February 17, 2012 |
In the wake of evidence that Google Inc. circumvented privacy protections on the iPhone, federal lawmakers are asking if the company violated the terms of its broad privacy settlement with the Federal Trade Commission. The FTC settlement, finalized in October ,"bars the company from future privacy misrepresentations," and required Google to implement a comprehensive privacy program. But Reps. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.), Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Cliff Sterns (R-Fla.)
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.
October 15, 2011 |
Google Inc. on Friday announced that it was scrapping another handful of products as the tech giant continues to trim down its product line and focus more on successes such as Android and Google+. The most notable of the products getting nixed this time around might be Google Buzz, the company's failed attempt to release a social networking product in the vein of Twitter. Buzz is notorious for being a major privacy stumble for Google that, after a big backlash from users and privacy groups, resulted in a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission.
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.
April 2, 2011
When Google launched Google Buzz last year in a bid to challenge Facebook and Twitter, it drew an angry backlash from consumers and privacy advocates who complained that the company had disclosed potentially sensitive personal information about users without their knowledge. That misstep, which Google quickly corrected, has now turned into a step forward for consumer privacy. The Federal Trade Commission announced Wednesday that it had reached an agreement with Google that establishes two important new principles about what companies must do before disclosing their customers' personal details.
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.