Google wins attraction in opposition to UK class action-style swimsuit in search of damages for Safari monitoring – TechCrunch

Google has won an appeal on a class action lawsuit-style privacy lawsuit in the UK Supreme Court – avoiding up to £ 3 billion in damages if the case were lost.

The cross-country skier Litigation was brought forward by veteran consumer rights activist Richard Lloyd, who has been conducting a class action lawsuit since 2017 alleging that between 2011 and 2012, Google used a Safari workaround to override iPhone users’ privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser – and data breach compensation for the estimated more than 4 million affected UK iPhone users.

Lloyd’s litigation had sought damages for invasion of privacy. In a broader sense, the lawsuit sought to determine that a representative action for damages for a data breach could be brought in the UK – despite the lack of a general class action mechanism in UK law.

Back in 2018 the High Court blocked the lawsuit from proceeding – but the next year The appeals court overturned the verdict and opened the court to hear the lawsuit.

Today’s unanimous Supreme Court judgement essentially relies on the view of the High Court: Blocking the representative action.

The Supreme Court justices held that damage / loss must be suffered in order to claim compensation and that evidence of damage / loss on an individual basis cannot be skipped – ie Compensation cannot simply be uniformly asserted for the “loss of control” of the personal data for each member of the alleged group of representatives, as the Lloyd trial lawyers had demanded.

“Without proof of these facts, a claim for damages cannot be successful,” the Supreme Court sums up its judgment.

The ruling is a heavy blow to UK activists’ hopes of class action-style class action lawsuits against the tracking industry.

If Google had lost the ruling, this would have opened the door to further representative actions for data protection violations. But with the adtech giant won the appeal, there will likely be a big shake up British class action suits targeting data mining tech giants – who had in the past few years, which attracts financiers to commercial litigation.

A law firm responded to today’s verdict, NOT YET, wrote that the outcome of the case “will be a cause for joy for Google and any organization that handles significant amounts of data or bases its business model on the use of personal data (as well as their shareholders and / or insurers)”.

Another law firm, Linklaters LLP, described the ruling as “a severe blow to plaintiff law firms and funders who had hoped to create a new opt-out regime for data breach damages.”

“We would expect that many of the similar lawsuits that have now been brought in the wake of this would fall away,” added Harriet Ellis of Linklaters, dispute settlement partner, in a statement. “Plaintiff companies will carefully review the decision to see whether viable opt-out class actions can still be brought. But it looks really tough. “

We asked Mishcon de Reya, the law firm that Lloyd represents, for a comment.

In its own response to the Supreme Court ruling, Google avoided discussing the details of the case – and only wrote:

“That claim related to events that took place a decade ago and which we addressed at the time. People want to know that they are safe and secure online. That is why we have been concentrating for years on building products and infrastructures that respect and protect people’s privacy. “

A spokesman for the tech giant also referred to a statement by the techUK Employer’s liability insurance association – the intervened in the case in support of Google; and who writes today that “if the appeal had been denied, this would have opened the door” Bringing speculative and harassing claims against data controllers, with far-reaching consequences for both public and private organizations ”.

The UK Trade Association goes on to claim that it “does not oppose representative actions, but we believe it is right that any lawsuit must first determine whether the individual has been harmed by a data breach before filing it”. Compensation”.

However, as the Supreme Court justices note – in relation to the cost of “opt-in” (rather than “opt-out”) litigation – the barrier to access to justice can simply be pushed out of reach if individual claims are just worth it are a few hundred pounds apiece (the Lloyd litigation proposed a rate of £ 750 per person) as the associated case management costs of handling individual claimants “can easily exceed the potential value of the lawsuit”.

So – to be clear – techUK rejects representative lawsuits that are initiated over almost any data breach.

The UK’s privacy watchdog, meanwhile, has shown a total lack of willingness to enforce the law against the data mining adtech industry – despite the ICO warning that since 2019, of rampant unlawful persecution.

While The British government is now also discussing a slowdown the national data protection regime.

So the question of how exactly the average UK citizen can get the privacy rights claimed by UK law looks pretty grim right now …

So much money is at stake today, considering the other cases rely on Lloyd.

We’ll see if the following continues:

Rumble versus Salesforce
McCann on Google
One child against TikTok
Jukes versus Facebook

Various problems play a role in most of them, but all suffer from a represented class problem.

– Robert Bateman (@RobertJBateman) November 10, 2021

In the US, Google received an approval order with the FTC via Safari cookie tracking released a decade ago – already agreed in 2012, $ 22.5 million

Human rights groups have responded to the Supreme Court ruling by calling on the government to launch collective redress.

In a statement the Open rights groupJim Killock’s executive director said, “There must be a way for people to seek redress against massive data breaches without putting their homes at risk and without relying on the Information Commissioner alone.

“The ICO cannot and is sometimes unwilling to act in every case. We have waited over two years for action against the adtech industry, which, according to the ICO, is operating illegally. There is no sign of action.

“Still, it would be totally inappropriate for someone to risk their home on court fees in such cases. Without a collective mechanism we stay there: in many cases, data protection is very difficult to enforce against tech giants.

“The government should keep its word and consider implementing collective action under the GDPR, which d[t] expressly rejected in February on the grounds that Lloyd vs. Google had shown that the existing rules could offer a way to redress. “

Google Pixel foldable with Pixel 5-style cameras coming subsequent yr

Enlarge / Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 3 (the big one) and the Flip 3 (the small one). Given the realities of the supply chain and Google’s relationship with Samsung, Google’s foldable products are likely to look quite similar.

Samsung

Will the Google Pixel Foldable ever exist? We’ve seen lots of rumors and Android source code indicating that Google is going in this direction, as well as the announcement of a foldable version of Android. Well, a new one 9to5Google Report says a foldable pixel with a very popular camera sensor will hit the market in 2022.

Apparently the latest Google Camera app has a device detection flag called “isPixel2022Foldable”. Believe it or not, the Google Camera app is a decent indicator of release dates, having previously outed the Pixels 4 and 3a with flags like “isPixel2019MidRange” and “isPixel2019”.

The software side of the Pixel Foldable plan is definitely underway. Google recently announced Android 12L, a mid-cycle update to Android that focuses on features for tablets and foldable devices. The development of the Android team process promises that new Android software and hardware will be developed together (which is why there have always been Nexus or Pixel devices). With a large foldables publication, it makes sense that a pixel foldable is in the works. Android 12L will be out in March 2022, so this is likely the earliest foldable pixel release.

With Google recently holding back the introduction of Android 12 to adapt to the Pixel 6, you have to wonder if we will see a simultaneous introduction of foldable hardware and software. Google phones usually leak around five months before release, so if the March schedule is correct and we’re on the normal schedule, we should get more information soon. However, due to the global shortage of chips, it is difficult to describe a future hardware start as “normal”.

Previous rumors indicated that Google was working on it two devices, codenamed “Passport” and “Jumbojack”, but the camera app references a new foldable device codenamed “Pipit”. No matter what internal iterations Google applies, it’s hard to imagine a range of devices that don’t closely match the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Flip 3. Both of Google’s designs are expected to use Samsung’s foldable displays, which only come in so many form factors. Google’s goal of making hardware so that Android can evolve means that it doesn’t want to fundamentally differentiate anything from the competition anyway. The devices will most likely look like Samsung phones, just as the Pixel 6 is a cousin of the Galaxy S21, which has Samsung displays, chips and modems.

Of course, the leak of the Google camera app also contains some camera information: The Pixel foldables will not get the new camera hardware from Google in the Pixel 6. “Including the tried and tested Sony IMX363 sensor. Together with the earlier” IMX362 “revision, this was the main pixel sensor of the Pixels 2, 3, 3a, 4, 4a, 5 and 5a. Allegedly there should be two rear cameras (like the Pixel 5), a front camera and an inside camera, which also goes well with the design of Samsung’s foldables.

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Enlarge / The Galaxy S21 Ultra (left) has better and more cameras than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 (right). Foldable devices cannot afford these huge camera bumps.

Samsung

Camera downgrades are common in the world of foldable devices, with those devices geared more towards media and productivity than photography. Samsung’s Galaxy Z-fold 3 has inferior cameras than the flagship Galaxy S21 Ultra; The Fold 3 has a row of three similar 12 MP cameras on the rear instead of the S21 Ultra’s row of four rear cameras, including a 108 MP main camera and a periscope telephoto lens. The camera downgrade has to do with the device thickness.

While we typically reject calls for wafer-thin phones – longer battery life is often worth a thicker device – thickness does matter with foldable devices. Folding these devices in half will double their normal body thickness. So while the Pixel 6’s 12mm thickness (including the camera bar) is fine, stacking two Pixel 6s in a foldable package would put a 24mm thick brick in your pocket, which is definitely too bulky. Since cameras are the bulkiest component of a phone (hence the camera bump), shortening the cameras is an easy way to get a thinner device. To get back to the Samsung example, the S21 Ultra is 8.9mm thick, with a 2mm camera hump on top, while each half of the Fold 3 is 6.9mm thick.

Google Meet provides Duo-style filters, AR masks, and results

Google Meet receives new video filters, effects and augmented reality masks for personal calls on iOS and Android. announced the search giant. They are available during a call via the glitter icon in the lower right of your video feed, which displays a carousel of various effects, including color filters and animated AR face effects. Most of the options are only available for personal Gmail accounts, while Workspace users need to be more professional with a limited range of blur and virtual background options.

The new video effects are the latest example of Meet’s shift from targeting corporate and business users to a more general consumer targeting after Google released Meet free for private Google accounts last year. The filters are very similar to those was already available for the consumer-focused duo video chat service from Google and 9to5Google previously reported that the company plans to replace Duo with Meet at some point.

When trying to understand all of Google’s messaging products, don’t worry. you’re not alone. Fortunately, we may soon have one less Google service to keep an eye on.

Learn how to ship cash internationally with Google Pay

The world seems to have gotten smaller in the last few decades thanks to technology, but we are far from adopting a universal currency. Sending money across borders – for example from the US to India – is still not as seamless as we’d like it to be. Google Pay wants to change that.

Google recently announced its partnership with Wise (formerly known as TransferWise) and Western Union, which allow US users to send money to India and Singapore within the application. Yes, one less application / website to edit.

Before we get into how it works, it is important to note that the recipient must be registered with Google Pay and their bank account must be linked through UPI in India and PayNow in Singapore. In addition, payments can only be made person-to-person at the moment – companies cannot send or receive money yet. When these things are done, you can proceed with the following steps …

1. If the recipient is already in your contact list, you can do so Enter their name in the search bar. If not, you can use either the number or email id to initiate payment.

2. Once you tap the recipient’s name, you will Open the payment window. You should see a disclaimer above that says you must use a Google Pay affiliate to send money internationally.

3. In the box below Enter the amount You want to send and tap Pay.

4. A card will then appear prompting you to do so Choose between Wise and Western Union, the two partners that Google Pay currently supports. The best part is that you can see the actual amount reaching the recipient before proceeding.

5. If you continue Western Unionthe recipient has the opportunity to do so take the money in person or directly in your bank account. You can pay with your debit / credit card, bank account, or Google Pay balance. There is a limit of $ 50,000 per transaction.

6. If you choose wiseyou can only pay with your credit or debit card. The amount you send will be deposited directly into the recipient’s bank account. There is a limit of $ 2,000 per transaction.

7. Once the payments have been initiated, You can track the status of which in the chat of the contact himself.

Western Union is offering unlimited free transfers through June 16. If you’re a new Wise customer, you can send your first payment (under $ 500) for free. So if you are looking to send some money to someone in India or Singapore, now may be a good time to do it.

Google Pay is already working on expanding support to over 200 countries with Western Union and 80 with Wise before the end of this year.

Google Pay: A Safe and Helpful Way to Manage Money

Google Pay: A Safe and Helpful Way to Manage Money

Google Is Placing Cash Into That Quick Undersea Web Cable Between Eureka and Singapore, and They Assume It will be Carried out by 2023 | Misplaced Coast Outpost

Certainly a first: Google has literally put Eureka on one of its cards. source.

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You’ve heard about the big, new, fat fiberglass pipe you’re going to be laying between Singapore and Eureka? (If you haven’t, check out the links below.) It is slated to plunge into the depths from one of the world’s major financial capitals and head east with stops in Indonesia and Guam before crawling up the banks via the drainpipe of the old Samoa pulp mill, which extends about a mile to the sea.

It’s an exciting prospect! Already one The large international data center company has plans for a new facility in Arcataand it’s everyone’s greatest hope that more tech-dolla will rain on our shores once our new line is in order.

Which one is when According to Google, it is expected to be operational in the summer of 2023.

And when I say “according to Google”, I’m not saying that I just googled it. I’m saying Google literally says that. Because like that Company announced yesterday on its Google Cloud blogIt throws a lot of money on the Singapore-Eureka underwater line, code-named “Echo”.

“The architecture of Echo is designed for maximum reliability,” writes the Goog. “The unique Trans-Pacific route to Southeast Asia avoids overcrowded, traditional routes north and is expected to be operational in 2023. We look forward to the expanded connectivity that Echo will bring to Southeast Asia and create new opportunities for people and businesses in the region. “

And hopefully this region too.

Google needs to present researchers cash. Some not wish to take it

Little did Luke Stark look for money on Google in November that he would turn down $ 60,000 from the tech giant in March.

Stark, Assistant Professor at Western University in Ontario, Canada, studies the social and ethical implications of artificial intelligence. At the end of November he applied for one Google Research Scholar Award, a non-binding research grant of up to $ 60,000 to support professors early in their careers.

He applied for the award and said, “Based on my feeling then that Google is building a really strong, potentially industry-leading team in ethical AI.”

Soon this feeling began to dissipate. In early December, Timnit Gebru, co-head of Google’s ethical AI team and a prominent black woman in a predominantly white, male area, abruptly left Google. On Wednesday, December 2nd, she has tweeted that she was “fired immediately” for an email she sent to an internal mailing list. In the email, she expressed dismay at the continuing lack of diversity in the company and frustration with an internal process related to the review of a then-unpublished one research paper on the risks of building bigger and bigger AI language models – a vivid type of AI increasingly important to Google’s huge search business.

At the time, Gebru said Google AI leadership had told her to withdraw the paper from exam for a presentation at a conference, or remove her name from it. Google accepted Gebru’s resignation over a list of demands she emailed that needed to be met in order for her to continue working at the company.

Gebru’s fall sparked months of crisis for the company, including Employee departures, a change in leadershipand an apology from the Google CEO for some employees questioning their place there due to the circumstances surrounding Gebru’s departure. Google ran one internal investigation into the matter Results of this have been announced On the same day, the company fired Gebru’s co-team leader Margaret Mitchell, who had consistently criticized the company on Twitter after Gebru left. (Google cited “multiple violations” of its code of conduct.) Meanwhile, researchers outside of Google, particularly in the AI ​​space, are increasingly suspicious of the company’s historically prestigious grant and angry with Gebru and Mitchell’s treatment.

All of this became sharp for Stark on Wednesday March 10th when Google sent him a congratulatory letter in which he received $ 60,000 for his proposal for a research project examining how companies are adopting AI that uses emotions be recognized. Stark said he immediately felt he had to turn down the award to show his support for Gebru and Mitchell, as well as those who are still on Google’s ethical AI team.

“My first thought was, ‘I have to refuse,” Stark told CNN Business.

Stark is among a growing number of scholars who cite Gebru and Mitchell’s conclusions about recent decisions regarding the company’s loss of funding or opportunity. Some AI conference organizers are considering sponsoring Google. And at least one academic who has received a large check from Google in the past has now stated so will not seek his financial support until changes are made in the company.

“I can no longer accept funding in good conscience from a company that treats its employees this way,” Vijay Chidambaram, an assistant professor studying storage systems at the University of Texas at Austin, told CNN Business. Chidambaram received $ 30,000 from Google for a research project in 2018.

The money involved is of little importance to Google. However, the growing impact of tensions between Google and its ethical AI team poses a risk to the company Reputation and stature in the AI ​​community. This is vital when Google is competing for talent – both as employees of the company and names associated with it in the academic community.

“I think this is more common than even the company realizes,” said Stark.

Lose weight in solidarity

Despite his initial inclination, Stark did not immediately turn down Google’s award. He spoke to colleagues about what he was up to – “People supported every decision I made,” he said – before sending his reply to Google the following Friday. He thanked the company for the “vote of confidence” in its research, but wrote that “he received this award out of solidarity with Dr. Gebru and Mitchell, their teammates and anyone else who found themselves in similar situations, ”CNN Business said in an email.

“I look forward to the opportunity to work with Google Research again when the organization and its leaders have reflected on their decision on this case, addressed the harm they have caused, and committed word and deed to promoting critical research and products that do Support justice and justice, ”wrote Stark.

He tweeted on his decision to decline the award and make it public, noting that many people cannot afford to decline such funds from Google or other companies. Stark can do without the money because his department at Western University is adequately funded. Google’s award would have provided additional research funding, he said.

“All we can do is what we can reasonably do – and that was something I thought I could,” said Stark tweeted.

Gebru said she appreciated Stark’s action.

“It’s a pretty big deal for someone to turn down Google sponsorship,” she told CNN Business. “Especially someone early in their career.”

A Google spokesperson said the company has awarded more than 6,500 academic and research grants to people outside of Google in the past 15 years. According to the spokesman, Stark is the first person to turn down one.

“It was a real fiasco the way they were treated”

But Stark’s decision is just the latest token of solidarity with Gebru and Mitchell.

The first obvious sign of anger came shortly after Gebru left Google. ON Medium post that decodes their departure and the demand for transparency about Google’s decision on the research paper quickly received signatures from Google employees and supporters in the academic and AI fields. By the end of March, the number of supporters had grown to nearly 2,700 Google employees and over 4,300 others.

At the beginning of March, the conference to which Gebru and her co-authors had submitted the paper had the ACM Conference on Fairness, Accountability and Transparencyor FAccT has discontinued its sponsorship agreement with Google. Gebru is one of the founders of the conference and a member of the first FAccT Executive Committee. Google has been a sponsor every year since the annual conference began in 2018. Michael Ekstrand, co-chair of the ACM FAccT network, confirmed to CNN Business that the sponsorship has ended and said the move was “in the best interests of the community” and that the group is “rethinking” its sponsorship policy for 2022 becomes. Ekstrand said Gebru was not involved in the decision.

Also in March, two scientists protested against Google’s actions by tweet The They decided not to attend an online robotics research event that was by invitation only. Hadas Kress-Gazit, a Cornell robotics professor, was one of them; She said she was invited in January but grew more reluctant as the event drew near.

“By the way, it was a real fiasco [Gebru and Mitchell] were treated. Nobody has apologized to them yet, ”she said in a recent interview with CNN Business. “I don’t want to interact with companies that behave this way towards top researchers.”

Google’s efforts to push the boundaries in AI

Google is aware that its reputation as a research institution has been damaged in the past few months, and the company has announced that it will fix the problem. At a recent city hall meeting held by Google, first reported on by Reuters and audio received from CNN Business, the company outlined changes to its internal research and publication practices.

“I think the way to regain confidence is to keep publishing cutting-edge work in many, many areas, including pushing the boundaries on topics related to responsible AI and publishing things that are profound to the research community are interesting from the best opportunities to continue to be a leader in research, ”said Jeff Dean, head of AI at Google. He answered a staff question about outside researchers that they would read Google articles “with greater skepticism” now.

Gebru hopes that, as with FAccT, more conferences will reassess their relationships with tech company research laboratories. In the past, much of the work on developing and studying AI was done in an academic setting. However, as companies find more commercial uses for the technology, the lines between the academic and corporate worlds are blurring. Google is just one of many tech companies that has had a huge impact on academic conferences where many of its researchers’ articles are published. The staff sit on conference boards and sponsor numerous conferences each year, sometimes for tens of thousands of dollars.

For example, Google and some subsidiaries of parent company Alphabet were listed as sponsors of the International Machine Learning Conference (ICML) and the Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS) with platinum and gold awards of $ 20,000. in 2020 – both major AI conferences. Some of the company’s employees sit on their organizing committees.

ICML President John Langford said the conference was “currently open to sponsorship” from Google for the 2021 conference scheduled for July.

“There is much discussion about how ICML as a conference should promote good machine learning culture and practice, with future sponsorship policy being part of that discussion,” he added.

NeurIPS executive director Mary Ellen Perry said the conference has not yet called for sponsorship annually, but requests will be “assessed against a set of selection guidelines set by this year’s sponsorship chairs.” NeurIPS is planned for December.

However, for Stark and other members of the academic research community, the criteria for accepting funds from Google have already changed.

“Extra research funding would be great,” said Stark. “But it was something that I felt I just couldn’t take.”