Around the IT Industry 8/12-8/16

by Modis on August 16, 2013

The Real Story Behind Google Privacy

The Internet has been in an uproar over a recent statement made by a Google representative that “a person has no legitimate expectation of privacy in information he voluntarily turns over to third parties.”  While many have interpreted the statement to make it seem like Google does not believe in Gmail users’ right to privacy, when viewed in the context of the 39-page legal filing it becomes quite clear that the statement is meant to imply that Google can not safeguard the privacy of messages that are sent to or from other carriers such as Hotmail, Yahoo, etc.  With that said, the quote itself actually comes from a 1979 Supreme Court ruling that decided legally enforceable privacy rights are forfeit upon the inclusion of a third party in a communication.  While the law is currently on the books, there are many who see it as a bad law and are looking to have it reviewed with a modern eye.

Brazil Suing Samsung for Poor Work Conditions

Allegations of poor working conditions in Brazil have cast the public eye upon Samsung as they face a $108 million lawsuit from the Brazilian Ministry of Labor due to claims of labor violations in the company’s manufacturing facilities there.  The lawsuit alleges that laborers in the facilities often work more than 15 hours a day and that over 2,000 workers have suffered health problems as a result of their work environment.  Samsung has issued a statement saying they will cooperate with authorities and thoroughly review the situation in question.

Geek Squad or Peek Squad?

When you take a computer into a repair shop to have data recovery or any other kind of maintenance performed, you place a lot of trust in the technicians who handle your data and expect them to respect your privacy and your personal information.  While many technicians are professional and courteous, there are others who would not hesitate to steal personal data (or photographs) and use them for personal gain or distribute them on the Internet.  A lawsuit recently filed in Alabama against technology superstore Best Buy highlights this issue perfectly:  a customer’s nude photos were leaked to the Internet from her personal computer by a Best Buy Geek Squad associate.

Cisco Cuts Workers Amidst Rising Revenues

Despite the company’s continued revenue growth, Cisco Systems Inc. has announced its intention to cut  4,000 jobs, approximately 5% of its work force, in order to better accommodate the company’s fiscal plan going forward.  Recent stock fluctuations brought on by a weak fiscal quarter are the most likely cause for the downsizing, but overall corporate revenue rose 6 percent during that period.  Futures for the company remain optimistic, as the global market continues to expand and Cisco’s products remain among the front-runners in networking technology.  According to Cisco CEO John Chambers, the company is in a “better position in the market today than ever before.”

eBay My Gadgets Debuts

A recently added service for eBay customers called “My Gadgets” allows users to create an inventory of devices they own and view their approximate dollar values at a glance, making the creation of eBay listings for said items much easier and also allowing customers to remain educated in order to avoid being ripped off.  The system uses aggregate data from current sales trends and prices for both new and old electronic devices to create its estimates and allows users to quickly and easily see which of their devices are the most outdated (and in need of replacement) and also which electronics may be unique or rare and thus worth considerably more than one might suspect.  The service has been fully implemented at eBay’s site and is available to all users free of charge.

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