View Full Version : Google/Facebook privacy issues...

2011-03-31, 14:07

Google: FTC orders 20 years of consumer privacy protections
- http://www.siliconvalley.com/ci_17733477?nclick_check=1
03/30/2011 - "In a landmark action that could change the way many Web companies handle users' personal information, the Federal Trade Commission charged Google with using deceptive tactics when it launched its social network, Google Buzz, and ordered the company to adopt stringent privacy rules and face independent audits of its practices for the next 20 years.
The ruling is expected to resonate through the social networking industry, and is the first time the FTC has ordered an Internet company to implement a comprehensive program to protect consumer information. While the consent order affects only Google, FTC officials suggested Wednesday that other Internet companies should follow suit...
The FTC said Google violated its privacy policies by taking personal information it collected when consumers signed up for Gmail and using it for a completely different kind of service - the Buzz social network - without first getting permission from users. Since then, Google says it has already put in place internal controls that make extensive discussions on consumer privacy part of the development of all new products, placing itself in compliance with the FTC order.
While analysts said they don't see a significant impact on Google's revenues from the FTC action, they agreed the landmark action could have significant ramifications for other online social networks, particularly Facebook...
Google did not acknowledge breaking the law by agreeing to the consent decree..."
- http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/03/google.shtm


2011-04-21, 14:47

FTC calls out Google's Chrome over Do Not Track
- https://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9215979/FTC_calls_out_Google_s_Chrome_over_Do_Not_Track?taxonomyId=17
April 20, 2011 - "Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Liebowitz this week singled out Google for not adopting "Do Not Track," the privacy feature that lets consumers opt out of online tracking by Web sites and advertisers. In an interview Monday with Politico*, Liebowitz called out Google for not supporting Do Not Track in its Chrome browser... Do Not Track has been promoted by the FTC and by privacy advocates including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), as the best way to help consumers protect their privacy... Microsoft and Mozilla have added Do Not Track header support to their Internet Explorer 9 (IE9) and Firefox 4 browsers. While Apple hasn't confirmed that the next version of Safari will include Do Not Track, developers have reported finding the feature in early editions bundled with Mac OS X 10.7, aka "Lion," the upgrade slated to ship this summer. That leaves Google's Chrome and Opera's browser on the outside. But neither plans to implement Do Not Track anytime soon..."

* http://dyn.politico.com/printstory.cfm?uuid=FCDE2C21-EFCD-48EE-A5C8-E8B45F2E3A70
April 19, 2011 - "... Leibowitz’s remarks came just weeks after the FTC and Google settled a case over privacy lapses during the launch of Buzz, the search firm’s online networking tool. Among other things, Google agreed to submit to regular audits of its online privacy practices for the next two decades... Google has shied away from a Do Not Track button on Chrome, saying that there's no agreement among advertisers to honor the tool even for the browsers that offer it..."

- http://www.informationweek.com/shared/printableArticle.jhtml?articleID=229219042

- http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/2011/04/chrome_do_not_track.html
April 17, 2011

:sad: :confused:

2011-05-28, 13:58

35M Google Profiles captured
- http://www.informationweek.com/news/security/privacy/229700122?printer_friendly=this-page
May 27, 2011 - "A security researcher has assembled a single database containing 35 million people's Google Profiles information, including Twitter feeds, real names, and email addresses, among other data points. Google bills Profiles as a way to "decide what the world sees when it searches for you." But Matthijs R. Koot, a privacy and anonymity researcher at the University of Amsterdam, also found that because of the nature of Google Profiles - it's meant to be indexed by search engines - he was able to easily save available information into a SQL database. Doing so required about a month's effort "to retrieve the data, convert it to SQL using spidermonkey and some custom Javascript code, and import it into a database"... The resulting database contains whatever people have added to their own Google Profile..."


2012-02-17, 16:18

Google's iPhone tracking
- http://online.wsj.com/article_email/SB10001424052970204880404577225380456599176-lMyQjAxMTAyMDEwNjExNDYyWj.html?mod=wsj_share_email#articleTabs%3Darticle
Feb 17, 2012 - "Google Inc. and other advertising companies have been bypassing the privacy settings of millions of people using Apple Inc.'s Web browser on their iPhones and computers - tracking the Web-browsing habits of people who intended for that kind of monitoring to be blocked. The companies used special computer code that tricks Apple's Safari Web-browsing software into letting them monitor many users. Safari, the most widely used browser on mobile devices, is designed to -block- such tracking by default. Google disabled its code after being contacted by The Wall Street Journal... To get around Safari's default blocking, Google -exploited- a loophole in the browser's privacy settings. While Safari does block most tracking, it makes an exception for websites with which a person interacts in some way - for instance, by filling out a form. So Google added coding to some of its ads that made Safari think that a person was submitting an invisible form to Google. Safari would then let Google install a cookie on the phone or computer. The cookie that Google installed on the computer was temporary; it expired in 12 to 24 hours. But it could sometimes result in extensive tracking of Safari users..."
- http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2153210/eff-accuses-google-safari-hunt
Feb 17 2012 - "... It's time for Google to acknowledge that it can do a better job of respecting the privacy of Web users," the EFF said in a statement. "One way that Google can prove itself as a good actor in the online privacy debate is by providing meaningful ways for users to limit what data Google collects about them. Specifically, it's time that Google's third-party web servers start respecting Do Not Track requests, and time for Google to offer a built-in Do Not Track option." Google has disabled the feature, and said that the cookies were not used to gather personal information, but the EFF is sceptical... "Any code that was specifically designed to circumvent privacy protection features should have triggered a much higher level of review and caution, and that clearly did not happen."

- http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/02/17/us-mobile-apps-children-idUSTRE81G01S20120217
2012/02/17 - "Apple Inc, Google Inc and their vendors must do more to protect children using iPhones and other mobile devices to read or play games, U.S. trade regulators said, and warned they may punish software makers that secretly collect data on kids..."
* http://ftc.gov/os/2012/02/120216mobile_apps_kids.pdf
"... Recommendations: ... The two major app stores provide the basic architecture for communicating information about the kids apps they offer, such as pricing and category information. However, the app stores should provide a more consistent way for developers to display information regarding their app’s data collection practices and interactive features..."
- http://h-online.com/-1435404
16 Feb 2012 - "... a number of app developers have so far not paid any attention to this rule..."

:fear: :sad:

2012-03-01, 17:06

- http://www.out-law.com/en/articles/2012/march/google-committed-to-privacy-policy-changes-despite-regulatory-claims-of-non-compliance-with-eu-laws/
01 Mar 2012 - "Google will introduce changes to its privacy policies as planned today despite a regulator in France claiming that the policy breaches EU data protection laws..."

- http://bizsecurity.about.com/od/informationsecurity/a/Preparing-For-Changes-To-Googles-Privacy-Policy.htm


2012-03-02, 17:46

Google and 104 Other Companies Are Tracking Me on the Web
- http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/02/the-web-is-watching-us/253758/
Feb 29 2012

Reading the Privacy Policies You Encounter in a Year Would Take 76 Work Days
- http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/03/reading-the-privacy-policies-you-encounter-in-a-year-would-take-76-work-days/253851/
Mar 1 2012


2012-08-12, 13:51

Facebook settles with the FTC over privacy violations
Agrees to privacy audits and explicit user consent for data sharing
- http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2198211/facebook-settles-with-the-ftc-over-privacy-violations
Aug 10 2012 - "The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has settled its privacy investigation of Facebook, after the social network agreed to tighten up its privacy procedures. The FTC investigation centred around charges that Facebook "deceived" users by telling them their data was confidential, while allowing that information to be shared and made public. Under the terms of the settlement, Facebook now has to clearly notify users before sharing any of their data, and also obtain their explicit consent to do so. However, this will only apply to Facebook users who have the appropriate privacy controls in place, so there will still be a loophole for the web site to share such data from subscribers who are lax about updating their privacy settings..."

- https://www.facebook.com/help/privacy

Facebook privacy settings
- https://encrypted.google.com/
... About 489,000,000 results

Final Settlement With Facebook
- http://ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/facebook.shtm

Google to pay $22.5 million fine over privacy practices
- http://ftc.gov/opa/2012/08/google.shtm


2012-11-27, 17:04

Facebook privacy plans...
- http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/11/27/privacy_groups_raise_alarm_over_facebook_ad_improvement_plans/
27 Nov 2012 - "Two privacy campaign groups have urged Facebook to -rethink- plans to change its terms of service, designed to help the social network squeeze more money out of ads. Meanwhile data regulators have stated that the plans will have to change so as to comply with privacy rules. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) penned a joint letter* requesting Facebook reconsider its proposals that are supposed to be implemented tomorrow... as of November 2011**, Facebook agreed to bi-annual privacy audits for two decades as part of its deal with the FTC. At the time the US watchdog said Facebook must be clear about changes to its website, including providing a "prominent notice" to users. The social network was told it should obtain "express consent" before a user's information is shared beyond any privacy settings already established by an individual connected to Facebook..."
* https://epic.org/2012/11/privacy-groups-ask-facebook-to.html
Nov 26, 2012

** http://www.theregister.co.uk/2011/11/30/zuckerberg_ftc_privacy_mea_culpa/

> http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2011/11/privacysettlement.shtm

Facebook lets users vote on privacy policies again
- http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2229266/facebook-lets-users-vote-on-privacy-policies-again
Dec 04 2012 - "... Facebook has changed its mind on its privacy policies yet again, and is asking its one billion users to help it decide... Now Facebook users will be able to vote on a number of the social network's privacy policies up until 10 December, including changes regarding how Facebook handles their data, the way it shares data with hipster photo app Instagram and, bizarrely, whether it should let people vote on such policies in the future. These votes will be regulated by an independent auditor, Facebook explained, and could well have an effect on the way Facebook makes decisions regarding its privacy policies..."

:fear: :sad:

2013-01-04, 04:32

Google probe by FTC ends
- http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/04/us-google-antitrust-idUSBRE9020HK20130104
Jan 3, 2013 - "In a major victory for Google Inc, U.S. regulators on Thursday ended their investigation into the giant Internet company and concluded that it had not manipulated its Web search results to hurt rivals. The Federal Trade Commission did, however, win promises from Google that it would end the practice of "scraping" reviews and other data from rivals' websites for its own products, and to allow advertisers to export data to independently evaluate advertising campaigns. Google also agreed to no longer request sales bans when suing companies which infringe on patents that are essential to ensuring interoperability, also known as standard essential patents, the FTC said on Thursday*. Microsoft Corp and other Google competitors have pressed the FTC to bring a broad antitrust case against Google similar to the sweeping Justice Department litigation against Microsoft in the 1990s... Microsoft was embroiled in antitrust probes and litigation from 1990 when the FTC began an investigation until 2011, when the final consent decree finally expired..."
* http://www.ftc.gov/opa/2013/01/google.shtm

- http://www.theinquirer.net/inquirer/news/2233812/google-escapes-ftc-action-despite-aggressive-actions-against-rivals
Jan 03 2013