Tag Archive for ‘Google’
The division between what’s permissible and what’s merely outrageous online grows fuzzier day by day, with legislators, regulators, police officers and businesses scrambling to harness the wild wild west of social media law. “The Internet,” says a New York district attorney, “is our 21st century crime scene.” James Hyatt reports.
In a new book, Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey envisions a world where “one day, virtually every business will operate with a sense of higher purpose, integrate the interests of all stakeholders, elevate conscious leaders, and build a culture of trust, accountability and caring.”
It’s the largest civil penalty the Federal Trade Commission has ever imposed for violating one of its orders. But after the agency announced that Google will pay $22.5 million for overriding privacy settings in Apple’s Safari browser, skeptics quickly criticized the penalty as little more than symbolic for a company that had $2.8 billion in earnings last quarter.
An advisor on information and communications issues argues that the The Global Reporting Initiative seems to completely ignore two of the most significant human rights issues of our time—freedom of expression and privacy—and hasn’t kept pace with the explosion of the information and communications technology industry.
Microsoft and Yahoo are selling political campaigns the ability to target voters online with tailored ads using names, Zip codes and other registration information that users provide when they sign up for free email and other services. The Web giants provide users no notification that their information is being used for political targeting.
The emerging trend of “cloud computing” means that these providers have had to scale up their power consumption considerably, as they are increasingly responsible for providing more and more of the computing horsepower required by the world’s two billion Internet users.
The Federal Communications Commission announced it is slapping a fine on Google for deliberately impeding an investigation of the collection of sensitive wireless network data as part of the search giant’s Street View mapping project. The amount of the fine: $25,000.
Individual responsibility aside, the creation and management of more efficient data centers by the major online hubs is what can have the biggest impact. Google, Facebook, and Amazon.com are already deeply committed to the cloud computing model, with Microsoft, Yahoo and others following suit accordingly.
Keld Jensen argues that yesterday’s moral compass no longer points in the direction of today’s business ethics solutions – and that relativity may apply as much to business ethics as to physics. “Times have changed,” he writes. “As businesses operate in an increasingly globalized world, ethical conduct is no longer an absolute standard.”
Columnist Gael O’Brien speaks with Joel Kurtzman about corporate culture, CEO leadership and the concept of a common-purpose organization. “It is difficult for a company to keep a sense of common purpose for longer than a decade,” he says. “It has to be nurtured or it goes away.” One company that has succeeded: American Express.