Brussels to investigate Google’s Android platform

Alex Barker and Richard Waters, Financial Times,  Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Brussels will launch a formal investigation into Google’s Android smartphone platform on Wednesday, opening a fresh front in the EU’s antitrust battle with the US group. While widely expected, the formal launch of an investigation will nevertheless be a blow to Google and add a further layer of complication to its regulatory travails in Europe, which touch on everything from privacy policy to alleged search bias. According to people familiar with the planned investigation, the commission is to focus on two main areas: the distribution terms for Google’s “suite” of apps, and the compatibility tests to become an official version of Android-carrying Google apps.

EU to File Antitrust Charges Against Google

Valentina Pop and Tom Fairless, Wall Street Journal ,  Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Europe’s antitrust regulator has decided to file formal charges against Google Inc. for violating the bloc’s antitrust laws, a person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday, stepping up a five-year investigation that is set to become the biggest competition battle in Brussels since the European Union’s pursuit of Microsoft Corp. a decade ago. EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager made the decision on Tuesday in consultation with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and will inform her fellow EU commissioners at a meeting on Wednesday, the person said.

Europe to accuse Google of illegally abusing its dominance

Alex Barker, Christian Oliver and Anne-Sylvaine Chassany, Financial Times,  Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Google will on Wednesday be accused by Brussels of illegally abusing its dominance of search in Europe, a step that ultimately could force it to fundamentally change its business model and pay hefty fines. Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s competition commissioner, is to say that the US group will soon be served with a formal charge sheet alleging that it breached antitrust rules by diverting traffic from rivals in order to favour its in-house services, according to two people familiar with the case.

EU Needs Smart Regulation to Compete on Web, Policy Chief Says

Aoife White, Bloomberg Business,  Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Internet companies in the European Union lag foreign competitors and need “smart regulation” to catch up, the bloc’s digital commissioner warned. “We have so far missed many opportunities” in Internet and mobile platforms, Guenther Oettinger, the European Union’s digital affairs commissioner, told a business conference in Hanover, Germany. “Our online businesses are today dependent on a few non-EU players worldwide: this must not be the case again in the future.”

27018 and Higher Education

Tracy Mitrano, Inside Higher Ed,  Monday, April 13, 2015

While many readers may not be familiar with the International Standards Organization, the rigorous formal standards established by this UN-sponsored body form the backbone of data security best practices in large organizations everywhere. Collectively the standards are known as the ISO 27000 family. American colleges and universities in particular, which are busily outsourcing many key online services to outside cloud providers, would do well to pay close attention to the newest member of this family, ISO 27018, which sets out best practices for personally identifiable information (PII) held in the cloud. ISO 27018 is the first international standard for privacy practices. Published in July 2014, the standard warrants the full attention of higher educational institutions as they consider the procurement of cloud services.

Google Investigation Moves Ahead in India

ICOMP,  Monday, April 13, 2015

India press outlets are reporting that the investigation arm of the India Competition Commission (CCI) has submitted its final report on allegations that Google has abused its dominant position in the search engine space.

4 ways your Android device is tracking you (and how to stop it)

Ben Patterson, PC World,  Monday, April 13, 2015

Turns out that each time you say something to the Google Now search box, Android saves a copy of what you said in your "Voice & Audio" history. Your voice history can go back months or even years, and it includes a transcript of what you said plus a playback button, so you can relive the moment. That's not all. Your Android device—and, indeed, all your Google accounts, mobile or otherwise—can also save a "history" of your web searches and clicks, as well as what you've searched for and watched on YouTube. Android can also save a map of where you and your phone or tablet have been, even when you weren't actively using your handset.

Can FCC’s Data Breach Settlement With AT&T Inc. Help Change Behaviors In The Wireless Industry?

Larry Darrell, Bidness Etc,  Monday, April 13, 2015

Last month, the US government fined AT&T, accusing it for inadequate and unsatisfactory protection of consumer data. However, cyber security experts believe that the punishment was not strict enough to intimidate other players in the industry to take extra safety precautions. In the event that the carriers are faced with a similar situation as AT&T, perhaps they would take better and more adequate measures to ensure consumer privacy if AT&T was dealt with more strictly.

How the NSA Is Using the Cloud To Thwart the Next Snowden

Frank Konkel, Nextgov / Defense One,  Monday, April 13, 2015

At first blush, that approach seems counterintuitive. In a post-Snowden world, is it really a good idea to put everything in one place—to have analysts swimming around in an ocean of NSA secrets and data? It is, if that ocean actually controls what information analysts in the NSA GovCloud can access. That’s analogous to how NSA handles security in its cloud. NSA built the architecture of its cloud environment from scratch, allowing security to be baked in and automated rather than bolted on and carried out by manual processes. Any piece of data ingested by NSA systems over the last two years has been meta-tagged with bits of information, including where it came from and who is authorized to see it in preparation for the agency’s cloud transition.

Microsoft: Unmasking Emails Risks 'Outrage' Overseas

Sue Reisinger, Corporate Counsel,  Monday, April 13, 2015

Microsoft Corp. told a federal appeals court last week that the federal government has created “international discord” and “outrage” over its efforts to seize a customer’s email stored on company servers in Ireland. The statements came as part of the computer giant’s reply this week to the government in a landmark case in New York. The government claimed that compliance with a search warrant doesn’t really create any genuine conflict with other countries’ laws that would raise concerns.