On today's episode, we discover that frenemies make for great collusion, everyone at the White House is suddenly sorry they bought all those iPads, the iPhone 4 doesn't actually have an eyeball, and only birds are now allowed to "tweet."Oh, and everything's better if you're naked.Subscribe: iTunes (MP3) | iTunes (320x180) | iTunes (640x360) | RSS (MP3) | RSS (320x180) | RSS (640x360)… Read more
A third-party review of the code used by Google that collected personal data during its Street View Wi-Fi analysis project didn't produce a smoking gun but didn't put Google in the clear either.
Stroz Friedberg produced the 21-page report, a copy of which we've hosted on our site (click for PDF). Google paid for the report through its law firm, Perkins Coie, as part of an internal investigation into how Google Street View cars were allowed to collect data from unsecured wireless networks for three years, which has Google in hot water all around the globe.
The … Read more
Australia has called in the police to determine whether Google violated privacy laws by capturing data from private Wi-Fi networks though its Street View service.
At a forum on Internet security on Sunday, Australian Attorney General Robert McClelland told reporters that the matter was handed over to the police following a string of complaints from the public. Specifically, the Australian Federal Police are looking into possible violations of the country's Telecommunications Interception Act, which "prevents people from accessing electronic communications other than for authorized purposes," according to McClelland.
Google asaid Sunday that it will cooperate with the … Read more
The U.S. Congress' interest in probing Facebook's and Google's privacy practices keeps growing.
On Friday, a House of Representatives committee responsible for writing some electronic privacy laws sent a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg asking for details on when the company shared user data "without the knowledge of the account holders."
The letter, written by Democratic chairman John Conyers of Michigan, suggests that the committee will eventually hold hearings on whether the Internet's second most popular site has--at least in the minds of a handful of politicians--acted responsibly in disclosing its data-sharing practices … Read more
How did Google's Wi-Fi spying debacle get to this point?
As Google prepares to defend itself against allegations of Wi-Fi spying, it has said very little about exactly what kind of personal data it gathered as part of its Street View project. Last week, Google also declined to provide executives willing to speak on the record about how one of the most monumental oversights in its history occurred: the inadvertent gathering of "payload" data by Wi-Fi sniffers mapping hotspots while recording street scenes for Google Street View.
But Google finally did confirm a few additional details about … Read more
Google has yet to turn over data collected as part of its Street View program to German authorities, and could be prepared to hold out for some time.
The New York Times and Financial Times reported that Google missed a Wednesday deadline to turn over the data it collected from unsecured Wi-Fi networks by its Street View , a practice which Google has said was done inadvertently but has raised the hackles of critics and privacy advocates. Google did provide German authorities with a written explanation of how the incident occurred, according to the AP, but it's declining to … Read more
Google's accidental interception of some Wi-Fi transmissions is, for at least a few politicians, the gift that keeps on giving.
A trio of U.S. House of Representatives members wrote a letter (PDF) to Google CEO Eric Schmidt on Wednesday asking a dozen detailed questions about the Street View flap, including whether the inadvertently intercepted data were destroyed and whether an outside review of privacy practices will take place. It was signed by Henry Waxman (D-CA), Ed Markey (D-MA), and Joe Barton (R-TX).
Stung by a laundry list of privacy concerns, Google has released a new add-on designed to block the information captured for Web sites that use its own Analytics service.
The … Read more
It is hard to understand why some enterprising TV company hasn't already created a game show called "Breach of Privacy." This would entail people telling their stories of the most egregious ways in which their privacy was removed from them, with viewers voting for the winners.
Stephen Conroy, Australia's Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, would surely be a worthy contestant. In a senate committee that was set up to discuss Internet filtering, Conroy reportedly became so fired up that he was unable to keep his views about Google to himself.
I try not to write too many of these open letters because, well, they're a gimmicky way to hook readers on a Monday after a long week of news. But your relative silence since last Friday's revelation that you collected personal data from unsecured Wi-Fi hot spots all over the globe shows you are underestimating the slow burn this incident has sparked among your user base, otherwise known as basically everybody on the Internet.
This isn't like Facebook exposing the pictures from your 5-year college reunion, the one where you learned that no, you can … Read more