Googles New Privacy Features Put the Responsibility on Users

It’s Google’s big privacy pivot, according to Google. On Tuesday, The New York Times ran an op-ed about privacy written by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, in which he argued that privacy is not a luxury good, and that Google intends to give people “clear, meaningful choices” around their data. On the same day Pichai’s op-ed ran, Google held its annual developer conference, I/O, where it announced that Android Q, its latest mobile operating system, would ship with something like 50 privacy and security features. Some of these features are new, such as more granular controls around location tracking—a particularly sensitive topic for Google, since it was sued last summer for storing location data even after users had turned off location …

Google Street Views ability to calculate car accident risks is digital tech writ large | John Naughton

A new study suggests that machine-learning software, used in conjunction with Street View, can provide more accurate insurance premiums Google Maps, saw the Street View icon and clicked on it and found myself virtually driving down the narrowest country lane you can imagine. Street View was a product of Googles conviction that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission, an assumption apparently confirmed by the fact that most jurisdictions seemed to accept the photographic coup as a fait accompli. There was pushback in a few European countries, notably Germany and Austria, with citizens demanding that their properties be blurred out; there was also a row in 2010 when it was revealed that Google had for a time …

Alphabet: Google parent company’s shares drop after latest earnings report

Report comes as company faces internal worker turmoil, and a recent $1.7bn fine from the EU Google shares slumped on Monday after the company failed to beat analyst predictions, following a year of internal turmoil, privacy concerns, and several international fines. The companys stock was down 7% in after-hours trading after it reported first quarter revenue of $36.34bn, lower than the $37.33bn revenue forecast by analysts. The quarter one earnings represent a 17% increase from the same time last year, in which it reported $31.15bn in revenue. In a call with investors on Monday, Googles CEO, Sundar Pichai, said the company would continue to invest more in algorithms on YouTube, following recent incidents that saw the platform offering hate speech, …

Would life be happier without Google? I spent a week finding out

People had to get by without the search engine giant before it was launched in 1998. But is it possible to live your life and do your job without it these days? Halfway through my week without Google, my wife mentions that she would like to go out to see a film that evening, and I agree to deal with the logistics. In what I initially think is an inspired move, I drop by the local cinema on the way home and scribble down all the film times in my notebook. Then my wife insists on going to a different cinema. Can I do this by phone? I ask her. Is 118 still a thing? Turns out it is, and …

How Google Is Cramming More Data Into Its New Atlantic Cable

Google says the fiber-optic cable it's building across the Atlantic Ocean will be the fastest of its kind. When the cable goes live next year, the company estimates it will transmit around 250 terabits per second, fast enough to zap all the contents of the Library of Congress from Virginia to France three times every second. That's about 56 percent faster than Facebook and Microsoft's Marea cable, which can transmit about 160 terabits per second between Virginia and Spain. Fiber-optic networks work by sending light over thin strands of glass. Fiber-optic cables, which are about the diameter of a garden hose, enclose multiple pairs of these fibers. Google’s new cable is so fast because it carries more fiber pairs. Today, …

YouTube CEO Defends Its Efforts to Reduce Violent Content

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki defended her company’s efforts to keep violent content off the video platform at the sixth annual Lesbians Who Tech Summit Friday in San Francisco. Wojcicki was interviewed by New York Times columnist Kara Swisher, who took the YouTube leader to task for the platform’s failure to keep dangerous content away from kids. Last week reports emerged that scenes describing how to commit suicide were spliced into YouTube videos aimed at children, only the latest example in a long list of troublesome content plaguing the platform. “We take kids’ safety incredibly seriously, and I would say that the last two years have really been focused on the responsibility of our platforms,” Wojcicki said. “I’m a mom, I …