Google Settles French Ad Dispute

Google settled a dispute about rejecting ads with the French Competition Authority including a 3 month notification period for the future when rejecting ads. Navx bought ads from Google to help drivers avoid speeding tickets by providing "online maps pinpointing the location of radar and camera...

Obama Gets Mediocre Privacy Grades

The Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) issued its second annual privacy report card with lower grades of "C for consumer data protection efforts and a D on civil liberties." Mark Rotenberg, executive director of EPIC said "Our bottom-line assessment is that with respect to...

Facebook Now Accounts for 25% of All U.S. Pageviews

Hitwise recently reported that 1 in every 4 pageviews in the US is on Facebook , and also incredible is Facebook's claim that people spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook. Astonishing growth made even more amazing by realizing that the second place, and far behind Facebook, is YouTube...

Google Offers New Service Analyzing 500 Billion Words

After digitizing 5.2 million books Google now offers new tools that permit a fascinating view of language, culture, and evolution of thought unlike anything known before. Now anyone can analyze " 500 billion words contained in books published between 1500 and 2008 in English, French, Spanish...

Facebook is the most popular site on the Internet!

All indicators were headed to this new headline that as 2010 ends Facebook overtook Google as the most popular Internet site . Experian Hitwise reported that "8.9 percent of unique online visits were to Facebook this year, compared with Google's 7.2 percent," and ComScore estimates ...

Google Gets Injunction Stopping Microsoft's eMail Service

The Department of Interior (DOI) was enjoined from awarding Microsoft a contract to provide a Cloud email service following Google's bid protest. US Judge Susan Braden issued a temporary injunction because the DOI failed to comply with federal procurement laws. Google and Microsoft both offer...

Google settles with FTC over Google Buzz privacy violations

Google agreed to an unprecedented settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, where the FTC asserted that Google used deceptive tactics and violated its own privacy policies through its social network Google Buzz. Although there is no monetary penalty attached to the settlement, Google is required...

Google Agrees to 20 Years Privacy Policy Oversight by FTC

Not only was Google's roll out of Buzz in 2010 badly received by the user community, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) filed a Complaint for Google's violation of its own Privacy Policies: ...Google launched its Buzz social network through its Gmail web-based email product. Although...

Google Reports Increased Revenue- But Legal Issue Abound

Q1 revenue increased $8.6 Billion which is 27% higher than a year earlier, however there are a number of critical legal issues facing Google which I included in my recent eCommerce Times column. Those legal challenges include the recent rejection of the long-running Google book settlement by US Circuit...

Microsoft Purchases Skype - Facebook and Google Unlucky Suitors

VOIP is likely headed in a new direction now that Microsoft agreed to pay $8.5 billion for Skype . It was reported that Facebook and Google's offers were in the $3 to 4 billion range , while at the same time Skype was still considering an IPO later this year. As a result of this purchase, Microsoft...

Is Internet Privacy Possible?

A new lawsuit against Google for Internet location tracking highlights my recent eCommerce Times column that Internet privacy may not be possible . The new class action lawsuit brought by Jon Pessano and others asserts that Google uses its location marketing database to generate billions of dollars...

Apple - Most Valuable Brand in the World, But Loses its Retail Guru to J.C. Penny

Google was the most valuable brand name in the world for 4 years, and now Apple has finally surpassed Google as the most valuable brand . Rounding out the top 10 are very familar names: 1. Apple 2. Google 3. IBM 4. McDonald's 5. Microsoft 6. Coca-Cola 7. AT&T 8. Marlboro...

Skype Video Now on Facebook

Microsoft recently paid $8.5 billion for Skype and even though Facebook and Google lost in the bidding wars offering a measly $3-4 billion, nonetheless now Facebook announces that Skype will be available for video calling! Mark Zuckerberg said: Users will be able to click a button in Facebook...

Standoff Ends - Google to Testify Before Senate Panel in September

Google faces antitrust allegations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the European Union (EU), and in Texas that Google's search engine favors its own services in search results and charges rivals higher ad rates. So when asked to testify before a US Senate Judiciary antitrust subcommittee...

Google: Legal Issues Abound and What about Google+?

Google's newest Social Media adventure Google+ is getting rave reviews with millions of users yet not launched to the public. Keep in mind that the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) 20 year oversight of Google's privacy policy because of Google's disastrous Buzz - the 2010 failed...

Google Increases Its Internet Law Business

In 2009 Google started offering l egal research and eDiscovery services ( Postini), and now Google announced that it invested $18.5 million in RocketLawyer.com which bills itself as the "fastest growing online legal service." Forbes reported that RocketLawyer.com founder Charley Moore:...

Google Buys Zagat - New Source of Data and Spread for Social Media!

Google paid an estimated $100-200 million to expand its reach by purchasing Zagat Survey that potentially increases Google's Social Media power. Pew Research recently report that 92% of adults on the Internet use search engines every day , so couple that information with Google's "estimates...

Protect Your Business - Update your Terms of Service (TOS) & Click Agreements

All Social Media and Internet businesses rely on TOS and Click Agreements to protect their legal rights, but few businesses take the time to make sure that the TOS and Click Agreements actually protect their business operations. I welcome you to read my eCommerce Times column entitled "Your...

Google Co-Founder Gives $500,000 to Wikimedia Foundation

Since the Wikimedia Foundation (home of Wikipedia) is a not-for-profit , it survives by annual fundraisers. Google co-founder Sergey Brin and his wife Anne Wojcicki (23andMe co-founder) used their Brin Wojcicki Foundation to grant $500,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation. The Wikimedia Foundation kicked...

How to Improve Search Results on Google

Pew Research recently reported that 92% of adults use search engines daily and ComScore recently reported that 65.6% of all US searches are conducted on Google . So I thought I would pass along Hack College's recommendations about how to " Get More Out of Google ." Here are some search...

Facebook Confesses Failure to Comply with Privacy Laws

After the US government filed charges that Facebook violated US privacy law, Facebook finally confessed that it failed to protect the privacy of its 800 million active users. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) welcomes the public to submit comments on the settlement through December 30, 2011 . ...

Should Anyone Expect Privacy on Google?

By Peter S. Vogel Since 92% of adults use search engines every day means that they share volumes of information with Google, who dominates searching, 66.4% in the US and 80% in the EU . No one was surprised when Pew Research reported that 92% of adults search daily , but what Google does with our...

Peter S. Vogel: Google Did Not Violate U.S. Law When Collecting Wifi Data

By Peter S. Vogel Google was fined $25,000 for not cooperating with an investigation regarding Google's collection of unencrypted wifi data when taking Street View pictures from 2006-10, but the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reported that Google did not violate any US laws. The FCC's...

Peter S. Vogel: Oops - Google Found Street View Wifi Data

By Peter S. Vogel Google confessed to U.K. officials that Google still has Street View unprotected wifi data collected before 2010 in spite claims that such data had been destroyed. On July 27, 2012 Peter Fleischer (Google's global privacy counsel) sent a letter to Steve Eckersley (head of enforcement...

California AG Advocates 'Surprise Minimization' to Protect Mobile Device Consumers from Unexpected Privacy Practices

Hailing her state as the "epicenter of modern innovation," California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris has issued recommendations for app developers and providers, advertising networks and others as part of an effort to give consumers "meaningful information" about privacy choices...