Google Bows to German Data Privacy Demands, but Only Germany

Last month I noted that Google's Street View service was being challenged by German data privacy authorities, who insisted that Google must permanently remove personally-identifying images from their databases (not just blur them in the user interface). Google argued that…

Dear Google: Make Security and Privacy the Default in the Cloud

Today, a six page letter was sent to Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, asking Google to honor the important privacy promises it has made to its customers and protect users’ communications from theft and snooping by enabling industry standard transport encryption…

Google Continues to be Challenged on Street View

Google's Street View product has been criticized by privacy advocates since its very inception, including various posts on this blog. Two years after its release, Google continues to face challenges over its collection and treatment of potentially personally-identifiable images of…

Stutzman: Google exposes Book Search patron records

I've written frequently about how the shift from accessing information in offline spaces to online spaces has particular privacy implications. For example, strikingly different privacy norms and expectations emerge when comparing information-seeking activities in libraries vs. bookstores vs. Google Book…

Google + China + Free Music = A New Business Model for Online Music Distribution?

News reports indicate that Google will begin providing free music downloads in China. Apparently Chinese Internet users have grown so accustomed to downloading music online, that piracy and illegal downloading has impacted music sales there more than even what the…

Google Launches Behavioral Advertising System, With Impressive (But Not Quite Perfect) Privacy Controls

Today, Google announced its long-awaited behavioral targeted advertising program. Building from its acquisition of DoubleClick, Google's new ad system -- which it refers to as "interest-based advertising" -- will use cookies to track users across the multitude of sites that…

I Love Alaska: Amazing Film Inspired by AOL Search Data Release

Some filmmakers have produced an amazing series of episodes based on one person's searches discovered in the AOL search data release debacle. Here's the trailer: And the description from the website where you can view them all: August 4, 2006,…

Comparing Search Data Retention Policies of Major Search Engines

Well, according to Microsoft. As part of the on-going battle among major search engines related to search data retention policies, Microsoft has published this chart attempting to summarize and compare the state of anonymization in the search industry (click to…