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Google Under an Anti-trust Probe Over a New Internet Protocol

The US Department of Justice in June said it was preparing to open a case against Google for potential anti-trust violations, thus, putting scrutiny on the tech giant amid a growing chorus of criticism about the power of Big Tech

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One of the main building at Google's headquarters for European operations in Dublin Ireland. Wikimedia Commons

Google is under an anti-trust probe over a new Internet Protocol that could give the tech giant an unfair competitive advantage, the media reported.

The US House Judiciary Committee is investigating Google’s plans to implement DNS-over-HTTPS in Chrome, a new standard that aims to improve internet privacy and security by encryption, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Google plans to begin testing the new protocol — that aims to stop hackers’ ability to target websites — with users of its Chrome browser next month.

“House investigators are worried this would give the Internet giant an unfair advantage by denying access to users’ data,” the report added.

The House has sent a letter to Google, asking if it would use data handled via new Internet protocol for commercial purposes.

“Google has no plans to centralize or change people’s DNS providers to Google by default. Any claim that we are trying to become the centralized encrypted DNS provider is inaccurate,” a company spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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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

Last month, Attorneys General for 50 US states announced a probe into Google’s anti-trust practices, focusing on whether the tech giant is overly dominant in the online advertising market and in internet searches.

“This is a company that dominates all aspects of advertising on the internet, as they dominate the buyer, seller and auction side,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton was quoted as saying.

The European Union’s anti-trust regulators in March fined Google 1.49 billion euros ($1.7 billion) for abusing its dominance in the online search market by blocking rivals.

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Google has abused its market dominance by imposing a number of restrictive clauses in contracts with third-party websites which prevented Google’s rivals from placing their search adverts on these websites, the European Commission (EC) said in a statement.

The US Department of Justice in June said it was preparing to open a case against Google for potential anti-trust violations, thus, putting scrutiny on the tech giant amid a growing chorus of criticism about the power of Big Tech. (IANS)

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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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.

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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)