Google's privacy woes in Europe just keep mounting. Earlier this week, three company executives were convicted of criminally violating a disabled teen's privacy based on a YouTube clip uploaded by high school students. Now, it's come to light that privacy officials with the E.U. are demanding that Google destroy photos for Street View within six months.
Web users who don't want to be tracked via standard HTML cookies can opt out in various ways, including rejecting cookies at the browser level or regularly deleting cookies. But even the most tech-savvy users might be stymied by some of the newer, harder-to-control tracking technologies. Now, the company ClearSight Interactive is getting ready to launch a form of targeting based on users' IP addresses.
Earlier this month, the shopping comparison search engine myTriggers brought an antitrust action against Google, alleging that the search giant unfairly lowered myTriggers' quality score. Now it's come to light that three other companies have asked the European authorities to investigate whether Google violated antitrust law by lowering their position in the organic results.
Broadband advocates say new FCC research lends support to their calls for new policies that would result in more competition and, presumably, lower prices. Among the report's findings: 36% of those who lack broadband say it's too expensive.
Sounding an alarmist note about peer-to-peer networks, the Federal Trade Commission said today it has informed more than 100 schools, business and local governments that sensitive data about their customers and employees has landed on file-sharing networks. Long associated with copyright infringement, peer-to-peer networks already have an image problem. But, while there's no question that some people have used peer-to-peer networks to share copyrighted files, or that some people have inadvertently shared private documents via such networks, vilifying the technology itself won't solve either problem.
Boston grad student Joel Tenenbaum is arguing in new legal papers that the $675,000 damage award against him for sharing 30 tracks on Kazaa should be reduced because the most he could have cost the record labels totaled $21, or 70% of the 99-cent purchase price on iTunes.
Google will gain unparalleled access to people's reading habits if a controversial settlement of a lawsuit with authors and publishers goes through, Electronic Frontier Foundation attorney Cindy Cohn said this morning at a hearing in federal district court in New York.
It must have seemed like a good idea at the time. But Google's poorly thought-out launch of Buzz could have far-reaching ramifications for the company.
Last November, when freelance food journalist Barry Estabrook learned that Condé Nast was shuttering Gourmet, he worried for the fate of features he had authored for the magazine. So Estabrook launched his own blog, Politics of the Plate, and posted links to PDFs he had created of those pieces. "I certainly wasn't reducing their value to Condé Nast," he says. "Nor was I making any money off of them." Nonetheless, Condé Nast took issue with the move, according to Estabrook.
In the net neutrality debate, telecoms have been pitted against content companies like Google ever since former AT&T CEO Ed Whitacre complained that the search giant was getting a "free ride" on the telecom's pipes. But now Google is taking Internet access issues into its own hands. The company said today that it plans to build high-speed, fiber-to-the-home broadband networks that will deliver speeds of 1 Gbps -- more than 250 times the average U.S. broadband speed of 3.9 Mbps, according to Akamai.