Newsletters
Technology, Discovery & Innovation NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Computing Digital Life Discovery Space More Topics...
Gartner ranks Druva #1
in overall product rating for
enterprise endpoint backup
for the second year in a row!
World Wide Web
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Latest Google Privacy Flap Draws Congressional Ire

Latest Google Privacy Flap Draws Congressional Ire
By Adam Dickter

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

Google stopped using the recently discovered mischievous code when it determined the code was enabling cookies, which allow web sites to track visitors for advertisers. It said the link was intended to make sure that personally identifying information was not collected. However, that explanation may not be good enough.
 


Discontinuing a code that bypasses security settings on Apple's Safari browser may not be enough for Google to end the outcry in the latest high-tech privacy scandal.

A bipartisan trio of House members wants the Federal Trade Commission to again probe the search and mobile advertising giant after it was revealed that the hidden code allowed Google to track the sites Safari users visit when they believed they were browsing privately.

And last week an Illinois man filed a federal lawsuit against Google, claiming its actions violate federal wiretapping laws.

Noting Personal

Google told us last week that the mischievous code, discovered by a Stanford University computer researcher, Jonathan Mayer and verified by the Wall Street Journal was "a temporary communication link between Safari browsers and Google's servers, so that we could ascertain whether Safari users were also signed into Google, and had opted for this type of personalization."

Google stopped using the code, the company said, when it determined that it was enabling cookies, which allow web sites to track visitors for advertisers. It said the link was intended to make sure that personally identifying information was not collected.

That explanation doesn't suit Republicans Joe Barton of Texas and Cliff Stearns of Florida and Democrat Cliff Stearns. In a letter to FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz, the trio noted "Google's practices could have a wide sweeping impact because Safari is a major web browser used by millions of Americans. As members of the Congressional Bi-Partisan Privacy Caucus, we are interested in any actions the FTC has taken or plans to take to investigate whether Google has violated the terms of its consent agreement."

The Safari flap comes on the heels of Google's announcement that it consolidated its terms of service to cover all of its services last month, and after it automatically opted millions of users into its Google Buzz social network last year. In October, Google reached an agreement with the FTC that calls for mandatory privacy audits for the next 20 years and a comprehensive privacy program.

All of which makes the latest flap a case of pretty lousy timing.

Election Year Posturing?

"In essence, Google chose a particularly inopportune time to act stupidly," said technology analyst Charles King of Pund-IT. "Since Google trades on its reputation for innovation, you'd think the company would be a bit better at avoiding 'mistakes' such as this one."

And the fact that we're in the midst of an election year makes it worse, he said, since Congress likely will push the issue as a way to gain solidarity with voters.

The Safari user who is suing Google was identified by Bloomberg News as Matthew Soble. The suit was filed in Federal District Court in Wilimington, Delaware.

But the suit will hinge on whether Google was the only one exp;oiting the Safari function and whether Google's practice measurably harmed users, said King. There is also the question of what, if anything, Apple is doing to prevent similar exploits.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



AdvertisementToday's CIO needs to adopt an "Everyone's IT" approach to leadership, embracing technology to increase enterprise agility & collaboration. View the free Gartner research report to learn how to adapt your IT leadership style to today's business standards.


 World Wide Web
1.   Twitter May Remove Pics of Deceased
2.   Google IPO Began Decade of Big Bets
3.   Assange Talks of Leaving Embassy
4.   Russian Hacker To Be Held Until Trial
5.   Online Sites vs. Retailing in India


advertisement
OkCupid Experiments with Daters
Unethical without user consent?
Average Rating:
Twitter May Remove Pics of Deceased
Balancing privacy and public interest.
Average Rating:
Online Retailers Ponder Actual Stores
'Click-and-mortar' shops popping up.
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
Businesses everywhere want computing solutions that do more for less money, and Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 
Samsung, B&N Target Amazon with Nook Tablet
They've seen the enemy and it is Amazon. So Samsung and Barnes & Noble are teaming up to combat their common foe with a 7-inch tablet that blends Samsung’s tech, Nook’s content and e-reader platform.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 

Navigation
Sci-Tech Today
Home/Top News | Computing | Digital Life | Discovery | Space | Innovation | Health | Science News
Environment
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.