As noted in the report, Boston was previously relying on Microsoft’s Exchange for much of its tasks and making the switch to Google will save the city around $280,000 a year:
It’s not just the gee whiz factor: It’s also a matter of money. It will cost Boston around $800,000 to move over to Gmail, Google Docs for word processing, and Google’s cloud service for storing documents. But by dropping some Microsoft products, the city government will save at least $280,000 a year.
Microsoft responded to the decision in a statement to the Boston Globe, claiming, “Google’s investments in these areas are inadequate, and they lack the proper protections most organizations require.” Read more
Wow, that didn’t take long. Last week we debuted our new series Talking Schmidt where we take a moment to celebrate some of the Google chairman’s more colorful statements, and today Schmidt already delivered the next round of material.
Microsoft’s latest smear campaign against Google services kicked into full gear earlier this month with the launch of several online video and print ads as part of its “Scroogled” campaign. Privacy is at the heart of the issues with Gmail depicted in the commercials, with the majority highlighting how Google scans the bodies of emails to serve up relevant ads in Gmail. According to a report from Datamation, Google executives commented on the claims during a panel discussion yesterday with heads from Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Mozilla at the RSA Security conference.
Challenging Microsoft’s claims, Google’s Senior Privacy Counsel Keith Enright said the following:
Microsoft alleges that Google’s contextual ads, which show up alongside user email, is a violation of user privacy. Google does not agree. Enright noted that the use of automated algorithms is commonplace across multiple facets of technology and is not an issue of privacy. He added that automated algorithms are used to make the contextual ads more relevant. “The idea that doing that (contextual advertising) is in any way detrimental to privacy, or is antithetical to the interests of our users, I think is misleading and intellectually dishonest,” Enright said.
The Federal Trade Commission released a report today that recommends how owners of mobile platforms can better inform consumers about how their data is being handled. The FTC named a number of companies in its report, including: Amazon, Apple, BlackBerry, Google, and Microsoft, as well as “application (app) developers, advertising networks and analytics companies, and app developer trade associations.”
Other recommendations the FTC asked Apple and others to implement include new icons that “depict the transmission of user data” and a “Do Not Track” option for users to easily opt out of their data being sent to third parties.
“FTC staff strongly encourages companies in the mobile ecosystem to work expeditiously to implement the recommendations in this report. Doing so likely will result in enhancing the consumer trust that is so vital to companies operating in the mobile environment. Moving forward, as the mobile landscape evolves, the FTC will continue to closely monitor developments in this space and consider additional ways it can help businesses effectively provide privacy information to consumers,” the report states.
A full list of the recommendations made by the FTC for mobile platform owners, advertising agencies, and app developers is below: Read more
ReutersTV posted this video of Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt speaking at the RAND Corp.’s “Politics Aside” conference in Culver City on Nov. 19. During the 32-minute-long interview, Schmidt discussed Google’s position on free speech, privacy, and described the process of removing potentially inappropriate user-generated content on YouTube.