August 10, 2012 |
In levying a record $22.5-million fine against Google Inc., the Federal Trade Commission said it wanted to send a clear message to the Internet giant that it won't tolerate similar breaches in the future. Google on Thursday agreed to pay the fine to settle allegations that it violated a pledge to protect the privacy of its users who browse the Web with Apple Inc.'s Safari. The FTC said Google bypassed Apple software's privacy settings to track users across the Web and show them personalized ads. The behavior violated terms of the settlement Google reached with the commission last year over Google's now-defunct Buzz social networking service, the FTC alleged.
April 1, 2011 |
Larry Page wants to run Google Inc. like it's 1999. The co-founder of the Internet search giant has begun an unusual afternoon ritual of sitting and working with his top executives on small couches in an open area of the company's Mountain View, Calif., headquarters. Employees, who used to have to stalk Page around campus, can drop by and grab a few minutes of his time. "Now there are no layers to go through," said Michael Cassidy, director of search product management at Google.
July 1, 2011 |
Google+ users were quietly given the ability to invite friends into the new social network Wednesday night, but that option lasted only a few hours because of overwhelming demand. Vic Gundotra, who is overseeing Google's social networking efforts, said in a Google+ post: "We've shut down invite mechanism for the night. Insane demand. We need to do this carefully, and in a controlled way. Thank you all for your interest!" Google didn't formally announce that it was providing the invite feature; instead, a small red envelope with Google's "G+" logo and the words "invite people to join Google+" popped up, and it seems it didn't take long before users found it and started bringing people in. Gundotra didn't say when invites might return, but it is Google's style to go with invites before fully opening new products to the public, as has been the practice with the hugely popular Gmail service and the search giant's recently launched Google Music Beta.
November 30, 2011
The day after news leaked about Facebook's plans for a blockbuster initial stock offering, the Federal Trade Commission announced a proposed consent order that would rein in the social network's freewheeling approach to its users' personal information. The order reiterates an important principle that has been guiding the commission's approach to online privacy: Consumers, not Facebook, get to decide how their personal information will be shared online. Facebook's approach to privacy has improved over the years, but it's still capable of egregious missteps.
August 7, 2010 |
Google Inc. made another play for the social networking space Friday with its acquisition of Slide Inc., which makes games, applications and widgets for websites such as Facebook and MySpace. The San Francisco developer makes free apps that Facebook users can install on their profiles in order to play simple games with friends or to arrange photo slide shows. Slide's SuperPoke application and its animal-centric variations, for example, are a family of popular social games with which players can virtually hug friends or raise a pet pig. A feature similar to Slide's Top Friends was eventually implemented by Facebook into every profile, allowing users to rank online buddies.
July 11, 2013 |
Google is set to shut down Latitude, a location mobile app, next month, making it the latest in a long list of notable services killed by the search giant. Latitude, which allows people to let others know where they are through the use of their smartphone's GPS, will stop functioning Aug. 9. Google is urging people who want to share their locations to use the company's Google+ app on Android. The company says the location-sharing feature will be added at some point to the iPhone version of Google+.