. So it is with the web.