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Google Agrees To Biennial Privacy Reviews

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  • Okay, so the FTC is mad about them violating privacy. So what do they have to do? Agree to an "independent" privacy review? And how picks this organization? Google? Why doesn't the FTC put our tax dollars to work and investigate Google themselves?
    • By all means, let the FTC grow to accommodate the job of investigating Google biannually while private companies wither for lack of work, so that private working citizens can pay for it with their tax dollars because public corporations won't.

  • by paulsnx2 (453081) on Wednesday March 30, 2011 @12:40PM (#35668048)

    Google has totally been publicly whipped for Buzz and for collecting WiFi data....

    And yet the Telecoms are collecting who-even-has-a-guess-how-much data on our data exchanges, tracking our position, hacking our phones to turn them into ease dropping devices, and whatever else. And we know AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, etc. are sharing this data freely without warrants with the government.

    And our government keeps extending and extending and extending the extraordinary measures of the Patriot Act without providing any evidence that this is needed!

    Big Content is pushing to reduce our privacy further, and insists upon technologies aimed at reducing file sharing, while enabling all sorts of fun Actors like Iran to use the same technologies to cut off their population from the rest of the Internet.

    Now I am happy that Google is willing to take input on better privacy. And they NEED to be good about privacy, as more and more of our communications are open to them. But they are not alone. There are other companies that need to step up to the privacy needs of their customers.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      > collecting WiFi data....

      WiFi data that was broadcast in the clear, so by definition perfectly OK to receive.

      I'm no google fan, I hate them, block their scripts, and refuse to use their services or let them collect data about me. But pretending they did something wrong when they didn't serves no purpose except to dilute the case when they really *have* done bad things.

      Once more, with feeling: if you shout, don't be dismayed when someone hears. The very technical definition of 802.11 makes it permissib

      • by nbossett (1835098)
        It's not necessarily legal to listen to (and archive) radio transmissions which aren't intended for you, even if they are sent unencrypted. There's a big difference between a television station and a private wireless computer network or cordless phone.
    • Google has totally been publicly whipped for Buzz and for collecting WiFi data....

      As is richly deserved for flagrant and willful abuse of privacy. Now please explain to me why these same watchful agencies continue to look the other way and let Microsoft get away with murder in terms of continued market control of PC vendors and such destructive tactics as undermining the ISO standards process. How about fabricating evidence in court, what punishment was there for that?

      At least Google is likely to learn and improve its behavior as a result of the punishment. Microsoft never would.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        As is richly deserved for flagrant and willful abuse of privacy.

        Having people you had already contacted via email being able to follow your Buzz is abuse of privacy? I don't see how. The entire situation was way way overblown.

    • by SomePgmr (2021234)
      The difference here is that Google cares about its users... or at least maintains that it does. AT&T doesn't much give a damn and makes this pretty obvious. Of course these things probably have more to do with user apathy and fleeting internet buzz (can I still use that word?) than actual corporate attitudes.
    • Google has totally been publicly whipped for Buzz and for collecting WiFi data....

      And does anybody think those two decisions were more than 2 years in the planning?

  • Can this really be anything else? I mean of all the telcos and other companies that we know violate our privacy in egregious ways, they have to pick on Google? Seriously? Is this the best they can come up with?
    • Google isn't lining the pockets of the correct politicians election campaigns. That is all, move along.

      • by Ancantus (1926920)

        Google isn't lining the pockets of the correct politicians election campaigns. That is all, move along.

        And more importantly, the people who are lining the pockets of the correct politicians don't like Google's success.

  • Anyone want to buy some slightly used tin foil underwear?

  • I don't know about you but a Biennial Privacy Review sounds like it hurts!

Numeric stability is probably not all that important when you're guessing.

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