Switzerland’s Concerned Google’s Street View Invades Privacy of Tax Evaders Citizens

While Google’s Street View is mostly well received, there are still plenty of groups and countries that claim it’s an invasion of privacy.

You can add Switzerland to that list.

Poor Switzerland. It’s bad enough that it can no longer promise US tax evaders customers complete anonymity, now there’s a chance the faces of those customers–and Swiss citizens–could wind-up plastered on Google’s maps.

Less than one week after the launch of Street View, Hans-Peter Thur, Switzerland’s federal data protection and information commissioner (FDPIC) has called for the immediate removal of the feature.

As always, Google is “surprised” at the move…

“We have been engaged in constructive dialogue with the organization ahead of [last] week’s launch to demonstrate how we protect people’s privacy on Street View. And we’re ready to do so again or to answer any additional questions.”

Yahoo’s Testing a New Search Interface…Bing’s Interface Actually

It’s not really a secret that Yahoo has given up on search. If handing the keys to the car over to Microsoft didn’t give it away, then the next step would be to run TV ads saying “We’ve! Given! Up! on Search!”–yeah, complete with those annoying exclamation marks, Yahoo! likes! to! use!

So, Yahoo really isn’t fooling anyone with the announced testing of a new search engine interface. Sure, superficially we get to see lots of cool new features such as “show results from” filters, social media content, video playback within search results, and a whole host of new whistles and bells, but it’s nothing more than prepping for surgery. In this case, the surgical implanting of Microsoft’s Bing.

Here’s a screenshot of how some folks will see Yahoo’s search results:

Interview with Andy Beal: Reputation Management in 2009

You’ve probably noticed a trend in 2009: I’ve mostly kept a low profile when it comes to speaking and interviews.

After blitzing the launch of my book Radically Transparent, I’ve taken a bit of a hiatus in 2009–mostly to give you all a break! ;-) But also to focus on Trackur.

Anyway, I’m slowly ramping back-up and it was a pleasure to sit down with my good friend Martin Brossman and discuss online reputation management. Martin has a very nice studio, so the quality of this podcast is one of the best I’ve heard.

In this interview we discuss:

  • What does Transparency in Business mean?
  • Dealing with a reputation assault on the web
  • Transparency and how it serves Small Business
  • Trackur.com vs Google Alerts

Yahoo Beats Google–Is It Enough?

yahoo-logoApparently someone clued the NYT in to the fact that Yahoo Finance is pretty popular. In fact, Yahoo Finance has been the #1 finance site for over a year and a half, while Google Finance languishes at #17 (“one slot above a site called FreePressRelease.com,” the NYT points out).

The Times looks at all the various reasons Yahoo Finance is doing so much better, starting with something you’d expect from Google: a clean page layout. Google is known for its clutter-free homepage—definitely not something you’d associate with Yahoo. However, on Finance pages, Yahoo says they realize that too much data overwhelms and confuses visitors. Google, on the other hand, is of the opinion that a finance site should “offer the best data and charts. And when that doesn’t work, offer still more data and charts.”

NYT iPhone App Gets New Intrusive Ads! Woo-hoo!

NYT iPhone App AdsWe all know the newspaper industry is taking it on the chin as of late. It probably will be for the foreseeable future as well. As a side note, in my local paper (Raleigh’s News & Observer) this weekend, one staff writer went so far as to write about an ailment he has and how if he loses his job at the paper he may not get any insurance. Nice move in making sure he is one of the last to go. So times are bad at the papers, we know that.

“Skank” Blogger Suing Google for $15M for Breach of Anonymity

I’m somewhat blown away by the hypocrisy of Rosemary Port–the blogger uncovered as the author of Skanks in NYC.

What’s your reaction to this statement by Port:

"…Without any warning, I was put on a silver platter for the press to attack me. I would think that [Google] would protect the rights of all its users."

We’ll get to her planned $15 million lawsuit against Google in a minute, but first…


She was put on a platter for the press to attack her? Did she afford Liskula Cohen anything different?

OK, back to the lawsuit. Port is threatening…

…she’ll charge Google "breached its fiduciary duty to protect her expectation of anonymity," said her high-powered attorney Salvatore Strazzullo. "I’m ready to take this all the way to the Supreme Court," Strazzullo said.

Attention Engineers: Facebook is Hiring!

Facebook IconWhile we continue to slog our way through the economy (is it getting better, staying the same or worse?) there are a few companies that are defying the general downward trends. Apple’s iPhone has let them weather the storm quite nicely. Apparently, Facebook is doing quite fine as well. In fact, they appear to be in a position to take full advantage of the talent pool that exists in the current marketplace (and one would suspect have some serious salary leverage as well).

Bloomberg.com reports that Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg isn’t too concerned about how people are struggling. He’s just happy he’s on the right end of this economy

Facebook Inc. plans to expand its staff by as much as 50 percent this year as it benefits from a surplus of engineers amid the recession, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said.