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NAS:GOOG, Dec 11, 04:58 UTC

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Alphabet Expedites Google+ Shutdown, Another Data Breach Hits

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The company now plans to shut its social media service in April, four months ahead of schedule. This reveals the fact that the series of data breaches at major U.S. companies over the past few years has not seen its end yet. As a result, some U.S. lawmakers have called for new privacy rules to better control large technology companies like Google and Facebook Inc. FB, among others. The second security lapse occurred just a month after Google had announced a data breach, wherein personal information of at least 500,000 users had been exposed to hundreds of external developers. The new breach may put Google in regulatory scrutiny as well as damage its reputation. However, it goes without saying that the lack of a tight data security system has made important information vulnerable to hackers.

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Google boss Sundar Pichai prepares for Congress grilling

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Google chief executive Sundar Pichai will defend the tech giant’s approach to protecting user privacy and security in a hearing before congress later today. The company boss will be grilled by the US House Judiciary Committee in Washington DC, examining how it handles user data, amid increasing concern about the power of big tech firms. Mr Pichai, who has been at the helm of Google for three years of his 15-year career with the company, will pledge support for privacy legislation and argue that Google operates without political bias. US lawmakers will probe the chief executive at a tough time for Google, just a day after it was revealed that its soon-to-close Google+ social media platform had suffered a fresh data leak, jeopardising personal data of 52.5 million users, including name, email address, occupation, and age.

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Russia fines Google for not complying with search results law - TASS

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Russia fines Google for not complying with search results law - TASS. MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia fined Google 500,000 roubles ($7,530) on Tuesday for failing to comply with a legal requirement to remove certain entries from its search results, Russia's communications watchdog was quoted as saying by TASS news agency. Russia said last month that it had opened a civil case against Google as it had not joined a state registry that lists banned websites that Moscow believes contain illegal information and was therefore not compliant with the law. Alexander Zharov, head of watchdog Roscomnadzor, said Russia could open a new case against Google if it did not fall in line with the law, TASS reported.

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Google CEO faces House grilling on breach, China censorship

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Google's CEO faces a grilling from U.S. lawmakers on how the web search giant handled an alarming data breach and whether it may bend to Chinese government censorship demands. CEO Sundar Pichai's appearance Tuesday before the House Judiciary Committee comes after he angered members of a Senate panel in September by declining their invitation to testify about foreign governments' manipulation of online services to sway U.S. elections. In October, Google announced it was shutting down its long-shunned Plus social network following its disclosure of a flaw discovered in March that could have exposed some personal information of as many as 500,000 people. Trump and some lawmakers have raised the possibility of asking regulators to investigate whether Google — which handles nearly two of every three online searches in the U.S. — has abused its clout as a major gateway to the internet to stifle competition. And momentum is building in Congress for legislation to put stricter limits and privacy protections around the big tech companies' collection of data.

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'Good corporate citizens': Michaelia Cash backs Facebook and Google

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The announcement of the small business digital champions program comes the day after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's released a report revealing several ongoing investigations into potential misuses of market power by the digital giants and proposing sweeping regulatory controls. Partnership with the private sector. However, Ms Cash said the tech giants' backing is key for the government's small business digital champion program which will provide a 'digital transformation' for 100 small businesses valued at up to $20,000. "It’s a report to government, not of government, so obviously we will sit down and consider it," she said. When asked whether the algorithms used by the tech giants were potentially unfair to small businesses, Ms Cash said the focus was on encouraging small businesses online. "Google and Facebook are renowned for their expertise and they are putting up their hands and saying they want to work with the government. I think it will be transformational for so many small and family businesses out there."

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Another privacy lapse speeds closure of Google Plus

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The newspaper reported Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018, that the company plans to add space for more than 12,000 additional New York workers. SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Google is still having trouble protecting the personal information on its Plus service, prodding the company to accelerate its plans to shut down the little-used social network created to compete against Facebook. A privacy flaw that inadvertently exposed the names, email addresses, ages and other personal information of 52.5 million Google Plus users last month convinced Google to close the service in April instead of August, as previously announced. The company also said it hasn’t seen evidence indicating that unauthorized users who accessed Plus through the inadvertent peephole have missed used any of the personal information. Even if the latest privacy gaffe on Plus didn’t cause any major damage, it nevertheless marks another embarrassing incident for Google.

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Snowden Adds Voice to Calls for Google to Stay Out of China

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Snowden Adds Voice to Calls for Google to Stay Out of China. (Bloomberg) -- On the eve of Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai’s testimony to Congress, a coalition of human rights groups and activists, including former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, are demanding more details on the search giant’s potential plans to build out its China business. Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and the Committee to Protect Journalists are among the organizations and individuals who signed the letter, which asks Google to promise it won’t create a search engine for China that contributes to censorship and political repression in the country. “There is a real risk that Google would directly assist the Chinese government in arresting or imprisoning people simply for expressing their views online, making the company complicit in human rights violations.”.

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Google CEO defends 'integrity' of products ahead of testimony

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc's (GOOGL.O) Google on Monday defended the integrity of the company's products a day ahead of a congressional hearing where he is expected to face tough questions from U.S. lawmakers. The technology company has been under fire on Capitol Hill over issues including why it delayed disclosing vulnerabilities with its Google+ social network, whether it will restart its search engine in China and if it is biased against Republicans. In written testimony to the House Judiciary Committee made public on Monday, CEO Sundar Pichai said he led the company "without political bias." "We work hard to ensure the integrity of our products, and we’ve put a number of checks and balances in place to ensure they continue to live up to our standards," Pichai's testimony said.

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Google gears up for congressional hearing with patriotic prepared remarks

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CEO Sundar Pichai put an emphasis on Google 's patriotism in his prepared remarks for a congressional hearing on Tuesday where he'll likely face questions about purported bias against conservative content. Tuesday's hearing will focus on potential political bias in Google's search engine, as well as the company's data filtering practices, with House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) I joined Google 15 years ago and have been privileged to serve as CEO for the past three years—though my love for information and technology began long before that. It's no coincidence that a company dedicated to the free flow of information was founded right here in the US. As an American company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed us to grow and serve so many users.

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Google accelerates Plus closure after another privacy lapse

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — Google is still having trouble protecting the personal information on its Plus service, prodding the company to accelerate its plans to shut down a little-used social network created to compete against Facebook. A privacy flaw that inadvertently exposed the names, email addresses, ages and other personal information of 52.5 million Google Plus users last month convinced Google to close the service in April instead of August, as previously announced. The company also said it hasn't seen evidence indicating that unauthorized users who accessed Plus through the inadvertent peephole have missed used any of the personal information. Even if the latest privacy gaffe on Plus didn't cause any major damage, it nevertheless marks another embarrassing incident for Google. Pichai's appearance comes more than three months after he turned down an invitation to testify in August, to the consternation of some lawmakers. Some members of Congress are now mulling whether tougher regulations to curb the power of Google, Facebook and other technology companies are needed in addition demanding tighter controls over digital privacy.

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