Google has begun charging law enforcement for access to user data, according to a report by the New York Times. The company is levying fees of $45 for a subpoena, $60 for a wiretap, and $245 for a search warrant, according to documents reviewed by the NYT.
The company receives a high volume of requests from law enforcement agencies to hand over data about its users and has therefore decided to bring in charges to “offset the costs” of compiling this data. According to the report, Google is legally allowed to levy these charges but traditionally big technology companies have handed over data without any charges.
The YouTubers are mad and YouTube is sorry.
Google’s video service says it “missed the mark” yesterday when it announced sweeping changes to its verification program. Those changes would have stripped the verification badges from some of YouTube’s most prominent users, which might have affected how they appear in search results, but now the service is apparently rethinking its approach.
In an apologetic statement sent out from the Twitter account of CEO Susan Wojcicki, the executive apologized “for the frustration & hurt that we caused with our new approach to verification.” YouTube is “working to address your concerns & we’ll have more updates soon,” Wojcicki said.
The Google Nest Hub Max seems like a pretty smart device–even if the name could use some work. It also has some pretty cool features. For example, the device will display the calendar or content customized for the person who happens to be looking at it, without them having to log on. That sounds really cool, but in order for it to work, there’s one giant catch.
It’s literally always watching you.
That’s because the Google Nest Hub Max’s front-facing camera is always on so it can detect and analyze faces and determine who’s interacting with. That also means that the device can be controlled with a series of gestures. I guess that’s cool, but Google wanting to put a camera in my house that’s always on? What could possibly go wrong?
Many small businesses constantly chase great online reviews. Because they have become a critical part of the prospect’s decision-making process. But what are the mistakes that they should avoid in the process? And are fake reviews going to dismantle the entire system?
The Impact of Online Reviews on Businesses
On the Small Business Radio Show this week we speak to Jeremy Lessaris. Lessaris founded irevu, an online reputation management company. He discusses how reviews can make or break your company. He says that “a one star drop at a plastic surgery office can cost the company millions of dollars.” They are having even more of an impact because Jeremy adds that Google is now frequently listing reviews in some cases before organic search results.
Self-driving cars are a shared ambition among Google, Tesla, Apple, Uber and Lyft, among other automotive, tech and ridesharing companies. For Uber and Lyft specifically, it’s a matter of cutting costs. However, fiscal expediency is not the main benefit of this emerging technology. Roughly 94 percent of traffic accidents are caused by human error, and to many, autonomous vehicles (AVs) seem to be our only path toward lessening related fatalities. In addition, driverless cars have other benefits, such as lower fuel consumption, lower CO2 emissions and a reduction in congestion. Here are the main ways they stand to change our lives and carve out a lane in the consumer marketplace, as well as the challenges this fledgling sector will need to overcome.
YOU’RE PROBABLY AWARE that Google keeps tabs on what you’re up to on its devices, apps, and services—but you might not realize just how far its tracking reach extends, into the places you go, the purchases you make, and much more. It’s an extensive set of data, but you can take more control over what Google collects about you and how long the company keeps it. Here’s how.
It’s worth emphasizing first that we’re really dealing with two topics: The amount of data Google collects on you, which is a lot, and what Google then does with it. Google would say its data collection policies improve its services—helping you find a restaurant similar ones you’ve liked previously, say—whereas users might disagree.
The fancy Google Pixelbook painted a rosy picture for the future of the Chromebook when it launched. Yes, it was a bit too expensive given the limitations of Chrome OS, but the software has evolved quite a bit over the past couple of years. Now there was some premium hardware to match.
But if you believe the recent reporting around the matter, we may never see a true follow-up to the high-end Chromebook. Google has never been afraid to kill projects, and its Chrome OS hardware might be next. And that might not be as big a blow as you may think.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai might just want to check his Twitter tomorrow.
A group called Googlers for Ending Forced Arbitration will hold a tweetstorm on Tuesday, Jan. 15 to educate the public about forced arbitration agreements and advocate for their removal from the tech industry. The group, which says it’s run by organizers of the Google Walkouts and dozens of other employees, announced the plan in a Medium blog post to inform people about “how forced arbitration denies 60 million Americans access to their civil rights.”
ON TUESDAY, THE House Judiciary Committee had the opportunity to question one of the most powerful people on the planet—Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, the company that filters all the world’s information. And they blew it.
Over the course of three and a half hours, the members of the committee staked out opposite sides of a partisan battle over whether Google search and other products are biased against conservatives. Republican members largely criticized the company for burying conservative websites in search results and amplifying criticism of conservative policies—accusations that Google has repeatedly denied. Democrats only poured fuel on the fire by spending their allotted five minutes helping Pichai shoot down those trumped-up claims, which are hard to prove either way thanks to the company’s black box algorithms. The rhetorical tennis match left precious little time for committee members to explore in any detail the urgent questions around Google’s interest in building a censored search engine for China, the company’s bulk data collection practices, its recent security breaches, or issues related to competition and antitrust regulation.