Tagged: FTC Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Copyleft, , , , , , , , , , , , , FTC, GNU, GNU Project, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Proprietary Software, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Surveillance 

    Stallman: Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their usersFacebook does massive surveillance; http://eicker.at/Surveillance

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 09:37 on 5. December 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Stallman interview on RT (Russia Today) and video on YouTube: “Facebook and Google Plus mistreat their users… Facebook does massive surveillance. If there is a ‘like’ button in a page, Facebook knows who visited that page. And it can get IP address of the computer visiting the page even if the person is not a Facebook user. So you visit several pages that have ‘like’ button and Facebook knows that you visited all of those, even if it doesn’t really know who you are… Free software literally gives you freedom in the area of computing. It means that you can control your computing. It means that the users individually and collectively have control over their computing. And in particular it means they can protect themselves from the malicious features that are likely to be in proprietary software… This doesn’t automatically give you freedom in some other area of life. To get that you have to fight for it. But human rights support each other. In an age when a lot of what we do, we do with computers, if we don’t have freedom in our computing, that makes it harder for us to defend or fight for freedom in other areas. You loose one set of rights – and it’s harder for you to keep the others…

      VB: “Social networks are under constant scrutiny by their users but also privacy watchdogs as companies add more sharing tools to to connect millions of people from over the world. – Facebook, created by Mark Zuckerberg, hit the headlines over the past week after its co-founder admitted the company had made ‘a bunch of mistakes’, agreeing terms with the FTC to make its networks more transparent and allow users to control their own levels of privacy. – However, there are many that believe companies like Facebook and Google aren’t helping their users, insisting that they are mistreating them. Richard Stallman, creator of the GNU Project and founder of the Free Software Foundation, is one such person, believing that not only do Facebook and Google mistreat users on their social networks, they are putting some people in danger. … Circling back to social networking and the privacy implications involved, many still believe Facebook and Google are working hard to track users across the web, extracting their preferences and information for their own gain. Facebook has said moved to employ two dedicated members of staff to oversee its privacy practices on its website, also agreeing to have its practices audited by the FTC on regular intervals. – Stallman might not believe that Facebook is doing all it can to remain transparent but with the FTC on its back, it is a case of making sure it does to ensure it doesn’t land itself in more hot water. With upwards of 800 million people, Facebook’s growth shows no signs of slowing, suggesting many people simply don’t care about the information they share with third-parties.”

      Wikipedia: “Richard Matthew Stallman (born March 16, 1953), often shortened to rms, is an American software freedom activist andcomputer programmer. In September 1983, he launched the GNU Project to create a free Unix-like operating system, and he has been the project’s lead architect and organizer. With the launch of the GNU Project, he initiated the free software movement; in October 1985 he founded the Free Software Foundation. – Stallman pioneered the concept of copyleft, and he is the main author of several copyleft licenses including the GNU General Public License, the most widely used free software license. Since the mid-1990s, Stallman has spent most of his time advocating for free software, as well as campaigning against software patents, digital rights management, and what he sees as excessive extension of copyright laws. Stallman has also developed a number of pieces of widely used software, including the original Emacs, the GNU Compiler Collection, the GNU Debugger, and various tools in the GNU coreutils. He co-founded the League for Programming Freedom in 1989.”

      Winer: “Why I stand up for Stallman – But I still see it going on for Stallman, and that makes me feel ill. I think a guy like Stallman should be heard and we should think about what he says. And if you disagree, have the self-respect to express it with dignity. And if people start getting personal about it, there should be moderators around to put a stop to it at least stand up to it. No one should stand alone when being subjected to personal attacks. … What Stallman does is what any good blogger would do. He says what he thinks. And if you really listen to what he says, you’ll learn something. Probably the biggest thing you’ll learn about is your own fear. Because there’s something about Stallman that scares a lot of people. They wouldn’t try to isolate him so much, if he didn’t evoke their fear.

  • Gerrit Eicker 11:49 on 30. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , EU Commission, , , , FTC, , , , , , , Privacy Audits, , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook Privacy: FTC Settlement, EU Fires 

    While Facebook settles with the FTC, the EU commission starts firing at its business model; http://eicker.at/FacebookPrivacy

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:50 on 30. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      FTC: “The social networking service Facebook has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public. The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining consumers’ express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established. … The proposed settlement bars Facebook from making any further deceptive privacy claims, requires that the company get consumers’ approval before it changes the way it shares their data, and requires that it obtain periodic assessments of its privacy practices by independent, third-party auditors for the next 20 years. – Specifically, under the proposed settlement, Facebook is: barred from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers’ personal information; required to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences; required to prevent anyone from accessing a user’s material more than 30 days after the user has deleted his or her account; required to establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program designed to address privacy risks associated with the development and management of new and existing products and services, and to protect the privacy and confidentiality of consumers’ information; and required, within 180 days, and every two years after that for the next 20 years, to obtain independent, third-party audits certifying that it has a privacy program in place that meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order, and to ensure that the privacy of consumers’ information is protected. – The proposed order also contains standard record-keeping provisions to allow the FTC to monitor compliance with its order.

      ATD: “Facebook has agreed to 20 years of privacy audits in response to complaints by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it unfairly deceived users about the privacy of their personal information, as was anticipated. The settlement, which is not particularly punitive and comes years after some of the incidents in question, shames Facebook for promising users that their information was kept private while it was in fact shared with advertisers and outside applications that the users or their friends installed. … Facebook’s punishment is in line with what its competitors Twitter and Google have already agreed to: Clearer privacy policies that are audited every two years for the next 20 years.”

      AdAge: “Facebook has settled with the Federal Trade Commission on charges that it rolled out upgrades that overrode users’ privacy settings without obtaining their consent and shared their private information with third-party apps and advertisers. – The settlement marks the first time that the FTC has taken action against the social network, though its European counterparts have been more aggressive in attempts to regulate Facebook and others. The European Commission reportedly intends to amend data-protection laws to ban targeted advertising unless users explicitly opt in, and Facebook would be subject to fines if it fails to comply. … Like the settlement reached with Google over its now-defunct social-networking Buzz product in March, the settlement carries no financial penalty. Facebook is subject to a $16,000 fine per violation per day if it fails to comply with the terms of the order.”

      SEL: “[T]he FTC settlement is also a reminder that privacy is alive and well. It’s also concrete proof that there are consequences for being cavalier about privacy. – This is even more true in Europe, where governments and regulators take privacy 10x more seriously that we do in the US. There are several investigations pending in Europe; and proposed legislation to be introduced early next year by the European Commission would place disclosure requirements and other constraints around Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities.”

      NYT: “Several privacy bills are pending in Congress, and Internet companies have stepped up their lobbying efforts. The F.T.C., meanwhile, has ratcheted up its scrutiny of Internet companies. This year alone, it has reached settlement orders with some of the giants of Silicon Valley, including Google. – The order comes amid growing speculation about Facebook’s preparations for an initial public offering, which could be valued at more than $100 billion. The settlement with the F.T.C., analysts say, could potentially ease investors’ concerns about government regulation by holding the company to a clear set of privacy prescriptions.”

      VB: “Now with third party audits required for the next two decades, including the FTC’s new ability to monitor Facebook’s compliance with the settlement (standard record-keeping procedure), Facebook users will be much more informed and kept up-to-date with any changes the platform might make that has the potential to distribute or share a consumer’s private information without his or her express permission. Or that’s the hope, right?

      Zuckerberg, Facebook: “I founded Facebook on the idea that people want to share and connect with people in their lives, but to do this everyone needs complete control over who they share with at all times. – This idea has been the core of Facebook since day one. When I built the first version of Facebook, almost nobody I knew wanted a public page on the internet. That seemed scary. … Overall, I think we have a good history of providing transparency and control over who can see your information.That said, I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes. In particular, I think that a small number of high profile mistakes, like Beacon four years ago and poor execution as we transitioned our privacy model two years ago, have often overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done. … I’m committed to making Facebook the leader in transparency and control around privacy. … Recently, the US Federal Trade Commission established agreements with Google and Twitter that are helping to shape new privacy standards for our industry. Today, the FTC announced a similar agreement with Facebook. These agreements create a framework for how companies should approach privacy in the United States and around the world. … Even before the agreement announced by the FTC today, Facebook had already proactively addressed many of the concerns the FTC raised. … In addition to these product changes, the FTC also recommended improvements to our internal processes. … As part of this, we will establish a biannual independent audit of our privacy practices to ensure we’re living up to the commitments we make. … Erin Egan will become Chief Privacy Officer, Policy. … Michael Richter will become Chief Privacy Officer, Products. … These two positions will further strengthen the processes that ensure that privacy control is built into our products and policies. I’m proud to have two such strong individuals with so much privacy expertise serving in these roles. – Today’s announcement formalizes our commitment to providing you with control over your privacy and sharing…

      RWW: “Since the settlement, Zuckerberg has penned a blog post outlining the Facebook features that the site has launched, which include friend lists, the ability to review tags before they appear on a profile, mobile versions of privacy controls, amount other notable updates. … According to the Sophos Security Blog, in addition to the privacy audits, if the settlement proceeds, Facebook also must stop misrepresenting its security and privacy policies, obtain consent when handing personal data, establish a stronger privacy program and, perhaps most importantly, prevent people from accessing information from deleted/deactivated accounts 30 days after they have been closed.”

      GigaOM: “Not surprisingly, Facebook appears keen to put the FTC incident in the past. CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday addressed the settlement with a lengthy company blog post in which he noted that it is ‘a similar agreement’ to those the FTC has previously reached with Google and Twitter. He also said Facebook has been proactive in bolstering privacy prior to today’s announced settlement with a number of product updates enacted in the past 18 months.”

      RWW: “On the one hand: As any IT security manager knows, the way to implement privacy control in an organization is not to make the private data available in the first place. Modern information security policies are never about per-instance restrictions to the otherwise free flow of information. The same level of controls can, and perhaps should, be provided for directing flow in the opposite direction. That is to say, share nothing by default, and opt in to services that other users and even apps may request. – On the other hand: Facebook’s responsibility for the protection of data provided by users of their own free will, and without any binding contract other than the implied consent agreement, is somewhat limited. The FTC made clear to cite Facebook for misrepresenting its services from the outset, and that misrepresentation gives the government the leverage it needed to force Facebook to change its policies (even though Zuckerberg implies no such change is necessary now). But had that misrepresentation not existed, the FTC may not have had much ground to stand on. It’s hard to establish a standard of care for property that so many millions of individuals willingly give for free.

      TC: “Zuckerberg Loves That The FTC Wants You To ‘Like’ Them On Facebook – You know what Zuck (and around 400 Facebook employees including PR rep Caryn Marooney) do take lightly, according to this comment thread on a Facebook internal network? The fact that the FTC ironically asks readers to ‘Like’ them on Facebook at the bottom of the release statement outlining today’s Facebook settlement. – My favorite part of this? ‘This would make a great public post.’ Be careful what you wish for.

      Telegraph: “Facebook faces a crackdown on selling users’ secrets to advertisers – The European Commission is planning to stop the way the website ‘eavesdrops’ on its users to gather information about their political opinions, sexuality, religious beliefs – and even their whereabouts. – Using sophisticated software, the firm harvests information from people’s activities on the social networking site – whatever their individual privacy settings – and make it available to advertisers. – However, following concerns over the privacy implications of the practice, a new EC Directive, to be introduced in January, will ban such targeted advertising unless users specifically allow it. … Viviane Reding, the vice president of European Commission, said the Directive would amend current European data protection laws in the light of technological advances and ensure consistency in how offending firms are dealt with across the EU. – ‘I call on service providers – especially social media sites – to be more transparent about how they operate. Users must know what data is collected and further processed (and) for what purposes. Consumers in Europe should see their data strongly protected, regardless of the EU country they live in and regardless of the country in which companies which process their personal data are established.’ … A spokesman for the UK Information Commissioner said: ‘Facebook should ensure that any data it collects should be used in the manner that its users expect. If personal data is being passed on to a third party or used for targeted advertising then this should be made clear to the user when they sign up to the site and reinforced when users are invited to use an application.'”

      SEL: “A new directive by the European Commission may stop advertisers from leveraging users’s information when advertising on Facebook. … The new laws would require that users would need to approve more than the standard 4,000 word contract if their personal information was to be used in ad targeting. … If Facebook does not conform to the new rules laid out by the EC, they could face legal action or a ‘massive fine.’

      VB: “Facebook’s entire business model is under fire in the EU – Facebook (and just about every other free Web service) has built a business on that saying and its implications, and the European Commission is taking the social network to task for it. The EU is considering a ban on Facebook’s practice of selling demographic data to marketers and advertisers without specific permission from users. … Facebook is on track for $4.27 billion in revenue this year, largely due to its wildly successful ad platform. The company also has a full 16.3 percent of the overall share of U.S. online display ad revenue.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 10:39 on 24. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Alibaba, , , , , FTC, , , , , , , , , ,   

    Yahoo: Google vs. Microsoft? 

    Are Google and Microsoft participating in a Yahoo bidding? http://eicker.at/YahooGoogleMicrosoft

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 10:39 on 24. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      NYT: “As a host of potential bidders circle Yahoo, several of Silicon Valley’s biggest companies are considering whether to jump into the fray themselves. – Microsoft and Google are both weighing whether to participate in the bidding. … [T]here’s one thing the technology giants have in common: Not one of them wants to actually buy or run Yahoo. – Instead, Microsoft and Google are considering lending financial support to private equity firms or others weighing a bid, according to people briefed on the matter. … With a deal, Google could eventually wrest Yahoo away from Microsoft when their partnership expires. … However, it is unclear whether a Google-Yahoo partnership would pass antitrust scrutiny. … Many of the potential suitors for Yahoo have contacted Alibaba‘s chairman and chief executive, Jack Ma, looking to gauge his interest in working with them, these people said. The agreement that governs Yahoo’s 40 percent stake in his company gives Mr. Ma what some analysts have said is a kingmaker role.”

      WSJ: “Google Inc. has talked to at least two private-equity firms about potentially helping them finance a deal to buy Yahoo Inc.’s core business, according to a person familiar with the matter. – Google and prospective partners have held early-stage discussions but haven’t put together a formal proposal and Google may end up not pursuing a bid, this person said. It is unclear which private-equity firms Google has talked to.”

      WSJ: “The discussions between Google and private-equity firms are the latest indications of growing deal activity around Yahoo. … Jack Ma, CEO of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., the China-based Internet company in which Yahoo owns a roughly 40% stake, recently said he was interested in buying Yahoo, but it was unclear whether he has made a serious move to do so. … Google has long been the No. 1 player in Web search. But in the display-ad market, Google is a smaller – but growing – competitor. In the U.S., Facebook is expected to generate more than $2 billion in net revenue from display advertising this year, with Yahoo generating $1.6 billion and Google generating $1.1 billion, according to research firm eMarketer Inc.

      Guardian: “Google is already under regulatory scrutiny from governments around the world. … [A] Google bid would trigger regulatory interest. The US government threatened to challenge an earlier proposal by Google to place ads on Yahoo’s site, causing Google to abandon the effort in 2008. At the time Microsoft was making a $44.8bn bid for Yahoo which ultimately proved fruitless.”

      TNW: “With Yahoo seemingly unable to find a solid place in today’s online landscape, a sell-off makes plenty of sense, although if Google were to be involved it would undoubtedly face close scrutiny from antitrust authorities – the FTC is already investigating the search giant in the US.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 08:33 on 3. October 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , EU Directive, EU Directives, , , Facebook Cookies, Facebook Logout, Facebook Logout Process, , FTC, , , , Logout, Logout Process, Logout Processes, , , , , Personal Identifiers, , , , , , , , , , Supercookies, , ,   

    Facebook Cookies 

    Cubilovic: Logging out of Facebook is not enough; maybe fixed.Arrington: brutal dishonesty; http://eicker.at/FacebookCookies

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 08:33 on 3. October 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Arrington: “‘Facebook does not track users across the web,‘ – A Facebook spokesperson on September 25, 2011 and ‘Generally, unlike other major Internet companies, we have no interest in tracking people.‘ – Facebook employee on September 25, 2011 v. ‘A method is described for tracking information about the activities of users of a social networking system while on another domain.‘ – Facebook Patent application dated September 22, 2011Whoops

      Cubrilovic: “[L]ogging out of Facebook only de-authorizes your browser from the web application, a number of cookies [including your account number] are still sent along to all requests to facebook.com. Even if you are logged out, Facebook still knows and can track every page [that integrate facebook] you visit. The only solution is to delete every Facebook cookie in your browser, or to use a separate browser for Facebook interactions. … To clarify, I first emailed this issue to Facebook on the 14th of November 2010. I also copied the email to their press address to get an official response on it. I never got any response. … I have been sitting on this for almost a year now. The renewed discussion about Facebook and privacy this weekend prompted me to write this post.”

      Cubrilovic: “My goal was to both identify bugs in the logout process and see that they are fixed, and to communicate with Facebook in getting some of the unanswered questions answered so that the Facebook using public can be informed of how cookies are used on the site – especially with regard to third-party requests. – In summary, Facebook has made changes to the logout process and they have explained each part of the process and the cookies that the site uses in detail. … Facebook has changed as much as they can change with the logout issue. They want to retain the ability to track browsers after logout for safety and spam purposes, and they want to be able to log page requests for performance reasons etc. I would still recommend that users clear cookies or use a separate browser, though. I believe Facebook when they describe what these cookies are used for, but that is not a reason to be complacent on privacy issues and to take initiative in remaining safe. – I discovered a lot of other issues and interesting areas ripe for further investigation while researching the cookie logout issue – and I will be taking each one of them up on the blog here in the near future.”

      BBC: “Facebook has said that it has ‘fixed’ cookies that could have tracked users after they logged out of the site. … In a statement, the firm told the BBC that it had done nothing wrong. ‘There was no security or privacy breach-Facebook did not store or use any information it should not have. Like every site on the internet that personalises content and tries to provide a secure experience for users, we place cookies on the computer of the user.’ … Most cookies perform basic tasks like storing your login details or personal preferences. – But some track the sites users visit, which means that they may be presented with adverts for products or services they researched on the web once they visit other unrelated sites. Consumer concerns over this type of cookie led to a new EU directive, with online firms across Europe currently working out how they can allow users to opt out of these bits of code.

      SEW: “It was recently discovered that some Facebook cookies were left in-tact after logout. While the issue has since been resolved, select data is still tracked and recent Facebook patent information indicates that all logged-out tracking may be intentional. … Facebook reports that the remaining cookies exclude personal identifiers and are completely benign in nature; they serve functions such as generating timestamps, contributing to Facebook’s page reporting, and helping to keep public computers secure. … Facebook isn’t the only one facing privacy and tracking issues, either. Marketers should give note to a couple other stories, including The Wall Street Journal’s recently revised privacy policy (which permits WSJ to track personally identifiable behavior without user consent) and the FTC probe into undeletable ‘supercookies‘ used by Hulu and MSN.com.”

      SMH: “On Friday, 10 public interest groups asked the US Federal Trade Commission to investigate Facebook’s tracking of internet users after they log off. They urged the commission to examine whether Facebook’s new ticker and timeline features increased privacy risks for users by combining biographical information in an easily accessible format. … The lawsuit – filed by Perrin Aikens Davis, of Illinois – seeks class status on behalf of other Facebook users in the US. Davis seeks unspecified damages and a court order blocking the tracking based on violations of federal laws, including restrictions on wiretapping, as well as computer fraud and abuse statutes. – ‘We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously,’ Andrew Noyes, a Facebook spokesman, said in a statement.

  • Gerrit Eicker 14:10 on 15. August 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , Acer, , , Android Licensee, Android Licensees, , , , FTC, , , , Huawei, , , , , , , LG, , , , , Motorola Mobility, Motorola Solutions, , , , Patent Wars, , , , , , , , , Sony Ericsson, , , , ,   

    Google Acquires Motorola 

    Page/Google: I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola; http://eicker.at/GoogleMotorola

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 14:11 on 15. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      Page/Google: “Since its launch in November 2007, Android has not only dramatically increased consumer choice but also improved the entire mobile experience for users. Today, more than 150 million Android devices have been activated worldwide – with over 550,000 devices now lit up every day – through a network of about 39 manufacturers and 231 carriers in 123 countries. Given Android’s phenomenal success, we are always looking for new ways to supercharge the Android ecosystem. That is why I am so excited today to announce that we have agreed to acquire Motorola.Motorola’s total commitment to Android in mobile devices is one of many reasons that there is a natural fit between our two companies. … This acquisition will not change our commitment to run Android as an open platform. Motorola will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. … The combination of Google and Motorola will not only supercharge Android, but will also enhance competition and offer consumers accelerating innovation, greater choice, and wonderful user experiences.”

      Google: “Google Inc. and Motorola Mobility Holdings, Inc. today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Google will acquire Motorola Mobility for $40.00 per share in cash, or a total of about $12.5 billion, a premium of 63% to the closing price of Motorola Mobility shares on Friday, August 12, 2011. The transaction was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. – The acquisition of Motorola Mobility, a dedicated Android partner, will enable Google to supercharge the Android ecosystem and will enhance competition in mobile computing. Motorola Mobility will remain a licensee of Android and Android will remain open. Google will run Motorola Mobility as a separate business.”

      BI: “Needless to say this is a gamechanger in the mobile world, as Google moves down the stack, and is no longer just an operating system provider meaning it competes directly with Apple as well as the various other handset makers who currently use Android. … Other handset makers, like RIMM and Nokia are both up pre-market on the news as the focus obviously turns to Microsoft: Is it now forced to buy one of them? Or does Microsoft benefit because the remaining handset makers (Samsung, etc.) now turn more towards Windows?

      TC: “Big question now is: how will HTC, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Acer, Huawei, Lenovo and all other Android device makers respond to this news?

      TNW: “Analysts and industry experts have said Google needs to get into the handset business but nobody predicted this. Google has upped its game and is on a collision course with Apple, we can’t wait to see how it pans out.”

      HuffPo: “In January 2011, Motorola announced that it would split into two companies: Motorola Solutions, which would manufacture tech products aimed at businesses; and Motorola Mobility, which would focus solely on handsets.”

      HuffPo: “Motorola, the 82-year-old consumer electronics pioneer responsible for early televisions, cell phones and even the first broadcast from the moon, split into two companies … in a reflection of changing markets. – As separate companies – Mobility, targeting consumers, and Solutions, for professionals – the two will have simpler stories to tell investors and a nimbler approach to developing cutting-edge products such as tablet computers.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 16:59 on 15. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      GigaOM: “[T]his … gives Google a chance to build very integrated devices that combine hardware and software well, something Apple products are known for. But it will, again, pit Google against its manufacturing partners. – Now, we’ll have to see how if this adds momentum to Android or saps it. Will it be worth it ultimately for Google to get more patent protection and its own hardware maker, or could this slow down the Android Express?”

      GigaOM: “However, purchasing Motorola Mobility isn’t a magic bullet solution to Android’s ongoing patent woes. Apple and Microsoft decided to pursue legal action against Motorola despite its patent portfolio, so it obviously isn’t watertight. But whereas previously Google seemed to have little recourse beyond complaining publicly about the unfairness of the system, now it has some actual weight to throw around in court. … As far as ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’ moves goes, this one by Google is a pretty bold one. It was beginning to look like Android was facing a long, slow death at the hands of licensing fees and patent litigation.”

      TC: “During today’s conference call explaining the deal, Page noted that Motorola’s ‘strong patent portfolio’ will help Google defend Android against ‘Microsoft, Apple, and other companies.’ The first two questions on the call went right to the patent issue as well. With Android under attack on the patent front by Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and others, buying Motorola is very much a defensive move as well.”

      Doc Searls: “At the very least, this is patent play. That’s why Larry talked about intellectual property. In mobile, Motorola (I’m guessing, but I’m sure I’m right) has a bigger patent portfolio than anybody else, going back to the dawn of the whole category. Oracle started a patent war a year ago by suing Google, and Google looked a bit weak in that first battle. So now, in buying Motorola, Google is building the biggest patent fort that it can. In that area alone, Google now holds more cards than anybody, especially its arch-rival, Apple.”

      TNW: “This is a massive twist and major turn in the patent battle, and Google has well and truly upped the game. – It is sad to see innovative companies resort to patent acquisition tactics to get one-up on competitors, but sometimes the only option is to fight fire with fire. – However, let’s not forget this isn’t just about patents. Google now has direct access to mobile phone handsets too, so who knows what other developments we’ll see in the coming months/years.

      pC: “Patents may be why Page also noted that the top five Android licensees showed ‘enthusiastic support’ for the deal. Google was quick to put out a release with quotes from four of them to support that. From Samsung’s Mobile head J.K. Shin: ‘We welcome today’s news, which demonstrates Google’s deep commitment to defending Android, its partners & ecosystem.’ … Meanwhile, the markets and the Internet are now zooming with speculation about what this might all mean for the wider mobile competitive landscape. Nokia’s shares are creeping up, as people wonder if this increases the changes of Microsoft buying it…”

      ATD: “First of all, the deal will give a lot of fresh meat to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is already investigating several aspects of Google’s business, including its Android mobile operating system business. As The Wall Street Journal reported last week, investigators from the FTC and from the offices of several state attorneys general have been exploring whether or not Google prevents phone manufactures who become Android partners from using the smartphone operating systems of other companies.”

      RWW: “The deal is subject to regulatory approval in both the United States and the European Union. Yet, unlike many of Google’s acquisitions in recent years, this one should go through relatively quickly. That is because of what Apple has done to the ecosystem. … Yet, that is excluding the Android ecosystem itself. If Android is ‘open’ (and many people doubt how open it actually is, even if it is licensed for free), then what is going to happen with Samsung and HTC? … Android lovers should be excited that Google now has Motorola under its thumb. There should be more and better Android devices coming to market. Google lovers should be happy because it means that Google is defending itself in the patent wars and should raise the bottom line of the company. Apple, Microsoft, Nokia and the Android ecosystem should be wary because Google now has the capability of completing disrupting the balance of the environment in the same way that Apple has.”

    • Gerrit Eicker 17:29 on 17. August 2011 Permalink | Reply

      GigaOM: “Our sources say that Motorola was in acquisition talks with several parties, including Microsoft for quite some time. Microsoft was interested in acquiring Motorola’s patent portfolio that would have allowed it to torpedo Android even further. The possibility of that deal brought Google to the negotiation table, resulting in the blockbuster sale.

  • Gerrit Eicker 18:46 on 24. June 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , FTC, , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    Google Goes FTC 

    Google responds to FTC: Supporting choice, ensuring economic opportunity; http://eicker.at/GoogleFTC

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 08:31 on 24. June 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , Anticompetitive Behavior, , , , , , Civil Probe, , FTC, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    FTC Goes Google 

    WSJ: FTC regulators are poised to hit Google Inc. with subpoenas, launching a broad, formal investigation; http://eicker.at/FTCGoogle

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 12:28 on 30. March 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , FTC, , , , , , , , , , , , Search Interest, , , ,   

    Buzz Over? 

    Buzz about Google Buzz bates and lawmakers ask the FTC to investigate consumer privacy violations; http://j.mp/chIi0J

     
  • Gerrit Eicker 11:02 on 18. December 2009 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , FTC, , , , , , , , , , , , Trade Practices,   

    Epic vs. Facebook 

    Epic files a complaint on Facebook privacy changes with the FTC: unfair, deceptive trade practices; http://j.mp/8O7RpS

     
c
Compose new post
j
Next post/Next comment
k
Previous post/Previous comment
r
Reply
e
Edit
o
Show/Hide comments
t
Go to top
l
Go to login
h
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
Cancel