Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Google outspooks the spooks with Total Information Awareness plan

Wednesday, March 8th, 2006

Google wants to mirror and index every byte of your hard drive, relegating your PC to a “cache”, notes on a company PowerPoint presentation reveal.

The file accompanied part of Google’s analyst day last week. Google has since withdrawn the file, telling the BBC that the information was not intended for publication.

The justification for this enormous data grab is that Google would be able to restore your data after a catastrophic system failure.
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77% of Google users don't know it records personal data

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

More than three quarters of web surfers don’t realize Google records and stores information that may identify them, results of a new opinion poll show.

The phone poll, which sampled over 1000 internet users, was conducted by the Ponemon Institute following the DoJ subpoenas last week.

This suggests that the battle for internet privacy is far from over.

Google maintains a lifetime cookie that expires in 2038, and records the user’s IP address. But more recently it has begun to integrate services which record the user’s personal search history, email, shopping habits, and social contacts. After first promising not to tie its email service to its search service, Google went ahead and opted its users in anyway. It’s all part of CEO Eric Schmidt’s promise to create a “Google that knows more about you”.

The conundrum for Google now is does it come clean with the data it stores about users, or does it simply hope that the majority of users don’t care?

In the survey, 56 per cent of users said Google should not turn over information to the Government, and only 14 per cent were happy for Google to turn over information even in criminal cases.

Police stake out bar, hoping to catch man drunk

Thursday, September 22nd, 2005

Canadian cops staked out a bar in the hope of finding a journalist drunk, a court heard today.

The journalist in question, Edmonton newspaper columnist Kerry Diotte, wasn’t suspected of involvement in any crime. But Diotte had written a column criticizing the police force’s radar and camera technology as being more of a cash cow for the force than an effective measure against road fatalities – and the story enraged the local constabulary.

Diotte has been a consistent critic of the police’s technology dependency habit.
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Google snubs press in privacy fury

Saturday, August 6th, 2005

Google has thrown a hissy fit and blacklisted tech news site CNET’s News.com – vowing not to provide quotes or statements to the site for a year.

“Google representatives have instituted a policy of not talking with CNET News.com reporters until July 2006 in response to privacy issues raised by a previous story,” noted reporter Elinor Mills here.

The previous story, by the same reporter and published on July 14, drew on information largely gleaned from Google itself to note Google CEO Eric Schmidt’s political affiliations and hobbies.

“Like so many other Google users, his virtual life has been meticulously recorded,” wrote Mills. Since Schmidt is on the public record with a promise to build “a Google that knows more about you”, he’s hardly in a position to complain when his company is demonstrated to be functioning as designed.

“Shouldn’t he resign if he feels that searching through Google’s index is so evil?” wrote one correspondent to Dave Farber’s IP mailing list.
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