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Privacy Policy

BUSINESS
May 11, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
The latest in the flurry of pre-IPO activity is that Facebook is proposing changes to its privacy policy again, and you get to weigh in. Much of what's detailed clarifies what you as a consumer should know is happening with your personal digital life. It includes who gets to see what you're up to; how you control who gets to that info; what details are out there and how long they keep that info around. Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan writes in a post on Facebook, "We work on user privacy issues each and every day - it matters.  We listen closely to your advice and together we can make Facebook the community we want.
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BUSINESS
April 27, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
Most cloud-service privacy policies address how they deal with your personal information and data about your usage, but less clear is whether they would tell you when and if law enforcement sought access to your files residing on their servers. As the virtual reality online storage wars gear up, many consumers and privacy advocates have expressed concern about the policies that will be applied to the content that they would be moving into remote servers. All of the services include a clause expressing that they will act in accordance with legal requests for data.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais
With the advent of Google Drive, we talk about cloud computing as if the bits and bytes of our lives are stored somewhere up in the air, but, really, the "clouds" are very terrestrial. What's more up in the air are the laws that govern who can access your stuff and how. Originally a way for geeks to explain to the rest of us the notion of remote servers storing and serving up content, cloud computing can be defined several different ways, depending on whom you ask. In some ways, even email is a form of cloud computing.
BUSINESS
April 25, 2012 | By Michelle Maltais, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
As the spotlight is more prominently focused on the clouds, such as Google Drive, the era of being able to mindlessly click "OK" or "Agree" is over. When your stuff is stored on your computer at home, you alone are responsible for keeping it safe, secure and backed up. Your roof, your rules. But when you shift from local storage to remote, you live by terms set by someone else -- and it's best to read them. This is true for any cloud service, not just with Google. First, there are two sets of word-dense documents you need to read before marrying yourself to a cloud-service: the privacy policy and the terms of service.
BUSINESS
March 9, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
Privacy, schmivacy -- though not entirely without jitters. Google still reigns supreme as the go-to search engine, even if people are bit nervous about how it collects data and targets ads. A survey from Pew Internet & American Life Project found that 83% of people who use search engines in the U.S. prefer Google, up from 47% in 2004. Yahoo came in second at 6%. Nine in 10 Americans who use search engines say they find the information they are seeking and nearly as many say they learn something new or important that increased their knowledge.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
Google Inc. rolled out its new privacy policy Thursday to renewed protests from data protection authorities in Europe. Those authorities have concluded that the new policy violates European law, European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding told BBC Radio 4. France's data protection authority has taken the lead in probing the new policy. "They have come to the conclusion that they are deeply concerned, and that the new rules are not in accordance with the European law, and that the transparency rules have not been applied," Reding said, according to Reuters.
BUSINESS
March 1, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
Google rolled out its new privacy policy Thursday to renewed protests from data protection authorities in Europe. Those authorities have concluded that the new policy violates European law, European Union Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding told BBC Radio Four. France's data protection authority has taken the lead in probing the new policy. “They have come to the conclusion that they are deeply concerned, and that the new rules are not in accordance with the European law, and that the transparency rules have not been applied," Reding said, according to Reuters . “We are confident that our new simple, clear and transparent privacy policy respects all European data protection laws and principles,” a Google spokeswoman said in an emailed statement.
BUSINESS
February 29, 2012 | By Deborah Netburn
This post has been corrected. Please see note at bottom for details. Google  Inc. is changing its privacy policy Thursday, a move that is causing a lot of anxiety among Internet activists and some users.  The changes in effect allow the world's largest Internet company to collect information about its users across all its products, services and websites and store it in one place. The idea, Google says, is to create a comprehensive portrait of its users so it can offer more personalized services.
BUSINESS
February 23, 2012 | By David Sarno and Jessica Guynn, Los Angeles Times
The White House and California's attorney general separately struck pacts with technology companies to address mounting concerns over the collection of personal information online - but faced immediate criticism for not going far enough. The Obama administration announced a "privacy bill of rights," a set of guidelines that would allow consumers to have more control over the types of data that companies collect. Officials also described plans for a "Do Not Track" feature for Web browsers that would allow users to opt out of data collection by many prominent online advertising firms, including Google Inc., Yahoo Inc. and Microsoft Corp.
BUSINESS
February 22, 2012 | By Jessica Guynn
Kamala Harris joined 35 attorneys general objecting to a new privacy policy that Google plans to roll out next week. The National Assn. of Attorneys General says the new policy invades consumer privacy by automatically sharing with all Google services personal information that users give to just one service. “The new policy forces consumers to allow information across all of Google's products to be shared without giving them the proper ability to opt out,” the association said in a letter to Google Chief Executive Larry Page.
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