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Archive for July, 2012


Surprise! Google *forgot* to delete data it was supposed to get rid of under privacy accord

As if we needed more evidence that the Monster of Mountain View keeps everything… even when it has agreed to erase data under a binding agreement with the government:

Google has admitted that it had not deleted users’ personal data gathered during surveys for its Street View service.

The data should have been wiped almost 18 months ago as part of a deal signed by the firm in November 2010.

Google has been told to give the data to the UK’s Information Commissioner (ICO) for forensic analysis.

The ICO said it was co-ordinating its response with other European privacy bodies.

In May 2010 it was revealed that Google had scooped up about 600 gigabytes of personal data from unsecured wireless networks while gathering images and location data for Street View.

The data was collected for years in 30 countries while Google compiled information for the mapping service.

The BBC has more.

This is hardly the first time this has happened, and it certainly won’t be the last, either.


Google Talk goes down in massive outage

It’s unwise to rely on Google as a mission-critical means of communication. A lot of people are finding that out today:

Google Talk went down hard this morning, but is getting back up and running.

“The problem with Google Talk should be resolved,” Google wrote on its App Status dashboard at 8:25 a.m. PT. “We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience and continued support. Please rest assured that system reliability is a top priority at Google, and we are making continuous improvements to make our systems better.”

A top priority… sure. That explains why the outage is affecting more than fifty percent of Google Talk’s users.

There are better alternatives available. Skype is well-known, but there’s also open-source software like Ekiga that is more dependable.