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Submitted by Scott Cleland on Wed, 2011-04-27 11:27
The current media and Congressional interest in the new revelation that Google and Apple have collected WiFi location information has largely missed an exceptionally salient point -- Google and Apple have very different privacy track records stemming from their very different attitudes toward privacy.
Google Privacy Scandal #11:
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Fri, 2011-04-22 11:37
The Wall Street Journal essentially confirmed the huge flaw in the FTC-Google privacy settlement that I recently spotlighted; see Julia Angwin's excellent privacy article: "Apple, Google Collect User Data."
The WSJ investigation confirmed the fact that Google (and Apple too) are tracking their mobile device users' movements and locations based on "unique device identifiers" without users' knowledge or authorization.
The confirmation of this fact, confirms my point that the FTC-Google privacy settlement has a huge loophole in that it does not include "unique device identifiers" to be private information, a ridiculous distinction because a "unique device identifier" is obviously as private as a name or IP address, which the FTC already considers "covered information." FYI: the proposed bipartisan Kerry-McCain privacy legislation considers "unique device identifiers" to be private information.
If the FTC is truly serious about enforcing its fair representation laws and sanctioning deceptive and unfair privacy practices when they find them, it should modify its draft privacy settlement with Google to include "unique device identifiers," as covered private information, in the final settlement with Google that soon will be codified by the court.
Submitted by Scott Cleland on Thu, 2011-02-17 11:08
Mobile content producers do not have a truly competitive choice between Google's 10% fee One Pass service and Apple's 30% fee subscription service, as much as they have a value system choice between Google's Internet commons model and Apple's property-rights-driven market.
As much as Google tries to fool Little Red Riding Hood content owners that their Grandma always had such big eyes and big teeth, most mobile content providers will spot the Google commons wolf in disguise.