Google, Yahoo and Microsoft have signed an industry code of ethics designed to safeguard human rights and freedom of speech online. The Global Network Initiative guidelines, drawn up by Internet firms, academics and human rights groups, will aim to limit the data that is shared with authorities and governments around the world.
Under the guidelines, participating companies will attempt to reduce the scope of government requests that conflict with free speech and other human rights principles.
In a statement, Yahoo CEO Jerry Yang said the new guidelines “provide a valuable roadmap for companies like Yahoo operating in markets where freedom of expression and privacy are unfairly restricted.”
Yahoo found itself in hot water last year when it handed over information to Chinese authorities which eventually lead to the imprisonment of two dissident journalists. Google has also encountered difficulties in China, and has agreed to censor local searches for terms such as “democracy” and “Tiananmen Square” in response to requests from Chinese authorities.
Ironically, these firms are constantly under fire from privacy advocates surrounding their use of consumer data in Europe and the U.S. Just last month, Google followed the lead of Yahoo and Microsoft and cut the amount of time it stores users’ IP addresses from 18 months to nine in response to scrutiny from European regulatory bodies and privacy campaigners.
Outside of the EU and the U.S. however, it seems that internet firms are concerned about quite the opposite – the need to safeguard personal information from prying government eyes.
A class action lawsuit against an internet-connected pleasure device highlights the potential pitfalls a growing number of companies will face as they embrace ... read more
Google sparked a small firestorm last week as reports surfaced that its intelligent assistant device Google Home delivered an unsolicited advertisement to unsuspecting owners.
According to Internet Retailer's newly released The Best Digital Marketers in E-Commerce report, Target is the most effective marketer in online retail. So why is it struggling overall?
The rise of YouTube and digital video generally has a lot to do with the rise of the internet and the abundance of digital video content. But YouTube's ascendency is also the result of Google's savvy use of algorithms.