legislation Stories December 15, 2014

Dutch privacy watchdog group CBP has threatened Google with up to a €15 million fine for violating Dutch privacy legislation. According to DutchNews, the issue stems from Google collecting personal information about users from Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and search results and combining the data into one profile for more effective targeted advertising. expand full story

legislation Stories May 29, 2014

Following a ruling by a European court that users have the “right to be forgotten” online, Google has launched a new web page that allows some users seeking a bit of privacy to have certain links removed from the company’s search results. The Mountain View search giant says it has already gotten thousands of takedown requests—and that’s before the form was even public (via Re/code).

The system isn’t automated, and Google says it will need to consider each request on a case-by-case basis to decide whether a certain link should be removed or left intact in the interest of public information. If that sounds a bit inefficient, that might be because it is. An introductory statement on the page calls it “an initial effort” which will undoubtedly be improved on over time:

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

legislation Stories May 8, 2014

Bloomberg reports California’s Senate has passed a bill that will force smartphone makers like Samsung to implement “technology that would let customers remotely wipe data from their devices and render them inoperable when stolen.” Officials have been attempting to pass similar bills with no luck but have since made tweaks to the legislation removing tablets and other terms.

Under the new bill, smartphones sold in California must include the technology starting in July 2015. While the bill was passing 25-8, the margin in the Democratic-controlled Senate can change as absent members continue to enter votes. The state Assembly, also controlled by Democrats, will consider the legislation next.

Last year Apple and Google introduced new theft deterrent features just as government officials in San Francisco were increasing pressure on smartphone makers to implement such features. While Apple’s new “Activation Lock” feature requires an Apple ID and password to reactivate a stolen phone after being remotely erased/wiped by the owner, it fell short of a full-on kill switch feature that officials were hoping for and required the user to enable it. Google has since introduced similar features for Android devices.

Samsung and Google have yet to respond to comment on the bill, but an Apple spokesperson told Bloomberg the following: expand full story

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