[LINK] Regulate Google says Australian public
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Wed Mar 23 10:41:27 EST 2011
[interesting to see Michelle Grattan writing for the Tech section]
"Google should be regulated: survey
March 23, 2011
Nearly two-thirds of Australians believe internet
search engine Google should be subject to
government regulation on issues such as personal privacy.
While people overwhelmingly (84 per cent) have a
positive view of Google, and most (58 per cent)
say it does not have too much power, polling by
opinion research company UMR also has found significant concerns.
Google this week received its first ever fine
from France's privacy watchdog for improperly
gathering and storing data for its Street View
application. Apart from a 100,000 euros fine, the
New York Times reports that Google was criticised
for continuing to breach privacy rules in
relation to a mobile app which lets users
broadcast their location and pinpoint where friends are.
The Australian Privacy Commissioner was among one
of many countries' privacy agencies to
investigate the Street View service which picked
up information from private Wi-Fi networks as
Street View cars drove about. [AND did nothing about it, unlike the French]
Google said the collection of this information
had been inadvertent it only intended to
collect publicly broadcast Wi-Fi network data via
Street View cars to improve location-based services like search and maps.
Just under one-third (32 per cent) of Australians
believe Google manipulates search results for its
own benefit, while fewer than half (45 per cent)
in the poll of 1000, taken March 11-16, say it
does a good job respecting people's privacy, with
13 per cent saying it does a bad job and 42 per
cent unsure. Nearly seven in 10 would oppose
Google, which gets requests for data, passing on
Australian information to US intelligence or law enforcement agencies. [70%!]
Overall 63 per cent believe Google should be
regulated; Labor voters are marginally more
likely than Coalition supporters to believe that
Google should be subject to government regulation
(69-64 per cent). Those under 30 are least likely
to favour regulation (50 per cent).
John Utting, UMR managing director, said there
were "warning signs" that Australians' honeymoon
with Google could turn to acrimony. "Despite
Google's solid profile, a privacy breach or the
like could lead to a rapid erosion in its
standing. If Google wants to maintain its
position, one strategy would be to embark on a
program that demonstrates more transparency in its operations", he said.
A spokeswoman for Google said there was no comment on the survey.
Google says it maintains "industry leading
standards" of protection of personal information,
applying these standards globally, not in
response to the differing levels of national
regulatory protection of privacy of individuals.
it has to comply with local laws."
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
jwhit at janwhitaker.com
Our truest response to the irrationality of the
world is to paint or sing or write, for only in such response do we find truth.
~Madeline L'Engle, writer
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