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Archive for March, 2012


Pew survey finds Americans don’t like targeted ads and don’t want personalized search

A new survey by the Pew Charitable Trusts has found that Americans still care about online privacy:

Even though Americans like search engines and they really like Google, they don’t like targeted ads or personalized search results.

Nearly three-quarters of search engine users surveyed say they don’t want search engines to mine their personal information to tailor results to their interests, something Google has been doing since January.

More than two-thirds say they don’t want to be tracked on the Web or have ads targeted to them.

Google, of course, is betting that people will still continue to use its offerings despite whatever misgivings they may have about the company’s policies. That’s why it has continued waging its war on user privacy.

But increasingly, there is pushback. It used to be that Google could get away with a lot. But these days, when the company makes a move, it gets noticed and reported. And consumer protection groups register their concerns or opposition. That’s progress. That’s a good thing. European regulators have already concluded that Google’s new unified privacy policy violates European laws, and they’re initiating a probe which could be the precursor to litigation. A group of state attorney generals has also condemned Google’s consolidation of privacy policies from its different products into one as “an invasion of privacy”.


Google rebrands Android Market as “Google Play”

Next they’ll renaming Android itself… to Google Phone, or Google Mobile:

Google often confuses me. The company, with its thousands of genius employees, often makes the most brain-dead decisions. Just earlier today Google rolled out their latest twist on the Android Market — but it’s not called Android Market anymore. Instead of simply redesigning the e-store, Google also re-branded the whole thing to Google Play.

The reasoning is sound: the company wanted to better describe their offerings since it’s not just apps. The Play name is multifaceted, evoking thoughts of playing a game or pressing play on a media file. Cool. But most markets also sell more than one sort of good. The old name worked just as well.

The problem (from the perspective of Google executives) was that the old name was not directly tied into the Google brand. The new one is, just like Google Plus, Google Wallet, Google Chrome, Gmail, Google Apps, and most of the company’s other offerings.

Perhaps the name change is a good thing. At least now it’s more evident that Google owns and operates the online store that is preloaded onto Android (soon to be known as Google Mobile) spyphones.