Google attacked for privacy concerns

Google is currently being attacked for privacy concerns due to the issue of gathering information to be used in their products. If anyone has been using Google maps in countries like the USA, you would notice that there is a “street view” option. This allows you to view in a 360 degree angle the area that you have searched. You are able to see a panoramic street view photograph of the area, allowing you to familiarize yourself with a location or route before you even visit it, a very useful tool for anyone planning to travel. I for one would love to have this for other countries as well. The recent attack, though, may just prevent this from ever happening.

During the time when Google Maps has scoured the streets to gather street view material, they have also gathered some public information from unprotected Wi-Fi access points that they have passed by during that long drive. This has been tagged by Australian Senator Stephen Conroy as the ‘single greatest privacy breech’ in the history of privacy.  This has later on been flagged as point of attack in a case against Google in Europe, which may further boil down in other countries. They want Google to stop doing what they were built to do; to stop gathering information.

Let’s face it. On a near daily basis, we use Google search. People use it for school, work, and even for personal reasons. We use a multitude of Google’s other services such as Gmail and Google Maps. Having a Google account has increasingly become more important if you own an Android handset.  That is because they have been successful in creating a search giant that people have grown incredibly attached to that provided them a very broad range of services with just one account. All of these are actually covered by a privacy policy that registered users must agree to and may review as necessary.

Yet, many people now cry “privacy”. If you want privacy, secure yourself. Don’t go on the internet. It is quite funny when people cry that they have been stalked, or they have been searched using Google after they publicly posted about their daily antics on the web using blogs, social networks and forums. People purposely share information to the public, then cry when the public sees it. Looking at it that way, you have caused your own problems. It’s Google’s job to prowl the net for public content and allow that content to be found using their search engine. Face it, there has come a time when you have used Google to find these publicly available content for your own purposes. They wouldn’t have been able to provide you that information if they did not prowl the web for you. Convenience like maps and street view can come at a cost of having to gather that information first before they can show it to you.

There are plenty of ways to secure the information that you don’t want other people to see or have. One way is to use secure transfers and locked access points. Put a password on those files. Everyone goes through the trouble of locking their house, their safe, and their drawers. People would lock their bags and seal envelopes when being shipped and delivered. Treat your information online as these day-to-day things. If you can go through the trouble of protecting your property, then surely you can extend that effort in you cyber properties as well. Privacy and security is everyone’s job and responsibility.

Google + Motorola Mobility = more than just patents for Android

Google has finally laid out the final word regarding their acquisition of Motorola Mobility in May 22, 2012. This has been one of the most tense acquisitions, concerning Google’s mobile plans for android.

As we all know from the past few months, Apple has been on a rampage of lawsuits left and right to Google’s android partners. This has left a lot to question on what Google is doing to protect its partners from being attacked, due to the Android operating system. One such move, as speculated by Wall Street, is buying Motorola mobility for its large portfolio of patents.

What can these patents do? It’s all about the ammunition they have in defense of the Android OS. The patent wars started when Apple asserted its patents against Android totting phone manufacturers. Apple has long built an arsenal of patents for their iOS product, even quoting that they “have patented the shit out it”. Google and its partners in mobile development have been caught unprepared for this war. Victories were scarce, and mobile providers look to Google for help. That is where the patents of Motorola mobility come in. Since it is now Google that owns the patents acquired from Motorola, they can use those patents in full defense and offense in the patent wars in favor of the Android OS.

Is that all there is to it? Acquiring Motorola Mobility has snagged a little bonus called set-top boxes. As we all know, Google is already practically synonymous to the internet. “When you don’t know something, just Google it”, has become an accepted phrase used in forums when people need help about a topic well known in the internet. Google has also touched on creating its own browser: Google Chrome. They did not stop there, as they also began to move into the PC operating system space by launching the Chrome OS. We also take into account that they have Android, one of two largest mobile operating systems for the mobile space. Google is just about everywhere, and they plan to get to more spaces in your line of sight by delving further into set-top boxes. This gives Google some more space in the world of television.

Google TV has long been around, but has not quite picked up. Merging this project with their acquisition of Motorola’s set-top boxes may just provide the edge and push they need to move further with this plan.

Google is becoming a very large entity that has touched so many areas in modern technology. They are practically unrivaled in how many services they provide. Soon, we may just see their logo every time we watch TV as well. All we can say is that they are growing stronger. That is good, right? Only time will tell. The consumers will ultimately be the one to suffer, or as I see it, gain from having one Google account to manage all of your devices.

Image Credit: Mashable

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