That includes a new section the company today added to its Transparency Report that answers questions users may have, such as "In what situations wouldn't you tell me about a request for my information?" (The answer is: Google can't notify you if your account is closed or if the company is legally prohibited from doing so. "We sometimes fight to give users notice of a data request by seeking to lift gag orders or unseal … Read more
PARK CITY, UTAH--The most arresting moment in "Google and the World Brain," Ben Lewis' thoughtful new documentary about the search giant's effort to scan all the world's books, takes place not in Mountain View or a courtroom but rather a monastery high above Catalonia in Spain.
The film's globetrotting crew is interviewing Father Damiá Roure, who runs the library at the Benedictine abbey of Montserrat, about what happened when Google came to digitize the library's collection. Roure speaks happily of the Googlers' visit, explaining that their efforts allowed the monks to bring their … Read more
The number of official requests Google receives for information about its users is steadily increasing -- particularly in the United States, which between July and December once again outpaced the world.
In the second half of 2012, Google received 8,438 requests for information, up 6 percent from the first half of 2012. Globally, Google received 21,389 requests for information, up 2 percent from the first half 2012. The number of requests went up even as the number of users affected went down -- a 9 percent decrease in the United States, and 3 percent globally.
The countries making … Read more
Anyone interested in how Google's privacy policies over the years can easily compare previous versions, thanks to an archive the company has set up online. But one of the earliest privacy policies is nowhere to be found -- and it's a shame, filmmaker Cullen Hoback says, because it's a policy that put users' privacy first.
"A cookie can tell us, 'This is the same computer that visited Google two days ago,' but it cannot tell us, 'This person is Joe Smith' or even, 'This person lives in the United States,'" reads the policy, published in … Read more
You do realize that those nice people in Transport Security Administration uniforms have been examining your naked body, don't you?
You do realize that scanning machines arrived so swiftly in U.S. airports that there wasn't time to write software to preserve what remains of your modesty -- as you hold your hands up in surrender, just so that you can fly to Seattle?
Ah, you didn't.
Well, I bring news of a cover-up.
No, not that sort of cover-up. The TSA has decided that it's had enough of staring at your denuded selves -- perhaps … Read more
Hardly a day goes by that some high-profile person -- along with countless people of lower profile -- has an account hacked. Weak password, stolen password, non-existent password -- whatever the cause, breaking into our digital lives is easy and getting easier.
That's why Google says passwords are no longer the best solution for sensitive accounts. "We contend that security and usability problems are intractable," write Google's Eric Grosse and Mayank Upadhyay, in an article to be published later this month in IEEE Security & Privacy. "It's time to give up on elaborate password … Read more
Proposed legislation in the European Union would force tech companies that have access to user data -- such as Facebook, Google, and Microsoft -- to report any security breaches to local cybersecurity agencies, the Financial Times reported today.
This is the European Commission's effort to make private companies accountable for privacy and security problems, European Commission Vice President Neelie Kroes told the Financial Times.
If passed, the measure would require each of the EU's 27 member states to set up local cybersecurity agencies to implement security standards on online networks. Social networks, e-commerce companies, and large online platforms … Read more
A new draft bill published today aims to increase privacy for mobile app users.
Led by U.S. Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.), the bill aims to legally require app developers to publicize how they gather information and also let users request deletion of their stored data.
To create the draft language for the bill, Johnson and his Web-based initiative, AppRights, held meetings with members of the Internet community, public-interest groups, app developers, and other industry stakeholders. Dubbed "The Application Privacy, Protection, and Security Act of 2013," or the APPS Act, the bill "addresses the public's growing … Read more
Microsoft isn't too happy with the results of a recent test that found fault with its antivirus software.
For the second time in a row, the company's Security Essentials failed to win certification from AV-Test, a German-based testing lab that evaluates the efficacy of antivirus products. Out of 25 programs tested, only three failed to gain AV-Test's thumb's up for certification.
Microsoft's Forefront Endpoint Protection, which is geared toward corporate customers, also failed to gain certification.
Microsoft responded to the test via a blog posted yesterday, challenging its findings.
"Our review showed that 0.… Read more
Sometimes, there is truth in advertising. Today's case-in-point: Abine's DeleteMe Mobile, which, as the name suggests, vigorously petitions Internet data brokers to remove personally identifying information from their databases.
Previously only available as a Web service, the app debuts on iOS with an Android version in the works. As CNET reported last year, DeleteMe is a partially human-powered service where Abine employees take on the onerous duty of contacting data brokers on your behalf. That's an important step because many of them have been known to add your data again, just months after removing it, according to … Read more