Category Archive: Corporate governance

Google shows its true colours – and they’re not the colour of money

By Simon Davies Last Saturday, Google’s Executive Chairman, Eric Schmidt, had an interesting comment piece published in Britain’s Guardian newspaper that caused some readers to choke on their breakfast cereal. The article was placed as a response to recent revelations that Google has for years evaded the payment of UK taxes. With irony mischievously dripping …

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India takes its first serious step toward privacy regulation – but it may be misguided

 By Simon Davies The world’s second-most populous nation may be on the cusp of embracing privacy legislation. After several false starts the Indian government appears ready to accept the need for some form of regulation. Well, maybe this is a slightly optimistic view. A more accurate portrayal might be “the Indian government appears ready to …

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New joint enforcement action against Google may trigger an EU-wide government blacklisting of the company

The stand-off between Google and Europe’s data protection authorities took a dramatic turn today as six EU countries launched coordinated enforcement actions against the company. The unprecedented action follows an investigation by the Article 29 group of EU authorities into Google’s amalgamated privacy policy that aggregates data across all the company’s products and services. Authorities …

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Don’t blame engineers for the shortcomings of Privacy by Design: privacy advocates are equally guilty

By Simon Davies On 10th June 2000, amidst great ceremony, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth cut the tape to open the first new Thames river crossing in more than a century. The Millennium Bridge had won acclaim for its sleek shape and elegant design – and London was buzzing with excitement about its new landmark. Then… …

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Now Microsoft has raised the bar on transparency it’s time for governments to stop living in the past

By Simon Davies Yesterday Microsoft published a breakdown of more than 75,000 requests issued to the company last year by law enforcement agencies for access to information about its customers. The new data provides important insights into the nature of data being sought by police and other bodies. It also highlights both an emerging transparency …

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Analysis: How Microsoft turned a mouse into a monster

By Simon Davies The tech press has been buzzing over the past few days about a vulnerability in Internet Explorer that could allow hackers to exploit a mouse tracking feature used by advertisers and analytics companies. This anti fraud process assists advertisers by determining whether a banner click resulted from a human or a bot. …

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The hidden story behind Facebook’s privacy changes – and why your data has suddenly become a lot more valuable

By Simon Davies Desperate for a positive news story about Facebook, the world’s media is in hyperdrive over changes to the site’s new privacy settings. I mean, gosh, they are now so easy to use. “Facebook caves in to privacy pressures” declared the stately Financial Times. “Facebook’s privacy evolution crawls another step out of the …

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The Federal Trade Commission’s integrity is on the line over Google

By Simon Davies The mandate of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is emblazened across the agency’s website like the opening line of a Star Trek episode: “Our mission: to prevent business practices that are anticompetitive, deceptive or unfair to consumers”. It’s a powerful assertion, but I fear that in light of recent developments the …

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Facebook wants to scrap its absurd user voting system – and about time too.

By Simon Davies Earlier today Facebook sent an email to its 900 million users under the bland header “Updates to Data Use Policy and Statement of Rights and Responsibilities”. There are some worrying elements in this announcement, not the least of which is the trashing of barriers to data flows within the organisation. More on …

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