"Okay, so as a bunch of folks have been sending over today, there’s been a bit of a furor over a press release pushed out by Consumer Watchdog […] The ‘story’ claims that Google has admitted in court that there is no expectation of privacy over Gmail. This is not actually true - but we’ll get to that. This story is a bit complex because the claims in most of the news coverage about this are simply wrong - but I still think Google made a big mistake in making this particular filing. So, first, let’s explain why the coverage is completely bogus trumped up bullshit from Consumer Watchdog, and then we’ll explain why Google still shouldn’t have made this filing."
"2. An internet search engine service provider, whose search engine locates information published or included on the internet by third parties, indexes it automatically, stores it temporarily and finally makes it available to internet users according to a particular order of preference, ‘processes’ personal data in the sense of Article 2(b) of Directive 95/46 when that information contains personal data. However, the internet search engine service provider cannot be considered as ‘controller’ of the processing of such personal data in the sense of Article 2(d) of Directive 95/46, with the exception of the contents of the index of its search engine, provided that the service provider does not index or archive personal data against the instructions or requests of the publisher of the web page. 3. The rights to erasure and blocking of data, provided for in Article 12(b), and the right to object, provided for in Article 14(a), of Directive 95/46, do not confer on the data subject a right to address himself to a search engine service provider in order to prevent indexing of the information relating to him personally, published legally on third parties’ web pages, invoking his wish that such information should not be known to internet users when he considers that it might be prejudicial to him or he wishes it to be consigned to oblivion.”
"Over the last two years, various European Data Protection Commissioners have taken action against Google. Hardly a month goes by without something being reported: a EUR 145,000 StreetView fine here or a court case about jurisdiction there. So it is important to understand: ‘why is Google on the receiving end all this enforcement action?’. Why now, and not five years ago? What has changed?"
"This paper discusses the general characteristics of online markets from a competition theory perspective and the implications for competition policy. Three important Internet markets are analyzed in more detail: search engines, online auction platforms, and social networks. Given the high level of market concentration and the development of competition over time, we use our theoretical insights to examine whether leading Internet platforms have non-temporary market power. Based on this analysis we answer the question whether any specific market regulation beyond general competition law rules is warranted in these three online markets."
"After reading the policies and answering comprehension questions, 36% of Facebook users and 37% of Google users surveyed will change their behavior. Of the options presented in the survey, most Facebook users plan to change their privacy settings and be more careful posting information in the future. Google users indicated they’d take a number of actions, including changing privacy settings and clearing search history. Fifty percent will use Google less, while only 35% will use Facebook less. Google users may be more apt to reduce their use, since there are viable alternatives to many Google services (e.g., Bing, Worio and MapQuest). Facebook users don’t have the same luxury. Today, no alternative social network of similar scale exists."