What is "personal data"?
Everybody speaks of personal data, but I haven't found a single, useful, definition. I suspect Google and the regulators might not be using the same.
3499 posts • joined 3 Sep 2007
To the best of my knowledge, the US government doesn't really have a say on how much is invested by US companies in Ireland. It could of course create laws against doing so, but that would probably break every treaty in the book.
It's nice that governments are finally getting involved. It's a bit silly that companies (which are not all the size of Facebook) have to bear the brunt of what is essentially a political dispute.
To be fair, the Google founders have said openly from the beginning that they would always keep control of the company. I remember around the time of the IPO a finance guy unhappy about this and saying that Google stock would get punished by the market. They seem to have been doing fine.
I believe the UK is in a relatively good position in Europe, having low corporate tax rates to attract companies to London. I would guess they even congratulated themselves on that fact when the rules were drawn (though they probably didn't see coming the Facebooks and Apples choosing Ireland with an even lower tax rate).
All in all, my guess is that it would be a net loss to leave the EU, because London would lose a lot of business from companies currently selling in Europe, which wouldn't be recovered from companies in Europe selling to the UK.
Not that Facebook is the only one to do this but:
We only access your microphone if you have given our app permission
Which most users accept without blinking (and not long ago couldn't even refuse if they wanted to use the app at all).
and if you are actively using a specific feature that requires audio. This might include recording a video or using an optional feature we introduced two years ago to include music or other audio in your status updates.
Note how these explanations, here and in T&C's, always say "This might include…"; they never contain an exhaustive list. Because that would mean they cannot add anything in the future without making an announcement about changing their T&C's, which they want to avoid because it just attracts attention to the matter, and gets them in trouble with regulators.
So they leave all options open. They say what they might do, they give examples, but they never say "we will not do this", because that's painting themselves in a corner.
For the record, I don't even think that Facebook is really listening. I'm just pointing out that their statement is completely vacuous, out of abundance of care.
I agree with the current assessment, but it's a much bolder statement to say it will always remain so. There was 14 years between the Apple Newton and the iPhone. The former was a dud, and the latter started the biggest IT revolution since the 80s.
So all in all, I understand that these companies are still working very hard on it.
In some fields, it's almost de facto the case already. Everybody and their uncle put their article on arXiv.org before even sending it for review to a publication, and more often than not, the journal allows them to leave it there. In the first place, just the review process can take a year, and then another until the paper is actually published. Researchers generally want to make sure to put their name on the result as soon as possible before anybody else can.
Having open publications is really very important though. If the institution where you worked lacked the funds to subscribe to the top publications, it could be a real pain just to figure out what the most recent results in the field were. Even as the author, you could miss on the precious references to your paper if it wasn't accessible. I remember reading about a paper that might have been relevant to mine, but when I learnt I needed to pay 50 bucks for a copy, I simply didn't bother.
I think the downvoters find that you are mixing stuff that are unrelated. This suit is specifically about antitrust. Google is not going to use the "everybody else does it" defense, because they're the only ones in position to do it — that's the whole point.
You're also somehow accusing Google of money laundering, and I have no clue where you got that from.
I also want to call out the claim that Google is taking £150 a year out of the pockets of "every wage earner" in the UK, first because that's how much Google made in the country over ten years, but also because it's ridiculous to assume that without Google, this money would somehow have made its way into the pockets of people instead of another advertising company.
As to the shareholder lawsuit, Google came very close to striking a deal with the EU, brokered by Eric Schmidt with the previous commissioner, which was scuppered at the last minute by political pressure. I think it was reasonable for Google to think that they would get away with what they are doing, since they almost did. From that point, I don't think that the shareholder lawsuit is justified, since Google really did take the decisions that seemed best at the time. It's blaming them because their foresight was not as good as your hindsight.
Then again, lawsuits don't have to make sense in the US.
Presumably the French authorities disagree (hence the raid at dawn).
That doesn't make sense. Google is doing this selling from Ireland publicly and openly. If the French thought that this was illegal, they could just fine them, and use Google's own declarations as proof.
A raid at dawn is only useful if you think they are hiding something. The only logical assumption is that the French think that Google is lying, and is actually secretly selling stuff from their French office. They're hoping to find proof of contract negotiations, or something like that.
Or possibly, it's just an intimidation tactic.
the platform is now outselling Macs in the US
Let's see those numbers. I am aware that not everybody can afford a Mac, but I would still have bet that Macs are more mainstream than Chromebooks.
Or maybe it's all those schools that are ordering a Chromebook for every child, because it's cheaper and the kids don't realistically need more until high school.
Does this answer your question?
If advertisers are legit enough to be buying this info from Experian, they're legit enough to play by the rules.
Are you suggesting you are fine with companies aggregating your private info as long as they sell it to whoever is willing to pay?
In itself, he number of people jumping from one to the other is not very meaningful. I understand that there are thousands of employees who have left Google for Facebook, and Facebook for Google. Google and Facebook are still at each other's throats, and I doubt that anybody suspects the allegiance of people who switch.
Even when people in high position switch, it doesn't always turn the way you'd expect. Tom Wheeler used to be a cable company CEO, he switched to head of the FCC, and he is a goddamn pain for the cable companies today. In fact, he is acting exactly as if he was working for Google; go figure.
But Obama was always friendly with Google. If I remember correctly, they were doing analytics work for him on his campaign trail. I guess we only need to wait for Obama to get a seat on Google's board.
No one has any idea how much advertising actually pays.
Google does! For them, it pays a lot. And note that Google does not get paid for just showing ads; the user actually had to click on them. Which must means there is somewhere a whole lot of users who like ads and click on them.
I don't know who they are either.
I'm sorry, but is it really useful to repeat that Consumer Watchdog is complaining about Google? On one hand, they hardly do anything else. On the other hand, they have no authority or standing to tell the FTC to do whatever. They have no credibility. They're like your embarrassing uncle who writes every month an opinion piece on how great Donald Trump is.
Of course, these people are entitled to their opinion, and they are allowed to exercise their free speech rights. But it's hard to see the point to repeat it.
I don't know how much ad revenue Google redistributes to the copyright holders, but I think it's in the order of half? Sounds like if they paid as much as Spotify, they'd have to shut down the service.
That would certainly make the competitors happy; not sure about the artists. Seems like we're headed towards a repeat of the Spanish Google News story.
Android has an overwhelming market share; phone makers might well feel that they need Android. Google services are a bit lower, and there are makers doing without, with more or less success. Amazon has tried, and it's not actually thriving. Then there are Chinese no-name companies which might be flourishing for all we know.
Twelve years after it started, there is no competitive market for digitized books, which may have given far superior offerings to the public
There is a competitive market. You have the choice between cheap and crap, or pricey and good quality (from Apple, Amazon, wherever it is). From what I understand, it is very easy to publish yourself.
The problem is the same with all the rest of the Internet, though. With so much free crap around, you have to offer really good quality to earn anything with it.
Maybe Apple will manage to expand its walled garden? It seems their users accept to pay for quality.
If the URL contains a string of 64 case-sensitive letters, you have over 10^109 combinations. Assuming 8 billions of people are each storing one million documents on the service, it means less than one in 10^93 URLs is valid. Assuming you try one billion URLs a second, it would take over 10^77 years to have a fifty-fifty chance of finding a valid URL. For a random document, mind you, not anything particular that you could actively look for.
I find it's pretty good security, actually. When you think of it, cryptography is also "security by obscurity" — in the sense that you "only" have to guess the private key, and you can decrypt the message.
If you want to use YouTube’s channel to market but prefer to use another advertising supplier to monetise your work more effectively: tough. You can’t. If you refuse to sign then Google won’t turn the Content ID filters on
I might be wrong, but I believe there is a third option: you can tell Google to turn ContentID on, and use it to remove any infringing video. And contrary to the boots story, this removes not only one video, but all videos infringing your work, and they won't be coming back.
I'm not sure where the threshold needs to be set; but it makes sense to have one rule for small companies who cannot afford to declare their income in each EU country separately, and the Apple et al. who already have a presence in each country anyway, and for whom separate income declarations are a rounding error in the budget.
There might be people who will complain that the rules should be the same for everybody on grounds of fairness. My opinion is that the goal of society is not in fact to achieve a perfect karmic balance of fairness, but to improve the common good. It is useful that small companies can sell all over Europe without worrying about tax issues. It is hardly useful that megacorporations can shop and bargain for the lowest tax treatment in the world.
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