Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Google. Show all posts

Friday, 16 November 2018

Yet other digital privacy betrayals

The global situation......

The Guardian, 14 November 2018:

Google has been accused of breaking promises to patients, after the company announced it would be moving a healthcare-focused subsidiary, DeepMind Health, into the main arm of the organisation.

The restructure, critics argue, breaks a pledge DeepMind made when it started working with the NHS that “data will never be connected to Google accounts or services”. The change has also resulted in the dismantling of an independent review board, created to oversee the company’s work with the healthcare sector, with Google arguing that the board was too focused on Britain to provide effective oversight for a newly global body.

Google says the restructure is necessary to allow DeepMind’s flagship health app, Streams, to scale up globally. The app, which was created to help doctors and nurses monitor patients for AKI, a severe form of kidney injury, has since grown to offer a full digital dashboard for patient records.

“Our vision is for Streams to now become an AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors everywhere – combining the best algorithms with intuitive design, all backed up by rigorous evidence,” DeepMind said, announcing the transfer. “The team working within Google, alongside brilliant colleagues from across the organisation, will help make this vision a reality.”

DeepMind Health was previously part of the AI-focused research group DeepMind, which is officially a sibling to Google, with both divisions being owned by the organisation’s holding company Alphabet.

But the transfer and vision for Streams looks hard to reconcile with DeepMind’s previous comments about the app. In July 2016, following criticism that the company’s data-sharing agreement with the NHS was overly broad, co-founder Mustafa Suleyman wrote: “We’ve been clear from the outset that at no stage will patient data ever be linked or associated with Google accounts, products or services.”

Now that Streams is a Google product itself, that promise appears to have been broken, says privacy researcher Julia Powles: “Making this about semantics is a sleight of hand. DeepMind said it would never connect Streams with Google. The whole Streams app is now a Google product. That is an atrocious breach of trust, for an already beleaguered product.”......

Here in Australia......

Canberra Times, 15 November 2018, p.8:

The chairman of the agency responsible for the bungled My Health Record rollout has been privately advising a global healthcare outsourcing company. Fairfax Media discovered the relationship between the UK-based company Serco and the Australian Digital Health Agency (ADHA) chairman Jim Birch after obtaining a number of internal documents.

The revelation comes as Health Minister Greg Hunt was forced to extend the My Health Record opt- out period after a compromise deal with the Senate crossbench and a last-minute meltdown of the website left thousands of Australians struggling to meet the original deadline. 

Since April 2016, Mr Birch has been ADHA chairman with oversight of My HealthRecord, the online summary of key health information of millions of Australians. Documents from the ADHA, released under freedom of information laws, show Mr Birch registered his work for Serco in November 2017, but the relationship was never publicly declared.

After Fairfax Media submitted questions last week on whether the relationship posed a conflict of interest, Mr Birch quit the advisory role.

Serco has won a number of multibillion-dollar government contracts to privately run - and in some cases deliver healthcare in - some of Australia's prisons, hospitals and detention centres.

The ability of Serco to navigate the controversial area of digital health records would be invaluable to any future expansion plans.
A spokeswoman for federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said all board members had declared their interests.

"Board members do not have access to system operations, and board members cannot be present while a matter is being considered at a board meeting in which the member has an interest," she said.

Lisa Parker, a public health ethics expert at University of Sydney, said the public had been asked to trust the agency is acting in its best interests. She said they should make public any information relevant to that trust…..

The register also shows Mr Birch knows the chief executive of start-up Personify Care, Ken Saman, and has been giving him advice since August last year. The software company recently released "Personify Connect", a product that provides hospitals with "seamless integration" of its original patient monitoring platform with My Health Record.

Despite being scheduled to speak at a "Personify Care breakfast seminar" later this year, Mr Birch has never publicly declared this interest. Mr Birch is also chairman of another start-up called Clevertar that allows businesses to create "virtual agents" and offer "personalised healthcare support, delivered at scale". This relationship is on the public record. 

Public sector ethics expert Richard Mulgan, from Australian National University, said the chairman should submit to a higher standard than ordinary board members and distance himself from anything suggesting a conflict of interest.

He said perception was just as important as reality and the public, not the people involved, was the best judge of whether there was a problem.

"The personal interests register must be published," he said.

"The fact they haven't can only lead to the perception there are conflicts of which they are ashamed."

Mr Birch, Personify Care and Clevertar did not respond to Fairfax Media's questions.

A Serco spokesman confirmed the company met with Mr Birch "occasionally ... over the past 12 months regarding business management", but did not answer whether it paid him.......

The Courier Mail, 15 November 2018, p.4:

Your dietitian, dentist, podiatrist, occupational therapist or optometrist will be able to see if have a sexually transmitted disease or an addiction unless you set access controls to My Health ­Record.

Major new privacy concerns emerged after the Federal Government was yesterday forced into an embarrassing call to delay the rollout.

People trying to access the controversial My Health Record hotline and computer portal experienced major delays during a rush to opt out before the system was rolled out tomorrow.

Health Minister Greg Hunt was forced to delay the opt out period until January 31 after pressure from health groups and crossbench senators.

The Australian Medical Ass­ociation was the only major health group not calling for a delay.

The vast majority of groups were concerned the record would come into ­effect before key privacy and secu­rity upgrades had been passed by ­Parliament. AMA president Dr Tony Bartone denied its position was related to his need to keep the Health Minister onside while he negotiated key reforms to general practice care.

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

When you don't like the results when you Google yourself - threaten retribution

This was the US President Donald Trump on Tuesday 28 August 2018.....

Google responded to these accusations on the same day.....

Friday, 11 May 2012

Google Inc. cries poor in Australia

Posted on Slashdot 3 May 2012:

daria42 writes "Looks like Apple isn't the only company with interesting offshore taxation practices. The financial statements for Google's Australian subsidiary show the company told the Australian Government it made just $200 million in revenue in 2011 in Australia, despite local industry estimating it actually brought in closer to $1 billion. The rest was funnelled through Google's Irish subsidiary and not disclosed in Australia. Consequently the company only disclosed taxation costs in Australia of $74,000. Not bad work if you can get it — which Google apparently can. About that 'don't be evil' motto? Yeah. Not so much."

Search engine and advertising giant Google Australia has posted a wider full-year loss of almost $4 million, despite a sharp lift in revenue.
In a special purpose annual report for the year ended December 31, Google Australia posted a $3.93 million loss after income tax, down from a loss of $3.08 million in 2010.
Revenue from continuous operations was $201.1 million, up from $151.4 million the previous year.
Gross assets for the wholly owned local arm were $116 million and income tax expenses slumped, from $1.128 million to $74,176.
Google Australia, which is based in Sydney and has 568 employees, listed its principal activities as ‘‘to provide services, assistance and advice in connection with marketing and sales support for web search engine service and advertising services.
"Google Australia Pty Ltd additionally performs certain research and development services with respect to products, utilising Google RD Technology and other appropriate technology from Google."
It took on two new directors last year in Matthew Scott Sucherman and James Anthony Marocco, replacing John Kent Walker and Lloyd Martin in November.
Under the recently released Convergence Review’s recommendations to the federal government, Google would not be defined as a major media company, thereby escaping greater content regulations.
No dividends were paid.

LOL found at Fail Nation

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Mirror, mirror, on the wall......

Google has posted Australia’s top searches in 2010. Not much on the question asking are we? And where the heck did that confusion about democracy come from?

Top questions people ask Google - ‘What is …?’
1. What is love
2. What is energy
3. What is twitter
4. What is depression
5. What is bullying
6. What is democracy
7. What is Skype
8. What is Pi
9. What is veal
10. What is probate

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Mad or Dishonest - which is worse?

A Google search delivers about 64,900 results in 0.23 seconds for the search term senator fielding mad?
While tony abbott dishonest? throws up around 22,500 results in 0.21 seconds.
This snippet came from a young fella living a few streets away from me. Thanks, Greg.
Not all the entries accuse these pollies of being either mad or dishonest, but an uncomfortably high number actually do make these claims.
So how do the likes of Fielding and Abbott laugh this off?

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Michelle O - stop being such a princess and get a life!

On the 26th November 2009 ABC News online ran with this piece:
"Executives at internet search giant Google have apologised over an offensive picture of US first lady Michelle Obama that appeared high on its list of search results.
The picture was a photograph of Ms Obama that had been manipulated to give her the facial features of a monkey."

Now manipulated images of famous persons have been around for ages and North Coast Voices linked to the site Celebrity Apes in July last year when John McCain and Barack Obama were morphed during the US presidential election campaign.

I asked Clarencegirl and she tells me that from memory movie or pop stars such as Katie Holmes, Justin Timberlake, Madonna and Mariah Carey as well as politicians and nationally prominent personalities such as Rush Limbaugh were being given the ape treatment on this website.
The list also included Michelle Obama and Hilary Clinton.
Memory is all anyone can rely on now as the site has been pulled completely by Google.
It seems that Michelle O. has turned into such a princess that she only wants the most flattering images out there in cyberspace and Team Obama is willing to cry wolf to gain her ends.
However censorship has not been as successful as they hoped and Google Images popped up with the
Celebrity Ape first lady pic contained in a September 2008 post on FlyLifeStyle.............

Sometimes Internet censorship is so mind boggling dumb.

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

How to make money while living in Australia....

While wandering up and down the byways of cyberspace I've noticed a great many "how to" posts on various subjects.
For a bit of a chuckle I Googled the search term "how to grow money" and came up with 66,300 entries.
This set me wondering just how many queries this might represent, but Google Trends told me that not enough people asked that question for it to rate a graph.
Apparently the world knows that money doesn't actually grow on trees or under bushes.
However, when I Googled "how to make money" over 10 million entries turned up and Google Trends had recorded the main countries.
What was interesting is that while the world has been asking since at least 2004, Australians didn't really start asking Uncle Google about ways of making money until late 2006 to early 2007 and have been searching ever since - with Queenslanders heading the national list by a nose.
Are we all turning into backyard entrepreneurs or out chasing rainbows?
Are searchers mostly down on their luck junior merchant bankers and stockbrokers or frantic retirees watching superannuation funds disappear down the gurgler?
Is half of good old Oz now desperately seeking silver?

Or is everyone just out there surfing the web for fun?
What is very certain is the fact that the Australian rich list hasn't suddenly swollen with a crowd of names never heard of before - so I guess that nobody's really getting rich from all those "how to" web pages.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Boy the Wonder Cat has moved to........Antarctica

I had to try it. Yes, I entered Google Latitude to see what it was all about.
Not being a mobile phone aficionado and having friends with spotty records when it comes to recharging theirs, I could see no reason why I should want to play with this new Google feature.

Then I had a thought. I could use Google to effect a digital house move for Boy the Wonder Cat.

He is now camped down in Antarctica for all the world to see, protesting against Japanese whaling in southern waters.

He is also patiently waiting for Google to update Latitude mapping so that he can move into the comfort of the Australian research station.

Care to join this intrepid little moggie?

Liberated penguins from Asymptotia

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Who dies from blogging? Who gets killed by Taser?

Cartoon #369 from XKCD

Now I know that The New York Times was probably the first to foster the idea that regular blogging is hazardous to health (helped along by Dr. Helen's post), but I'm willing to bet that the cartoonist at XKCD is principally responsible for the fact that at least 2, 360 mentions of people dying by blogging are currently indexed by Google. Have pencil and PC and humour will travel and travel and travel!

Unfortunately if you take the time to Google for mention of death by Taser you'll bring up around 2,870 citations and none of those are remotely funny.

This week we can add another mention or two to that score because it has been reported that NSW Police sought to conceal the fact that; "A MAN died of a heart attack after being repeatedly shot with a Taser in one of the first uses of the weapon in NSW".

Unfortunately NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipionie has seen fit to roll out a general distribution of these weapons (which have been used by specialist units since 2002) ahead of the NSW Ombudsman's report which calls for a moratorium on such weapons until an independent two-year review can be undertaken.

Scipie tells us that he was not aware that a man with serious chronic illness had been Tasered weeks before his death.
Garn! Even a police commissioner would have been aware that the vast majority of people Tasered by NSW police had to receive some form of medical treatment.

NSW Ombudsman's November 2008 report on The use of Taser weapons by New South Wales Police Force.

Thursday, 25 September 2008

And to think we pay good money for this!

The Federal Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, who also parades as the Shadow Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs, rose in the House on Wednesday 24 September 2008 and asked this inane question:

My question is to the Assistant Treasurer. Is the minister aware that Google now offers a free petrol price tracker site which allows motorists to search for the cheapest petrol in a given area? In light of this development, will the government abandon its plans to spend over $20 million of public money on its much maligned Fuelwatch scheme?

The Assistant Treasurer, Chris Bowen, provided this response:

Fuelwatch provides information for motorists to get the cheapest possible petrol. The difference between the cheapest and the most expensive petrol in Sydney today is 22c a litre. I cannot tell you where to find the cheapest petrol and I cannot tell you where to find the most expensive because the private sector sites that the honourable member refers to have only a selection of petrol stations, not all of them. Lots of people understand that. The people of Western Australia understand that; Fuelwatch has been in operation there for eight years. Perhaps that is why the Liberal Party in Western Australia promised to keep Fuelwatch at the last election. Perhaps that is why Colin Barnett, the new Premier of Western Australia, has said, ‘I will not touch Fuelwatch; it works.’ We have the Western Australian Liberal Premier saying he will keep Fuelwatch and we have had the Leader of the Liberal Party in New South Wales promising Fuelwatch because Fuelwatch will work. If Fuelwatch is defeated in the Senate, the only people in Australia with the benefit of Fuelwatch will be the only people living under a Liberal government, the people of Western Australia. It shows what hypocrites honourable members opposite are.

Source: Hansard (24/9/2008,page 62)

Mr Hartsuyker obviously doesn't know that Google's price tracker site doesn't cover Coffs Harbour, the principal urban centre in his electorate.