He points out that Google lists its own products—from commerce to Google profiles—higher up than competitor results, even if the competitor website has more visitors. “This is called abuse of a dominant position,” he says. Despite this, the European Commission effectively sanctioned Google’s approach as long as Google offers a new advertising position at the start of the search list where the discriminated company can pay to advertise. “This is not a compromise,” said Döpfner, “this is the EU officially sanctioning your business model, which is called ‘protection money’ in less honorable circles.” Döpfner also makes reference to the “if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear” argument espoused at different times by Schmidt and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, pointing out that such words could also come from the “head of the Stasi” or another dictator’s intelligence agency. “Google knows more about every digital citizen than George Orwell dared to imagine in his wildest visions of 1984,” he says. Döpfner is particularly concerned about comments made by founder Larry Page, who said that there are lots of things the company would like to do but can’t do because they are illegal—pesky antitrust and privacy laws get in the way. Google has also expressed an interest in building floating working environments—for “seasteading.”

Major media publisher admits it is “afraid of Google” | Ars Technica

Technology means that no matter what kind of job you have — even if you’re alone in a truck on an empty road — your company can now measure everything you do. In Earle’s case, those measurements go into a little black box in the back of his truck. At the end of the day, the data get sent to Paramus, N.J., where computers crunch through the data from UPS trucks across the country. ‘The data are about as important as the package for us,’ says Jack Levis, who’s in charge of the UPS data. It’s his job to think about small amounts of time and large amounts of money. ‘Just one minute per driver per day over the course of a year adds up to $14.5 million,’ Levis says.

The Data-Driven Optimization of the Worker - Alexis C. Madrigal - The Atlantic

Sharing your location with Nearby Friends goes two ways — you and your friends both have to turn on Nearby Friends and choose to share with each other to see when you’re nearby. Your friends will only be able to see that you’re nearby if you share this info with them and vice versa.

Introducing A New Optional Feature Called Nearby Friends | Facebook Newsroom

In this survey, 92 percent of IT personnel admitted that they did, indeed, sneak peeks — under the guise of doing their job, you understand — at the details buried in workers’ computers. The other 8 percent work in monasteries. At least that’s my assumption. Perhaps you won’t be surprised at the things these IT snoopers (42 percent of whom where female) see. Eighty-two percent observe the obvious — workers wafting onto social media sites of varying hues, rather than being what used to be called productive. Surely even work is social these days. Fifty-seven percent insist that a huge problem is e-mail attachments of dubious provenance being opened. I have no evidence that any of these IT managers work for US Airways. Fifty-two percent say that workers download games onto their office computers. And don’t get them started about the unauthorized USB and other devices that get plugged into the precious office machines. It seems there’s also a lot of pirating going on in office time and on office equipment; 45 percent said they had seen evidence. But perhaps the most enjoyable of all is observing just how many people in your office are applying for other jobs. Thirty-nine percent of IT managers said that, oh, yes, they’d seen job applications flying on work computers.

Big Brother really is watching you (It’s your IT manager) - CNET

Our automated systems analyze your content (including e-mails) to provide you personally relevant product features, such as customized search results, tailored advertising, and spam and malware detection. This analysis occurs as the content is sent, received, and when it is stored.

All sent and received e-mails in Gmail will be analyzed, says Google | Ars Technica

18% of online adults have had important personal information stolen such as their Social Security Number, credit card, or bank account information. That’s an increase from the 11% who reported personal information theft in July 2013.
21% of online adults said they had an email or social networking account compromised or taken over without their permission.The same number reported this experience in a July 2013 survey.

More online Americans say they’ve experienced a personal data breach | Pew Research Center (via onaissues)

(via pewinternet)

Specifically, the ACLU fears “jurisdictional overreach,” which under the new rules would allow a magistrate judge in any district to impose a “remote access search warrant” in any other district. The memo is authored by Nathan Freed Wessler, Chris Soghoian, Alex Abdo, and Rita Cant, who are attorneys and fellows at the ACLU. “Unlike terrorism investigations (for which out-of-district search warrants are currently authorized, Fed. R. Crim. P. 41(b)(3)), remote searches of electronic storage media are likely to occur with great frequency. The proposed rule is not a minor procedural update; it is a major reorganization of judicial power.” The ACLU also raised the troubling implications of granting the power of a single warrant to conduct vast digital searches.

As gov’t discusses expanding digital searches, ACLU sounds caution | Ars Technica

For example, you may have seen an ad for something on YouTube on your phone, looked it up using the Amazon app on your tablet, and eventually bought it on your computer. Unless you were logged into YouTube when you first saw the ad, Google can’t tell if the sale was a result of the ad, and can’t prove to advertisers—who spend half their mobile budgets with Google—that the money was well spent. It also can’t tell if it’s shown you the same ad over and over again to no effect—information it could use to target ads better.

This is a problem the entire online ad industry faces. But few have as much to lose as Google does, or the clout to push users around. Most companies would be lucky to get one app on your phone’s home screen. Google has a whole mobile operating system, Android. And even people who use Apple rather than Android devices can use a lot of Google apps on them—Google Earth, Drive, Hangouts, Translate, Blogger or even, yes, Google (which exists only to serve as the company’s data gathering tool). Hence its move to unify sign-in across them.

This change affects only Apple users who have upgraded to iOS 7, the latest version—but that’s 85% of iOS devices. They no longer have the ability to remain anonymous as they watch videos on YouTube or navigate their cities using Google Maps.

Google’s sneaky new privacy change affects 85% of iPhone users—but most of them won’t have noticed - Quartz

The economically important 18-34 age group are more likely to say they are doing less shopping online (33% compared to an overall 26%). Online retailers who rely more on female shoppers should note that 29% of women surveyed said they have reduced how much they shop online (compared to 23% of men and 26% overall). When it comes to banking online 29% of folks in that 18-34 age bracket had cut back, as had 30% of those aged 65 and older.

New Harris poll shows NSA revelations impact online shopping, banking, and more

A Nudge on Digital Privacy Law From E.U. Official

The top data protection official for the European Union called Tuesday for member governments to restore public trust in the Internet by pressing ahead with an overhaul of the bloc’s electronic privacy laws by the end of this year.

The official, Peter Hustinx, the European data protection supervisor, also called on President Obama to stick to his pledge to review American privacy rules in the wake of disclosures that have exposed the vast reach of government surveillance that has shaken trans-Atlantic relations.

Legislation to revamp European digital privacy law has been in the works since November 2010, when the European Union’s justice commissioner, Vivian Reding, first proposed updating rules set during the mid-1990s in the early part of the Internet era. She presented her version of the legislation in January 2012.

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