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The Week We Searched For- May 21, 2010

Posted on Friday, May 21st, 2010 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - Featured, News

Google- Taken to Task on Privacy Breach

Google has been the topic of several conversations this week, ranging from industry gossip to threats of criminal investigation, regarding their recent privacy breach. This week Sergey Brin admitted that Google’s Street View had accidentally gathered personal information via people’s private Wi-Fi connections. Google has gone out of its way in terms of damage control, insisting that the information will never be released or used by the company. Google also claims that it is working with the government on the best way to dispose of the information.

Despite these apologies, Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, stated this week, at the Zeitgeist conference in the UK, that there was “no harm, no foul” in the company’s collection of web activity via people’s Wi-Fi. Schmidt continued on to say, “Who was harmed? Name the person.”

Google seems to be alone in their opinion that the data collection was a victimless crime. Two class action suits have already been filed in Oregon and Washington. Representatives Edward Markey and Joe Barton have brought this issue before the Federal Trade Commission, calling into question the legality of Google’s actions. In Germany, France, Spain and Italy criminal investigations are already underway.

To read more about the implications of Google’s privacy breach, I would suggest “Privacy and the Internet: The Lives of Others,” an article published in The Economist this month that takes a critical look into the new state of privacy in the era of Facebook and Google.

Google Tries to Take The Lead in Their Competition With Apple

Google held their annual I/O Conference this week, where they announced their plans to release an Android 2.2 (Android Froyo) for phones with Flash support, Google TV, web-synced apps and music. While in the past, Apple has out paced Google in the synchronization of music, television, mobile and more, Google obviously is trying to make it a two-horse race. As Gizmado reports, “Google, too, has a hunger for domination, but they’ve finally got vision of their own to accompany it: A vision of cellphones and desktops connected seamlessly—revolutionarily, magically—over the internet; a vision of media that streams when you need it, and disappears when you don’t; a vision that sees TV as an extension of the internet, not simply a dumb screen.”

Other news from the  Google I/O Conference:

  • Google provided new details on their Chrome Web Store. Sundar Pichai, the director of product management for Google, revealed some information to reporters regarding the marketplace. According to Pichai, Google’s plan is to have the store launch with support for Chrome/Chrome OS, however rumors have it that Google is in talks with other browsers. Developers will reportedly receive 70% of the revenue from apps.
  • Google has been getting friendly with Adobe. At the conference, Google announced a new video format- VP8, which will be supported by Adobe. Another stab at Apple?


1 in 5 U.S. Conumsers Plan to Buy an iPad

  • The latest customer reports suggest that 1 in 5 U.S. consumers plan to purchase an iPad, eventually. Almost 3,400 customers were polled by ChangeWave Research, which found that 7% of consumers asked were “very likely” to buy an iPad at some point, and 13% were “somewhat likely.”

Dell Posts 52% Increase in Profit

  • Dell reported their first-quarter results on Thursday, a pleasant 52% improvement over their last quarter. The improvement still pales in comparison with the quarterly results of other leading tech companies, like Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard and Intel. Analysts suspect that Dell’s profits suffered as a result of limited corporate spending.

Facebook Privacy Concerns, Leading Users to Quit?

  • A survey conducted by Sophos revealed that 60% of Facebook members are thinking of quitting the site due to privacy concerns.

Twitter Fights Subpoena

About Camille Canon

Outside of summer jobs and not-for-profit internships, The Search Agency is my first official place of employment. I recently graduated from Mount Holyoke College, where I studied Art History and German. I am an avid cook, baker, and destroyer of diets. My specialties are cream cheese brownies, biscotti cookies and lemon bars. I am also an Art enthusiast. Living in Berlin enables me to follow a young, emerging Art scene complete with “eccentric” performance pieces and temporarily converted butcher shop galleries. I also enjoy running, traveling, and handy work. Camille Canon +

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One Response to “The Week We Searched For- May 21, 2010”

  1. Alec Green says:

    I’ll be watching the exodus rate from Facebook very closely over the next few weeks. 60% of users “thinking” about quitting a) seems high, b) seems unlikely to actually result in a 60% churn rate… until there is a viable alternative.

    When Tech pundits like Leo LaPorte and Jason Calacanis publicly delete their facebook accounts, it helps raise awareness of these privacy concerns. If a mainstream celebrity like Oprah or Ellen were to hit the delete button on their accounts, then Facebook would have a serious problem on their hands.


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