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Google vs Apple: Tech Giants Duke it Out to Serve You Better

google_vs_apple

With Google and Apple in a perpetual war to provide you with their tech goods, what is even worth paying attention to anymore? Will any of their new products or features really save you time? Here are a few new features the tech giants have announced, and how they may prove useful to your business and personal life:

Apple:

  • Siri Spotlight: “Suggests people to contact based on future meetings or nearby businesses. It will also find gas stations once you’re near the rental-car office,” as it gathers data on your patterns and behaviors to better serve you.
  • Traffic: Apple will phone tap traffic signals to let you know the most optimal time to be leaving your meeting in order to make it to your next endeavor before getting caught in the traffic or rain.
  • Privacy: Apple’s devices will know a lot about you, but Apple won’t as personal data will never leave your device.

Google:

  • Google Now: Have content from emails and messages instantly become entries on your calendar. Receive an email to meet a certain deadline? Set a reminder with just a single tap.
  • User Data: While Google doesn’t sell your info, it does use it to target to your for paying advertisers. If this makes you uncomfortable, you many want to opt out.
  • Invasive, but Helpful: Google is counting on using your data to best serve you and save you time. But how much it peeks into your data may be off-putting to certain users.

Overall, both giants are looking to save you time and money, but ultimately it may come down to how much of your privacy you are willing to give up in order to receive the best service. Is the convenience worth giving all your information over to Big Brother? That is for you to decide.

Click here for the full article in The Wall Street Journal

The Price on Your Privacy

privacy-personal-information

What lengths would you go to in order to avoid having your information sold to a company? You consent to having your information used by Facebook, Hulu, and other web sites in order for them to optimize your experience. But what if a web site gets sold? Well your information now belongs to that new company and guess what: they can use it however they’d like! Many sites state that they will not sell your information to anyone. For example, Nest, an internet-connected thermostat company purchased by Google for $3.2 Billion currently states that your information is not for sale and does not sell its customer list to third person parties. However, how much can you trust the service once it gets bought?

The information being sold can be extremely valuable in targeting you as it is extremely personal. For example, a Texas-based dating company by the name of Truth.com had information on 42 million of its customers’ names, birth dates, sexual orientation, race, religion, criminal convictions, photos, videos, contact information and more. When the company was sold, the state of Texas had to intervene and stop it from using the data gathered from all of its customers as it had promised to protect customer privacy in the user agreement. Because of cases like this, companies are rushing to weaken the language protecting your privacy, and making it easier to be sold. Does a company selling your information bother you? If so, you should consider reading the Terms and agreements before you decide to give your information away.

Read the full story in The New York Times here.

Godwin’s Law And The ‘Right To Be Forgotten’

Forgotten

Nearly 25 years ago, Mike Godwin, a Washington-based attorney, came up with “Godwin’s Law.” His law, or theory if you will, that stated that: “as an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.” That is, it becomes almost inevitable.

Recently, Godwin sat on a congressional panel to discuss the “right to be forgotten,” the notion that people have some right to control what appears about them online. The ruling, however, was particularly unfavorable. Godwin describes the ruling as “going against the fantasy we have where we believe we have control over what we say and do online.”

In terms of controlling our online identity and the intellectual property rights of what we publish, we live in an interesting and often confusing time. This is the first moment in human history where individuals have had the agency to be heard around the world on a very large scale. It used to be that you had to have a mass-medium to do it. Now, everyone is a publisher of sorts: an autobiographer, musician, or poet. Godwin describes this evolution as “consciousness-changing” and I am inclined to to agree. “We’re in that intergenerational moment where people are coming to terms with the consequences of their online interaction and interactivity. It’s new and it’s unprecedented.”

Click here to view the related article from The Washington Post in full.

Say Goodbye to Privacy

Privacy-Rights

Data containing information about what people do has created corporations worth billions of dollars.

While storage of vast amounts of data has led to hugely valuable benefits from analysis and correlation, it also has led to a significant erosion, if not almost complete destruction, of any meaningful concept of privacy.

Click here to view the related article in The Wall Street Journal.

The Privacy Paradox

The Privacy Paradox | The New York Times

What kind of value do we place on convenience?

When it comes to paying the price with our privacy 56% of Americans say NO! This “privacy paradox,” as the New York Times calls it, is also presenting a challenge for businesses:

Click here to view the article in full.

Sweeping Away a Search History

Search History

 

Privacy matters for many reasons, both tangible and not, hence it’s wise to exercise control when and where you can. By protecting your online search history, you are protecting a wealth of personal information. Here are some tips to help stem the flow: click here to view the article.