The News Beyond the Scandal

 

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Today is one of those days when Google makes it into the headlines with a story which will get more than a brief mention on the tech feature.  This time there’s beauty, drugs, sex and death….this may even get a minute between the cat stories on Good Morning America. I’m not going to dig into the sad and disturbing dirt here because it’s none of my business and no doubt TMZ will do a better job. Even as the crowd gawp at the salacious detail there are a couple of much more important Google stories which will get drowned out by the scandal.

Google Europe has had over 250,000 requests “to be forgotten” following the EU’s puzzling ruling a few weeks back.  Now the British parliament is getting in on the act with government ministers claiming that …no …there is no right to be forgotten and this is all just dreadful. Unfortunately the EU trumps sovereign government so the forgetting will go on.

Yelp has added it’s name to the guys complaining about Google’s monopoly power, again in Europe.  Nobody can do anything about Google in the US as it’s pretty clear they can do no legal wrong. This Yelp pilling on may delay the settlement Google is trying to put together with the EU regulators where they will pay a couple of Billion and get off with a slap on the wrist for favoring their products and partners over the market.

The third Google story which won’t be heard above the tabloid hoopla is the fact that Google owned Waze is starting to share and exchange detailed user behavior with local governments around the world. Given that Waze can exactly tell how fast and where you have been walking running or driving the prospect of them sharing that data even on a anonymous basis is pretty scary.  Our government has enough information about our driving habits and in most cases they have done a horrible job in managing the roads we pay for. What do we suppose they will do with more and more accurate data?  Will they use it to improve the roads or set more speed traps?

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