Google and Viacom both faced a class-action lawsuit that claimed Nickelodeon’s Nick.com placed cookies on children under-13 computers and that Google used those cookies to work out which videos kids had watched and the games they played to dish out targeted ads.
It’s against US law to gather information from children under-13 personal without warning parents and getting their permission; it’s claimed that permission was never sought.
However, the appeals court said Google was not liable as even though it served up ads to kids, it did not collect their info directly: it was given the data by Viacom’s Nick.com servers.
Viacom was also largely let off, as the court said that the data gathered was deemed not specific enough to be personally identifying.
In absolving Google, the appeals court drew a parallel to case that inspired the Video Privacy Protection Act, the leaking of Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork’s video rental history. Just as the court ruled that the Washington Post was not liable for receiving and publishing Bork’s rental history from the video store, Google is not liable for receiving the IP address and browsing history Viacom’s cookies collected.
The backup feature will come out later this month, on June 28th, in the form of a new app called Backup and Sync.
Google has been the subject of an investigation by the European Commission relating to accusations of anti-competitive practices for over a year. Now, there’s word that the company is about to be hit with a likely hefty fine as the Commission prepares to share its findings and administer sanctions.
Regulators allege the company violated antitrust laws when it boosted the rankings of its Shopping service “irrespective of its merits,” as their statement read. “The commission is concerned that users do not necessarily see the most relevant results in response to queries — to the detriment of consumers and rival comparison shopping services, as well as stifling innovation.”
According to some analytics companies, more than 90 percent of searches in Europe are started on Google. The next nearest competitor, Bing, accounts for 2.67 percent.
Credit: Magdalena Petrova
Google servers are now in Cuba and the internet is up and running.
The computers are part of Google’s global network of caching servers, which store frequently requested content locally so it doesn’t have to be accessed over long distances.That speeds up access in any country but is particularly important in a nation like Cuba, which has relatively low connectivity to the rest of the world.Cuba is connected to the rest of the internet almost exclusively via the ALBA-1 submarine cable, which runs from the island to Venezuela. Currently surfing the internet is still very pricey in Cuba. Government-run internet cafes charge several euros for an hour or two of online time — a large amount in a country where the average wage is about 20 euros (US$22) per month.
Waymo a part of Alphabet, which owns Google — filed a lawsuit Thursday against Uber, alleging that the ride-sharing service stole some of its autonomous-car secrets. Waymo claims a former employee may have stolen proprietary files — 14,000 of them, to be exact — and used them to start a new company, called Otto, the autonomous-driving tech startup acquired by Uber in August for $680 million. Otto demonstrated a self-driving semi truck late last year. . The lawsuit alleges unfair competition, patent infringement, and trade secret misappropriation. It also claims the allegedly stolen technology earned Otto employees more than $500 million.
The lawsuit says Waymo noiced the issue when it was inadvertently copied in an email from a supplier that showed an Uber lidar circuit board, which bore a “striking resemblance” to one of Waymo’s designs. The complaint accuses former Waymo manager Anthony Levandowski of downloading the 14,000 files in question in December 2015. That allegedly included the lidar circuit board, part of a sensor that helps autonomous cars “see” their environment.
Levandowski left Waymo in January 2016 and formed Otto in May. The lawsuit alleges that, prior to his departure, he created a domain name for his new company, and told other Waymo employees that he planned to “replicate” the company’s technology for a competitor.
After a successful run in San Francisco, Google Waze is heading to other cities.The rollout will have Waze competing against the likes of ride-sharing giants Uber and Lyft, both of whom already offer carpooling options — UberPool and Lyft Line.
Waze’s system allows drivers to make up to two rides a day — for example, to and from work — and riders pay to cover the cost of gas, plus a little extra.
The downside? A Carpool user has to request a shared ride several hours ahead of time, and then hope someone responds. If no one does, you can always jump in an Uber or Lyft.
With both Uber and Google continuing to make progress with their respective autonomous cars, it may not be too long before empty cars are driving up to collect passengers, giving both companies additional options over the kind of transportation services they offer.