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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2011-05-13 16:08
My new Forbes' op-ed: Google Disregards the Law, tells the sordid story behind today's story of Google apparently agreeing to settle a criminal investigation with the Department of Justice for ~$500m for promoting and accepting advertising from illegal online pharmacies.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2011-05-12 11:47
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2011-05-11 11:02
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Tue, 2011-05-10 11:57
I've long thought there was a big untold story about Google, essentially a book all about Google, but told from a user's perspective, rather than the well-worn path of Google books told largely from Google's own paternal perspective.
Given that Google is the most ubiquitous, powerful and disruptive company in the world, it seemed logical to me that users, and people affected by Google, had a lot of important and fundamental questions about Google that no book had ever tried to answer in a straightforward and well-defended manner.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2011-05-06 15:13
How business models are aligned or not with users' privacy interests, will be spotlighted at the Senate Judiciary hearing Tuesday on "Protecting Mobile Privacy" featuring Google and Apple officials as witnesses.
While the Senate Subcommittee on Privacy will hear from both Google and Apple witnesses on how their companies handle users' WiFi location data, their testimony will provide stark contrast in the companies' privacy conflicts of interests.
Google vs Apple concerning alignment with users' interests:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2011-05-04 11:16
In a remarkable admission for a senior public company executive, Google Chairman and longtime former CEO Eric Schmidt told Gigaom: "At Google, we give the impression of not managing the company, because we don't really. It sort of has its own borg-like quality if you will. It sort of just moves forward."
If the executives ultimately responsible for "managing the company" to ensure it proactively respects users' privacy, vigilantly guards against security and data breaches or property infringement, is not really "managing the company," it now makes sense why Google has so many privacy scandals, and security and property infringement problems.
Generally protecting privacy, security and property rights are not engineering goals unless company management and managers have internal control and management focus, systems, processes, and procedures to ensure they are a priority to engineering teams.
Google's lack of interest in management execution is evident in Google's:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Sun, 2011-05-01 22:58
New "smoking gun" incriminating and damaging evidence from court documents in the Skyhook vs. Google court case, likely increases Google's antitrust and privacy risk on multiple fronts. (For background on the Skyhook case see here, here.)
A must-read piece by Mike Swift of The Mercury News, details how, in May 2010 just after the WiSpy scandal broke, Google's Larry Page (who is now CEO), had an email exchange with senior executives that made clear how strategically important building a WiFi location database was to Google's Android and mobile strategy.
Implications of the new evidence:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2011-04-27 11:27
The current media and Congressional interest in the new revelation that Google and Apple have collected WiFi location information has largely missed an exceptionally salient point -- Google and Apple have very different privacy track records stemming from their very different attitudes toward privacy.
Google Privacy Scandal #11:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2011-04-22 11:37
The Wall Street Journal essentially confirmed the huge flaw in the FTC-Google privacy settlement that I recently spotlighted; see Julia Angwin's excellent privacy article: "Apple, Google Collect User Data."
The WSJ investigation confirmed the fact that Google (and Apple too) are tracking their mobile device users' movements and locations based on "unique device identifiers" without users' knowledge or authorization.
The confirmation of this fact, confirms my point that the FTC-Google privacy settlement has a huge loophole in that it does not include "unique device identifiers" to be private information, a ridiculous distinction because a "unique device identifier" is obviously as private as a name or IP address, which the FTC already considers "covered information." FYI: the proposed bipartisan Kerry-McCain privacy legislation considers "unique device identifiers" to be private information.
If the FTC is truly serious about enforcing its fair representation laws and sanctioning deceptive and unfair privacy practices when they find them, it should modify its draft privacy settlement with Google to include "unique device identifiers," as covered private information, in the final settlement with Google that soon will be codified by the court.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2011-04-15 18:40
Expect Google's bull-in-a-china-shop entry into social, to try and neutralize FaceBook, to bring lots more major unwanted privacy attention to the privacy-challenged social media business model, and to contribute to the eventual bursting of the Internet investment Bubble 2.0.
I. Privacy Baseline is on the Move: Bipartisan Interest in Privacy Protection Strengthening
Anyone following social media or Google would be remiss to not notice the flurry of recent bipartisan, bicameral, and bi-branch interest in increasing privacy protection of online users in just the last few weeks.