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Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A Closer Look at Google's Transparency Report

In November, Google released the sixth edition of its Transparency Report. The report provides information on two important disclosures Google makes to governments, copyright owners, and courts. The first disclosure consists of "removal requests," which are requests from copyright owners or governments to have content removed from certain Google products. The second consists of "user data requests" from governments and courts for data on users of Google products. Given the string of privacy related issues that popped up throughout 2012, let's take a closer look at the government removal requests that were specifically labelled in the report as "Privacy and Security." The focus on removal requests rather than user data requests is because the report offers more data granularity on the former. The potential to abuse this power is huge. What if "Privacy and Security" becomes another label for web censorship to hide behind (e.g., the blocking of cartoonist Aseem Trivedi's website to prevent social unrest)? Continue...


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