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The Week We Searched For- May 28, 2010

Google Misses German Deadline

Google missed the deadline with German regulators to hand over personal data collected over WiFi connections by Google’s StreetView cars and bikes. The delay will cost Google hundreds of thousands of euros of fines and has already increased pressure and suspicions from Germany and the European Union.  Google argues that they want to comply, but German law prohibits them from handing over private information. According to Google [1], “We want to co-operate with [the Hamburg information commissioner’s] requests … but as granting access to payload data creates legal challenges in Germany which we need to review, we are continuing to discuss the appropriate legal and logistical process for making the data available. We hope, given more time, to be able to resolve this difficult issue.” Google refusal to hand over this information to the German government is creating quite a stir on the continent. As Simon Davies [2], the director of Privacy International [3] told the NYTimes, “Google’s refusal to hand over the data will be seen as a declaration of war by European regulators. This is about sovereignty and a country’s right to determine on its citizens’ behalf what is right and what is wrong.”

Facebook Revises Privacy Policy

After weeks of heavy criticism from users and privacy defenders, Facebook has revised their privacy policy to be easier to navigate, and provide users with more control over their private information. For the complete story, including the details of Facebook’s revisions, critics feedback and more, check out The Search Agents’ article Facebook Introduces New Privacy Controls. [4]

Google Buys AdMob

Google closed the $750 million deal on its acquisition of AdMob. The next step will be to bring the two teams together to improve on Google’s mobile strategy. According to the blog [5], “It’s clear that mobile advertising is becoming a much larger part of our clients’ and partners’ strategies and with this acquisition, it’s now a central part of our own business.” The deal is being seen as a push from Google to incorporate more search into mobile. On this note, Google writes [5], “As smart phones have proliferated, we’ve seen dramatic increases in mobile search volume. Over the past two years, Google’s mobile search volumes have grown more than fivefold, at an accelerated pace,”

Apple Passes Microsoft as #1 Tech Company

It was a revolutionary week on Wall Street, as Apple surpassed Microsoft to become the world’s most valuable technology company. The torch was passed on Wednesday when Apple’s value reached $222.12 billion, beating Microsoft at $219.18 billion. As The New York Times notes, Wall Street has just witnessed the end of an era [6] and the beginning of the next one: The most important technology product no longer sits on your desk but rather fits in your hand.

Third Grader Wins Google Doodle Contest

Google named Makenzie Melton the winner [7] of its fourth annual doodle contest on Wednesday. Ms. Melton will receive a $15,000 college scholarship and a $25,000 technology grant for her school in El Dolaro Springs, Missouri.

Google Buzz Adds Reshare Option

Google added [8] a new reshare option to its social-conversation service Buzz. The new option functions similarly to retweet, allowing users to reshare information to their own networks without having to cut and paste.

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 + [14]