Tag: Google Inc

A Feisty Google Adversary Tests How Much People Care About Privacy

PAOLI, Pa. — Gabriel Weinberg is taking aim at Google from a small building 20 miles west of Philadelphia that looks like a fake castle. An optometrist has an office downstairs. Mr. Weinberg’s company, DuckDuckGo, has become one of the feistiest adversaries of Google. Started over a decade ago, DuckDuckGo offers a privacy-focused alternative to […]

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Beware. Other Nations Will Follow France With Their Own Digital Tax.

Last Thursday, the French Senate passed a digital services tax, which would impose an entirely new tax on large multinationals that provide digital services to consumers or users in France. Digital services include everything from providing a platform for selling goods and services online to targeting advertising based on user data, and the tax applies […]

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As Nations Look to Tax Tech Firms, U.S. Scrambles to Broker a Deal

WASHINGTON — For most of the 21st century, wealthy nations have engaged in a race to the bottom on corporate taxes, cutting rates in an effort to poach business activity across borders. Very quickly, that script has flipped. Developed countries are now moving to impose new taxes on technology companies, like Facebook and Google, that […]

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White House Hosts Social Media Summit for Pro-Trump Digital Warriors

WASHINGTON — The day of a planned White House social media summit was off to an energetic start on Thursday, when President Trump blasted out a round of Twitter insults against his enemies, defended the Pledge of Allegiance, called himself “great looking and smart” and announced an afternoon Rose Garden news conference on his administration’s […]

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White House Hosts a Meeting for Pro-Trump Twitter Warriors

WASHINGTON — The day of a planned White House social media summit was off to an energetic start on Thursday, when President Trump blasted out a round of Twitter insults against his enemies, defended the Pledge of Allegiance, called himself “great looking and smart” and announced an afternoon Rose Garden news conference on his administration’s […]

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France Moves Toward Digital Tax, Stoking Fight With White House

PARIS — President Emmanuel Macron’s government waded into a potentially messy fight with the White House on Thursday as French lawmakers voted to impose a tax on Facebook, Google and other American technology giants despite a blunt warning from the Trump administration. The measure, which the White House said could amount to an unfair trade […]

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Your Inbox Is Spying on You

Call it the Five Stages of Privacy Erosion. Tech Company builds popular product. Product is exposed in the press for doing something shady behind the scenes. Tech Company apologizes/clarifies/signals a fix. Brief phase of collective rejoicing and moving on. It’s revealed (usually by the same people) that Product was never really fixed. That’s the rough […]

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I Used Google Ads for Social Engineering. It Worked.

Kevin Hines had one thought as he plummeted toward the Pacific Ocean: I can change anything in my life except the fact that I just jumped from the Golden Gate Bridge. “One sentence could have stopped me,” Kevin wrote. “Had any one of the hundreds of passers-by engaged with me, it would … potentially have […]

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Your Data Could Be at the Center of the Fight Against Big Tech

LONDON — Germany’s top antitrust enforcer, Andreas Mundt, recently asked a room full of lawyers, academics and regulators to imagine a wall filled with their personal information collected by Facebook and Google. He told them to picture it stocked with their data broken up into categories like finances, location, relationships and hobbies. “That is you,” […]

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France Will Debate a Bill to Stop Online Hate Speech. What’s at Stake?

PARIS — The French Parliament will start debating a bill on online hate speech and harassment on Wednesday, as countries around the world grapple with the question of what content is acceptable online and how to regulate huge technological platforms with a global reach. In France, laws regulating free speech are generally more restrictive than […]

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Google and the University of Chicago Are Sued Over Data Sharing

SAN FRANCISCO — When the University of Chicago Medical Center announced a partnership to share patient data with Google in 2017, the alliance was promoted as a way to unlock information trapped in electronic health records and improve predictive analysis in medicine. On Wednesday, the University of Chicago, the medical center and Google were sued […]

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Kenneth Lerer Steps Down as BuzzFeed Chairman

Kenneth Lerer, a prolific investor who helped found HuffPost, has stepped down as chairman of BuzzFeed, the viral-happy website that has lately experienced turbulence after a sharp rise in prominence. Mr. Lerer’s departure, which was first reported by Axios on Tuesday, was confirmed by two people with knowledge of the matter who declined to speak […]

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Trash-Picking Robots? Park Bench Monitors? Toronto Debates Tech Giant’s Waterfront Plans

Citizens’ groups have challenged it and privacy advocates have wrung their hands, asking whether Toronto was taking its embrace of technology too far by allowing a sibling company of Google to help remake a rundown part of its waterfront. But specifics have been incomplete about the project in the year and half since the company […]

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To Take Down Big Tech, They First Need to Reinvent the Law

SAN FRANCISCO — When Americans fear the future, they turn to antitrust action. It happened in the 1890s, when the United States was rapidly moving from a farming economy to an industrialized one. It happened again in the late 1940s, when nuclear war seemed imminent. And it is happening now, as big technology companies work […]

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F.T.C. Said to Be Investigating YouTube Over Child Privacy Claims

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. — The Federal Trade Commission is in advanced stages of an investigation into YouTube’s handling of videos aimed at children, according to two people with knowledge of the inquiry. The investigation, which could result in fines against YouTube, comes after complaints by parents and consumer groups that the video giant had collected […]

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Facebook and Google Don’t Need Your Data to Make Lots of Money

It’s easy to see tech companies as a monolithic villain in the battle over consumer privacy. But in fact, there are countless tech companies, like mine, that believe that people have a fundamental right to avoid being put under surveillance and that it should be easy for them to exercise that right. By contrast, it […]

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Google Pledges $1 Billion to Ease Bay Area Housing Crisis

SAN FRANCISCO — Google pledged $1 billion worth of land and money on Tuesday to build affordable housing in the San Francisco Bay Area, the latest effort by tech industry leaders to address housing shortages near their headquarters. Sundar Pichai, Google’s chief executive, said in a blog post that the company planned to repurpose at […]

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Exposing the Bias Embedded in Tech

In 2010, Kinect for Microsoft’s Xbox gaming system, in which users played with gestures and spoken commands rather than a controller, was ready to go to market. But just before it did, a woman who worked for the company took the game home to play with her family, and a funny thing happened. The motion-sensing […]

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YouTube’s Algorithm Incentivizes the Wrong Behavior

YouTube deals in the extraordinary, and shuns the ordinary. Whether that’s the everyday life of improbably rich young millionaires like Jake Paul, a high school dropout from Westlake, Ohio, or PewDiePie, a skinny, fast-talking Swede whose real name is Felix Arvid Ulf Kjellberg, YouTube seeks to serve a need. It does so through “the algorithm” […]

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Stanford Team Aims at Alexa and Siri With a Privacy-Minded Alternative

PALO ALTO, Calif. — It has been almost two decades since Google started to dominate internet search the way Microsoft dominated software for personal computers a generation earlier. Now computer scientists at Stanford University are warning about the consequences of a race to control what they believe will be the next key consumer technology market […]

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