Posts tagged with 'privacy'
It's either one more swipe at the 800-pound gorilla, or it's a serious problem brewing for Google. Today a Washington-based advocacy group filed a complaint asking the FTC to review Google's security standards for its cloud computing services. Among those services: Gmail, Docs, and Picasa.
The source of the complaint, and its target, are definitely serious matters. The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) wants the trade commission to investigate "the adequacy of the privacy and security safeguards" of Gmail, Calendar, Docs, and Picasa. Earlier this month Google had to report a breach of its Docs application, which is one of the reasons EPIC filed with the FTC, it's petition states. Docs has 4.4 million users; Gmail has 26 million.
Google continues to redouble its efforts on its core business - advertising - and on Wednesday launched a beta of what it is calling "interest-based advertising".
Interest-based ads add a new dimension to ads on Google. Unlike ads that are completely contextual, interest-based ads "associate categories of interest...with your browser, based on the types of sites you visit and the pages
Facebook, which now has 190m users and continues its ascent as the world's largest social network, has rolled out a major update.
There are UI changes and new features alike and many are designed to put Facebook into the competition as talk of the 'real-time web' heats up.
They're calling it "interest-based targeting" rather than behavioral, but Google's finally allowing advertisers to target users based on what they've been surfing on the Web. With a twist. The company is handing over both tools and power to consumers who can find out why they're being served the ads they see, and also opt-out of the targeting by segment (if not entirely).
The program's still in beta (and beta at Google can last a long, long time). But once publishers get on board, consumers will have the option of viewing the categories they've been placed in: expectant mother, say, or travel. While they have the option of opting out of the program entirely, they can also opt out on a bucket-by-bucket basis, which may provide incentive for them to stick with the overall program.
Reading the blogosphere today it would be reasonable to think that Barack Obama has nominated Satan to lead the Federal Trade Commission. His name is actually Jon Leibowitz and all the talk about a "day of reckoning" for the online ad business will not be at the top of his agenda.
Leibowitz is a known anti-piracy advocate (good) and an aggressive
proponent of regulating online advertising (maybe not so good). He made
a speech on Feb. 12 while he was deeply into his job as one of the FTC
commissioners and investigating behavioral targeting. In that speech he
used the phrase "day of reckoning" about online ad regulation and
although it certainly has a promise of biblical wrath, he will not
smite this business.
As we've discussed here at Econsultancy before, United States President Barack Obama loves social media. He used it with remarkable success during his campaign and he's using it as president.
But the popular website he used to serve his weekly video address on WhiteHouse.gov has unceremoniously been ditched.
Facebook is on top of the world. Its continued growth is nothing short of amazing and it now has over 175m members worldwide. It's adding 600,000 each day.
Of course, Facebook has yet to turn its popularity into the type of revenue it needs to thrive long-term but if there's one thing that could bring Facebook down, it's not revenue. It's privacy.