A strange episode in the long-running battle between Google and Belgian newspaper groups over the weekend highlighted the complex and delicate relationship that exists between the search engine company and the media.
Copiepresse, an organisation representing Francophone Belgian newspapers, sued Google in 2006, for posting links to pictures and content on the Google News service. Copiepresse won the case and the judgement was upheld by the appeal court in May. Read more
Google has had several years of tussles now with privacy regulators. Three years ago European data protection commissioners began question what the company was doing with all the personal data it was gleaning from users of its search engine. In the past year, the company has faced outrage – at least in some pockets like Italy, Japan and Switzerland – over Street View, which provides panoramic, eye-level views of every street of major cities around the world.
Earlier this year, a leading privacy group called on the US Federal Trade Commission to consider shutting down Google’s web services until the company could better safeguard personal data. There have been a number of instances where Google Docs, Google Desktop and Gmail have had glitches which made users personal documents visible to others. Read more