Thursday November 21, 2019
Home Lead Story Google Releas...

Google Releases Support For Hashtags on Maps For Android Devices

The company has not mentioned by when would the feature make its way to iOS or the web

0
//
Google, Main One, russia, smart compose
A Google logo is seen at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, California, VOA

Google has released support for hashtags on Maps for Android devices that would help users to discover recommended as well as new places.

The company confirmed support for hashtags rolled out globally on Android devices, TechCrunch reported late on Monday.

The search-engine giant suggests that users can add up to five specific and useful hashtags per review and place them at the end of the review to make the text easier to read.

“Google says that general terms like #love or #food won’t be helpful,” the report added.

cryptocurrency. google
Google adds support for hashtags on Maps for Android devices.
Wikimedia Commons

With this feature on Maps, users will also be able to add hashtags highlighting local attractions and accessibility features offered at the place, like a wheelchair ramp or an audio menu available.

“To use the new hashtags feature, you just tap the blue link when you see one listed in a review to be taken to a list of the other nearby places that have the same tag,” the report quoted Google as saying.

Also Read- Amazon Unveils Cloud-Based Robotics Testing Platform

The company has not mentioned by when would the feature make its way to iOS or the web.

The search-engine giant has added many updates to the Maps recently including the new “follow” feature that allows users to track and stay updated about businesses and the revamped “My Business” app to let business owners update their profile pages on Maps with new content along with being able to respond to reviews and messages. (IANS)

Next Story

Facebook, Google Performing an Assault on the Right to Privacy

In a statement given to The Verge, a Google spokesperson said the company is working to give people more control over their data

0
Fake, News, WhatsApp, Facebook, India
The Facebook mobile app on an Android smartphone. Wikimedia Commons

Facebook and Google which offer services to billions of people without asking them to pay a financial fee are performing an assault on the right to privacy on an unprecedented scale, a stinging Amnesty International report said on Thursday, stressing that both companies need to change their business models which are threatening basic human rights.

The abuse of privacy that is core to Facebook and Google’s surveillance-based business model is starkly demonstrated by the companies’ long history of privacy scandals.

“Despite the companies’ assurances over their commitment to privacy, it is difficult not to see these numerous privacy infringements as part of the normal functioning of their business, rather than aberrations,” said the report that came out on Thursday.

Google and Facebook’s total revenues come almost entirely from advertising, at 84 percent and 98 percent respectively.

Their information is so attractive to advertisers that the two companies are often described as having a “duopoly” over the market in online advertising.

“But it isn’t ‘just ads’: the information in their data vaults – as well as the computational insights that Google and Facebook derive from that data,  is of intense interest to a host of actors, from companies who set insurance rates to law enforcement agencies,” said the NGO.

While Facebook agreed to pay a $5 billion fine to the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over privacy violations in the Cambridge Analytica scandal, the European Union’s antitrust regulators have fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.

Google, Play Store, Dark Theme, Makeover
Huawei smartphones are seen in front of the displayed Google Play logo in this illustration picture, May 20, 2019. VOA

In fresh trouble for Google, 50 US Attorneys General probing its anti-trust market practices have decided to expand the investigation into the tech giant’s Android and Search businesses.

According to the Amnesty report, the surveillance-based business model of Google and Facebook has thrived from a largely hands-off approach to the regulation of the technology industry in key countries such as the US, the companies’ home state.

“But despite the real value of the services they provide, Google and Facebook’s platforms come at a systemic cost. The companies’ surveillance-based business model forces people to make a Faustian bargain, whereby they are only able to enjoy their human rights online by submitting to a system predicated on human rights abuse,” the report noted.

This isn’t the internet people signed up for. Citizens today are paying for the Facebook and Google services with their intimate personal data.

After collecting this data, Google and Facebook use it to analyze people, aggregate them into groups, and to make predictions about their interests, characteristics, and ultimately behavior – primarily so they can use these insights to generate advertising revenue.

“This surveillance machinery reaches well beyond the Google search bar or the Facebook platform itself. People are tracked across the web, through the apps on their phones, and in the physical world as well, as they go about their day-to-day affairs,” said the Amnesty report.

facebook, WhatsApp, stories, feature
An iPhone displays the app for Facebook in New Orleans, Aug. 11, 2019. VOA

In another example of infringing on users’ privacy, Google’s partnership with US healthcare organization Ascension over health data collection of millions of Americans through its “Project Nightingale” has also triggered a federal probe.

According to the NGO report, the companies’ use of algorithmic systems to create and infer detailed profiles on people interferes with “our ability to shape our own identities within a private sphere”.

“Advertisers were the original beneficiaries of these insights, but once created, the companies’ data vaults served as an irresistible temptation for governments as well.”

Ultimately, said the report, it is now evident that the era of self-regulation in the tech sector is coming to an end and further state-based regulation will be necessary.

Also Read: The Reasons of Investing in Luxury Watches

In its reply, Facebook disagreed with it’s business model being “surveillance-based.”

“It is important to note that no one is obliged to sign up for Facebook. Facebook’s business model is not, as your summary suggests, driven by the collection of data about people. Like many other online companies, Facebook is supported through the sale of advertising,” the social networking platform said in a letter which is part of the Amnesty report.

In a statement given to The Verge, a Google spokesperson said the company is working to give people more control over their data. (IANS)