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Tech Giant Google Discusses its Data Privacy Before Senate Hearing

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is also heading to Washington, DC amid "concerns about privacy, suspicion about his company's relationship with China" and a reported "censored Search" engine for the country

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Google
Google creating publishing platform for local news publishers. Pixabay

As US lawmakers geared up to grill tech giants again on data privacy, Google said the organisations must operate with respect for individuals’ interests when they process personal information.

In a three-page framework, Google said companies must be transparent about the types of personal information they collect, why they collect it, and how they use or disclose it, particularly when used to make decisions about the individual.

The Google framework came as the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation was set to discuss data privacy on Wednesday with tech companies including Google, Apple, AT&T, Amazon and Twitter.

In a blog post on Tuesday, Google Chief Privacy Officer Keith Enright said the users have long entrusted the company to be responsible with their data and they take that trust and responsibility very seriously.

Google
Google on a smartphone device. Pixabay

“Google products and features cannot launch until they are approved by the specialists in our Privacy and Data Protection Office, which solicits input from across Google, as well as periodically from users and experts worldwide,” said Enright.

“More than any other time I have worked in this field, there is real momentum to develop baseline rules of the road for data protection. Google welcomes this and supports comprehensive, baseline privacy regulation,” he added.

Enright, who will be present at the Senate panel meeting, shared the company’s thoughts on what data protection regulation should look like in the US.

“People deserve to feel comfortable that all entities that use personal information will be held accountable for protecting it.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai. (Wikimedia Commons)

“We believe that regulation can support a dynamic marketplace for businesses of all types and sizes,” Enright noted, adding that he looks forward to working with policymakers and all stakeholders on regulation that protects consumers and enables innovation.

Also Read- Chinese Company Vivo Launches V9 Pro at 19,990

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is also heading to Washington, DC amid “concerns about privacy, suspicion about his company’s relationship with China” and a reported “censored Search” engine for the country.

According to a Wall Street Journal report, Pichai will meet with Republican lawmakers on Friday and plans to testify before a House Judiciary Committee hearing after the mid-term elections in November. (IANS)

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Google’s Wing Aviation Receives Approval from FAA to Operate Drone for Deliveries

It's the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries

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google, drone, wing aviation
A man using a mobile phone walks past Google offices in New York, Dec. 17, 2018. VOA

Google affiliate Wing Aviation has received federal approval allowing it to make commercial deliveries by drone.

It’s the first time a company has gotten a federal air carrier certification for drone deliveries. The approval from the Federal Aviation Administration means that Wing can operate commercial drone flights in part of Virginia, which it plans to begin later this year.

The FAA said Tuesday that the company met the agency’s safety requirements by participating in a pilot program in Virginia with the Mid-Atlantic Aviation Partnership and Virginia Tech, and by conducting thousands of flights in Australia over the past several years.

“This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement.

drones, wing aviation, google
“This is an important step forward for the safe testing and integration of drones into our economy,” Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said in a statement. Wikimedia

Wing said the approval “means that we can begin a commercial service delivering goods from local businesses to homes in the United States.”

The company didn’t name any businesses that would take part in commercial deliveries. It said it plans to spend the next several months demonstrating its technology and answering questions from people and businesses in Blacksburg and Christiansburg, Virginia.

Wing said it will “solicit feedback with the goal of launching a delivery trial later this year.”

Wing said that to win FAA certification it had to show that one of its drone deliveries would pose less risk to pedestrians than the same trip made in a car. The company said its drones have flown more than 70,000 test flights and made more than 3,000 deliveries to customers in Australia.

The company is touting many benefits from deliveries by electric drones. It says medicine and food can be delivered faster, that drones will be especially helpful to consumers who need help getting around, and that they can reduce traffic and emissions.

drones, wing aviation, google
FILE – A drone demonstrates delivery capabilities from the top of a UPS truck during testing in Lithia, Florida, Feb. 20, 2017. VOA

Drone usage in the U.S. has grown rapidly in some industries such as utilities, pipelines and agriculture. But drones have faced more obstacles in delivering retail packages and food because of federal regulations that bar most flights over crowds of people and beyond sight of the operator without a waiver from the FAA.

ALSO READ: All that you Need to Know about Buying Watches

The federal government recently estimated that about 110,000 commercial drones were operating in the U.S., and that number is expected to zoom to about 450,000 in 2022.

Amazon is working on drone delivery, a topic keen to CEO Jeff Bezos. Delivery companies including UPS and DHL have also conducted tests. (VOA)