Alphabet Inc.’s Google hired the top aide to Republican Sen. Rob Portman to head its Washington policy operation, filling a key post as the internet search giant confronts escalating regulatory threats.
Quantum computing is now ready to go – or is it? Google appears to have reached an impressive milestone known as quantum supremacy, where a quantum computer is able to perform a calculation that is practically impossible for a classical one. But there are plenty of hurdles left to jump over before the technology hits the big time.
After months of revelations that smart speakers get a very human intelligence boost from contractors who transcribe and review customer audio snippets, the mea culpas are flowing in. At the end of August, Apple issued a rare apology about how it had handled human review of audio for Siri. Amazon has made it easier for users to understand how their data might be used and control whether or not it is eligible for review at all. And now Google is joining the fray with a set of privacy announcements about Google Assistant.
This could be the dawn of a new era in computing. Google has claimed that its quantum computer performed a calculation that would be practically impossible for even the best supercomputer - in other words, it has attained quantum supremacy. If true, it is big news.
With Big Tech accused of everything from decimating industries to abusing privacy, calls are growing for the creation of a federal regulator. Presidential candidates, consumer advocates and some antitrust enforcers have focused on breaking up Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google -- or at least forcing them to unwind past acquisitions. Yet those moves could take years and face lengthy court challenges.
The action came as a result of federal regulators reaching a settlement on employee complaints that the company restricts free speech, the Journal reported, citing sources familiar with the situation. The settlement, which was approved this week, ensures that Google will strike recently revised community guidelines that are meant to crack down on what employees can say inside the company.
Apple issued a press release late last week disputing part of Google’s findings. The iPhone maker strenuously objects to Google’s claim that the attacks operated for two years. In fact, Apple says it was closer to two months. Furthermore, Apple says it already knew about the flaws and was conveniently already working on a fix. It’s impossible to verify that claim, but it does sound suspect. Google’s Project Zero researchers are cited in Apple’s official changelog from February as reporting the flaws.
A coalition of 50 attorneys general will be investigating Google for potential violations of antitrust law, a step that could potentially lead to a broad legal challenge to the company’s market dominance. The investigation, led by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) and Washington, D.C., Attorney General Karl Racine (D), was announced on the steps of the Supreme Court building Monday afternoon after months of rumors about states seeking to turn up the pressure on Silicon Valley.
Google will pay $170 million to settle charges that YouTube made millions of dollars over the years from violating children's privacy laws, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and New York’s attorney general announced on Wednesday. The fine is by far the largest ever imposed on a website for violations of the 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA), which requires companies to obtain parental consent before collecting data on children under the age of 13.
O'Sullivan, 34, considers herself part of a "growing backlash against unethical tech," a groundswell in the past two years in which U.S. tech employees have tried to remake the industry from the inside out -- pushing for more control over how their work is used and urging better conditions, job security and wages for affiliated workers.