Microsoft goes after Google by supporting Massachusetts privacy bill

Microsoft's Scroogled campaign against Google is moving (sort of) into public schools

Microsoft is fighting Google and its privacy policies beyond its well-documented "Scroogled" online and TV ad campaign. Now there's word that Microsoft is supporting a proposed law in the Massachusetts state legislature that, if passed, could restrict how Google and other companies use data from generated by software in public schools.

The report from the Wall Street Journal claims that the bill, which was first introduced in January, is designed to keep companies who provide cloud-based services to public schools from using the information generated by students for any commercial purposes. Microsoft is an official supporter of the bill and a representative says its own web-based email it provides for students does not have any ads.

Google has a suite of software aimed at schools, Google Apps for Education, which include a version of Gmail. However, a Google representative says that the normal feature of Gmail looking at email keywords to generate ads is turned off by default in the version used in public schools.

Microsoft has slammed Google for a while about Gmail's practices and a spokesperson for the company implied that Google wasn't being completely open about how it uses data it receives from public schools. The spokesperson stated, "Just because ads are not being displayed to students, it doesn't mean something else isn't being done with the data."

Source: Wall Street Journal | Image via Microsoft

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20 Comments

Really Destroy? I don't like Microsoft's tactics and misleading advertisements but I would never want them to be destroyed. Competition is a good thing.

When you grow up, you'll understand what I am saying. No one company needs to be the victor.

Ahh children.

DarkNet said,
Really Destroy? I don't like Microsoft's tactics and misleading advertisements but I would never want them to be destroyed. Competition is a good thing.

When you grow up, you'll understand what I am saying. No one company needs to be the victor.

Ahh children.


Agreed, while I loved Google in the past, I'm currently leaning more towards MS. Google needs a spanking like MS has gotten one. But destroyed or gone, no way. Google is a great tech giant to have even if I don't agree with some of their practices.

Shadowzz said,

Agreed, while I loved Google in the past, I'm currently leaning more towards MS. Google needs a spanking like MS has gotten one. But destroyed or gone, no way. Google is a great tech giant to have even if I don't agree with some of their practices.

^ That's the right way to state it. Even though I don't agree with what you say but at least it's debatable and not spoken as something a clueless child would say..

Microsoft is just sore at Google's success. If they really wanted to INFORM people they wouldn't be making ads called "Scroogled". Great title for a campaign intended to inform people rofl, what a joke.

onionjuice said,
Microsoft is just sore at Google's success. If they really wanted to INFORM people they wouldn't be making ads called "Scroogled". Great title for a campaign intended to inform people rofl, what a joke.

No, Google is going through the same thing MS has gone through.
Google lets nothing stop them, they get away with almost everything they pull off. And these things are often NOT in our (the customers/users) best interest.
Governments are only slowly acting on some of Google's misbehavior. It took them a decade to spank MS back to their place. This is also thanks to the campaigns of MS his competitors btw

Now MS is trying to pull back Google from their heavenly clouds as the EU and US aren't (yet). And people be hating on MS.

Shadowzz said,

No, Google is going through the same thing MS has gone through.
Google lets nothing stop them, they get away with almost everything they pull off. And these things are often NOT in our (the customers/users) best interest.
Governments are only slowly acting on some of Google's misbehavior. It took them a decade to spank MS back to their place. This is also thanks to the campaigns of MS his competitors btw

Now MS is trying to pull back Google from their heavenly clouds as the EU and US aren't (yet). And people be hating on MS.

MS also (used to) scan people stuff to display ads. You think Google is the only company on earth doing that? rofl. People just hate google because its only source of income is advertisements.

onionjuice said,

MS also (used to) scan people stuff to display ads. You think Google is the only company on earth doing that? rofl. People just hate google because its only source of income is advertisements.


I'm aware MS isn't dirty of using similar tactics.
But I'm also aware that MS at this time simply can not drop the ball in their current war for dominance on the internet with Google.

And Google will adhere to any state required rules (Privacy, Data Retention, etc) that a state agency, state funded school contact required of them if they want to provide the service.

"Just because ads are not being displayed to students, it doesn't mean something else isn't being done with the data." Tin foil hat stuff right here.

Bill will pass, nothing will need changing because Google already doesn't do ad keyword scanning for Business/Education customers unless the admin has explicitly enabled Google Ads on the domain for some reason.
If you think Google is "lying" well really it does not make sense given the huge implications for their brand and reputation (also directly affecting paying customers including large Educational institutions and Businesses who have gone Google) if they get caught doing this. It is just not worth the risk. The revenue generated by Google Apps negates the need for Ad revenue. The brand and reputation of Google is quite high outside of Neowin and other forums that the Microsoft fanbase congregate.

Microsoft should really be working on their product and selling the advantages of their product instead of smearing the competition. It is like a negative election campaign when a political party is desperate for votes and can only have a chance to win on emotions instead of facts.

Simon- said,
"Just because ads are not being displayed to students, it doesn't mean something else isn't being done with the data." Tin foil hat stuff right here.

Bill will pass, nothing will need changing because Google already doesn't do ad keyword scanning for Business/Education customers unless the admin has explicitly enabled Google Ads on the domain for some reason.
If you think Google is "lying" well really it does not make sense given the huge implications for their brand and reputation (also directly affecting paying customers including large Educational institutions and Businesses who have gone Google) if they get caught doing this. It is just not worth the risk. The revenue generated by Google Apps negates the need for Ad revenue. The brand and reputation of Google is quite high outside of Neowin and other forums that the Microsoft fanbase congregate.

Microsoft should really be working on their product and selling the advantages of their product instead of smearing the competition. It is like a negative election campaign when a political party is desperate for votes and can only have a chance to win on emotions instead of facts.


Google didn't worry about reputation when they decided to drive around collecting information off wifi networks that weren't secured, they also didn't worry about their reputation when placing cookies on iphones and browsers which specifically blocks 3rd party cookies - they decided to bypass that to get a tracking cookie on the machine anyway, they also didn't care about reputation when they decided to leak personal information about google users when they launched google wave. In each case they claimed it was an 'accident'.

There are people that simply don't want to believe any of it because it affects their cherished company google. This campaign and legislation is good because NO ONE knows exactly what google is doing with that data, and they through past actions simply are not responsible enough to collect ANY data.

pgn said,


Google didn't worry about reputation when they decided to drive around collecting information off wifi networks that weren't secured,


Standard Practice to log all data for later analysis. The privacy implication would not have been clear to an engineer about doing it this way.
they also didn't worry about their reputation when placing cookies on iphones and browsers which specifically blocks 3rd party cookies - they decided to bypass that to get a tracking cookie on the machine anyway,
Again, another engineering mistake. 3rd party cookie blocking broke how the website was supposed to work on a default setup of Safari and the developers were just trying to make the website work as designed. Apple did not ask the user if they wanted 3rd party cookies blocked, so really it does not count as the user's "choice" if the user did not get to choose this. If blocking of 3rd party cookies & do not track was the standard options without giving the user choice, this would fundamentally break the ecosystem of most free websites including Neowin, where ads generate the vast majority of revenue to keep these websites afloat. If we didn't have this, ad revenue will dive and it will be the end of the free Internet as we know it. Apple's fault for not letting the user decide to personally undermine the ecosystem of the Internet.
they also didn't care about reputation when they decided to leak personal information about google users when they launched google wave.
This never happened I don't know what you are talking about you will need a source for this one.
In each case they claimed it was an 'accident'.
Accidents happen, just like how Microsoft Azure and 365 keeps going down, I'm sure that Microsoft are not doing this on purpose.

There are people that simply don't want to believe any of it because it affects their cherished company google. This campaign and legislation is good because NO ONE knows exactly what google is doing with that data, and they through past actions simply are not responsible enough to collect ANY data.

Google are more transparent than most other companies this size. They have a Privacy Policy you know. The legislation is good to make these standards official but in actual fact it will not have any affect on Google because their Privacy Policy is already compliant. Microsoft are just trying to make cheap shots even though their record is not very good either. If you don't believe their privacy policy (again, tin foil hat stuff here), it is not different to Microsoft's privacy policy/hyperbole about Google but actually doing data mining against their own privacy policy as well, or any other company doing it for that matter. You can't really judge until you have evidence of this. If your privacy is so important that you can't take the word of a privacy policy, then you really need to be hosting your own systems and block all websites on your Firewall.

It's tinfoil because you don't bother to really research the company you are SUCKING UP to and wish/pretend they weren't such a SCUMBAG company.

You don't accidentally write code in your software to accidentally copy files off peoples open wifi networks, that is no accident and they have NO RIGHT to go 'standard practice to analyze the data' - standard practice from a government spying agency maybe.

http://www.informationweek.com...ngineering-trumpe/232901230

During 2006-2010 Google Streetview camera cars collected about 600 gigabytes of data from users of unencrypted public and private Wi-Fi networks in more than 30 countries. No disclosures nor privacy policy was given to those affected, nor to the owners of the Wi-Fi stations.[78]

Google apologized, said they were "acutely aware that we failed badly here" in terms of privacy protection, that they were not aware of the problem until an inquiry from German regulators was received, that the private data was collected inadvertently, and that none of the private data was used in Google's search engine or other services. A representative of Consumer Watchdog replied, "Once again, Google has demonstrated a lack of concern for privacy. Its computer engineers run amok, push the envelope and gather whatever data they can until their fingers are caught in the cookie jar." In a sign that legal penalties may result, Google said it will not destroy the data until permitted by regulators

WAS COMMISSIONED BY GOOGLE MANAGERS:


But Google design documents later provided to the Federal Communications Commission demonstrated that managers had commissioned the wardriving program, to help them build Wi-Fi maps.

Keep thinking it was one engineer, it was a program instituted by Google from the top up.


Milner, the previously unnamed engineer that Google tapped to add the wardriving capabilities, went further by adding code to also record all unencrypted packets--or what's known as payload data--within range of Google's Street View cars, which he "thought might prove useful for other Google service," according to the FCC's report. Managers also signed off on these design documents, and at least one senior manager later asked the engineer to review the wardriving data set for interesting Web navigation statistics.

Manager(S) signed off on the design documents and to review the data set. Right it's just an ACCIDENT.

--

cookies:


Another way that Safari allows for third-party cookies is if a user interacts with an advertisement in a way that results in the user submitting an HTML form to the advertiser's domain that gives the ad permission to track. Google achieved this particular feat through the placement of its "+1" button in certain advertisements that allowed users to vote up advertisements that they liked. If a user is signed into their Google account and clicks the "+1" button on an advertisement, then Google submitted an invisible HTML form to the user though the advertisement's iframe, which is the HTML code used to embed a separate document, such as an advertisement, into a page's main HTML document. Unbeknown to users, the form would then automatically respond to Google's ad network and gives it permission to place a cookie within Safari that lasts 24 hours

This is not an accident, this was specifically engineered to bypass the apple restriction by using poups and hidden iframes. Again you cant accidentally engineer a way to bypass cookie tracking.

I don't care how you think 'fundamnetally' the web should work with ADWARE and SPYING on PEOPLE. Your idea is if there is protection in place, companies that are SCUMBAGS should be able to bypass those to get their advertisments and methods to spy on you to make money. NO I DONT THINK SO. I DONT CARE WHAT WEBSITE GOES BANKRUPT, DO NOT SPY ON ME.


---

google buzz not goole wave, So it was google buzz not wave, its hard to tell these failure products apart.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_Buzz#Privacy


launch, Google's decision to opt-in its user base with weak privacy settings caused a serious breach of user information and garnered significant criticism.[13] One feature in particular that was widely criticized as a severe privacy flaw was that by default Google Buzz publicly disclosed (on the user's Google profile) a list of the names of Gmail contacts that the user has most frequently emailed or chatted with. Users who failed to disable this feature (or did not realize that they had to) could have sensitive information about themselves and their contacts revealed

and so the FTC hit them:


On March 30, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission announced a settlement with Google regarding Buzz. In the announcement, the FTC agreed with the EPIC complaint that Google had violated its privacy policies by using information provided for Gmail for another purpose - social networking - without obtaining consumers' permission in advance. The FTC also alleged that Google misrepresented that it was treating personal information from the European Union in accordance with the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor privacy framework. The FTC stated that "The proposed settlement bars the company from future privacy misrepresentations, requires it to implement a comprehensive privacy program, and calls for regular, independent privacy audits for the next 20 years


Google's excuse time and time again is - its an engineers fault, its an accident, we didn't mean to engineer a bypass to spy on you, oops sorry wont happen again. Then there are people who are google sympathizers and keep making up excuses why google should be able to spy on people - because fundamentally if google and others cant spy on you websites cant make money.

Making money by doing sleezy things to website visitors is NOT OKAY and needs to stop.

Edited by , Mar 7 2013, 5:09pm :

Simon- said,

Standard Practice to log all data for later analysis. The privacy implication would not have been clear to an engineer about doing it this way.

Uhm in many countries its illegal to even USE a WIFI network without prior admission.
Also why standard practice, why would a car like that even need a wifi? And then also log all its data?
I had a open wifi(im not usually paranoid), I never give away my town, address or street. Only for governmental things which I do in IE10inprivate with tracking protection. Yet after a while, Google seem to know what street I lived on. Since then I run private networks, to bad. I personally like to encounter open wifi networks. Now mine's closed.

Again, another engineering mistake. 3rd party cookie blocking broke how the website was supposed to work on a default setup of Safari and the developers were just trying to make the website work as designed. Apple did not ask the user if they wanted 3rd party cookies blocked, so really it does not count as the user's "choice" if the user did not get to choose this. If blocking of 3rd party cookies & do not track was the standard options without giving the user choice, this would fundamentally break the ecosystem of most free websites including Neowin, where ads generate the vast majority of revenue to keep these websites afloat. If we didn't have this, ad revenue will dive and it will be the end of the free Internet as we know it. Apple's fault for not letting the user decide to personally undermine the ecosystem of the Internet.
This never happened I don't know what you are talking about you will need a source for this one. Accidents happen, just like how Microsoft Azure and 365 keeps going down, I'm sure that Microsoft are not doing this on purpose.

Ads is what keeping the internet alive? Nah, many websites rely on it for a source of income.
The internet started as a collaborative network and turned into a massive cooperate network.
If the e-economy collapses, I will feel sorry for those who rely their jobs on it. But it will not end the internet. Not now not ever.

Google are more transparent than most other companies this size. They have a Privacy Policy you know. The legislation is good to make these standards official but in actual fact it will not have any affect on Google because their Privacy Policy is already compliant. Microsoft are just trying to make cheap shots even though their record is not very good either. If you don't believe their privacy policy (again, tin foil hat stuff here), it is not different to Microsoft's privacy policy/hyperbole about Google but actually doing data mining against their own privacy policy as well, or any other company doing it for that matter. You can't really judge until you have evidence of this. If your privacy is so important that you can't take the word of a privacy policy, then you really need to be hosting your own systems and block all websites on your Firewall.

You don't seem to know their privacy policy?
Its funny how people defend their current privacy policy, its absolutely horrible. By far the worst of any of the tech giants out there.

And MS has its sleaseball techniques too, they had them in the past and will have them in the future.
And as I judge Google on their behavior, I do the same with MS, Apple, IBM or whoever.
Currently Google is doing more wrong then good.

Edited by ShadowMajestic, Mar 7 2013, 5:43pm :

Personally I want Google products no where near my kids. The sheer fact that they sell information based upon personal habits disturbs me to no end. I've been in enough corporate meetings where the profit motive trumps ethics many times, and I know it will just take a modest threat to their business model or future quarterly revenue for someone to authorize attaching real or traceable personal information for "better results" to that shared marketing data. Its already too easy to offer a different web experience based on that data now, and I don't want Google or even Microsoft and Apple to be able to do this either.

Drewidian said,
Personally I want Google products no where near my kids. The sheer fact that they sell information based upon personal habits disturbs me to no end. I've been in enough corporate meetings where the profit motive trumps ethics many times, and I know it will just take a modest threat to their business model or future quarterly revenue for someone to authorize attaching real or traceable personal information for "better results" to that shared marketing data. Its already too easy to offer a different web experience based on that data now, and I don't want Google or even Microsoft and Apple to be able to do this either.

I agree. I don't see how Google is just going to give their software away for free to schools. If they do, I don't see how this is profitable for them without selling data they collect.

Google Ad revenue model is based on displaying ads, what is the point of collecting data on a segment which does not display any ads and therefore no one to sell the targeted ad data to. It's very profitable because 1. Publicity generated for Paid Business Product 2. Exposure of their product which converts to private usage of their Ad supported product. 3. Students exposed to the Google Ecosystem and may wish to continue the Google Ecosystem after their studies because that is what they are familiar with (same as why Microsoft and Apple give insane discounts to schools).

Google is making all the money and Microsoft can't stand to be outdone! Microsoft show they are full of envy also.

The 'big boys' at war again in the sandbox; to bad they can't work and play together together in a true sense of friendly competition.

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