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Online Privacy

Google’s Open Defiance?

Why is the world’s leading crusader for openness and transparency so closed and non-transparent?

Why does Google fiercely defend the public’s right to know virtually everything about everyone else, but does not believe the public has any right to know similar things about Google?

Why is Google passionate about discovery of the world’s information, but so fierce in fighting legitimate discovery of Google information?

FCC’s New Do Not Track List Authority

Will the FCC create an Internet “Do Not Track” list like the FTC created the “Do Not Call” list enjoyed by three quarters of Americans?

In ruling the Internet to be subject to common carrier consumer protection law, the Obama FCC’s recently passed Open Internet Order applied common carrier privacy law (Section 222) to Internet telecommunications as part of the FCC’s unilateral efforts to modernize communications law for the 21st century.

The Obama FCC’s Open Internet Order also ruled that the Internet now encompasses the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) and that an IP address is the functional equivalent of a telephone number.

Thus, logically it could follow that information that’s considered legally private in the telephone world now could be considered legally private in the Internet world.   

This central consumer protection question should come up this week as the FCC hosts a Section 222 public workshop to explore the FCC’s “role in protecting the privacy of consumers who use” the Internet.

What is Section 222?

It is a common carrier provision of the Communications Act entitled “Privacy of Customer Information.”

Google’s WorldWideWatch over the WorldWideWeb – New White Paper on Google’s Data Dominance


[Note: Please find “Google’s WorldWideWatch over the WorldWideWeb” White Paper -- here.]

The European Commission’s 28-month-old Google search Statement of Objections is out of date and myopic.

What’s changed since the May 2012 EC-Google search settlement baseline?

Google has extended its May 2012 billion-user search dominance, into three newly billion-user dominant platforms (mobile, video, and maps), resulting in new competition complaints of abuse of dominance and new potential EC investigations – with Google’s abuse of its data dominance a common thread.  

Snowden’s NSA-revelations have changed everyone’s awareness of Internet surveillance and the vulnerability of personal data, contributing to the passage of much stronger data-protection legislation by the European Parliament and to a European High Court ruling on Europeans’ right to be forgotten.

Why Settlements with Google Fail – Open Letter to New EC Commissioners

Dear European Commission Official,

Unfortunately, the EC has learned the hard way. Settlements with Google don’t work.

First, Google’s leaders interpret DG-Comp’s publicly-signaled preference for a competition settlement over law enforcement to be a sign of sovereign weakness, and a lack of confidence in the EC’s sovereign resolve and law enforcement.

Second, Google’s leaders also interpret the EC’s repeated willingness to settle -- with no admission of Google wrongdoing/culpability and no meaningful penalty for past abuses of dominance – to practically mean that the EC’s sovereignty, rule of law and deterrent capability are all negotiable and open to surrender if Google pushes back hard enough.   

There is no other conclusion for Google’s leaders to reach. DG-Comp effectively surrendered its entire case three different times publicly: that Google is dominant, has abused its dominance, and warrants a fine and changed behavior.

In addition to that capitulation and pardon from responsibility for past abuses of dominance, DG-Comp also agreed to surrender the EC’s future sovereign authority to investigate Google search for five more years – almost the entire term of the next European Commission.

Google Android Dominates by Cheating Data Protection

Google-Android sacrifices users’ security, privacy and data protection to scale Android fastest so that Google can dominate mobile software and advertising.

This charge and analysis is timely and relevant because Reuters is reporting that European Commission competition authorities are “laying the groundwork for a case centered on whether Google abuses the 80 percent market share of its Android mobile operating system to promote services from maps to search.”

The purpose of this particular analysis is to help a user better understand how they are harmed by Google-Android’s disregard for data protection.

Supreme Court & EU Expose Google’s Massive Privacy Liabilities – Daily Caller Op-ed

Please read my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “Supreme Court & European Union Expose Google's Massive Privacy Liabilities.” See here.

It connects the dots of what two recent Supreme Court and three recent EU privacy decisions mean for individuals’ privacy in general and Google’s privacy liabilities in particular.


Six Ways the FTC is AWOL on Google


The mounting evidence indicates the FTC is AWOL on Google.

Currently there are no less than six important Google enforcement issues that that the FTC should be investigating, but apparently is not.  

In stark contrast, the EU has many serious problems with Google’s >90% dominance and its persistent disregard for Europe’s privacy, data protection and the right to be forgotten requirements.

An American Google enforcement vacuum stiffens the EU’s resolve and adds to the need and urgency for the EC to step in to preserve the rule of law in Europe.

An absentee FTC, which is largely ignoring consumer choice, also makes it harder for the U.S. to preserve the US-EU safe harbor for the handling of personal information in the pending Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Post-Snowden, the US and EU are far apart on data protection, and a glaringly absentee FTC only exacerbates that divide.



Google’s Right to Be Forgotten Hypocrisy -- My Daily Caller Op-ed

Please read my latest Daily Caller op-ed: “Google’s Right to Be Forgotten Hypocrisy.”

Whenever Google plays the victim you can bet they are hiding something. Don’t miss learning what it is.   

It is Part 42 of my Google Disrespect for Privacy series.



Google's Disrespect for Privacy Series


Part 1: Why Google is the Biggest Threat to Americans' Privacy; House Testimony [7-18-08]

Why Handcuff the Next EC with a Bad Five-Year Google Deal? – An Open Letter to EC Commissioners

Dear European Commission Official,

Perversely the proposed EC-Google Settlement would restrict the next EC much more than it would restrict Google.

The special Google deal would handcuff EC President-Designate Juncker’s #1 priorityto create a digital single market for consumers and businesses” and “to break down national silos… in data protection… and in competition law.”

The deal would protect Google’s current de facto digital single market from significant new EC digital competition for five years, because the deal would require the EC to shut down its Google search investigation for a five-year period.

Dropcam Key to Google’s New Ubiquitous Physical Surveillance Network – Part 25 Google Spying Series

Google recently boughtDropcam for $555m, a company which makes inexpensive, easy-to-install, WiFi-video-streaming-cameras that connect to cloud-based networks for convenient monitoring, set-up and retrieval.

Please don’t miss this graphic -- here -- of how the Dropcam acquisition fits into Google’s plans for a new ubiquitous physical surveillance network that will complement and leverage its existing virtual surveillance network.


Q&A One Pager Debunking Net Neutrality Myths