Risk
11/22/2013
11:20 AM
Connect Directly
RSS
E-Mail

Google Settles With State AGs On Privacy

Google agrees to pay $17 million to 37 states to settle claims it circumvented cookie-blocking controls in Apple's Safari browser.

Image credit: Flickr user ssoosay.
Image credit: Flickr user ssoosay.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Joe Stanganelli
50%
50%
Joe Stanganelli,
User Rank: Strategist
11/23/2013 | 10:56:59 PM
Re: Narrow scope
Yeah, for true privacy, hidden services like Tor are still the way to go.

As Bruce Schneier put it in a September blog post on security in the wake of NSA revelations: "Use Tor to anonymize yourself. Yes, the NSA targets Tor users, but it's work for them. The less obvious you are, the safer you are."

Anything that makes it harder for a government agency to track you presumably makes it harder for marketers to track you.
Tom Murphy
50%
50%
Tom Murphy,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/22/2013 | 4:07:38 PM
Re: Narrow scope
Now you're talking, Tom. The internet is a network controlled by the end user.  If we can block people from tracking us at that level, it's comparable to pulling down the shade in our homes -- and everyone should have that right. 

I wonder if that's a feature that computer makers can build right into the machine because, clearly, trying to build it into  browswer didn't work in this case. 
Or do we all need to start bouncing our signals aroudn the world like spammers to avoid being connected with our words.

 
Thomas Claburn
100%
0%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Moderator
11/22/2013 | 4:01:57 PM
Re: Narrow scope
The only way I see tracking diminishing is if those being tracked have equal power to obscure their footprints, as compared to those who are tracking them. And that's just not the way the law works: It's illegal to jam someone else's cell phone for example, to carry a set of lights to blind surveillance cameras, or to emit high-frequency radiation from a device to cripple nearby electronics. Tracking is set up as a right and tracking avoidance is considered suspicious. But it's time to revisit those assumptions. 
Tom Murphy
50%
50%
Tom Murphy,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/22/2013 | 3:48:19 PM
Re: Narrow scope
Tom: You're right of course, but the concept of tracking is not. That's the point. One technology merely replaces another, and barring one in one context won't resolve the underlying issue. 
Thomas Claburn
50%
50%
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Moderator
11/22/2013 | 3:44:47 PM
Re: Narrow scope
"While this could be a step in a long path to ending cookies..."

Cookies are already slated for obsolecence. See:

http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304682504579157780178992984

 
Tom Murphy
50%
50%
Tom Murphy,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/22/2013 | 12:33:17 PM
Narrow scope
While this could be a step in a long path to ending cookies, this seems quite limited in scope. First, it's a settlement involving Google's efforts on Apple browsers -- both big players, but this won't affect the majority of users who use other browsers and/or search engines. Second, the language says: "Google shall not employ HTTP form POST functionality that uses JavaScript." That blocks a leading way to deploy cookies, but not any others.  Third, not all browswer makers will want to bar cookies given that some cookies are useful to consumers and the browser may not gain wide acceptance in the broader, cookie-addicted industry.

Don't get me wrong. I'm pro-privacy, but I think the FTC and other governmental organizations need to address the issue on a broader level than through expensive, time-consuming, one-off settlements.  And they need to do it without causing serious economic harm to a surprisingly still-fragile and still-evolving Internet economy.  This can help shape this economy as it matures and create a stable, secure business environment that respects privacy.

Is that asking too much from an industry that is less than 20 years old?  Isn't it better to tackle this now before these issues start gaining the patina of accepted practices?
melgross
50%
50%
melgross,
User Rank: Apprentice
11/22/2013 | 12:21:06 PM
Some fine!
This is a slap on the wrist. Big companies assume that they might be caught at some point. They weigh the advantage of what they're doing against any fines and court costs they may incurr, and then go and do it. Google is notorious. User data is the lifeblood of their company. They are really just a glorified advertising company, after all. The fine for this should have been ten times as much, possibly more. Fines should be high enough to grab back any possible benefits the violation may have received, plus a tripling of the number. This will deter companies from doing this. What we have here is Google laughing all the way to the bank.
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
Partner Perspectives
What's This?
In a digital world inundated with advanced security threats, Intel Security seeks to transform how we live and work to keep our information secure. Through hardware and software development, Intel Security delivers robust solutions that integrate security into every layer of every digital device. In combining the security expertise of McAfee with the innovation, performance, and trust of Intel, this vision becomes a reality.

As we rely on technology to enhance our everyday and business life, we must too consider the security of the intellectual property and confidential data that is housed on these devices. As we increase the number of devices we use, we increase the number of gateways and opportunity for security threats. Intel Security takes the “security connected” approach to ensure that every device is secure, and that all security solutions are seamlessly integrated.
Featured Writers
White Papers
Cartoon
Current Issue
Dark Reading's October Tech Digest
Fast data analysis can stymie attacks and strengthen enterprise security. Does your team have the data smarts?
Flash Poll
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2014-3366
Published: 2014-10-31
SQL injection vulnerability in the administrative web interface in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allows remote authenticated users to execute arbitrary SQL commands via a crafted response, aka Bug ID CSCup88089.

CVE-2014-3372
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the CCM reports interface in the Server in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCuq90589.

CVE-2014-3373
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the CCM Dialed Number Analyzer interface in the Server in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCup92550.

CVE-2014-3374
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the CCM admin interface in the Server in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCuq90582.

CVE-2014-3375
Published: 2014-10-31
Multiple cross-site scripting (XSS) vulnerabilities in the CCM Service interface in the Server in Cisco Unified Communications Manager allow remote attackers to inject arbitrary web script or HTML via unspecified parameters, aka Bug ID CSCuq90597.

Best of the Web
Dark Reading Radio
Archived Dark Reading Radio
Follow Dark Reading editors into the field as they talk with noted experts from the security world.