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Archive for the ‘Gmail’ Category


Major tech firms including Google, Facebook and Microsoft have teamed together to fight email phishing scams. Members say the partnership will lead to better email security and protect users and tech brands from fraudulent messages.

The group, which calls itself DMARC – for Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance — says it wants to help reduce email abuse by standardizing how email receivers perform authentication. Now, email senders will get consistent authentication results for their messages at Gmail, Hotmail, AOL and any other email receiver using DMARC.

Email phishing scams are messages designed to trick recipients into providing personal information by replying to the messages or clicking on links. The emails look like they come from a legitimate sender, often featuring brand logos and mimicking the format and language of authentic messages.

With the rise of social media and e-commerce sites, spammers and phishers have "a tremendous financial incentive" to compromise user accounts, leading to theft of passwords, bank account information and credit card numbers, DMARC said.

"Email is easy to spoof and criminals have found spoofing to be a proven way to exploit user trust of well-known brands," the group said. "Simply inserting the logo of a well-known brand into an email gives it instant legitimacy with many users."

Other companies involved in DMARC include Bank of America, LinkedIn, PayPal and Yahoo.


Shopping tips for protecting personal information

Hackers infiltrated personal Gmail accounts, Google says

New Justice Department unit to fight tech crimes, identity theft

– Andrea Chang

Image: Screen shot of the companies involved in DMARC. Credit: DMARC

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Google plans to merge more user data across its products

posted by Technology @ 3:05 PM
Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Google is alerting hundreds of millions of users of its products that it's changing the way it treats users' data, combining even more information it knows about them from all of its products, from Gmail to YouTube.

The Internet search giant is putting a notice on its home page and sending emails to users starting Tuesday. Google says the changes will give users a better, more consistent experience on Google products and will help advertisers better reach users who are interested in their products and services.

The changes to Google's privacy policy and terms of service take effect March 1. They remove legal hurdles Google had faced in combining information from certain properties such as YouTube or search history.

Google said the new privacy policy responds to demands from regulators around the globe that users have a simpler, more concise way to understand what Google does with their information. Right now users have to navigate a complex web of privacy policies and terms of service for different Google products.

Google says it's been combining information it gleans about users logged into Google for years to tailor search results and ads to their interests. Now it will be able to do that even more broadly. For example, if you search for skateboard tricks on Google and then hop over to YouTube, the video sharing site will recommend offerings from skateboard pro Tony Hawk.

Google says users can still control their information through the privacy dashboard and the Ads Preferences Manager.

Google says it's helping users. But it’s also clearly helping itself, said Danny Sullivan, editor of

"This may cause more critics to complain that there is no escaping the clutches of Google," Sullivan said.

And it could throw more fuel on the already heated controversy over Google's recently launched Google Search plus Your World feature which combined information from Google+ into search results.

Under the leadership of Chief Executive Larry Page, Google has moved more aggressively to use its position as the dominant Internet company to promote its Google+ social network.

It's looking to slow the momentum of Facebook and to use personal data from Google+ and other Google products to improve search, maps and ads.

It’s a battle of the Web superpowers. Facebook, which is on the verge of an initial public offering that could raise $10 billion and value the Menlo Park, Calif., company at $100 billion, aims to own everyone’s online identity and already has a rich hoard of information about its users and deep insights into their connections and interests.

To counter Facebook's growing influence, Google is pouring massive resources into reengineering its approach to the Web and make it more social.

Like other major Internet players, it’s walking a fine line between respecting the privacy of users and mining as much information about them as possible.

Google has stumbled when it comes to privacy. Last year it reached a settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that subjects the company to 20 years of privacy audits. It also has drawn heavy regulatory scrutiny in Europe.

Google recently launched a privacy campaign to educate consumers about how it uses their information and how to protect themselves on the Web.

Privacy advocate Ryan Calo, who was given a sneak peek at Google's new privacy policy, says it's unlikely users will read it. Privacy policies are required by law, but few people pay attention to them, even when they are like Google's latest one: short, concise and written in plain English, he said.

"Sounds like Google's overall practices won't be that different; it's more that Google is owning up to how it thinks and what it does," said Calo, who’s with Stanford Law School's Center for Internet & Society, which gets some funding from Google.

But he’s less sure if Google isn’t risking turning off some users with what he calls the "creepiness" factor.

For example, Google says someday it may be able to alert you based on your location, your calendar and local traffic conditions when you are going to be late for a meeting. According to Google: "Google users still have to do too much heavy lifting, and we want to do a better job of helping them."

Do users want Google to do that? It depends, Calo said.

"It's different if I am going to a business meeting or to a strip club,” he said.


Google aims ad campaign at privacy concerns

Privacy watchdog urges investigation of Google search

New Google feature adds a personal touch to search results

– Jessica Guynn

Photo: A sign for Google is displayed behind the Google android robot, at the National Retail Federation, in New York on Jan. 17, 2012. Credit: Mark Lennihan/AP Photo

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BT sues Google, alleges widespread patent infringement

posted by Technology @ 2:16 PM
Monday, December 19, 2011

Google headquarters

British Telecommunications, better known as BT, has accused Google of infringing six of its patents in a lawsuit filed in the U.S.

The company — which has customers in more than 170 countries and offers land-line and mobile phone service as well as Internet TV and IT services — alleges in its suit that a number of Google products violate its patents, including Google's search engine, the Android mobile operating system and Android Market app store, Gmail, Google+, Google Books, Docs, Maps, Music, Places, Offers and advertising operations.

Google plans to fight the suit, saying in an emailed statement: "We believe these claims are groundless and we will vigorously defend ourselves against them."

The suit, which was first reported by the website Foss Patents and filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., didn't specify what sort of damages BT is looking for, but did ask for an injunction against the products it accuses of infringing its patents.

The six patents BT accuses Google of violating cover broad technologies, such as products that tailor what information they present based on the location a user is in, as well as how user location and profile information is stored and accessed.

The BT suit is one of many Google is grappling with. The tech giant is dealing with a patent battle against Oracle, a suit from EBay/PayPal and suits from Apple and Microsoft directed at Google's hardware partners.


Google accuses Apple, Microsoft of waging patent war

Google awarded U.S. patent for driverless car technology

Google and Oracle CEOs set for face-to-face settlement talks

– Nathan Olivarez-Giles

Nathan Olivarez-Giles on Google+

Photo: A Google sign outside the tech giant's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Credit: Clay McLachlan / Reuters

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