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Google Will Take Action If Apps Violate Its Policies

Google to take major action against apps violating their policies

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Google's new Search feature gives single result to certain queries. Pixabay

Responding to a study that found nearly 60 per cent of free Andorid apps used by children potentially violate a federal law, Google has said that it will take action if company’s policies are violated.

Google responded to a study by the International Computer Science Institute in Berkeley, California, that found 57 per cent of the 5,855 Android apps used by children and families are potentially in violation of a federal law designed to protect the privacy of kids under 13-years-old.

The image of Android apps.
Android Apps. Pixabay

The report said that these apps could be illegally monitoring children’s behaviour online.

The federal law, 1998’s Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), mandates privacy and consent requirements for website operators catering to children under 13.

“We are taking the researchers’ report very seriously and looking into their findings. Protecting kids and families is a top priority and our Designed for Families programme requires developers to abide by specific requirements above and beyond our standard Google Play policies,” the spokesperson added.

The study further found that 92 per cent of the 1,280 Android apps that utilise Facebook’s application programming interface (API) are potentially in violation of COPPA.

Also Read: Google Home To Be Your Best Friend Now

The decision comes at a time when Facebook is embroiled in a scandal after reports that British data firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly gathered detailed Facebook information on 87 million users.

Last week Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before the US Congress over his company’s handling of user data.  IANS

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Google Planning to Develop a New Publishing Platform For Local News Publishers

According to Google, in Asia-Pacific, journalists and publishers are increasingly grappling with questions over how quality journalism can thrive in the digital age

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Google
Google creating publishing platform for local news publishers. Pixabay

To help small newsrooms overcome challenges in their strive to go digital, Google is creating a new publishing platform for local news publishers.

Google News Initiative has partnered with web development company, Automattic and WordPress.com — home to 30 per cent of the world’s websites — and has invested $1.2 million in its effort to create “Newspack”.

“Newspack” is a fast, secure, low-cost publishing system tailor-made to the needs of small newsrooms, Google said in a statement on Monday.

The new publishing tool will be made available to publishers globally later in the year.

“Newspapers with long histories have had to cut back on staff and reduce coverage and reporters who try to start new digital publications face an interminable struggle with technical and business problems,” said Jim Albrecht, Product Management Director, Google Search.

“Journalists should be writing stories and covering their communities, not worrying about designing websites, configuring CMSs, or building commerce systems.”

Google, smart compose
The Google name is displayed outside the company’s office in London, Britain. VOA

While “Newspack” publishers will have access to all the plugins created by the WordPress developer community, the core product is not trying to be all things to all publishers.

“It is trying to help small publishers succeed by building best practices into the product while removing distractions that may divert scarce resources. We like to call it aan opinionated CMS — it knows the right thing to do, even when you don’t,” explained Albrecht.

Google said it will also advise on the “Newspack” feature set, based on feedback from its extensive contact with local publishers, and provide technical support on the integration of Google products.

Also Read- Study Reveals Melting Away of Antarctica at an Alarming Rate

Google News in November launched a new innovation challenge to help scribes and publishers in the Asia-Pacific region produce quality journalism in the digital age.

According to Google, in Asia-Pacific, journalists and publishers are increasingly grappling with questions over how quality journalism can thrive in the digital age. (IANS)