Google CEO Sundar Pichai had a tough and terrible year — but it was still better than Facebook’s

While Google and Pichai’s responses may not have pleased everyone, at least they look good in comparison to its Silicon Valley rival. “Google did better than Facebook this year,” says Pivotal analyst Brian Weiser. “Many of the same issues that Facebook faced are issues for Google as well, but the primary distinction is that Google is a better-run company so it just didn’t have the same level of focus.” Threading that needle requires the kind of deft touch — tactfulness, if you will — that Pichai


While Google and Pichai’s responses may not have pleased everyone, at least they look good in comparison to its Silicon Valley rival. “Google did better than Facebook this year,” says Pivotal analyst Brian Weiser. “Many of the same issues that Facebook faced are issues for Google as well, but the primary distinction is that Google is a better-run company so it just didn’t have the same level of focus.” Threading that needle requires the kind of deft touch — tactfulness, if you will — that Pichai
Google CEO Sundar Pichai had a tough and terrible year — but it was still better than Facebook’s Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-14  Authors: jillian donfro, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images, aly song, yuri gripas, michael short
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sundar, pichais, google, facebook, googles, tactfulness, issues, better, ceo, terrible, facebooks, valley, tough, shareholders, pichai, employees


Google CEO Sundar Pichai had a tough and terrible year — but it was still better than Facebook's

While Google and Pichai’s responses may not have pleased everyone, at least they look good in comparison to its Silicon Valley rival.

“Google did better than Facebook this year,” says Pivotal analyst Brian Weiser. “Many of the same issues that Facebook faced are issues for Google as well, but the primary distinction is that Google is a better-run company so it just didn’t have the same level of focus.”

That sentiment hasn’t been lost on employees. One worker on the advertising side told CNBC that their manager jokes that any time it seems like an issue could blow up, Facebook does something worse.

Pichai’s demeanor has helped.

“I think he brings emotional intelligence to a Valley that has very little of it,” says Eric Schiffer, chairman of consulting firm Reputation Management.

“Employees that I talk to also have empathy for the position that he’s in, which is having to be a coalition-builder between employees and shareholders, whose interests don’t align in all cases and at times have harrowingly different priorities.”

Google’s renewed interest in China is an example. Pichai has described it as too big a market to ignore, but its plans for censored search there counter the company’s previous decision to withdraw from the country, which was couched in moral terms. Threading that needle requires the kind of deft touch — tactfulness, if you will — that Pichai has made his signature.

However, this tactfulness could also be seen as wishy-washiness. As one former Google executive summed it up, Pichai is well-balanced leader who likes to find compromises. But that can mean that instead of solving problems quickly and decisively, he and the rest of Google’s leadership are letting them build and fester.

While Google hasslipped in the rankings of desirable places to work, all its missteps and scandals haven’t caused a blip in its financials. Powering the Internet’s most extensive and essential network of advertising platforms pays off: Alphabet earned $9.2 billion in profits last quarter, up 37 percent from a year ago.

As Google’s strained year winds down, it seems like Pichai’s biggest challenges for next year, too, will not be making shareholders happy, but appeasing users, regulators, and employees.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-14  Authors: jillian donfro, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images, aly song, yuri gripas, michael short
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, sundar, pichais, google, facebook, googles, tactfulness, issues, better, ceo, terrible, facebooks, valley, tough, shareholders, pichai, employees


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YouTube removed 1.6 million channels last quarter, mostly for being spam or scams

YouTube removed 7.85 million videos and 1.67 million channels between July and September, according to its latest YouTube Community Guidelines enforcement report. This is the fourth such report YouTube has published, but the first that includes information about removing channels, versus just individual videos. YouTube says that most of the videos it removed — 79.6 percent — violated its policies on spam, misleading content or scams, while 12.6 percent were removed for nudity or sexual content.


YouTube removed 7.85 million videos and 1.67 million channels between July and September, according to its latest YouTube Community Guidelines enforcement report. This is the fourth such report YouTube has published, but the first that includes information about removing channels, versus just individual videos. YouTube says that most of the videos it removed — 79.6 percent — violated its policies on spam, misleading content or scams, while 12.6 percent were removed for nudity or sexual content.
YouTube removed 1.6 million channels last quarter, mostly for being spam or scams Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-13  Authors: jillian donfro, source
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, conspiracy, million, 16, view, content, videos, violence, youtube, channels, spam, removed, report, quarter, scams


YouTube removed 1.6 million channels last quarter, mostly for being spam or scams

Google’s battle against inappropriate content on its video platform rages on.

YouTube removed 7.85 million videos and 1.67 million channels between July and September, according to its latest YouTube Community Guidelines enforcement report. This is the fourth such report YouTube has published, but the first that includes information about removing channels, versus just individual videos.

YouTube will delete a channel entirely if it receives three strikes within three months or commits a single egregious violation, like child sexual exploitation. The most high-profile removal of the year came in August, when YouTube deleted the channel of right-wing conspiracy theorist and InfoWars radio host Alex Jones.

YouTube says that most of the videos it removed — 79.6 percent — violated its policies on spam, misleading content or scams, while 12.6 percent were removed for nudity or sexual content. Only about 1 percent of channels were removed for promotion of violence, violent extremism, harassment or hateful or abusive content, although videos of that nature have attracted the most scrutiny in the past year.

The site has been the recent the subject of several investigations showing how it highlights extreme content, like conspiracy theories or hyperpartisan points of view, over more measured videos. Google CEO Sundar Pichai was grilled during his congressional testimony earlier this week about a specific a conspiracy theory about Hillary Clinton and other politicians and celebrities drinking children’s blood.

Pichai said that YouTube is “constantly undertaking efforts to deal with misinformation,” but that there was “more work to be done.”

The crux of the issue is that while YouTube’s “Community Guidelines” include removing videos that “incite harm or violence,” it does not remove videos simply for containing falsehoods. Although conspiracies, like the infamous #Pizzagate theory that led to shooting in a Washington, D.C., pizza shop, may ultimately inspire acts of violence, the videos don’t explicitly do so, which means that YouTube generally won’t remove them. In the past year, YouTube has made efforts to surface more authoritative content and has started linking videos that promote conspiracy theories to “fact-based” sites like Wikipedia pages. Late last year, Google vowed to have 10,000 people focused on content violations by the end of 2018, and a spokesperson tells CNBC that it’s on target to hit that goal.

YouTube said that 80 percent of the videos it removed in the third quarter were first detected by machines and that of those, 74.5 percent never received a single view.

For the first time, YouTube also broke out the number of violative comments it removed: 224 million in the third quarter.

You can view the full report here.

WATCH: Google’s Larry Page has backed two flying-car start-ups — here’s a look inside one of them


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-13  Authors: jillian donfro, source
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, conspiracy, million, 16, view, content, videos, violence, youtube, channels, spam, removed, report, quarter, scams


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Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies before Congress on bias, privacy

One of the first specific questions about Google’s plans in China came from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tx.) “Right now, we have no plans to launch search in China,” Pichai answered, adding that access to information is “an important human right.” At the hearing, Pichai said that more than 160 million people had checked their Google privacy settings in the last month, but that Google wanted to make it even easier for “average users” to control their data. One of the explicit focuses of the hearin


One of the first specific questions about Google’s plans in China came from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tx.) “Right now, we have no plans to launch search in China,” Pichai answered, adding that access to information is “an important human right.” At the hearing, Pichai said that more than 160 million people had checked their Google privacy settings in the last month, but that Google wanted to make it even easier for “average users” to control their data. One of the explicit focuses of the hearin
Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies before Congress on bias, privacy Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-11  Authors: jillian donfro
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, ceo, china, bias, pichai, congress, plans, testifies, search, privacy, results, sundar, hearing, google, data, googles


Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies before Congress on bias, privacy

It’s Sundar Pichai’s turn in the congressional hot seat.

Google’s CEO is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday where lawmakers are grilling him on a wide range of issues, including potential political bias on its platforms, its plans for a censored search app in China and its privacy practices.

This is the first time Pichai has appeared before Congress since Google declined to send him or Alphabet CEO Larry Page to a hearing on foreign election meddling earlier this year. That slight sparked anger among senators who portrayed Google as trying to skirt scrutiny.

The hearing culminates a tough year for big tech companies, as lawmakers and the public have become increasingly skeptical about Silicon Valley’s effects on democracy, misinformation and privacy. Tuesday’s proceedings have tested the soft-spoken executive’s ability to remain cool and confident while defending Google in the face intense questioning.

In their opening remarks, Representatives Kevin MCCarthy (R-Ca.) and Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) outlined how they hoped the hearing would focus on Google’s bias against conservative content, handling of misinformation and hate speech, data privacy, and plans for a censored search app in China.

In response, Pichai’s prepared remarks emphasized Google’s patriotism and focus on user privacy.

One of the first specific questions about Google’s plans in China came from Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tx.) who expressed concern that Google would aid in the oppression of Chinese people “looking for a lifeline of freedom and democracy.”

“Right now, we have no plans to launch search in China,” Pichai answered, adding that access to information is “an important human right.”

Pichai’s has said in the past that Google is “not close” to launching a censored search result in China, though Tuesday’s comments appear to further distance the company from those efforts. The Intercept reported in September that at one point Google employees working on the “Project Dragonfly” efforts were told to get it in “launch-ready state” to roll out upon approval from Beijing officials.

Pichai would not, however, go so far as to commit not to launch “a tool for surveillance and censorship in China,” as he was asked to do by Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI).

“We always think it’s in our duty to explore possibilities to give users access to information,” Pichai said.

A handful of representatives also asked Pichai about how transparent (or not) Google is when it comes to its data collection practices. The company came under fire earlier this year after The Associated Press revealed that contrary to what a user might reasonably assume, pausing “Location History” tracking on a Google account didn’t actually stop the search giant from storing time-stamped location data. Google ended up clarifying the language of its policy.

At the hearing, Pichai said that more than 160 million people had checked their Google privacy settings in the last month, but that Google wanted to make it even easier for “average users” to control their data.

“We always think that there is more to do,” Pichai said. “It’s an ongoing area of effort.”

In response to a later question about the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into effect in the European Union earlier this year, Pichai said that there was “some value for companies to have consistent global regulation,” and highlighted how Google published its own framework to guide data privacy legislation earlier this year.

One of the explicit focuses of the hearing was whether or not Google’s search results were biased against conservative points of view. Multiple representatives posed questions on this topic, to which Pichai repeatedly responded that Google’s search algorithms did not favor any particular ideology, but instead surfaced the most relevant results, which could be affected by the time of a users’ search, as well as their geography.

One particularly fiery take against that line of questioning came from Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Ca.) who said that the queries on conservative bias “wasted time” given that private, profit-seeking companies like Google are protected by the First Amendment. Even if Google was biased, he said, that would be its right. However, he also used sample Google searches to show that Google would turn up positive search results about Republicans and negative search results about Democrats.

“If you want positive searches, do positive things,” Lieu said. “If you get bad press, don’t blame Google. Consider blaming yourself.”

Lieu has made similar points at past hearings that included Facebook, Twitter, and Alphabet.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-11  Authors: jillian donfro
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, ceo, china, bias, pichai, congress, plans, testifies, search, privacy, results, sundar, hearing, google, data, googles


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Google gears up for congressional hearing with patriotic prepared remarks

Google has staunchly denied these accusations when they’ve come up in the past, and did so again in Pichai’s remarks. Critics have contrasted this move with how Google has worked with China on controversial plans to launch a censored search engine there. “As an American company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed us to grow and serve so many users,” he wrote. Today, Google is more than a search engine. As an American company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed


Google has staunchly denied these accusations when they’ve come up in the past, and did so again in Pichai’s remarks. Critics have contrasted this move with how Google has worked with China on controversial plans to launch a censored search engine there. “As an American company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed us to grow and serve so many users,” he wrote. Today, Google is more than a search engine. As an American company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed
Google gears up for congressional hearing with patriotic prepared remarks Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-10  Authors: jillian donfro, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, products, remarks, google, technology, search, american, today, congressional, work, hearing, company, patriotic, prepared, gears, users, googles


Google gears up for congressional hearing with patriotic prepared remarks

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 a purported bias against conservative content on search and YouTube.

“Even as we expand into new markets we never forget our American roots,” he wrote.

Tuesday’s hearing will focus on potential political bias on Google’s platforms, as well as the company’s data filtering practices, with House Majority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Ca.) highlighting claims that Google’s business practices “may have been affected by political bias” in a statement.

Google has staunchly denied these accusations when they’ve come up in the past, and did so again in Pichai’s remarks.

“I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way,” Pichai writes. “To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests.”

By underscoring Google’s patriotism Pichai’s comments may also attempt to address criticism around the company’s decision earlier this year not to renew a Pentagon contract for analyzing drone videos using artificial intelligence. Critics have contrasted this move with how Google has worked with China on controversial plans to launch a censored search engine there.

After The Intercept first reported details about Google’s censored search plans, human rights groups, lawmakers, and Google’s own employees all blasted the company, arguing that by cooperating with the Chinese government, it would have violated principles of free expression and users’ privacy rights, among other issues.

The censored search app, which Google has said it is “not close” to launching, would have debatably violated a set of artificial intelligence ethics that the company posted following employee blowback to its dropped Department of Defense contract. The document stipulated that Google would work with the government and military on cybersecurity and training, but not on weapons or surveillance that violates “internationally accepted norms.”

Pichai never directly mentions either controversy, but his prepared comments dance around both.

“As an American company, we cherish the values and freedoms that have allowed us to grow and serve so many users,” he wrote. “I am proud to say we do work, and we will continue to work, with the government to keep our country safe and secure.”

Here are Pichai’s full remarks:

Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler, distinguished members of the Committee: Thank you for the opportunity to be here today. 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 been 25 years since I made the US my home. Growing up in India, I have distinct memories of when my family got its first phone and our first television. Each new technology made a profound difference in our lives. Getting the phone meant that I could call ahead to the hospital to check that the blood results were in before I traveled 2 hours by bus to get them. The television, well, it only had one channel, but I couldn’t have been more thrilled by its arrival! Those experiences made me a technology optimist, and I remain one today. Not only because I believe in technology, but because I believe in people and their ability to use technology to improve their lives. I’m incredibly proud of what Google does to empower people around the world, especially here in the US. I’d like to take a moment to share a bit of background on that. 20 years ago, two students—one from Michigan and one from Maryland—came together at Stanford with a big idea: to provide users with access to the world’s information. That mission still drives everything we do, whether that’s saving you a few minutes on your morning commute or helping doctors detect disease and save lives. Today, Google is more than a search engine. We are a global company that is committed to 1 building products for everyone. That means working with many industries, from education and healthcare to manufacturing and entertainment. Even as we expand into new markets we never forget our American roots. 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. I am proud to say we do work, and we will continue to work, with the government to keep our country safe and secure. Over the years our footprint has expanded far beyond California to states such as Texas, Virginia, Oklahoma and Alabama. Today in the US, we’re growing faster outside of the Bay Area than within it. I’ve had the opportunity to travel across the country and see all the places that are powering our digital economy—from Clarksville, to Pittsburgh, to San Diego, where we recently launched a partnership with the USO to help veterans and military families. Along the way, I’ve met many people who depend on Google to learn new skills, find jobs, or build new businesses. Over the past year, we have supported more than 1.5 million American businesses. Over the past three, we have made direct contributions of $150 billion to the US economy, added more than 24,000 employees, and paid over $43 billion to US partners across Search, YouTube, and Android. These investments strengthen our communities and support thousands of American jobs. They also allow us to provide great services to our users to help them through the day. It’s an honor to play this role in people’s lives, and it’s one we know comes with great responsibility. Protecting the privacy and security of our users has long been an essential part of our mission. We have invested an enormous amount of work over the years to bring choice, transparency, and control to our users. These values are built into every product we make. We recognize the important role of governments, including this Committee, in setting rules for the development and use of technology. To that end, we support federal privacy legislation and proposed a legislative framework for privacy earlier this year. Users also look to us to provide accurate, trusted information. 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. I lead this company without political bias and work to ensure that our products continue to operate that way. To do otherwise would go against our core principles and our business interests. We are a company that provides platforms for diverse perspectives and opinions—and we have no shortage of them among our own employees. Some of our Googlers are former servicemen and women who have risked much in defense of our country. Some are civil libertarians who fiercely defend freedom of expression. Some are parents who worry about the role technology plays in our households. Some—like me—are immigrants to this country, profoundly grateful for the freedoms and opportunities it offers. Some of us are many of these things. Let me close by saying that leading Google has been the greatest professional honor of my life. It’s a challenging moment for our industry, but I’m privileged to be here today. I greatly appreciate you letting me share the story of Google and our work to build products worthy of the trust users place in us. Thank you for your attention. I look forward to answering your questions.

WATCH: Google’s Larry Page has backed two flying-car start-ups — here’s a look inside one of them


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-10  Authors: jillian donfro, andrew harrer, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, products, remarks, google, technology, search, american, today, congressional, work, hearing, company, patriotic, prepared, gears, users, googles


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Google shutting down social network sooner because of new security bug

Google is shutting down its beleaguered social network sooner than expected in the wake of a new security issue that affected 52.5 million users. Google Plus received its initial kiss of death in early October, when the company revealed that a security bug had exposed the account information of 500,000 users, including their names, email addresses and occupations. At the time, Google planned to shut down the social network by August 2019. However, it now plans to shut down Google Plus by April 2


Google is shutting down its beleaguered social network sooner than expected in the wake of a new security issue that affected 52.5 million users. Google Plus received its initial kiss of death in early October, when the company revealed that a security bug had exposed the account information of 500,000 users, including their names, email addresses and occupations. At the time, Google planned to shut down the social network by August 2019. However, it now plans to shut down Google Plus by April 2
Google shutting down social network sooner because of new security bug Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-10  Authors: jillian donfro, sean gallup, getty images, cnbc, jeniece pettitt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, security, shut, google, bug, plus, network, shutting, set, data, users, sooner, information, social


Google shutting down social network sooner because of new security bug

Google is shutting down its beleaguered social network sooner than expected in the wake of a new security issue that affected 52.5 million users.

Google Plus received its initial kiss of death in early October, when the company revealed that a security bug had exposed the account information of 500,000 users, including their names, email addresses and occupations. At the time, Google planned to shut down the social network by August 2019.

But in a blog post Monday Google wrote that it discovered a second bug that allowed the profile information of 52.5 million users to be viewable by developers, even if the profiles were set to private, using one of Google’s application programming interfaces, or APIs, for six days in November. Once again, the available data included information like users’ names, email addresses, occupations and ages.

Google said that the bug did not give third-party apps access to users’ financial data or passwords and that it didn’t find any evidence that the private profile information was accessed or misused. However, it now plans to shut down Google Plus by April 2019, and access to its APIs in the next 90 days.

Google’s initial security bug raised hackles in Washington and with the general public because The Wall Street Journal reported at the time that Google didn’t disclose it for months because it feared regulatory scrutiny and reputational damage.

Monday’s disclosure comes a day before Google CEO Sundar Pichai is set to testify before Congress about transparency and accountability.

“We understand that our ability to build reliable products that protect your data drives user trust,” Google’s blog post said.

“We have always taken this seriously, and we continue to invest in our privacy programs to refine internal privacy review processes, create powerful data controls, and engage with users, researchers, and policymakers to get their feedback and improve our programs.”

The enterprise version of Google Plus will remain active.

WATCH:Meet the man behind Google Assistant’s personality – Ryan Germick


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-10  Authors: jillian donfro, sean gallup, getty images, cnbc, jeniece pettitt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, security, shut, google, bug, plus, network, shutting, set, data, users, sooner, information, social


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Google shutting down Allo

Google plans to kill chat app Allo by the middle of next year, the company said in a blog post, confirming a report earlier on Wednesday about the product’s imminent demise. Despite owning the world’s dominant smartphone operating system in Android, Google has never been able to create a chat experience to rival Apple’s iMessage or Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp. Meanwhile, Google will focus fully on the development of Messages, its other chat app for Android phones. That initiative was the b


Google plans to kill chat app Allo by the middle of next year, the company said in a blog post, confirming a report earlier on Wednesday about the product’s imminent demise. Despite owning the world’s dominant smartphone operating system in Android, Google has never been able to create a chat experience to rival Apple’s iMessage or Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp. Meanwhile, Google will focus fully on the development of Messages, its other chat app for Android phones. That initiative was the b
Google shutting down Allo Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-06  Authors: jillian donfro, stephen lam
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, social, yeargoogle, google, products, earlier, android, allo, apps, users, chat, shutting, work


Google shutting down Allo

Google plans to kill chat app Allo by the middle of next year, the company said in a blog post, confirming a report earlier on Wednesday about the product’s imminent demise.

Despite owning the world’s dominant smartphone operating system in Android, Google has never been able to create a chat experience to rival Apple’s iMessage or Facebook’s Messenger and WhatsApp.

Allo, which launched two years ago to much fanfare, will only work until March 2019, at which point users will have to download any conversations they want to save. Meanwhile, Google will focus fully on the development of Messages, its other chat app for Android phones. Earlier this year, Google announced that it was working with mobile carriers on a new Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard, an upgrade to classic SMS texting, to make messaging work better across Android devices, and bring users features like read receipts and seamless group chats.

That initiative was the beginning of the end for Allo, which saw its product lead defect to Facebook earlier this year.

Google also said in its blog post that it plans to support another one of its chat apps, Hangouts, until it makes two of its enterprise apps, Hangouts Chat and Meet, available for non-paying users.

A Google employee tweeted earlier on Thursday that Meet and Chat would launch for regular consumers next year:

Google has long had a complicated, messy strategy when it comes to chat apps, and has axed a laundry list of communication products, including the original GChat, the social network Buzz, and the collaboration tool Wave. Earlier this year, it announced it was shutting down its social network Google Plus after it discovered a security bug that left private profile data exposed.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-12-06  Authors: jillian donfro, stephen lam
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, social, yeargoogle, google, products, earlier, android, allo, apps, users, chat, shutting, work


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Google worker strike discussions on Project Dragonfly censored search

On Thursday, The Intercept reported new details about how Google handled the project, internally named Project Dragonfly. Typically, strike funds are created by unions to make payments for workers on strike to help them meet their basic needs while they’re not receiving paychecks from their companies. Since then, human rights groups, U.S. politicians, and Google employees have raised concerns around privacy and human rights. As of Thursday afternoon, 528 Google employees had publicly signed the


On Thursday, The Intercept reported new details about how Google handled the project, internally named Project Dragonfly. Typically, strike funds are created by unions to make payments for workers on strike to help them meet their basic needs while they’re not receiving paychecks from their companies. Since then, human rights groups, U.S. politicians, and Google employees have raised concerns around privacy and human rights. As of Thursday afternoon, 528 Google employees had publicly signed the
Google worker strike discussions on Project Dragonfly censored search Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-29  Authors: jillian donfro, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, discussions, dragonfly, search, workers, jones, worker, privacy, publicly, censored, project, fund, employees, google, strike, company


Google worker strike discussions on Project Dragonfly censored search

Days after Google employees published an open letter calling for the company to cancel its controversial efforts to create a censored search engine in China, some employees are talking about creating a “strike fund” to support workers who decide to strike or resign in protest.

On Thursday, The Intercept reported new details about how Google handled the project, internally named Project Dragonfly. The report said that Google bypassed security and privacy staffers on certain decisions, and did invite some of them to a Project Dragonfly-related meeting with the company’s senior leadership.

In the wake of that report, Google employee and inclusion activist Liz Fong Jones tweeted that she would match $100,000 in pledged donations to a fund to support employees who refuse to work in protest.

Typically, strike funds are created by unions to make payments for workers on strike to help them meet their basic needs while they’re not receiving paychecks from their companies. Google does not have currently have a union. However, some employees have held informal talks about the idea, according to one person familiar with the situation.

Fong Jones says that 19 current and two former employees had pledged $115,000 to the potential fund in the first three hours. Here’s her original thread about the idea:

In her tweets, she suggested working with the Tech Workers Coalition, a community organizing group, to set up a fund. The organization declined to comment.

Fong Jones notes that pledges aren’t binding and that the next steps are to work with legal counsel and labor organizers to more formally set a fund up. But the fact that the idea has gained traction so quickly is another sign of the past year’s increasing wave of tech resistance, where workers have publicly protested about multiple workplace issues, including diversity, harassment, and controversial company business contracts.

Jack Poulson, a former scientist in Google’s research and machine intelligence department who resigned over his concerns about Project Dragonfly in August, pledged to contribute $10,000 to a potential fund.

“Tech workers now realize there is power in organizing,” he tells CNBC. “I am proud to put my personal savings towards an effort to bring accountability to Google leadership.”

Current employee Irene Knapp, who previously made a public statement criticizing Google’s diversity efforts at Alphabet’s shareholder meeting earlier this year, also contributed to the fund.

“I’m proud to support this fund, it’s a great step forward,” Knapp says. “Everyone participating in labor efforts faces personal risks, and everyone’s risks are different. Those of us in a position to make it easier for others have an obligation to do so.”

Brishen Rogers, an associate professor at Temple University who specializes in the relationship between labor and technological development points out that contributions to labor organizations are generally not deductible as charitable contributions, as Fong Jones suggested might be possible in this case, though said that there may be other ways to set it up.

Fong Jones has previously posted publicly about her plans to resign from Google in coming months if the company does not commit to putting an employee representative on its board of directors.

A designated board seat was one of the five demands from the organizers of a massive November walk-out, which was held to protest how Google has reportedly handled reports of sexual harassment and other impropriety.

The Intercept first reported details about the censored search project in August. The app would reportedly comply with demands from the Chinese government to remove content ruled sensitive and link users’ searches to their personal phone numbers.

Since then, human rights groups, U.S. politicians, and Google employees have raised concerns around privacy and human rights. As of Thursday afternoon, 528 Google employees had publicly signed the open letter calling for the company to withdraw.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai is expected to testify in Congress on Dec. 5 to discuss transparency and bias and members of Congress will likely also ask about Google’s plans in China, as they have in past government hearings.

Pichai has previously responded by saying publicly that the company is “very early ” in its plans but that its experiments found that it could “serve well over 99 percent” of search queries in China.

A Google spokesperson declined to comment on the burgeoning strike fund, but said in response to The Intercept’s reporting about privacy and security teams being shut out of plans that the company consulted many engineers while exploring Project Dragonfly.

“This is an exploratory project and no decision has been made about whether we could or would launch,” the spokesperson said. “As we’ve explored the project, many privacy and security engineers have been consulted, as they always are. For any product, final launch is contingent on a full, final privacy review but we’ve never gotten to that point in development. Privacy reviews at Google are non-negotiable and we never short circuit the process.”

A current employee who says she worked on security and privacy for Dragonfly also publicly refuted characterizations of the Intercept story:


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-29  Authors: jillian donfro, getty images news, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, discussions, dragonfly, search, workers, jones, worker, privacy, publicly, censored, project, fund, employees, google, strike, company


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Google’s cheap and super-simple cellphone service will now work with iPhones

Google’s super-simple and cheap cellphone service will now work with a broader selection of devices, including iPhones from arch-rival Apple. The main appeal of Google Fi is a simple pricing scheme that, depending on a person’s usage habits, can end up being cheaper than any of the bigger carriers. But despite the simplicity and appealing pricing, Google Fi wasn’t very useful because it only worked with a very small number of phones, namely from Motorola and Google’s own Pixel line. Starting Wed


Google’s super-simple and cheap cellphone service will now work with a broader selection of devices, including iPhones from arch-rival Apple. The main appeal of Google Fi is a simple pricing scheme that, depending on a person’s usage habits, can end up being cheaper than any of the bigger carriers. But despite the simplicity and appealing pricing, Google Fi wasn’t very useful because it only worked with a very small number of phones, namely from Motorola and Google’s own Pixel line. Starting Wed
Google’s cheap and super-simple cellphone service will now work with iPhones Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-28  Authors: jillian donfro, issei kato, magdalena petrova
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fi, supersimple, data, work, users, wifi, usage, service, cellphone, googles, iphones, cheap, wont, google


Google's cheap and super-simple cellphone service will now work with iPhones

Google’s super-simple and cheap cellphone service will now work with a broader selection of devices, including iPhones from arch-rival Apple.

Google Fi (formerly known as Project Fi) is a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), which means that instead of just using one of the “big four” carriers, it automatically jumps between several cellular networks depending on which has better service. Fi hops between Sprint, T-Mobile, and US Cellular, and also favors Wi-Fi whenever possible, including for calls and texts.

The main appeal of Google Fi is a simple pricing scheme that, depending on a person’s usage habits, can end up being cheaper than any of the bigger carriers. It costs $20 for unlimited calling and texting, and $10 per gigabyte of data. Users get money back for whatever data they don’t use, and data usage over 6 GB is free (though Google will throttle speeds after users hit 15 GB). It also has no roaming fees in more than 170 locations.

But despite the simplicity and appealing pricing, Google Fi wasn’t very useful because it only worked with a very small number of phones, namely from Motorola and Google’s own Pixel line.

That changes Wednesday, with a few caveats.

Starting Wednesday, Google Fi will work with iPhones running iOS 11, as well as many new Samsung, LG, Moto and OnePlus phones running Android 7.0 or higher.

iPhone use, however, is still in “beta,” which means users should be prepared for bugs, and won’t be able to use certain features like visual voicemail and international tethering. iPhones also won’t be able to make calls and texts over Wi-Fi.


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-28  Authors: jillian donfro, issei kato, magdalena petrova
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, fi, supersimple, data, work, users, wifi, usage, service, cellphone, googles, iphones, cheap, wont, google


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Google employees: We no longer believe the company places values over profits

Google employees are calling on the company to cancel Project Dragonfly, an effort to create a censored search engine in China. “Many of us accepted employment at Google with the company’s values in mind, including its previous position on Chinese censorship and surveillance, and an understanding that Google was a company willing to place its values above its profits,” an open letter signed by Google employees published Tuesday on Medium says. “After a year of disappointments including Project M


Google employees are calling on the company to cancel Project Dragonfly, an effort to create a censored search engine in China. “Many of us accepted employment at Google with the company’s values in mind, including its previous position on Chinese censorship and surveillance, and an understanding that Google was a company willing to place its values above its profits,” an open letter signed by Google employees published Tuesday on Medium says. “After a year of disappointments including Project M
Google employees: We no longer believe the company places values over profits Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-27  Authors: sara salinas, jillian donfro, anindito mukheriee, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, chinese, china, dragonfly, profits, project, places, google, longer, letter, employees, values, search, signed, company, believe


Google employees: We no longer believe the company places values over profits

Google employees are calling on the company to cancel Project Dragonfly, an effort to create a censored search engine in China.

“Many of us accepted employment at Google with the company’s values in mind, including its previous position on Chinese censorship and surveillance, and an understanding that Google was a company willing to place its values above its profits,” an open letter signed by Google employees published Tuesday on Medium says. “After a year of disappointments including Project Maven, Dragonfly, and Google’s support for abusers, we no longer believe this is the case.”

Eleven Google employees had signed the letter as of its posting, and the number of signatures quickly grew, amounting to more than 100 several hours after it published.

Project Dragonfly has drawn criticism from human rights groups and U.S. politicians since The Intercept first reported details about the internal effort this summer, and in August, thousands of Google employees signed a letter saying that it raised “urgent moral and ethical issues.” Google CEO Sundar Pichai responded by saying publicly that the company is “very early” in its plans but that its experiments found that it could “serve well over 99 percent” of search queries in China. Meanwhile, Alphabet Chairman John Hennessy said last week that doing business in China requires compromising “core values.”

In their open letter, the Google employees wrote that “leadership’s response has been unsatisfactory” so far, and called for “transparency, clear communication, and real accountability.” They published the letter in alignment with a petition and day of protests from campaign group Amnesty International.

Google originally withdrew its search service from China in 2010 due to increased concerns about cyberattacks and censorship. Since then, the Chinese government has increasingly curtailed what its citizens can or and can’t do online by blacklisting websites and access to information about certain historical events — like the 1989 protests at Tiananmen Square — and requiring people who use online forums to register with their real names.

Google’s Chinese search app would have reportedly complied with demands to remove content that the government ruled sensitive and linked users’ searches to their personal phone numbers. Critics say that by cooperating with the Chinese government, Google would have violated principles of free expression as well as users’ privacy rights.

“We object to technologies that aid the powerful in oppressing the vulnerable, wherever they may be,” the letter says. “Dragonfly in China would establish a dangerous precedent at a volatile political moment, one that would make it harder for Google to deny other countries similar concessions.”

A Google spokesperson said in a statement the company’s work on search has been exploratory and that it’s “not close” to launching a product out of Project Dragonfly.

Two of the original signers of the public letter were among a core group of organizers behind an international walkout of Google employees earlier this month. In the past year, the tech industry generally and Google employees in particular have shown an unusually high level of labor organizing, with employees sounding off about multiple workplace issues, including diversity and controversial company business contracts.

Google made changes to its sexual harassment and misconduct policies after employees staged massive walkouts earlier this month (though the company ignored several of the organizers’ demands like adding an employee representative to Alphabet’s board)

Here’s the full letter from Google employees:

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Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-27  Authors: sara salinas, jillian donfro, anindito mukheriee, bloomberg, getty images
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, chinese, china, dragonfly, profits, project, places, google, longer, letter, employees, values, search, signed, company, believe


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Google just spent $1 billion to buy property near its Silicon Valley headquarters

Google just made another giant move in its Silicon Valley land grab. The internet company spent $1 billion on a large office park near its headquarters in Mountain View, California, according to the Mercury News, and has now spent at least $2.8 billion on properties in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and San Jose over the last two years. In this case, Google is purchasing property that it’s already been leasing. It’s also been a big year for Google property purchases outside of Silicon Valley. In the f


Google just made another giant move in its Silicon Valley land grab. The internet company spent $1 billion on a large office park near its headquarters in Mountain View, California, according to the Mercury News, and has now spent at least $2.8 billion on properties in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and San Jose over the last two years. In this case, Google is purchasing property that it’s already been leasing. It’s also been a big year for Google property purchases outside of Silicon Valley. In the f
Google just spent $1 billion to buy property near its Silicon Valley headquarters Cached Page below :
Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-26  Authors: jillian donfro, brooks kraft, getty images, cnbc, jeniece pettitt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, billion, san, google, valley, company, mountain, leasing, property, headquarters, silicon, buy, spent, near, view


Google just spent $1 billion to buy property near its Silicon Valley headquarters

Google just made another giant move in its Silicon Valley land grab.

The internet company spent $1 billion on a large office park near its headquarters in Mountain View, California, according to the Mercury News, and has now spent at least $2.8 billion on properties in Mountain View, Sunnyvale and San Jose over the last two years.

In this case, Google is purchasing property that it’s already been leasing. The company is the main tenant of the 12 buildings that comprise the 51.8-acre Shoreline Technology Park.

Google declined to comment on its purchase.

Earlier this month, Google agreed to pay an additional $110 million for 10.5 acres for a new campus in downtown San Jose, with the possibility of buying about 11 more acres. The city will vote on the plans in early December.

It’s also been a big year for Google property purchases outside of Silicon Valley.

In the first quarter, the company spent $2.4 billion to buy New York City’s Chelsea Market. Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said that the company favors “owning rather than leasing real estate when we see good opportunities.”

As for leases, Google just signed on for a massive new space in downtown San Francisco.

WATCH:Meet the man behind Google Assistant’s personality – Ryan Germick


Company: cnbc, Activity: cnbc, Date: 2018-11-26  Authors: jillian donfro, brooks kraft, getty images, cnbc, jeniece pettitt
Keywords: news, cnbc, companies, billion, san, google, valley, company, mountain, leasing, property, headquarters, silicon, buy, spent, near, view


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