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The Week We Searched For – January 27, 2012

Google’s new privacy policy could spark probe from FTC- Google announced [1] its new privacy policy on Monday, which allows the company to gather and store user information across all its services — Gmail, YouTube, Calendar, Docs, etc.  According to Google, the new policy will better enable them to “maintain, protect and improve” its user services as well as improve the quality and relevance of its search ads.  The new policy will come into effect across all of Google’s services on March 1, 2012.  Members of Congress have already filed [2] a complaint with the FTC questioning whether Google’s new privacy policy violates its recent privacy settlement [3] with the FTC.

US mobile ad spending exceeds expectations- According to eMarketer [4], mobile ad spending increased 89% in 2011 to $1.45 billion from $769.6 million in 2009.  eMarketer forecasts mobile ad spending will increase to $1.8 billion in 2012.

Google opens up Google+ to teenagers- Google announced [5] on Thursday that it would open up Google+ to users 13+ as well as introduce new safety protections for underage users.  Previously, individuals had to be at least 18 to join the network.  New user protections include kicking teenagers off Hangout if a stranger joins the conversation and reminding a user when they are about to share a post publically.  “Between strong user protections and teen-focused content, it’s our hope that young adults will feel at home (and have some fun) on Google+,” explains Google+ VP Bradley Horowitz [5] in a Google+ post.

Twitter acquires Dasient- On Monday Twitter announced [7] its acquisition of the Internet security firm Dasient.  Dasient is an antimalware technology startup based in Sunnyvale, CA, which offers a service to protect ad networks and publishers from malware ads.  The details of the deal were not disclosed.

Facebook makes Timeline compulsory- Facebook announced [8] this week that it would make its Timeline feature compulsory.  The feature has been opt-in since its introduction at the end of 2011.

Twitter can now censor tweets- Twitter announced [9] on Thursday that it now has the technology to censor tweets that violate individual countries’ restrictions on speech.  ”Until now, the only way we could take account of those countries’ limits was to remove content globally,” Twitter said in a blog post [9]. “Starting today, we give ourselves the ability to reactively withhold content from users in a specific country — while keeping it available in the rest of the world. We have also built in a way to communicate transparently to users when content is withheld, and why.”

FBI seeks Facebook-snooping app- The FBI is soliciting proposals for an app, which can sort through content on online media sites and social networks.  The app should “have the ability to rapidly assemble critical open-source information and intelligence that will allow SIOC to quickly vet, identify, and geo-locate breaking events, incidents, and emerging threats,” according to the FBI’s application guide. [10]

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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 + [19]