Google on Tuesday announced some changes to its privacy policies and Terms of Service that essentially boils down to sharing more data by combining information you've provided from one service with information from other services. The goal is to "treat you as a single user across all our products, which will mean a simpler, more intuitive Google experience." Google's unification of data from 60 Web services hasn't been sitting well with some folks, so Google Policy Manager Betsy Masiello hammered out a blog post in an attempt to clarify any misconceptions people may have.
Colorado U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn has ordered a woman to decrypt her laptop so that prosecutors can pluck information from her notebook and use that information against her as part of a criminal case involving alleged bank fraud. The woman sought protection under the Fifth Amendment but was denied her request in what's shaping up to be a highly interesting case on a number of levels.
Not everyone is keen on using their real name for a Google+ account. It's a deal killer for some, and even though Google's social playground is now home to more than 90 million users, it's willing to compromise with users by adding support for alternate names, so you can be called The Round Mound of Rebound instead of Charles Barkley, if that's what you really want.
John M. Simpson, director of Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Project, inked a letter to Mr. Joaquin Almunia, vice president of the European Commission, voicing his organization's concerns over "Google's ongoing anti-competitive behavior," which includes the search giant's proposed $12.5 billion merger with Motorola Mobility. The nearly 3-page letter criticizes Google's business behavior in detail with a particular focus on why Consumer Watchdog feels the merger with Motorola should be blocked.
Google a week ago began rolling out a social search update called "Search, "Plus Your World," which meshes photos, comments, and posts on your Google+ account with your search results. This has drawn the ire of a privacy advocate called EPIC (Electronic Privacy Information Center) concerned over privacy and antitrust issues that could arise from the new search feature.
Facebook has revealed much about the human condition, and now it’s reminding us how vain we humans can be sometimes. According to a recent interview with Facebook’s engineering director Arturo Bejar, the majority of photos flagged by users as inappropriate are actually just unflattering images of the user that reported it.
The outrage over Carrier IQ was bubbling just below the surface for months before it exploded out of modding circles a few weeks ago. The diagnostics software is on many phones, particularly Android handsets, and is used to gather extensive usage data. After the public outcry, Sprint has announced that Carrier IQ will no longer be used on its phones, and will be disabled on current devices.
The new Facebook is here a little later than expected, but still too soon for some. The Timeline profile is going live for all users. It aims to tell the story of a user’s life in a giant scrollable page. Users are encouraged to fill in relevant details that Facebook might not know. Go ahead, give them more data. Cunning.