Google privacy Stories November 11, 2015

Here’s how to see the personal information Google shares about you on the web

Google has launched a new ‘About Me’ page, which lets you see and change what personal information is visible to others when you use any of Google’s services. The company has most likely introduced the service in an effort to counter concerns about data privacy.

Don’t expect too much from it: it’s essentially the same information you can see on Google+, and mostly appears to be an alternative for those of us who long ago consigned Google+ to history. When I checked my data, it showed only my name, gender, birthday and occupation. But if you shared contact details with any Google service, those may also be visible, so it’s worth a quick look.

You can edit the information shown, as well as choose who can view each piece of data. Personally, I always enter a false date of birth on web forms, as it’s a key piece of information used by identity thieves. I set it to private simply to ward off any mistaken birthday wishes.

You can check your own data at aboutme.google.com, where you’ll also find a link to Google’s existing privacy checkup.

Google privacy Stories September 26, 2014

Google has come under fire from European Union officials on a number of fronts already. It’s been accused of unfair search results, been criticized for the way it has implemented the controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling and asked to stop describing apps which offer in-app purchases as ‘free.’

Reuters now reports that the EU believes Google is breaking the law in combining user data across unrelated services like Gmail, YouTube and Google Maps without offering users an opt-out, and the way in which it has consolidated 60 separate privacy policies into one …  expand full story

Google privacy Stories June 26, 2014

The WSJ is reporting that Google has begun removing search results following a European court decision that individuals have a right to require Google to remove links to information which is “outdated or irrelevant.”

Following the ruling – known as the ‘right to be forgotten’ – Google created a webpage application and announced that each would be evaluated by hand on a case-by-case basis, balancing the right to privacy against legitimate public interest. The company now says that it has begun acting on these requests …  expand full story

Deal: Get Pixelbook at 25% off: $750!

Google privacy Stories January 16, 2014

Google privacy case looks set to go ahead in UK after Google’s dismissal attempt fails

Google today lost its attempt to have a British court dismiss a claim for breach of privacy in respect of dropping cookies in Safari even when the option was switched off.

Google has argued that the appropriate jurisdiction was the US legal system, where a similar case had already been rejected. Mr Justice Tugendhat at London’s High Court today rejected that argument, stating that he was satisfied there was a case to answer and that it should be heard in the UK.

I am satisfied that there is a serious issue to be tried in each of the claimant’s claims for misuse of private information.

The claimants have clearly established that this jurisdiction is the appropriate one in which to try each of the above claims.

Although Google was denied the right to appeal the ruling, it has said that it intends to attempt an appeal regardless.

We still don’t think that this case meets the standards required in the UK for it to go to trial, and we’ll be appealing today’s ruling.

In the U.S., the company was fined $22.5M by the FTC last July over the infringement of privacy.

Google privacy Stories December 16, 2013

Google, which was fined $22.5M by the FTC for illegal use of tracking cookies on iPhones even when the user had set Safari to reject them, is asking the UK’s High Court to reject a claim for compensation from a group of British iPhone owners, reports The Guardian.

Google is arguing that any case should be held in the U.S., and that UK courts have no jurisdiction in the matter. It also observes that a similar claim in the USA was dismissed two months ago.

Google has been called “arrogant and immoral” for arguing that a privacy claim brought by internet users in the UK should not be heard by the British legal system […]

In the first group claim brought against Google in the UK, the internet firm has insisted that the lawsuit must be brought in California, where it is based, instead of a British courtroom …  expand full story

Google privacy Stories October 11, 2013

Google has announced a change to its terms of service that will allow the company to use your name, photo and company endorsements to be included in ads from 11th November (via the NYT).

When the new ad policy goes live Nov. 11, Google will be able to show what the company calls shared endorsements on Google sites and across the Web, on the more than two million sites in Google’s display advertising network, which are viewed by an estimated one billion people.

If a user follows a bakery on Google Plus or gives an album four stars on the Google Play music service, for instance, that person’s name, photo and endorsement could show up in ads for that bakery or album …  expand full story

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