Sunday July 21, 2019
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Google Street View Services Denied Permission Again

The government seems to show a blind eye towards WoNoBo which does the same thing as Street View .

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Google Street View Image Source- MapAnything
  • Google Street View services stalled in India over “security concerns”.
  • Issues said to be sorted out once the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, comes into force.
  • The government shows double standards by giving permission to WoNoBo.

The government first denied permission to the Google Street View service in May 2011 when the search giant first started recording 360-degree images of the southern city, Bangalore. The government gave its permission for a relaunch, and even tied up with Google, by allowing it to cover many monuments like the Qutub Minar and the Taj Mahal. Now, Google has been denied permission to bring Street View to India.

Google Street View Car Image Source:Wikipedia Commons

Google hasn’t really had an easy drive with Google Street View. It shot primarily using a car equipped with a 360-degree camera, but the concerns governments have raised have primarily been over privacy as the camera captures everything in its path even children playing in front of their homes .

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However, there is a bit of hypocrisy behind how the government has handled Google Street View. While the service now covers most of the world, it has been stalled in India over “security concerns”. That is perfectly understandable .

The problem, however, is a service called WoNoBo. Launched in October 2013, this Mumbai-based service does the same thing as Street View and with permission from the government. When it was launched in New Delhi one of the attendees was then Tourism Secretary Parvez Dewan who said the service “will add immense value to the Incredible India campaign”.

WoNoBo is still live on apps and show 360-degree videos of many cities, including strategic locations like government buildings, which are all searchable. Everything from faces to number plates of cars are visible on WoNoBo, available only on its apps now. The government seems to show a blind eye towards WoNoBo which also clearly compromises security.

WoNoBo app shows Marine Drive ,Image source:Google Play

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The company site says the web service will be back soon. It is hard
to understand why the government has double standards in this case unless we consider that the government trusts the Indian companies from misusing the d
ata collected.

Minister of State for Home Kiren Rijiju has said the issues will be sorted out once the Geospatial Information Regulation Bill, 2016, comes into effect.

 

-by Ajay Krishna, an intern at NewsGram.(with inputs from The Indian Express) Twitter: @ajkrish14

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Theme of Annual Conference is Privacy, Reflecting Users’ Growing Ambivalence about Social Media

Now as the conference kicks off its 10th anniversary in Toronto, Canada on July 19, the theme is privacy

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Conference, Privacy, Social Media
FILE - Silhouettes of mobile users are seen next to logos of social media apps Signal, Whatsapp and Telegram projected on a screen in this picture illustration. VOA

When the first International Conference on Social Media and Society was held in 2010, social media firms like Facebook, Twitter and others were seen in mostly a positive light, as a novel way of empowering and connecting people.

Now as the conference kicks off its 10th anniversary in Toronto, Canada on July 19, the theme is privacy and trust, reflecting users’ growing ambivalence about social media, said Anatoliy Gruzd, an associate professor at Ryerson University and the event’s organizer.

“People are realizing the importance of the platforms and the potential negative impact on their lives and their communities,” he said. The effects can be societal, personal and political, he said.

The conference comes as governments, nonprofits and consumers grapple with the negative effects of social media. President Donald Trump recently held a summit on social media at the White House, claiming that Twitter, Facebook and others are biased against him and conservative voices.

Conference, Privacy, Social Media
FILE – Laptops sit on a table in the empty offices of Cambridge Analytica in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 2, 2018. VOA

Now social media research, a field that didn’t exist before the mid-2000s, touches on almost every aspect of life. “We feel our work has a direct relationship to what is happening now rather than historical events,” Gruzd said.

Teens’ ambivalence about social media

Valerie Steeves, a professor at the University of Ottawa and one of the conference’s keynote speakers, said teens and young adults are more careful now about how they present themselves online compared to 10 years ago. The event’s keynote talks will be livestreamed on YouTube.

“In 2000, teens were going online because it was the cool place to be,” she said. “Now they have to be on, it’s infrastructure they have to use.”

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And teens are ambivalent about being there. “They are very careful about how they post,” she said. Among their concerns — their data being “grabbed by a corporation,” she said. In a recent study of 5,500 children ages 11 to 17 in Canada, 95 percent said they didn’t think marketers should be able see the content they post online.

Trust in social media firms has eroded in recent years. That could be in part from publicized incidents, such as Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which Facebook allowed an outside researcher to have access to user data that was then used in political campaigns.

As a result of that scandal, the Federal Trade Commission this past week reportedly voted to approve a $5 billion settlement with Facebook that could end an investigation into its privacy practices.

Still, the power and reach of social media can bring people together around a shared interest like no other form of communication. One paper at the conference looks at how women discussing sexual abuse and harassment in China use code words on social media to circumvent censors.

Conference, Privacy, Social Media
When the first International Conference on Social Media and Society was held in 2010, social media firms like Facebook, Twitter and others were seen in mostly a positive light. VOA

Fake news and social media

In another paper, researchers examine the dynamics of polarization in the 2018 Brazilian presidential campaign. They found that fake news and misinformation didn’t really spread widely but stayed within polarized online communities, being passed around whether it was true or not, Gruzd said.

“We think fake news affects the whole society, but it may stay in pockets,” he said. “That doesn’t make it any less dangerous. It can make views more extreme and then turn into offline actions.”

Also Read- YouTube Fined in Millions Over Kids’ Data Privacy Breach

Trust, privacy, ambivalence and the promise of connection — social media will continue to be fodder for researchers as society grapples with its power. (VOA)