I dati che Google raccoglie

Una ricerca abbastanza agghiacciante.

Tanto per dire:

A dormant, stationary Android phone (with the Chrome browser active in the background) communicated location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period, or at an average of 14 data communications per hour. In fact, location information constituted 35 percent of all the data samples sent to Google. [link]

Una multa da cinque miliardi di dollari

Per abuso di posizione dominante, fondamentalmente.

Considering Android’s massive mobile market share, this was pretty much an inevitability. But today it finally happened for real: The EU slapped Google’s parent company Alphabet with a record fine of nearly $5.1 billion for violating European antitrust regulations. [link]

Google dice di no al Pentagono

Leaked Emails Show Google Expected Lucrative Military Drone AI Work to Grow Exponentially

Dopo la rivelazione del fatto che Google stesse lavorando con il Pentagono per fornire ai droni i suoi moduli di AI, alcuni impiegati hanno rassegnato le dimissioni e altri hanno creato una petizione chiedendo che il contratto venisse dismesso.

Oltre che per il malcontento, subodorando la pubblicità negativa per l’azienda e per Cloud AI (un progetto su cui Google sta investendo tantissimo) l’azienda ha deciso di tirarsi fuori.

“I don’t know what would happen if the media starts picking up a theme that Google is secretly building AI weapons or AI technologies to enable weapons for the Defense industry,” she continued. “Google Cloud has been building our theme on Democratizing AI in 2017, and Diane and I have been talking about Humanistic AI for enterprise. I’d be super careful to protect these very positive images.”

Duplex, sarà vero?

Probabilmente sì: probabilmente Google riuscirà a creare un’intelligenza artificiale talmente sofisticata da riuscire a prenotare appuntamenti dal parrucchiere per noi: ma quello che ha mostrato la scorsa settimana alla sua developer conference non sembra quel prodotto. Non ancora.

Ottimo breve articolo di Axios. (Su questa cosa di Google e Duplex stiamo raccogliendo diversi link per un pezzo più elaborato, peraltro.)

RCS, ovvero: Google pensa che per i messaggi sia il caso di usare un sistema non protetto

RCS, ovvero: Google pensa che per i messaggi sia il caso di usare un sistema non protetto

I sistemi di messaggistica di Android sono svariati e indipendenti l’un dall’altro: un po’ perché Google ha sviluppato diversi sistemi, un po’ perché Android viene installato su telefoni di produttori diversi che non mancano di metterci lo zampino. Per ovviare a questo ginepraio, Google pensa che una nuova app chiamata semplicemente Chat possa aiutare.

Instead of bringing a better app to the table, it’s trying to change the rules of the texting game, on a global scale. Google has been quietly corralling every major cellphone carrier on the planet into adopting technology to replace SMS. It’s going to be called “Chat,” and it’s based on a standard called the “Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services.” SMS is the default that everybody has to fall back to, and so Google’s goal is to make that default texting experience on an Android phone as good as other modern messaging apps.

Che dici: ok, non male. Ma poi continui a leggere l’ottimo articolo di The Verge e:

The worse news is that carriers aren’t fond of strong encryption and don’t have a great history of pushing back against government demands for information.
”RCS continues to be a carrier-owned service, so legal intercept and other laws that exist that allow carriers to have access to the data continues to be the case,” Sabharwal admits. And though Google isn’t shutting down Allo, it’s also not working to create a chat service that is as secure as iMessage, Signal, or even Telegram. “At this point, the answer is no. We will not have that option,” Sabharwal says. Allo offers an “incognito” mode that does support end-to-end encryption, but that’s it.

Siamo nel 2018 e Google conta di far salire tutti su un carro che non è criptato. Per favore.

(Anil Sabharwal è il dirigente a capo del progetto.)

Walt Mossberg lo riassume efficacemente:

Google Has Finally Killed the CAPTCHA

Google Has Finally Killed the CAPTCHA

CAPTCHA’s are an irritating but necessary evil. The system that is used to verify whether or not a user is human has been around a while and it had to evolve because machines were getting better at reading the text than humans. With its latest iteration, Google says you’ll no longer have to input anything at all.

Hm.

AdNauseam banned from the Google Web Store

AdNauseam banned from the Google Web Store

AdNauseam is an extension for Chrome, Firefox and Opera focused on privacy and security: it «protects users against online advertising surveillance».

Earlier this week, on Jan 1st 2017, we were informed by our users that Google had banned AdNauseam from its Chrome Web Store. We’ve since learned that Google now also disallows users from manually installing and updating AdNauseam, thus locking users out of their own saved data, all with no prior notice or warning.