There is a much longer post to be written on Google’s privacy policies and its history of combatting or complying with government requests for information and those of third parties using the courts to get access to user data. But I’ll take two recent items to illustrate the complexity and potential contradictions here. Google was just ordered to turn over the identity of some Gmail users pursuant to a defamation lawsuit between a Miami-based developer and a newspaper publication that tied the developer to government corruption in the Turks and Caicos Islands. According to an AP article: Developer Cem Kinay of Miami accuses TCI Journal of causing “reputational damage and lost profits,” according to a civil complaint filed in California. A court order tells Google to turn over data that may help identify users of the newspaper’s account with Gmail, the Internet search company’s e-email service. Google said in a statement to The Associated Press it is … [Read more...] about Is Google Using A Privacy Double Standard?
DuckDuckGo, a small search engine that’s largely flown under the public radar, has started the new year by taking a public shot at Google on the issue of search privacy. The company has launched DontTrack.us, an illustrated guide showing how Google tracks its users … and how DuckDuckGo doesn’t. The site: shows how a search for “herpes” shows up in Google Analytics as a search referral with information about the user’s location, browser, and other data shows how the “herpes” search can lead to targeted ads being associated with a user profile and how that profile can “potentially show up in unwanted places like insurance, credit & background checks” shows how Google saves searches in its Web History tool and those saved searches can be requested by legal authorities (and how Google employees have been caught snooping on users) says that DuckDuckGo doesn’t save search queries or “store any personal … [Read more...] about DuckDuckGo Challenges Google On Privacy With DontTrack.us
Video search marketing has exploded in the past few years. The problem is that most marketers today, especially those in small-to-medium businesses, have no idea what the legal issues with online video are. As a video search marketing professional and legal analyst of new media, I’ve put together this introductory guide for marketers on understanding the most important legal issues with video in search marketing, the serious consequences of not following the law; and tips for how to protect your own video assets and your business. Biggest Legal Issues Today With Online Video I recently covered some of these issues with attorney Daliah Saper, of SaperLaw.com in the video below, and I’ve highlighted some of the key points in our discussion below.. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOcQlSxzg3Q Copyright infringement – the unauthorized use of a video, or any content featured in a video, under copyright by someone else. This includes the right to reproduce or perform the … [Read more...] about 5 Legal Tips For Video Search Marketing
As you read earlier the US Federal Trade Commission concluded its investigation of Google over the company’s supposedly “deceptive privacy practices in Google’s rollout of its Buzz social network.” My view after talking to people at Google following the Buzz launch is that Google was not intentionally seeking to deceive users. Rather it was overzealous with the rollout and underestimated how strongly people would feel about privacy. Not Worse than Facebook There’s nothing more egregious here than comparable privacy screw-ups Facebook has made in the past. Google Buzz was a botched rollout with clumsy messaging. Here’s my paraphrase of how Google characterized what happened shortly after the Buzz launch: “We failed to fully appreciate the wide range of differing privacy expectations that Buzz would confront at launch.” Yet to Google’s credit it almost immediately addressed those privacy concerns. It still got sued (and later settled … [Read more...] about Twenty Year FTC “Privacy Audit” Intended To Punish, Make Example Of Google
The first of the two bills is from Democratic Senators Al Franken and Richard Blumenthal and would require Google, Apple, app developers and others to gain consent before accessing user location information. The Hill reports that the US Justice Department would be the enforcing agency for any compliance failures. Would Require Consent to Grab Location According to the publication, “The bill would require firms to get customers’ expressed consent before collecting location data from their smartphones or mobile devices. Any firm that obtains location data from more than 5,000 mobile devices must take reasonable steps to protect and delete that data if requested by the customer.” Last month Franken, in his capacity as chair of the Senate Judiciary Privacy subpanel, called Apple and Google to testify at hearings, following the “locationgate” scandal in which it was discovered that Apple and Google devices were tracking user movements without clearly obtaining … [Read more...] about Two Mobile Location Privacy Bills Introduced In Congress
At a conference in Berlin Google’s global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer offered a window into Google’s “right to be forgotten” (RTBF) decision-making process: The requests . . . first go to a large team of lawyers, paralegals and engineers who decide the easy cases . . . Google has dozens of people working on the requests, mostly out of the company’s European headquarters in Dublin, a Google spokesman said . . . The harder ones get bumped up to the senior Google panel. Like many Google meetings, some participants are in a conference room, while others join remotely through the company’s Hangouts video-chat product, a spokesman said. Sometimes the group calls in outside experts, such as lawyers with particular specialties. Fleischer added that following the discussion of each case the assembled group votes. It’s important to point out that individuals whose RTBF requests are denied can appeal to their local data protection authorities for … [Read more...] about Demanding More Detail, Legal Group Calls On Google To Disclose RTBF Criteria
The French privacy authority, the Commission Nationale de l’informatique et des Libertés (CNIL), has taken an extreme and potentially dangerous position that unwittingly supports internet censorship. CNIL, and others in Europe, have repeatedly demanded that links expunged from the search index under Europe’s “Right to Be Forgotten” law (RTBF) be removed from all of Google’s indexes globally. The position is based on the notion that individual country domain removals can be circumvented by going to Google.com. Google has resisted removing RTBF content on a global basis on the grounds that it represents regulatory overreach and that citizens of other countries should not be subject to French or European law. Previously, Google said that it would limit RTBF to European users: We’ve been working hard to strike the right balance in implementing the European Court’s ruling, co-operating closely with data protection authorities. The ruling … [Read more...] about French privacy regulator fines Google for not removing RTBF links outside of Europe
It’s a bad privacy day for Google, with Privacy International first accusing the company of having the worst privacy performance of any internet service company in a study it has just released and then accusing Google of conducting a smear campaign against it. But if you actually read the report, Privacy International itself comes off bad for putting out a haphazard condemnation of Google. Let’s do the smear campaign accusation first. An Open Letter to Google from the group says that Google is talking to journalists and implying that Privacy International favors Microsoft: Two European journalists have independently told us that Google representatives have contacted them with the claim that “Privacy International has a conflict of interest regarding Microsoft”. I presume this was motivated because Microsoft scored an overall better result than Google in the rankings…. According to our sources, your representative or representatives made particular … [Read more...] about Google Bad On Privacy? Maybe It’s Privacy International’s Report That Sucks