Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Google's Data-Collecting Habits Drawing More Scrutiny

It's going to get worse for Google:  The bigger they are, the harder they fall

Congress Blog 
By Zack Christenson, American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research 
10/29/12 02:00 PM ET - 0752 Western Jakarta Time

Earlier this month, European Union regulators informed Google that they’re unhappy with Google’s new privacy policy and that it will need to make changes to better protect the privacy of its users. The concern arises over how Google is collecting users' data and what they’re doing with it, and in turn how they’re informing their users on how they’re collecting and what they’re using it for. The EU would like clearer language, in a more understandable less legalese format, so that the average user can clearly understand what’s taking place when the use Google products.


This all comes about because of a move that Google made in March of this year, when they consolidated the privacy policies of most of its products (YouTube, Search, News, etc.) into one, singular policy that covers each of their product sites. After the move, EU regulators began investigating the process by which Google collects information and how they protect their users privacy. They requested more information from Google in May, and now are apparently unhappy with the answers they’ve received from Google. The letter from EU regulators says:

"Google’s answers have not demonstrated that your company endorses the key data protection principles of purpose limitation, data quality, data minimization, proportionality and right to object. Indeed, the privacy policy suggests the absence of any limit concerning the scope of the collection and the potential uses of the personal data.”

Google has a long history of accusations of being cavalier with consumer privacy, which I’m sure is what worries the EU. Just weeks ago, Google was slapped with a record $22.5 million fine for violating Internet privacy. The fine was levied for purposefully circumventing Safari’s privacy protections — going around protections that were installed and turned on at the behest of the user. Before that, Google was involved in a large amount of controversy over its WiFi snooping in Europe and the U.S. It seems that the cars Google uses to take pictures for its Streetview feature were also collecting data on private citizens through their wireless networks. It was found that Google had been collecting emails, passwords, photographs, and even chat messages. After initially claiming it was an accident, European regulators found evidence that Google was using the collected data for research purposes.

Google has also faced accusations of manipulating their search results to favor their own interests. Despite proclamations that Google doesn’t manipulate their results, they seem to be one of the only Internet companies that believes it. In a Congressional hearing late last year, Google testified on its search practices alongside two of the companies claiming to be adversely affected by its practices. These companies were Yelp and NextTag, whose representatives both testified they felt their companies were hurt by the anti-competitive practices put into place by Google. Many other companies are a part of a coalition of companies that feel the same way, including Microsoft, Hotwire and Oracle.

The American Consumer Institute earlier this year published a study examining whether or not Google does, in fact, manipulate their search results. One test was done to see if Google would favor their own sites more often than competitors would favor theirs. The study pitted Google against Bing and Yahoo. The results showed that Google favored their own products two times more often than either Yahoo or Bing, while Yahoo and Bing showed no such favoritism. The ACI study similar results just when applied to other areas, as well.

Examination and rectification of these problems is essential for the market to work correctly — because not correcting these problems invites government intervention. Government intervention brings with it onerous regulation and oversight on the entire technology industry at a time when our economy can least handle such intrusions. For free markets to work, government must stay small and out of the way — otherwise, it’s inhibiting the innovative practices that allowed Google and others to grow into the great successes they are today.

Christenson is a digital tech writer for the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research, a nonprofit educational and research organization.

Related reports:

  1. Search the world's information, including webpages, images, videos and more. Google has many special features to help you find exactly what you're looking for.
    europe.google.com - Cached
  2. [Aug 2, 2011] BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Google faces a total of nine antitrust complaints which EU regulators are now investigating, two sources said on Tuesday, as rivals ... ( 2 Comments )
    www.reuters.com/article/2011/08/02/us-eu-google-idUSTRE... - Cached
    More results from reuters.com »
  3. [Mar 1, 2012] LONDON (Reuters) - Data protection agencies in European countries have concluded Google Inc's new privacy policy is in breach of European law, EU Justice ... ( 8 Comments )
    www.reuters.com/article/2012/03/01/us-google-privacy-eu... - Cached
  4. The European Union, led by the French data protection commission, will take aim at Google's controversial privacy policy tomorrow, a new report claims. France's CNIL ...
    news.cnet.com/8301-1023_3-57532286-93/eu-will-tell... - Cached
    More results from news.cnet.com »
  5. The local version of this pre-eminent search engine, offering UK-specific pages as well as world results.
    www.google.co.uk
  6. [Oct 16, 2012] PARIS (Reuters) - Google has four months to make its privacy policy comply with requests from European Union data protection watchdogs or start facing the ... ( 3 Comments )
    www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/16/google-eu-privacy... - Cached
    More results from huffingtonpost.com »
  7. Google.eu - Google, Google.eu - Google - Whois record for Google.eu from DomainTools
    whois.domaintools.com/google.eu
  8. EU watchdogs have said Google must revise its privacy policy. It follows the firm's decision in March to consolidate 60 separate privacy policies into a single ...
    www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-19959306 - Cached
    More results from bbc.co.uk »
  9. European officials today requested that Google provide clearer information about its privacy policy to users and modify its data collection tools to avoid gathering ...
    www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2411010,00.asp - Cached
  10. European privacy regulators have found flaws in Google's revised privacy policy, which may breach EU data protection laws. A majority of the European data ...
    www.zdnet.com/eu-regulators-find-legal-problems-in... - Cached


 
Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
 




Iraqi MP Accuses Saudi Arabia of Supporting Terrorism

Any country that supports Obama criminal regime supports terrorism

PRESS TV
10/30/2012

An Iraqi lawmaker has accused Saudi Arabia of supporting terrorism by giving a warm welcome to fugitive Iraqi vice-president Tariq al-Hashemi for the Hajj pilgrimage.


Apostate dictatorship circling the drain, will be overrun by Iran/Syria
 Ali Shalah also said that Riyadh’s move shows the Kingdom’s disrespect for the international law and the principles of sovereignty of a neighboring country.

Shalah warned that the move might hurt Baghdad-Riyadh relations.

The Iraqi lawmaker said Hashemi, who is sentenced to death for running a death squad in post-war Iraq, entered Saudi Arabia with a Turkish passport and was greeted by General Secretary of the Muslim World League Abdallah Ben Abdel Mohsen al-Turkion on October 27 at the league's guest house.

Iraqi prosecutors said Hashemi was involved in 150 killings. His secretary and son-in-law, Ahmed Qahtan, was also sentenced to death in absentia.

The Iraqi government issued the warrant for Hashemi's arrest on 19 December 2011 after three of his bodyguards confessed to taking orders from him to carry out the terrorist attacks.

He fled first to Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region and from there to Qatar and on to Turkey. He is currently in Turkey and Ankara has issued a residence permit for him.

HM/MA



Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
 

Problems at Five Nuke Plants From Hurricane Sandy

U.S. will have it's own Fukushima; readers in affected areas around plants should stock up on iodine prophylaxis for children

ABCBy Mark Schone
10/31/2012

The nation's oldest nuclear plant declared an alert and a second plant just 40 miles from New York City was forced to shut down power as five different nuke plants in Hurricane Sandy's path experienced problems during the storm.


Residents near nuke plants should take precautions
Indian Point in Buchanan, New York, on the Hudson River north of New York City, automatically shut power to its unit 3 on Monday night "as a result of an electrical grid disturbance," according to Entergy, the plant's operator.

The connection between the generator and the offsite grid was lost, and the unit is designed to shut down to protect itself from electrical damage. Entergy said there was no release of radioactivity, no damage to equipment, and no threat to the public health.

"At Indian Point yesterday the river level and wind had no impact on plant operation," said a spokesman. Another unit at the plant continues to operate, and the company expects unit 3 to return to service within days.

Operators also declared an alert at the nation's oldest nuclear plant, Oyster Creek in Lacey Township, New Jersey, on Monday evening after the center of Sandy made landfall, "due to water exceeding certain high water level criteria in the plant's water intake structure."

The alert level is the "the second lowest of four action levels," as defined by the NRC.


Please click to enlarge map

"Water level is rising in the intake structure due to a combination of a rising tide, wind direction and storm surge," the NRC said Monday. "It is anticipated water levels will begin to abate within the next several hours."

Exelon Corporation, the owner of the plant, said in a statement that there was "no threat to the public health or safety" from the situation.

The plant also lost power, which is critical to keep spent fuel rods from overheating, but "the station's two backup diesel generators activated immediately," and it has two weeks of diesel fuel on site, Exelon said.

A reactor at an Exelon facility outside Philadelphia, Limerick Generating Station, was ramped down to 91 percent power after Sandy caused a problem with its condenser.


Please click to enlarge map

A unit at a fourth plant 43 miles from Philadelphia, Salem Nuclear Power Plant on Delaware Bay in southern New Jersey, was manually shut down just after 1 a.m. Tuesday morning "when four of the station's six circulating water pumps were no longer available due to weather impacts from Hurricane Sandy," according to plant co-owner PSEG Nuclear.

"No issues were encountered during the Salem Unit 1 shutdown," said PSEG Nuclear, "and the plant is currently stable. In addition to the operating crews onsite, Salem has designated response teams available."

At the Nine Mile Point plant near Oswego, New York, in what operators say "is likely a storm-related event," unit 1 shut down automatically around 9 p.m. Monday because of an electrical fault, while unit 2 experienced a power loss from an incoming power line because of the same fault. An emergency diesel generator started automatically to supply power to unit 2. The NRC said that the operators are still evaluating the cause of the event. "All plant safety systems responded as designed and the shutdown was safely carried out," said the NRC. Nine Mile Point is owned by CENG, a joint venture of Exelon and a French power company.

ABC News' Brian Hartman contributed to this report.


Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
 
 

DOJ Asks Court To Keep Secret Google / NSA Partnership

Google, Wendy Seltzer, "Chilling Effects" busted; Bar Association complaints being prepared against CIA operative Wendy Seltzer, "Chilling Effects" mega-rich scumbag lawyers

The 5th Estate
10/31/2012 - Western Jakarta Time

"The Justice Department is defending the government's refusal to discuss — or even acknowledge the existence of — any cooperative research and development agreement between Google and the National Security Agency. The Washington based advocacy group Electronic Privacy Information Center sued in federal district court here to obtain documents about any such agreement between the Internet search giant and the security agency. The NSA responded to the suit with a so-called 'Glomar' response in which the agency said it could neither confirm nor deny whether any responsive records exist. U.S. District Judge Richard Leon in Washington sided with the government last July."


"A DC appeals court has ruled that the National Security Agency doesn't need to either confirm or deny its secret relationship with Google in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and follow-up lawsuit filed by the Electronic Privacy Information Center. The NSA cited a FOIA exemption that covers any documents whose exposure might hinder the NSA's national security mission, and responded to EPIC with a 'no comment.' Beyond merely rejecting the FOIA request, the court has agreed with the NSA that it has the right to simply not respond to the request, as even a rejection of the request might reveal details of a suspected relationship with Google that it has sought to keep secret. Google was reported to have partnered with the NSA to bolster its defenses against hackers after its breach by Chinese cyberspies in early 2010. But to the dismay of privacy advocates who fear the NSA's surveillance measures coupled with Google's trove of data, the company has never explained the details of that partnership."

 Source:  Slashdot


Any opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The 5th Estate.

This news site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc.  We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.  For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml
 







UPDATE : 5TH ESTATE REGAINS TEMPORARY CONTROL OF SITE : GOOGLE TELLS 5TH ESTATE "GET A LAWYER"

5th Estate in Indonesia regains control of bureau site, we now expect to be taken down completely and will continue to publish: Web host change set for next Monday; The 5th Estate will then hammer CIA Owned and operated Google/You Tube and CIA cyberterrorists "Chilling Effects; HAPPY HALLOWEEN TO GOOGLE/CIA SCUM

The 5th Estate
By Robert S. Finnegan
10/31/2012

The 5th Estate has re-gained temporary control of the site and will continue to publish as long as we can.


 We apologize to our readers for the inconvenience.

We continue to urge readers to boycott Google/You Tube, especially the international Muslim community until such time as they remove the porn film "Innocence of Muslims" from CIA lackey You Tube that resulted in the deaths of U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, his staff, and over 100 people worldwide.

Google, You Tube and Obama's murdering CIA scum are responsible for these murders and will be held accountable.


This filthy-rich, CIA scumbag in for a tsunami of damning reports

We thank our readers and other Independent Media for their outstanding support and we should be back up under a different web hosting service by next Monday, barring any complications.



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ANDREW KREIG: EXPERTS REJECT FIRE AS CAUSE FOR 9/11 WTC COLLAPSES

The real truth on 9/11 slowly continues to bleed out

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Technical experts are mounting major challenges to official U.S. government accounts of how three World Trade Center skyscrapers collapsed in near-freefall after the 9/11 attacks 15 years ago.

Many researchers are focusing especially on the little-known collapse of

READ MORE >>

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The Geopolitics Of The United States, Part 1: The Inevitable Empire

The Empire and the inevitable fall of the Obama criminal regime

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STRATFOR Editor’s Note: This installment on the United States, presented in two parts, is the 16th in a series of STRATFOR monographs on the geopolitics of countries influential in world affairs.

Like nearly all of the peoples of North and South America, most Americans are not originally from the territory that became the United States.

READ MORE >>

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Geopolitics Of The United States Part 2: American Identity And The Threats of Tomorrow

A look back at 2011 predictions for the future in order to put events of today into perspective

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We have already discussed in the first part of this analysis how the American geography dooms whoever controls the territory to being a global power, but there are a number of other outcomes that shape what that power will be like. The first and most critical is the impact of that geography on the American mindset.

READ MORE >>

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By Robert S. Finnegan

This e-mail outlines and confirms the acts of espionage against Indonesia and Indonesians by Akiko Makino and the others involved both in Kobe University and in AI Lab at University of Airlangga, Surabaya; Bahasa Indonesia original follows English translation...

READ MORE >>

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UPDATED 01/07/2015 : New Analysis Challenges Tamiflu Efficacy; Hong Kong Corona Virus Outbreak

UPDATED 01/07/2015 : FOX NEWS CORPORATE PHARMA SHILL MEGAN KELLY AND FOX NEWS QUACK DOCTOR NOW PUSHING TAMIFLU FOR PREGNANT WOMEN AND CHILDREN;

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THE 5TH ESTATE UNEQUIVOCALLY WARNS THE PUBLIC NOT TO TAKE OR GIVE THIS PROVEN DANGEROUS, INEFFECTIVE DRUG TO ANYONE

Obama criminals now resulting to biowarfare in quest to destroy Chinese and ASEAN economy; "novel virus substrain" points directly to a Kawaoka / Fouchier / Ernala-Ginting Kobe lab virus weaponized and genetically altered to specifically target and infect the Asian population: Ribavirin...

READ MORE >>

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The 5th Estate has just purchased a library on H5N1 "Novel" virus pandemics, there are dozens of PDF and Exel documents we feel will assist you in saving lives following intentional releases of the H5N1 and now MERS viruses; we will begin by printing those that appear to be extremely relevant here: H5N1 Kobe-Kawaoka-Ernala series continues soon with more "Smoking Gun" e-mails from Teridah Ernala to The 5th Estate . . .

READ MORE >>

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By Robert S. Finnegan

On October 12, 2002 the Indonesian island of Bali experienced a terrorist attack that rocked the world. It was unquestionably well-coordinated and executed, the largest in the country's history.

READ MORE >>