Apple Boss Takes Aim At ‘Weaponization’ Of Customer Data

Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Wednesday customer data was being “weaponized with military efficiency” by companies to increase profit.

Cook, speaking at the International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners, said Apple supported a federal privacy law in the United States and also touted the iPhone maker’s commitment to protect users’ data and privacy.

Issues over how data is used and how consumers can protect their personal information are under the spotlight after big breaches of data privacy involving millions of internet and social media users in Europe and the United States….

>>> continue reading: Apple Boss Takes Aim At ‘Weaponization’ Of Customer Data

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Google Finally Acknowledges Censored Chinese Search Engine Project

Having tried obscuring the scope of “Project Dragonfly” in communications with both the public and its own employees – lies that were laid bare by an embarrassing series leaks to the Intercept – Google CEO Sundar Pichai has apparently calculated that it would be better for the company’s public image if he “came clean” about Google’s plans for returning to China, a market it abandoned in 2010 after repeatedly clashing with the Chinese Government over its censorship policies.

And so it was that, two weeks after Vice President Mike Pence demanded that the company kill “Project Dragonfly”, Google CEO Sundar Pichai decided that now would be a reasonable time to publicly acknowledge the project for the first time. However, what Pichai tried to spin as “leveling” with his audience was, in reality, anything but: Despite reports that “Dragonfly” is “larger than many projects at Google” and employs some 300 full-time engineers, Pichai insisted on describing it as an “experiment” that was in its “early stages” of development (details from a leaked internal memo have suggested that “Dragonfly” could be up and running within the next six to nine months)….

>>> continue reading: Google Finally Acknowledges Censored Chinese Search Engine Project

Google CEO Tells Senators That Censored Chinese Search Engine Could Provide “Broad Benefits”

GOOGLE CEO SUNDAR PICHAI has refused to answer a list of questions from U.S. lawmakers about the company’s secretive plan for a censored search engine in China.

In a letter newly obtained by The Intercept, Pichai told a bipartisan group of six senators that Google could have “broad benefits inside and outside of China,” but said he could not share details about the censored search engine because it “remains unclear” whether the company “would or could release a search service” in the country.

Pichai’s letter contradicts the company’s search engine chief, Ben Gomes, who informed staff during a private meeting that the company was aiming to release the platform in China between January and April 2019. Gomes told employees working on the Chinese search engine that they should get it ready to be “brought off the shelf and quickly deployed….”

>>> continue reading: Google CEO Tells Senators That Censored Chinese Search Engine Could Provide “Broad Benefits”

10 Facts About Google’s Censored ‘Project Dragonfly’ Chinese Search Engine

Google’s once-secret censored Chinese search engine project, Project Dragonfly, is now increasingly out in the open. Here are ten important facts about Google’s partnership with the authoritarian communist government of China.

The search engine will blacklist terms and searches about human rights, democracy, and protest.
Project Dragonfly will aid the Chinese government by blacklisting certain search terms and websites related to human rights, democracy, and peaceful protest.

According to the Intercept, Project Dragonfly “will comply with the country’s strict censorship laws, restricting access to content that Xi Jinping’s Communist Party regime deems unfavorable….”

>>> continue reading: 10 Facts About Google’s Censored ‘Project Dragonfly’ Chinese Search Engine

“Fess Up To Reality” – Former Google Exec Exposes Silicon Valley Hypocrisy In Scathing Essay

After overcoming the temptation to publish under a pseudonym, former Google PR executive Jessica Powell has finally dropped her long-awaited satirical novel/memoir “The Big Disruption” last week. In the highly anticipated book – and in an accompanying personal essay published on Medium – Powell offers what may be one of the most scathing critiques of Silicon Valley from a former executive at one of its biggest and most influential companies.

Powell

Some of her claims are nothing short of shocking – like when she admitted in her essay that she quit Google last August (she was the company’s top PR executive, reporting directly to CEO Sundar Pichai) not to go back to school to study creative writing, as was reported at the time, but because she “got tired” defending the company’s unscupulous actions. In particular, she cited YouTube’s argument to UK lawmakers that it couldn’t censor all of the far-right and jihadist recruitment content posted on its platform because of the sheer volume of content – a claim that Powell said was an outright lie, per the Daily Mail.

>>> continue reading: “Fess Up To Reality” – Former Google Exec Exposes Silicon Valley Hypocrisy In Scathing Essay

Google’s Keith Enright Dodges China Questions At Senate Privacy Hearing

  • At a Senate hearing on data privacy on Wednesday, multiple senators asked Google’s chief privacy officer Keith Enright about the company’s plans to launch a censored search app in China.
  • Enright declined to specifically comment on how Google’s policies on protecting user privacy would square with leaked details that the proposed app would link users’ to their search queries by personal phone numbers.

Google‘s chief privacy officer Keith Enright dodged multiple questions about the company’s plans to launch a censored search app in China during a senate hearing on data privacy on Wednesday.

Senators pressed Enright on how Google’s policies on protecting user privacy would square with details that have leaked out about a proposed Chinese search app, including that it was designed to link users’ searches to their personal phone numbers….

>>> continue reading: Google’s Keith Enright Dodges China Questions At Senate Privacy Hearing

Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans To Closely Track Search Users In China

GOOGLE BOSSES HAVE forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned.

The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, codenamed Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location — and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have “unilateral access” to the data.

The memo was shared earlier this month among a group of Google employees who have been organizing internal protests over the censored search system, which has been designed to remove content that China’s authoritarian Communist Party regime views as sensitive, such as information about democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest….

>>> continue reading: Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans To Closely Track Search Users In China

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