|By PR Newswire||
|January 9, 2014 02:48 PM EST||
SANTA MONICA, Calif., Jan. 9, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Google has cleaned up its social network shutting down some accounts of apparent online predators and eliminating explicit sexual content in apparent response to a complaint from Consumer Watchdog, but the Internet giant's Google+ still has a privacy design flaw that must be fixed, the public interest group said today.
In a letter to CEO Larry Page and Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, Consumer Watchdog's Privacy Director John M. Simpson wrote:
"Clearly you can police your network when you want to do so. Consumer Watchdog calls on you to continue such necessary efforts. However, as explained below you have still failed to address a fundamental design flaw in Google+ that violates users' privacy and Consumer Watchdog urges you to remedy this situation immediately."
Read Consumer Watchdog's letter to Google today here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrgoogle010914.pdf
In December Consumer Watchdog wrote Google complaining that in an apparent quest to grow the user base as rapidly as possible, Google+ had been allowed to become a virtual playground for online predators and explicit sexual content. A report compiled by a tech industry whistleblower, who had periodically monitored Google's social network since March, was included with the letter.
The whistleblower's report listed and gave links to seven of the most egregiously salacious Google+ accounts as examples including one user who described himself like this:
"Nice daddy or older brother type who loves all things pervy… will share pics but not publicly—been deleted before! 38 now and looking to chat and share pics with any gay guys (or straight or bi) that are into it. Any age is cool with me—who am I to tell you you're too young? Right? Anyhow, I will share more photos as I go and will be on messenger as time allows! Hope to visit with you all soon!"
This user's Circles also included over 100 boys. Many of the images were sexualized or nude images of children -- several who appeared to be under the age of 10 or even toddlers.
When the study was sent, Google+ offered several Communities in which minors (or even adults posing as minors) could openly advertise the trading of sexually explicit images and photographs of each other – a blatant violation of Google's User Content & Conduct Policy. Google+ had several sexually explicit Communities specifically focused on minors and teens including "Horny Teens," "Horny Teen Chat," "Horny Teen Talk" and more. In many of these Communities sexually explicit content focused on teens was not only tolerated, but actively encouraged. The community guidelines for the Horny Teens Community for instance read:
"About this community: Welcome to a community created for all the horny teens that need someone else. Explicit content may be present and is recommended and welcome here, [emphasis added] please just enjoy yourselves and let me know if there is anything I can do to make your experience better. ;)"
"Thankfully these accounts have been deleted. Without a doubt you have the resources to continue to monitor the network and remove inappropriate material," wrote Simpson. "When it was called to your attention, you did so. Now Google must understand that part of the responsibility of the operator of a social network is to proactively monitor its content. Consumer Watchdog calls on you to continue that necessary effort. However, doing that is not enough. You must address a fundamental design flaw in Google+ that compromises users' privacy."
To understand the privacy problem it is necessary to compare Google+ with other social networks such as Facebook, Consumer Watchdog said. In Facebook for example, a person receiving a request from an individual to be their "friend" must approve that request first. If the person chooses not to accept, he or she is in no way associated with the individual.
On Google+ any individual can add a user to his Circles. If the user does not appreciate the posts he sends to them, they can block the individual's posts. However, if anyone visits the person's profile and he has opted to display publicly who is in his Circles, the user's name and picture will still appear there. The user cannot remove himself from the sender's Circles, no matter what, once that person has placed them in their Circles.
"A user is forced to be publicly associated with someone with whom they do not wish to be associated. For example, both of you are in my Circles and I rather suspect you'd prefer not to be," wrote Simpson to Page and Schmidt. "This is a fundamental privacy flaw and must be fixed. People must have the right to choose with whom they are associated."
Read Consumer Watchdog's December letter to Google here: http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/resources/ltrgoogle121713.pdf
You can find a redacted copy of the tech industry whistleblower's report on the Consumer Watchdog website.
Visit Consumer Watchdog's website at www.consumerwatchdog.org
SOURCE Consumer Watchdog
"We've just seen a huge influx of new partners coming into our ecosystem, and partners building unique offerings on top of our API set," explained Seth Bostock, Chief Executive Officer at IndependenceIT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Aug. 2, 2015 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 678
Mobile, social, Big Data, and cloud have fundamentally changed the way we live. “Anytime, anywhere” access to data and information is no longer a luxury; it’s a requirement, in both our personal and professional lives. For IT organizations, this means pressure has never been greater to deliver meaningful services to the business and customers.
Aug. 2, 2015 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 218
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...
Aug. 2, 2015 06:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,126
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Aug. 2, 2015 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 508
Chuck Piluso presented a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. Prior to Secure Infrastructure and Services, Mr. Piluso founded North American Telecommunication Corporation, a facilities-based Competitive Local Exchange Carrier licensed by the Public Service Commission in 10 states, serving as the company's chairman and president from 1997 to 2000. Between 1990 and 1997, Mr. Piluso served as chairman & founder of International Te...
Aug. 2, 2015 04:00 PM EDT Reads: 421
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
Aug. 2, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 546
Container technology is sending shock waves through the world of cloud computing. Heralded as the 'next big thing,' containers provide software owners a consistent way to package their software and dependencies while infrastructure operators benefit from a standard way to deploy and run them. Containers present new challenges for tracking usage due to their dynamic nature. They can also be deployed to bare metal, virtual machines and various cloud platforms. How do software owners track the usag...
Aug. 2, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 251
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev, a software development company, will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MobiDev is a software development company with representative offices in Atlanta (US), Sheffield (UK) and Würzburg (Germany); and development centers in Ukraine. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobi...
Aug. 2, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 345
With SaaS use rampant across organizations, how can IT departments track company data and maintain security? More and more departments are commissioning their own solutions and bypassing IT. A cloud environment is amorphous and powerful, allowing you to set up solutions for all of your user needs: document sharing and collaboration, mobile access, e-mail, even industry-specific applications. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Shawn Mills, President and a founder of Green House Data, discussed h...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 479
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducte...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 354
There are many considerations when moving applications from on-premise to cloud. It is critical to understand the benefits and also challenges of this migration. A successful migration will result in lower Total Cost of Ownership, yet offer the same or higher level of robustness. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Michael Meiner, an Engineering Director at Oracle, Corporation, analyzed a range of cloud offerings (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) and discussed the benefits/challenges of migrating to each offe...
Aug. 2, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 174
One of the hottest areas in cloud right now is DRaaS and related offerings. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Dale Levesque, Disaster Recovery Product Manager with Windstream's Cloud and Data Center Marketing team, will discuss the benefits of the cloud model, which far outweigh the traditional approach, and how enterprises need to ensure that their needs are properly being met.
Aug. 2, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,698
In their session at 17th Cloud Expo, Hal Schwartz, CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), and Chuck Paolillo, CTO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), provide a study of cloud adoption trends and the power and flexibility of IBM Power and Pureflex cloud solutions. In his role as CEO of Secure Infrastructure & Services (SIAS), Hal Schwartz provides leadership and direction for the company.
Aug. 2, 2015 08:15 AM EDT Reads: 184
In a recent research, analyst firm IDC found that the average cost of a critical application failure is $500,000 to $1 million per hour and the average total cost of unplanned application downtime is $1.25 billion to $2.5 billion per year for Fortune 1000 companies. In addition to the findings on the cost of the downtime, the research also highlighted best practices for development, testing, application support, infrastructure, and operations teams.
Aug. 2, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 183
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Aug. 1, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 336