It’s happening now. At long last:
Privacy is a hot topic again these days.
Twitter has acknowledged that after iPhone users opt to have the app search their contact list, the company stores names, e-mail addresses and phone numbers on its servers for 18 months.
Google made Wall Street Journal’s front page on Friday, after journalists finding out that a secret code in it’s ads tricked “Apple’s Safari web-browsing software” into allowing Google to monitor what iPhone users were doing on the internet. The search giant disabled the code after receiving a call from the WSJ.
And NYTimes.com publishes here an extensive feature on how companies learn your secrets.
Now, before panicking, let’s take five minutes to consider some facts, in order to look at the whole picture…
There have been rumors since Thursday last week and now it seems the unstoppable rise of Cloud Computing is forcing Google to act and launch “Drive”, a service that will allow people to store and share photos, documents and videos.
Of course, the service will have to work on all available devices from our “software shell”, including mobile phones, tablets, etc.
Dropbox, the praised cloud storage service and one of the hottest start-ups of the past years, is certainly looking very closely at Google’s plans. It will be interesting to see how they react to the Giant’s plans.
What are SOPA and PIPA all about?
And why are Google, Wikipedia, Twitter, Tumblr, Wired and many others speaking against it?
1. Admiral Gary Roughead, U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (basically, the CEO of the US Navy) has delivered a (rather long) statement on the role of social media in our society. To cut a long story short, the man makes a strong case for the use of social networks despite the inherent security issues:
“Whether your organization is as broad in scope as our Navy, or if you’re a young startup trying to break into a market, these changes have had profound implications in how we communicate with our stakeholders. [...] So we joined that conversation, and the term that I’ve used is, “we’re burning the boats.” There’s no going back. We’re committed irreversibly, and in the end it was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made as the Chief of Naval Operations.” Read more here.
2. Google bought Motorola Mobility for $12.5 billion dollars. And amongst all the chatter on the subject, probably the phrase that best describes the reasons behind the blockbuster acquisition is this:
“Our acquisition of Motorola will increase competition by strengthening Google’s patent portfolio, which will enable us to better protect Android from anti-competitive threats from Microsoft, Apple and other companies.” Google CEO explains more, here.
3. iPhone 5 will most probably hit the market in early October, as one AT&T Vice President reportedly confirmed to several of his employees. He also said: “Expect things to get really, really busy in the next 35-50 days, so prepare your teams accordingly.” From here. Somewhat on the same page, Apple’s sales in China passed those of Lenovo for the first time in the second quarter of 2011. Full story here.
4. Social Media is more and more linked to the latest riots in London, although it is now known that the protesters were so fast in organizing thanks to Blackberry Messenger, not necessarily Twitter. The internet has been full of stories on the subject and mashable.com has an interesting approach: “blocking social media during civil unrest is never the right choice“.
5. Ridley Scott is said to have signed on to direct and produce a new Blade Runner (from here) and Mike Meyers will return on the big screen as Austin Powers for a fourth movie (from here). Pfew! Both of these were long overdue…