Americans will never have the right to be forgotten

Americans will never have the right to be forgotten

Europe advancing towards more privacy rights for individuals. North America? Not so much. I’m surprised about this ruling and hope that, despite the criticism, this will have positive effects on digital privacy.

Favorite quote from this article: “Google spent $15.8 million on D.C. lobbying in 2013, more than Exxon Mobil.”

Also glad to see Pew’s survey results that 68% of American internet users think there needs to be better internet privacy laws.


Terms and Conditions May Apply

Just watched the documentary Terms and Conditions May Apply. Very interesting stuff about privacy and Google, Facebook, and social media. Here are the highlights that have resonated with me:

  • Google makes roughly $500 a year from each person who uses it’s services.
  • Google’s original user agreement in 2001 featured a line that it would not share data with third parties. Their official website does not acknowledge this original user agreement to make it seem like it never existed as it no longer correlates with their business model.
  • In Europe, companies are required to provide all the data stored on them. In Canada, FOIP
  • Google search records data is never really anonymized.
  • More government regulation is need in Canada and the US which stresses protecting privacy of individuals instead of the ability of the government to access your data.

I love the title of this article by HuffPost on this documentary – Terms and Conditions May Apply Documentary: A Must See Horror Film. Privacy issues are something that definitely appears to be a bit terrifying to me, particularly the fact that people don’t realize how valuable their privacy is. Someone pointed out to me the following quote from the video game Deus Ex “Some people just don’t understand the dangers of indiscriminate surveillance.”

I also think the idea represented in this clip that humans enjoy being watched, and that’s why they don’t mind having big brother surveillance as oddly compelling. We live in a society where people want to be famous.

I highly recommend watching this documentary for anyone interested in privacy and surveillance. Western offers a course on Privacy on Surveillance but unfortunately it doesn’t look like it will be offered again in the next two semesters. Nevertheless, I don’t need to take a course to do research into a topic and learn more.


Don’t be Evil?

Disconcerting video about Google employees ‘ScanOps’. It makes little to no sense to me why employees would be this highly segregated. This is a company we’re talking about, not national security. Plus, Google Books has been ruled fair use.
Coming from a public library background, where transparency and access are of particular importance, I am critical and suspicious of secrecy. Trade secrets may be, but this level of secrecy seems unwarranted.They may have their reasons, but I don’t understand why Google has a mechanical turk complex about this.

Google, Power and Profit

This made me laugh. Interesting take on Google.

A Way of Happening

Ok. Sooo Google is totally  starting to build Military robots

Scary right? Talking about the ramifications and benefits of Google is always one of my favorite discussions.

Perhaps the best article I’ve ever read about Google, that lays out why Google is what it is and how it has kind of become an almost necessary evil is this article entitled The Political Economy of Google by Christian Fuchs:


[It might seem like I breaking some copy-right laws uploading this. But it does appear to have a creative commons licence and is available freely and widely online. (I found it using Google)]

Check it out. It’s worth the read, especially for the more Marxist sympathetic of my readers.

google even though youre

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