On Episode 396 of The Waves of Tech, we are diving deep into the tech news making headlines this week. Google has removed the ‘View Image’ function, safeguarding image rights and limiting image piracy, after after facing an antitrust lawsuit filed by Getty Images. The State of Oregon has signed a bill enacting their own form of net neutrality that prohibits state agencies from working with internet providers that choose to throttle websites, limit access, and treat traffic unequally. Dubai is running a test program for digital license plates that is being aimed at reduced emergency response time and quickening fee collection. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg sat in the hot seat during his Senate testimony this week and earned major points with his responses and genuine message.
Google Removes ‘View Image’ Function
Getty Images filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google in the EU with the intention of proving that Google was promoting image piracy and using specific image scraping techniques. After coming to somes terms of agreement, Google removed ‘View Image’. In effect, users of the dominant browser must click through to the image owner’s website to download an image.
- Google Image became a bit less user friendly as a result, requiring extra clicks
- The move signals attention needed regarding copyright and image ownership rights
- Smart move from Getty as browsers now must land on their sites to gather images
- Bing, DuckDuckGo, and browser extensions still provide a View Image feature
The Second State in United States Enacts Net Neutrality
Up in the Pacific Northwest, the State of Oregon enacted their specific form of net neutrality prohibiting state agencies from contracting with Internet Service Providers that don’t agree to treat all traffic on the internet equally. No new or additional requirements are being placed on ISPs in the state. In February, the State of Washington was the first state to act.
- Governor Kate Brown stated the internet is an invaluable tool for education
- Oregon will certainly face legal challenges down the road from the federal government
- The FCC prohibits states from enacting their own net neutrality rules and regulations
- The Governor wants “to make sure that access to the internet is a level playing field”
Digital License Plates are Coming in 2018
In Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority is rolling out a pilot program using digital license plates. In theory, the GPS enabled plates will allow for quicker emergency response in the event of an auto accident and serve as a tool during car theft. In addition, registration fees, ticket fines, and tools could be automatically deducted from an owner’s account.
- The dry, hot, and sandy climate of Dubai will pose technological challenges
- Privacy advocates are concerned about GPS tracking, storage of data, and hacking
- Licensing needs and plate numbers could be changed remotely by the Authority
- California started rolling out this technology earlier this year in specific regions
Thoughts & Commentary – Facebook on the Hill
Over the past three weeks, the major headline has been the data mining issues facing Facebook and the UK’s Cambridge Analytica. Mark Zuckerberg took the stand in the United States Senate hearing to answer questions of privacy, personal data collection, user’s rights, terms and conditions, and the extent of the mining.
- Zuckerberg is representing himself, his company, and the entire Silicon Valley
- The Facebook CEO earned major brownie points from both of us during the hearing
- His words and apologies were genuine and he owned the fact that mining has occurred
- Senators were poor in their choice of words and questions, not understanding the tech
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