It has been a week of regulatory decisions on internet privacy issues.
The UK’s Office of the Information Commissioner has given the go-ahead for Phorm, the targeted advertising company to start trials with BT. While the ICO statement of this is not exactly a ringing endorsement of the service, it doesn’t raise any insurmountable concerns. Phorm is still under close scrutiny, but for now, allowed to go ahead. Read more
Well, soon you can. The announcement last night of Google’s App Engine (currently in closed trial) is symbolically important: until now Google has been a vertically integrated company, building one of the world’s most powerful computing networks in order to deliver its own search and other services. Like Amazon before it, Google now says it will make that massive computing resource available to other businesses that want to run their software on its servers and access it as a service over the internet.
Once again, Google has beaten Microsoft to the punch (though to be fair, this is still only a very low-key trial, and what’s being played here is a very long-term game.) Microsoft has promised to reveal more about its own “cloud computing” platform this year, with much expected at an October developers’ conference in Los Angeles. Read more