Archive for the ‘Privacy’ Category

Google To Listen To Calls To Serve Ads

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

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Google (GOOG) has filed a patent that would allow the company to listen in on phone calls in order to target advertisements. The technology would listen to the phone call and target ads that are relevant to that conversation. Conversations would be sent to Google’s servers where it would be analysed and relevant ads will be will be targeted at you. Google, already has the technology to tweak its ads based on location, web history, email contents, smart phone usage, taste in music and film, and personal information.

The idea is not being received well by commentators, they say the move is over reaching into people’s personal lives. However, Google considers conversations on phones as public just like your home address on its StreetView on Google Maps.

The company is spending heavily in Washington to avoid the scrutiny of regulators and avoids the privacy investigation similar to the one launch by the European Union regarding the worm spying on Apple users. Privacy groups have complained to Washington, saying that the company is going too far, however Google does not see this as a problem of privacy but one of technology. Google, continues in this direction unnoticed because it knows that Washington is bought and nothing will happen to it. And they may be right, but at some point it will come to bite them.

patentgooglecreepy 520x284 Google wants to serve you ads based on the background noise of your phone calls

Judge OKs Facebook Sponsored Ads Lawsuit On Privacy Grounds

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Sponsored stories on Facebook has got the company into hot water in California. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh has allowed the lawsuit to proceed and rejected Facebook’s bid to dismiss it stating:

Plaintiffs have articulated a coherent theory of how they were economically injured by the misappropriation of their names, photographs and likeness

According to MarketingLand: The basis of the lawsuit is that the sponsored stories are paid ads that pull in personal posts, pictures and names without consent. By displaying this personal information, Facebook is violating California Law regarding commercial endorsements. Here is an excerpt from California Civil Code Section 3344:

(a) Any person who knowingly uses another’s name, voice, signature, photograph, or likeness, in any manner on or in products, merchandise, or goods, or for purposes of advertising or selling, or soliciting purchases of products, merchandise, goods or services, without such person’s prior consent, or, in the case of a minor, the prior consent of his parent or legal guardian, shall be liable for any damages sustained by the person or persons injured as a result thereof.

ComputerWorld has a great article on how Facebook sponsored ads violate your privacy.