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The Telecom Digest for February 16, 2013
Volume 32 : Issue 41 : "text" Format
Messages in this Issue:
Google under fire for sending users' information to developers (Monty Solomon)
Power and the Internet: play or pay (Telecom Digest Moderator)
Has Rachel gone away? (Jim Haynes)

====== 31 years of TELECOM Digest -- Founded August 21, 1981 ======

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Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 01:36:44 -0500 From: Monty Solomon <monty@roscom.com> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Google under fire for sending users' information to developers Message-ID: <p06240835cd4387b26a0c@[]> Google under fire for sending users' information to developers By Jessica Guynn February 14, 2013 SAN FRANCISCO -- Sebastian Holst makes yoga mobile apps with his wife, a yoga instructor. The Mobile Yogi is sold in all the major mobile app stores. But when someone buys his app in the Google Play store, Holst automatically gets something he says he didn't ask for: the buyer's full name, location and email address. He says consumers are not aware that Google Inc. is sharing their personal information with third parties. No other app store transmits users' personal information to third-party developers when they buy apps, he said. "Google is not taking reasonable steps to ensure that this data is used correctly," said Holst, whose app has 120,000 users. Google is coming under fire just as regulators in the U.S. and overseas are stepping up their scrutiny of how all the players in the industry -- mobile apps, stores, advertising networks and others -- handle consumers' private information. Regulators are pushing for greater transparency of what information is collected by apps and how it's shared. Google Play has worked differently than Apple Inc.'s iTunes since it launched in October 2008. An app developer sets up an account through the mobile payment system Google Wallet, which makes them a merchant in the store. When someone buys his or her app from Google Play, that transaction -- and the customer's information -- is sent to the developer. The developer has to comply with rules about what he or she can do with the information. But at Apple, iTunes is the merchant. App developers say they never receive customer information. Google defended how Google Play operates in an emailed statement. ... http://www.latimes.com/business/technology/la-fi-tn-google-under-fire-for-sending-users-information-to-developers-20130213,0,7558815.story
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 10:02:03 -0500 From: Telecom Digest Moderator <redacted@invalid.telecom.csail.mit.edu> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Power and the Internet: play or pay Message-ID: <20130215150203.GA7831@telecom.csail.mit.edu> The February, 2013 issue of Cryptogram, writen by Bruce "Secrets and Lies" Schneier, contains a warning to Internet users: either play the game with the big boys, or pay more and more to stand on the sidelines. All disruptive technologies upset traditional power balances, and the Internet is no exception. The standard story is that it empowers the powerless, but that's only half the story. The Internet empowers everyone. Powerful institutions might be slow to make use of that new power, but since they are powerful, they can use it more effectively. Governments and corporations have woken up to the fact that not only can they use the Internet, they can control it for their interests. Unless we start deliberately debating the future we want to live in, and the role of information technology in enabling that world, we will end up with an Internet that benefits existing power structures and not society in general. ... Now powerful interests are looking to deliberately steer this influence to their advantage. Some corporations are creating Internet environments that maximize their profitability: Facebook and Google, among many others. Some industries are lobbying for laws that make their particular business models more profitable: telecom carriers want to be able to discriminate between different types of Internet traffic, entertainment companies want to crack down on file sharing, advertisers want unfettered access to data about our habits and preferences. Mr. Schneier has an unusual talent for pointing out what is later obvious: he is the man who created the "Security Theater" label for the Transportation Security Administration. I agree with his warning: those who participate are the only ones who count. http://www.schneier.com/crypto-gram-1302.html -- Bill Horne Moderator
Date: Fri, 15 Feb 2013 14:29:45 -0600 From: Jim Haynes <jhaynes@remove-this.cavern.uark.edu> To: telecomdigestmoderator.remove-this@and-this-too.telecom-digest.org. Subject: Has Rachel gone away? Message-ID: <slrnkht6lp.ch2.jhaynes@Frances.localdomain> I haven't heard from her lately, but have got calls 3 days in a row now from a peddler of senior medical security alarm systems. -- jhhaynes at earthlink dot net
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