Tuesday October 15, 2019
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Google Slammed With a Civil Case From Russia

The legislation, if it goes ahead, would hit global tech giants such as Facebook and Google.

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A Google logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Russia has launched a civil case against Google, accusing it of failing to comply with a legal requirement to remove certain entries from its search results, the country’s communications watchdog said on Monday.

If found guilty, the U.S. internet giant could be fined up to 700,000 rubles ($10,450), the watchdog, Roskomnadzor, said.

It said Google had not joined a state registry that lists banned websites that Moscow believes contain illegal information and was therefore in breach of the law.

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during a news conference in New Delhi. VOA

A final decision in the case will be made in December, the watchdog said. Google declined to comment.

Over the past five years, Russia has introduced tougher internet laws that require search engines to delete some search results, messaging services to share encryption keys with security services, and social networks to store Russian users’ personal data on servers within the country.

At the moment, the only tools Russia has to enforce its data rules are fines that typically only come to a few thousand dollars, or blocking the offending online services, which is an option fraught with technical difficulties.

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A Google logo is displayed at the entrance to the internet based company’s offices in Toronto. VOA

Three sources familiar with the matter told Reuters on Monday that Russia planned to impose stiffer fines on technology firms that fail to comply with Russian laws.

The plans for harsher fines are contained in a consultation document prepared by the administration of President Vladimir Putin and sent to industry players for feedback.

Also Read: Political Ads Under Scrutiny By Google Before The EU Elections

The legislation, if it goes ahead, would hit global tech giants such as Facebook and Google, which – if found to have breached rules – could face fines equal to 1 percent of their annual revenue in Russia, according to the sources. (VOA)

Next Story

Apple Refutes Report of Sharing Safari Data with Tencent or Google

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he believes privacy is "ingrained in the Constitution," but that he's worried about how third-party companies have worked to collect information on us

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Apple, Campus, China
A customer is entering the Apple store in Fairfax, Virginia. VOA

After media reports surfaced that Apple is sending iOS users’ data via its Safari browser to Google and the Chinese tech company Tencent, the Cupertino-based iPhone maker refuted such reports, saying it safeguards people’s information in its own systems and never shares it with third-party players.

A report in reclaimthenet.org stated that “Apple, which often positions itself as a champion of privacy and human rights, may be sending some IP addresses from users of its Safari browser on iOS to Chinese conglomerate Tencent — a company with close ties to the Chinese Communist Party”.

The report focused on Apple’s “fraudulent website warning” system which is built into Apple’s Safari web browser to warn people when they visit sites that are harmful and can trick users into sharing login passwords for banks, email and social media.

“Before visiting a website, Safari may send information calculated from the website address to Google Safe Browsing and Tencent Safe Browsing to check if the website is fraudulent. These browsing providers may also log your IP address,’ read the information on Apple’s “Safari & Privacy” section.

It’s unclear when Apple started allowing Tencent and Google to log some user IP addresses, but one Twitter user reported the change in Safari happened as early as the iOS 12.2 beta in February 2019, said the report.

Google on an Android device. Pixabay

In a statement, the company said it actually doesn’t send information to Google or Tencent.

“Instead, it receives a list of bad websites from both companies and then uses it to protect people as they surf the web. Apple sometimes obscures the information about the website people visit if it requests more information to check if a questionable website is malicious,” CNET reported on Monday, citing Apple’s statement.

Also Read: Kerala Unable to get Medics from Reserved Category

For people concerned about their privacy, the service can be turned off in Safari preferences on the iPhone or Mac.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has said he believes privacy is “ingrained in the Constitution,” but that he’s worried about how third-party companies have worked to collect information on us. (IANS)