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Tech Giant Google Relaying Personal Information of Users to Advertisers

YouTube earned millions of dollars by using the identifiers, commonly known as cookies, to deliver targeted ads to viewers of these channels, according to the complaint

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

Google is allegedly relaying your personal information to advertisers via hidden web pages, allowing it to circumvent the European Union privacy regulations, new evidence submitted to Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has revealed.

The Data Protection Commission began an investigation into Google’s practices in May after it received a complaint from privacy-focused browser maker Brave that Google was allegedly violating the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), CNET on Wednesday quoted a Financial Times report.

Johnny Ryan, chief policy officer for Brave, submitted the new evidence, and discovered that Google allegedly used a tracker containing web browsing information, location and other data and sent it to advertising companies via webpages that “showed no content”.

Ryan’s evidence showed that Google had “labelled him with an identifying tracker that it fed to third-party companies that logged on to a hidden web page”.

Google responded, saying it doesn’t serve “personalized ads or send bid requests to bidders without user consent”.

According to the Data Protection Commission, the purpose of its inquiry “is to establish whether processing of personal data carried out at each stage of an advertising transaction is in compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR.

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FILE – The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

“The GDPR principles of transparency and data minimisation, as well as Google’s retention practices, will also be examined,” it had said.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday directed Google to pay a record $170 million over YouTube’s child privacy violations.

The settlement requires Google and YouTube to pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

Also Read: Apple Set to Open its Largest Store in Japan

In a complaint filed against the companies, the FTC and New York Attorney General alleged that YouTube violated the COPPA Rule by collecting personal information — in the form of persistent identifiers that are used to track users across the Internet — from viewers of child-directed channels, without first notifying parents and getting their consent.

YouTube earned millions of dollars by using the identifiers, commonly known as cookies, to deliver targeted ads to viewers of these channels, according to the complaint. (IANS)

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Here’s Why Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai Believes That Artificial Intelligence Needs To Be Regulated

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram

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The Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai stressed that "international alignment will be critical to making global standards work" on AI. Wikimedia Commons

Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it.

Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times.

“There is no question in my mind that artificial intelligence needs to be regulated. It is too important not to. The only question is how to approach it”.

“Companies such as ours cannot just build promising new technology and let market forces decide how it will be used. It is equally incumbent on us to make sure that technology is harnessed for good and available to everyone,” Pichai wrote.

According to CNET, the timing of the editorial coincides with a big push from Google to reveal some of the results of its own work in AI and bring tools it has developed out into the world.

The Alphabet CEO stressed that “international alignment will be critical to making global standards work” on AI.

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Joining Microsoft President Brad Smith and Tesla CEO Elon Musk, Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday called for new regulations for Artificial Intelligence (AI), saying the only question now is how to approach it. Wikimedia Commons

We need to take a “principled approach to applying AI, said the company, while offering Google’s “expertise, experience and tools.”

“We need to be clear-eyed about what could go wrong,” he said.

His comments come as lawmakers and governments globally are considering to limit the use of AI in fields such as face recognition system – an issue close to Microsoft President Brad Smith’s heart who has often criticized the technology, urging governments to enact legislation regarding the technology.

“Unless we act, we risk waking up five years from now to find that facial recognition services have spread in ways that exacerbate societal issues,” said Smith.

Advanced AI which is beyond chat bots will soon be used to manipulate social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, Tesla CEO Elon Musk warned recently.

In his famous debate with former Alibaba Chairman Jack Ma, Musk entered into a lassic argument over the capabilities of emerging technologies like AI.

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Although new regulation is needed, “a cautious approach is required that might not see significant controls placed on AI,” Sundar Pichai who was last month took over as the CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, in an editorial piece in The Financial Times. Pixabay

Musk said that computers will one day surpass humans in “every single way”. He has predicted that a single company that develops “God-like super intelligence” might achieve world domination.

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If not regulated or controlled soon, AI could become an “immortal dictator” and there will be no escape for humans, the SpaceX CEO had warned. (IANS)