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Google Portal.doc.doc Google Portal.doc.doc Document Transcript

  • Google Portal History/Background Google began as a research project at Stanford Univeristy by two Ph.D student, Larry Page and Sergey Brin. By developing a new querying algorithm, Google’s search engine analyzed the relationship between webpages rather than the pages getting the most hits which was the technique used their competitors. After continuous testing, the “Google guys” were convinced their engine was the best and would find the most relevant pages associated with what the search field contained. They began to recruit new investors and on September 7, 1998 the company was incorporated under the name Google Inc. (History of Google). From the beginning Google attracted loyal users to their site with their clean design to their pages and delivering top results to their customers. Their products and services have evolved from then and a list can be found below: Culture From Google.com, their Mission Statement is: “Organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Today, Google is recognized as the worlds largest search engine being an easy-to-use free service that returns relevant results quickly to its customers. To solve for their customers, Google takes special care of their employees to keep them happy. From free meal’s at “Charlie’s Place” to the complementary Starbucks and Jamba Juice that Google provides to its employees, it is a place people want to be. Google has created a work environment that is so enjoyable that they don’t want to leave, the employees want to stay and get their newest, cutting-edge project done fast so they can work on the next technological breakthrough. As for recruiting, Google hires the best and the brightest, as well as develops who can contribute to the next exciting Google feature. The office talk includes gaming secrets, encryption, or new Google projects, it isn’t rare to hear an employee say, “That’s a product I helped develop before I came to Google.” (Google Spawn: The Culture Surrounding Google) being innovated and with the financial backing of Google, programmers and engineers can have their ideas supported financially and create the next breakthrough for the company. Once Google went public, the stock took off and their empire on the internet grew tremendously. Google April 19, 2004 was when the first shares were sold publicly and it closed its first day at $100 per share. Today their shares are trading for over $450 on a daily basis and are a strong investment even at that price. They declared their code of conduct as, “Don’t Be Evil” and is one of the reasons they have survived so well as a tech stock. They claim to “believe in the long term, we will be better served – as shareholders and in all other ways – by a company that does good things for the world even if we forgo some short term gains.” Google has lived by this statement and played the game
  • fair, even if they aren’t the best at sometime they will end up investing in that company. For example, YouTube.com was a far superior site than and GoogleVideo so they purchased the rights to that site for over $1,000,000. With market domination and saturation at this point, Google is taking over. The name it self has actually become a verb with “Google it” becoming a daily phrase for people. Today, to stay competitive, Google’s engineers are teaming up with the top software products to make some new and innovative applications. For example, Google is teaming up with Intuit, makes of Quicken and TurboTax, and WebMD to create software that will revolutionize the way patients, doctors, and vendors manage all of their medical information. With that attitude and mentality, Google will remain on top and their products even though web-based are challenging software companies for their customers (The Google Culture). Copyright Issues During the last couple of years, Google has had its issues with their algorithms and other copyright issues with their product. Organizations have used the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to order that they remove references to copyrighted material on other sites. To handle these claims, Google typically removes the link to the site requested and the link to the site that has the issue. Other problems for Google include their Web cache feature has received complaints that it violates copyright. To battle this, Google implemented a feather that allows caching to be disabled. Another issue that Google is working on with universities it to digitize millions of copyrighted material housed at their respective universities. This could be considered a violation under copyright laws because Google places profit making ads next to the search results for these materials. Google however has an agreement with the universities to only provide excerpts of copyright text in a search and in the contract says that it will comply with all “fair use”, which is an exemption with copyright law that grants people the right to reproduce portions of the copyrighted text for research purposes. In the past year or so, Google has been hit with numerous law suits claiming that their search techniques find someone else’s copyrighted material and the owner is not getting credit for it. For example, Agene France-Presse (AFP) sued Google for nearly $18 million back in March 2005 claiming they used AFP photos and stories online without permission from them. Also back in 2005, they were suit by the authors who’s work was scanned in for the Google digitization project that was mention before. Google is trying to gather and organize everyone’s information and work in one central location but may be crossing the line in some circumstances. Privacy Perhaps the most serious legal issue Google is dealing with is their privacy issue. With Google being the largest search engine, what kind of data are they gathering from their users. The problem that Google infringes on is that the cookies that are used to track Web users’ search history are unique identifying the user. The cookies contain information such as the date, the uses preferences between sessions and include distant expiration dates to continue gathering data even if the user never uses a Google site
  • again. Gmail, a POP3 account that Google provides to those who sign up gather the signee’s information and they have to agree to some terms of the account. However, Google is also scanning information from an incoming message if it isn’t from a Gmail account which obviously no one agreed to any terms that would include this type of scrutinyzation. What does Google really know? If you have a… Everything you All pages that you Every Blogger page Use Google.com search using visit that have you visit Google.com Adsense ads on them Adsense Account: Full name, address, IP address of Number of visitors bank account details everyone who visits on those Adsense ad sites with Adsense sites ads on them Gmail Account: Content and Everything you send addresses sent to or receive in a Gmail your account account Additionally… Your online social What you purchase Posts through net, interests, and from Froogle Blogger groups How can Google get away with this? Google states they don’t share the information gathered to third parties. Also they say they retain and use the information with “good faith belief, access, preserve, or disclose any information deemed reasonably necessary” to protect Google’s image. More specifically, from Google’s website, this is why they claim to gather their users personal information: " Information we collect and how we use it: We offer a number of services that do not r equire you to register for an account or provide any personal information to us, such as Google Search. In order to provide our full range of services, we may collect the following types of information: • Information you provide - When you sign up for a Google Account or other Google service or promotion that requires registration, we ask you for personal information (such as your name, email address and an account password). For
  • certain services, such as our advertising programs, we also request credit card or other payment account information which we maintain in encrypted form on secure servers. We may combine the information you submit under your account with information from other Google services or third parties in order to provide you with a better experience and to improve the quality of our services. For certain services, we may give you the opportunity to opt out of combining such information. • Google cookies - When you visit Google, we send one or more cookies - a small file containing a string of characters - to your computer that uniquely identifies your browser. We use cookies to improve the quality of our service by storing user preferences and tracking user trends, such as how people search. Most browsers are initially set up to accept cookies, but you can reset your browser to refuse all cookies or to indicate when a cookie is being sent. However, some Google features and services may not function properly if your cookies are disabled. • Log information - When you use Google services, our servers automatically record information that your browser sends whenever you visit a website. These server logs may include information such as your web request, Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, the date and time of your request and one or more cookies that may uniquely identify your browser. • User communications - When you send email or other communication to Google, we may retain those communications in order to process your inquiries, respond to your requests and improve our services. • Affiliated sites - We offer some of our services in connection with other web sites. Personal information that you provide to those sites may be sent to Google in order to deliver the service. We process such information in accordance with this Policy. The affiliated sites may have different privacy practices and we encourage you to read their privacy policies. • Links - Google may present links in a format that enables us to keep track of whether these links have been followed. We use this information to improve the quality of our search technology, customized content and advertising. For more information about links and redirected URLs, please see our FAQs. • Other sites - This Privacy Policy applies to web sites and services that are owned and operated by Google. We do not exercise control over the sites displayed as search results or links from within our various services. These other sites may place their own cookies or other files on your computer, collect data or solicit personal information from you. Google only processes personal information for the purposes described in the applicable Privacy Policy and/or privacy notice for specific services. In addition to the above, such purposes include: • Providing our products and services to users, including the display of customized content and advertising; • Auditing, research and analysis in order to maintain, protect and improve our services;
  • • Ensuring the technical functioning of our network; and • Developing new services " This material was straight from Google's privacy policy , which is the corporate information Google has hidden on their corporate site. How has the public reacted? Main criticisms to Google’s techniques include the fact that the expiration date set for their cookies is January 17, 2038 at 2:14:05 PM. Also, there is no way a user can delete their information once it is stored in a Google database. You can delete a cookie, but as soon as you visit another google site, a new cookie will be created. Plus, there is no expiration/deletion policy that Google has established to erase a users information. Finally, Google’s ads are extremely well targeted to the user and they will not disclose what information they use to get these ads to their customers. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Google_and_privacy_issues) Terms of Service When using the Google.com search engine or any google services the user is bound by the following terms and conditions: • Content linked to by Google - Google has no control over what links return from the search. They have no previously looked at the site and can’t guarantee a match and is not accountable for what is returned. They warn that some links may contain objectionable, inappropriate or offensive content which they cannot filter our of the results. • Personal Use Only – Google Services are made for personal, non-commerical use only. You can’t use the Google system to sell any type of product or service, also you can’t use Google services to increase traffic on your webside for commercial reason, i.e. advertising sales. To use google for commercial purposes, you must file an agreement with Google in advance to gain permission. • No Automated Querying – As a user, you cannot send automated querries through Google’s system. Basically they don’t want the user to use software to change how a specific page “ranks” on Google.com. Also, you cant “meta- search” on Google.com or perform offline queries. • Changes in Terms and Conditions – Google reserves the right to modify these terms at any time as well as deny certain users or anyone from a third party access to the Google products and services. • Intellectual Property Policy – It is in Google’s policy to respond to claims of infringement that comply with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. • Disclaimer of Warranties – Users obtain information from the google service at their discretion. Google is not responsible for what you find or download from
  • their site. If you download a virus it is you fault, Google has nothing to do with it. More specifically “Google disclaims any and all responsibility or liability for the accuracy, content, completeness, legality, reliability, or operability or availability of information or material displayed in the GOOGLE SERVICES results. Google disclaims any responsibility for the deletion, failure to store, misdelivery, or untimely delivery of any information or material. Google disclaims any responsibility for any harm resulting from downloading or accessing any information or material on the Internet through the GOOGLE SERVICES.” • Limitation of Liability – Google or its licensors are not to be held liable for a delay or failure in performance of your computer, system, internet, etc. In their terms, “Without limiting the foregoing, under no circumstances shall Google or its licensors be held liable for any delay or failure in performance resulting directly or indirectly from acts of nature, forces, or causes beyond its reasonable control, including, without limitation, Internet failures, computer equipment failures, telecommunication equipment failures, other equipment failures, electrical power failures, strikes, labor disputes, riots, insurrections, civil disturbances, shortages of labor or materials, fires, floods, storms, explosions, acts of God, war, governmental actions, orders of domestic or foreign courts or tribunals, non-performance of third parties, or loss of or fluctuations in heat, light, or air conditioning.” This basically covers anything that can or could go wrong with your computer while using a Google service. • Requests for Removal of Links of Cached Materials – Google addresses each request to remove links from their database. This is on a case-by-case basis o remove the link to the site from its search results but Google does not guarantee that each request will be granted. Google cache’s all web pages as a back-up incase a server fails and that page cannot be found. As a site owner, you can use the “NOARCHIVE meta-tag” that will prevent Google from retrieving cached versions of their website. Features of Google Since the start of Google, they have been ahead of the game and pride themselves on being the best. Google can basically do a version of any type of software out there right now. Google is in the progress of developing an operating system, they already have a calendar management site, email setup, Froogle – Google marketplace, and Google video just to name a few. Please see below for a list of Google services available according to wikipedia.com. Please see Appendix 1 for a complete list of Google's products and services.
  • Public Privacy Policy History/ Background – EULAs Privacy History Google’s privacy policy, like common law formed from many different disputes, acts, and lawsuits in the past. Authors guild lawsuit, censorship, Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), Gonzalez v. Google, all having their effect on Googles history dealing with copyrights, trade secrets, and information in the public domain are among the many examples of the disputes that formed Googles privacy policy and the creation of their End-User License Agreements (EULA) Authors Guild Lawsuit 2005 (click here) The Authors Guild and a Lincoln biographer, a children's book author, and a former Poet Laureate of the United States filed a class action suit in federal court in Manhattan against Google over its unauthorized scanning and copying of books through its Google Library program. The suit alleges that the $90 billion search engine and advertising juggernaut is engaging in massive copyright infringement at the expense of the rights of individual writers. Through its Library program, Google is reproducing works still under the protection of copyright as well as public domain works. Google intends to make money from the project by selling advertising on its search pages, much as it does on its popular online search-engine site. Each of the plaintiffs claim copyright to at least one literary work that is in the library of the University of Michigan, according to the suit. Michigan is one of three universities, along with Harvard and Stanford, that agreed last year to let Google create searchable databases of their entire collections. The New York Public Library and Oxford University also entered into agreements with Google, but only for the works in their collections that are no longer covered by copyright. The suit contends that Google knew or should have known that the Copyright Act "required it to obtain authorization from the holders of the copyrights in these literary works before creating and reproducing digital copies of the works for its commercial use and for the use of others." Google has said from the beginning that its program is covered by the "fair use" provision of the copyright law, which allows limited use of protected works. There are four factors of fair use; the purpose and character of the use, Nature of the copyrighted work, amount and substantiality of the portion used, and effect of use on potential market. In a statement issued in response to the suit, Google also said its program respected copyrights.
  • Censorship (click here) According to ABC news, google stated that providing some information is better than providing no information. The company agreed to block some sites that cover human rights, Tibet and other topics that Beijing doesn’t want the citizens of the communist nation to research. “ The controversy over Google's decision underscores the ongoing tensions between Internet tools that increase computer users' access to information and the efforts of totalitarian and repressive regimes around the world to limit that access". Google removed Agence France Presse (AFP) from Google news in a direct reaction to a lawsuit AFP filed against the search engine provider alleging copyright infringe over the inclusion of AFP content in Google news. More recently, Belgian newspapers won a case against Google for copyright infringement for republishing snippets of their newspapers content on Google News without permission. Though search engines cannot prevent direct access to a site of interest, an exclusion from a search engine may nonetheless have a similar effect on a site's ability to reach its intended visitors. Private parties have sought to have search results omitted whose corresponding sites allegedly infringe copyright or other rights. For example, the Church of Scientology, invoking the "safe harbor" provisions of the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, convinced Google to remove references to certain web pages critical of the religion and allegedly containing copyrighted material; another example may be found with the Internet Archive's policy of possibly (but not necessarily) acceding to requests to remove its caches of a given Web site should the site's authors (or perhaps others) object on the basis of copyright infringement. Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) Google states that their policy is to respond to clear notices of alleged copyright infringement, whether Google is liable for such infringement under local country law or United States law. Their response include removing or disabling access to material claimed to be the subject of infringing activity and/or terminating subscribers (http://books.google.com/picasa_web_dmca.html). The DMCA applies to a variety of digital works, including sound recordings, A/V works, software, and literary works. DMCA major provisions that deal with Google’s issues include anticircumvention rules and exceptions and copyright management information. The DMCA anticircumvention rules prohibit unauthorized access to a work protected by standard technical protection measures intended to restrict access. Gonzalez v. Google The U.S. Department of Justice filed a motion in federal court seeking a court order that would compel search engine company Google, Inc. to turn over “a multi-stage random sample of one million URL’s” from Google’s database, and a computer file with “the text of each search string entered onto Google’s search engine over a one-week period
  • (Gonzalez v. Google). Google objects thats its compliance with the request would require it to produce information identifying the users of its search engines. The Government has issued subpoenas to, and has produced electronic files to the Government that contain the texts of the search strings, but that do not contain any additional personal identifying information. Thus Google should have no problem complying in the same way competitors have. Google also contends that the material asked for in this request is redundant since the Government has already subpoenaed other search engines for similar information. Google then argues that the subpoena forces them to produce trade secrets by giving up the total number of queries it receives with a given day. Also Google contends that it will be subject to an undue burden in complying with this request and that its compliance with this request would imply that its search engine database is reflective of the entire world-wide-web. The Government denies any of these allegations stating, that they are unaware of anyway these queries could give up trade secrets and if it did it would be under protective orders that protects such privileged material from disclosure. The burden that Google would be put under would be minimal, the Government request seeks only the production of the queries that were entered into Google’s search engine over a week period in a electronic text file. End user License Agreements (EULA) EULA are meant to protect the producer of the software by presenting the user a choice of accepting or rejecting the agreement. Companies can use EULAs more as an elaborate liability disclaimer than a real contract. EULA’s work on the same principle as shrinkwrap, but instead of breaking the plastic wrapping used to coat the box a user clicks to agree or reject agreement. Google Earth EULA Google Earth is a free downloadable virtual globe program. It can map the earth by super imposing images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) over a 3 dimensional globe. There is no registration required. The program seems to be for use by anyone anytime but their EULA states that the Software is made available for your personal, non-commercial use only. You may not use the Software or the geographical information made available for display using the Software, or any prints or screen outputs generated with the Software in any commercial or business environment or for any commercial or business purposes for yourself or any third parties. Which means the use of the free version of Google Earth is forbidden at work. Google Desktop Google Desktop is a free downloadable software that allows users access to information on their computer and from the web. It allows full text searches over email, files, music, photos, chats, Gmail, and web pages that were viewed. Google Desktop EULA is not
  • displayed like Google Earth through the installation of the software. According to Googles Term and Conditions a user agrees to the EULA by the just downloading the software. The user acknowledges that Google or third parties own all right title and interest in and to Google Desktop, portions, thereof, or software or content provided through or in conjunction with Google Desktop, including without limitation all Intellectual Property Rights. Updates for Google Desktop EULA Google Desktop may communicate with Google's servers (unless Google Desktop is being used in an internal business and settings prevent this communication) to check for available updates to the software, such as bug fixes, patches, enhanced functions, missing plug-ins and new versions. During this process, Google Desktop sends Google a request for the latest version information. By installing Google Desktop the user agrees to automatically request and receive Updates from Google's servers. Google Toolbar Google Toolbar is an Internet browser toolbar available for Microsoft Internet Explorer and Mozilla Firefox. The way a user agrees to Googles Toolbar EULA is agreeing when downloading and installing. Googles Toolbar installs directly to a internet browser and the size of the software is relativity small, so the action of downloading and installing is at the same time. Gmail EULA Gmail is a free POP3 email service provided by Google. Since Gmail service that requires registration their EULA is “signed” when user is finishing registration. Gmail's EULA states that the user agrees to Google Terms of Service, Gmail Privacy Policy, and Gmail Program Policies. They spell out the description, use, intellectual property rights, Privacy and use of advertisements.
  • Privacy Issues specific to Google Google maintains a very detailed privacy policy, notifying users of all of the terms of their service. The policy details what information is gathered, how the information is gathered, what is done with the information, how it is protected, and much more. It is important for Google to clearly state, and make available, such information to protect them from legal action. In general, Google appears to be a trustable corporation, however there is a lot that goes on behind the scenes that users do not know about. Despite many lawsuits against Google, they seem to maintain a rather secure use of their Personal Identifyable Information. Personal Identifyable Information There are many issues to consider regarding privacy, with regards to Google, but first it is important to understand the general concept of privacy and personal identifiable information (PII). Privacy regulations are based on the balance between the individual’s desire to keep certain things secret or hidden from society, and society’s natural desire for information. With the internet, a whole new set of privacy issues become important and laws must adapt to the ever-changing environment of the information era. Data Management In order to understand the legal issues involved with privacy, it is important to understand the process by which data is managed via the internet. The process starts whenever some sort of activity is prompted by the user, for example entering a website. At this point in time the user is identifiable by some unique factor, such as an IP number, or a username (both methods are used by Google). After the user is identifiable, data is collected by observing the activity, for example links clicked on, searches entered, text in emails, etc. The data then must be stored and analyzed. Google has one of the largest storage capacities on the internet, and a very advanced system for analyzing data; they have even promised Artificial Intelligence in the future. After being analyzed, data is either directly used, or sold to a third party. Google claims not to sell their PII to third parties; however they reserve the right to share aggregated, non personal information with third parties. They also recieve such information from third parties, according to their privacy policy. Privacy in the Constitution The process of data management is very controversial with regards to privacy issues. While privacy is not directly mentioned in the U.S. Constitutions, many of the amendments have an effect on privacy regulations. The table below lists the constitutional provisions that have an impact on privacy, and explains their importance related to Google.
  • Constitutional Provision Rights Protected Impact on Privacy relevant to Google First Amendment Freedoms of speech, • Protects privacy of ideas and expression of ide religion, press, worship practices, group memberships, etc. Ke assembly, petitions government from checking group memberships etc. • Permits observation and learning, allowing Go online activity. Third Amendment No quartering of • Provides protection from military’s physical in soldiers surveillance into the home, which for Google m from the government’s observation of internet Fourth Amendment No unlawful search and • Protects from unreasonable search of persons, seizure; warrants, or effect without warrant based on probable ca subpoenas, or court Google, this means that the government should orders are required search through internet records without a warra • Secrecy of communications and correspondenc observation of emails and chats on Google as w of the internet. Fifth Amendment No double jeopardy; no • Protects from repeated legal process, forced rev self-incrimination; due information, and enhances autonomy. For Goo process (federal); no protects their right to refuse information from t uncompensated taking protecting the users. of private property • Protects from federal action taking ownership o and knowledge acquired about others’ private a protects admission of observation of PII on Go by third parties. Sixth Amendment Trials in the public • Prevents secrecy of trials, so users know when record, confront on trial. witnesses • Permits intrusion into witnesses’ solitude to req and cross-examination opens up witnesses’ pas scrutiny. Ninth Amendment Enumeration of rights in • Basis to infer privacy rights, even though not e Constitution does not in Constitution. deny the people other rights Tenth Amendment Reserves power of • Basis to infer state authority to enact privacy la
  • government to the states people to protect their privacy. or to the people Fourteenth Amendment Due process (states); • Basis to withhold or limit access to information privileges and personal choice. Allows Google to hold inform immunities; equal government. protection of laws • Protects from state action taking ownership of knowledge acquired about others’ private activ the Fifth, this protects Google from admitting t Bagby, John. E-Commerce Law: Issues for Business. New York: South-Western College/ West, 2003. 597. Fair Information Practice Principles To protect users, there are certain principles which establish fair management of information. First, users must agree to the collection of information. Notifications are either opt-in, where a users must go through extra steps to allow information to be shared, or opt-out, where users must go through extra steps to prohibit the information collection. Opt-out systems usually gather more information, because most users don’t opt-out, and few users would choose to opt-in if that were the case. Google requires consent from users to share information, utilizing an opt-in system: "We have your consent. We require opt-in consent for the sharing of any sensitive personal information." In both cases, users must be notified of the collection of their information, and then they have to be given a choice whether or not to permit collection. If they grant consent, the PII can be used, but users should be granted access to their information if they request it. Beyond the principles regulating the collection of the information, companies also have a duty to protect the PII to assure that it does not end up in the wrong places. Certain security measures should be taken to assure that the data is not intercepted. Enforcement of privacy practices is also a necessity based on the Fair Information Practice Principles (FIPP). Profiling Many of the advertisements that we see on the internet are not displayed on accident. Data is gathered by many methods throughout the internet, whether by simply asking questions, or collecting a wide range of information about users to display the most relevant advertisements to each user. Some profiling systems simply ask for age, gender, etc. allowing them to personalize advertisements to their users. For example, a users that stated he was a male, would likely not be displayed a banner for feminine products. Google has a very complicated method of gathering information about their users, to provide them with relevant advertisements. First, if a user signs up for an account with Google, certain information is gathered (gender, age, location, etc.) Users can choose to keep some information from Google, however certain fields are required. After gathering
  • the initial information on users, information continues to be gathered by Google's strategic information systems. They log information such as Internet Protocol address, browser type, browser language, and date and time of requests. This information is gathered for users, as well as casual visitors to the site. Google logs all searches made under a user name, or a specific IP address. They also log direct communications that users make with Google, such as complaints or comments sent to Google support. Google also gathers information from some partner sites. Google is affiliated with certain sites which send them their user information, which is gathered according to their own privacy policies. Google also records information about what links users click on. Google gathers information using several of their services, including: Google Calendar, Google Desktop, Gmail, Google Groups, Orkut, Google Personalized Homepage, Personalized Searches, Google Store, Google Talk, Google Toolbar for IE, Google Toolbar for Firefox, Google Video Player, Google Web Accelerator. Detailed privacy policies are available for each of these services, as well as an overall privacy policy for Google, available on its site. Children’s On-line Protection Act The Children’s On-line Protection Act (COPA) of 1998 protects minors from material that could be harmful to them. Whether or not the material is harmful to minors is either obscene, or meets three standards. The first standard regards to whether or not the average person believes the information appeals to the prurient interest. The second standard assures that the information does not contain sexual conduct or inappropriate nudity. Finally, the act takes into account whether or not the material lacks literary, artistic, political, or scientific value for minors. The COPA further details each of these circumstances. It is important for Google to not knowingly make communication with minors for commercial purposes revealing any information that is harmful to minors. This is one of the reasons that Google asks for users’ age upon signing up for an account, and utilizes content filtering software. In March of 2006 the district attorney tried to gather records from Google to assure their compliance with the COPA, in a case entitled Gonzales v. Google. Other similar services were subpoenaed, and complied, including AOL, Yahoo! Inc. and Microsoft, Inc. Google objected to the subpoena, demanding a sample of URLs from Google's search index which was to serve as a test of their content filtering software. Google refused to disclose the information for multiple reasons, one being to maintain user trust. Privacy is important to google, and users trust that Google will do whatever they can to protect the privacy of their users. Their privacy policy does however state that they could not expect Google to keep information from the Government. Their privacy statement states that they will only protect personal information (such as name, email address, etc.) The URLs were not considered personal information, as there were no identifyable data enclosed. While the privacy expectations of some Google users are unreasonable, they do back up Google's argument that such a search could impact the goodwill of Google's image. This argument suffers however, because Google already discloses such information to a service called Google Zeitgeist, which provides the top ten search queries by country, as well as the top fifteen gaining search queries. The outcome of the case (Google was
  • required to disclose some information, however not the original request from the Government) was based on factors other than the privacy issues, however it is important to consider these issues. Google users should feel confident that Google will not disclose their information without at least putting up a fight. The Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) of 1986 protects Google and its users from governmental observation of personal identifyable information, however not from agregated non- personal information. Conclusions and Opinion There are many privacy issues specific to Google, which are usually defined somewhere within their privacy statement. Many users are not aware of the extent of information Google has on them, however this information is available, so the ignorance of users is their own fault. Google appears to maintin an ethical use of PII. They obtain and utilize the PII for a profit, but profit is necessary for business, so one can't blame Google for seeking a profit. According to their privacy policy, most of the information they collect is to the users' advantage. Advertisements are customized to meet the interests and needs (as calculated by Google) of users. To some, this seems scary, but as far as I'm concerned, I'm happy to see ads that interest me and may be useful to me. Their analyses of information are also used for further development of Google services, based on user interest, which does not bother me either. I think it's exciting when Google comes out with new useful software, and I'm not concerned if they determined an interest in such a product by reviewing information they gathered from my search queries or even my e- mails. I'm personally not worried that some employee at Google might be reading my e- mails, but perhaps I should be.
  • Analysis of Google’s Legal Cases Google themselves have been the subject of many suits and cases over the years, ranging from trade secret, copyright, and database protection cases to contract cases. In order to see what sorts of issues Google has dealt with in the past and to get an idea of how they might deal with similar issues in the future, it’s important to see how they have reacted. To do this, we’ve divided this section into two main parts, each dealing with a different subset of legal cases that have involved Google either as plaintiff or defendant. First, containing the bulk of cases, are the intellectual properties ones, having to do with copyright protections and fair use guidelines, trade secret issues, and database protections. Second, we will look at cases involving contract law and e-commerce protection. Of course, some of these cases overlap, but each fits fairly well into a major heading. Note: much of the original information for these cases was found at Westlaw and LexisNexis, however registration is required so links cannot be provided. IP Cases Government Employees Insurance Company (GEICO) v. Google – Aug. 25, 2004 Facts: GEICO alleged that Google was infringing on their trademark by showing links from paid advertisers whenever a user did a web search for GEICO via the Google search engine. They further stated that this constituted a trademark dilution under the Lanham Act because Google was showing competitors ads when a user performed a search for GEICO. For their part, Google stated that GEICO had no proof of intent to infringe on their trademark and that the case should be summarily dismissed. Legal Issue: Does the fact that paid advertisers also show up on Google when a search for GEICO is performed constitute a trademark infringement and possible dilution of the trademark? Opinions: In order for an action to be considered trademark infringement under the Lanham Act, it must be shown that the alleged infringer a) possesses the mark, b) uses the mark, c) uses the mark in commerce, d) uses the mark in connection with a sale, distribution or advertising of goods and services, and e) is likely to confuse customers. In this case, Google states that the trademarks were not used as a mechanism of commerce, nor were they used in connection with any sort of sale. They also state that the use of the trademark is very unlikely to confuse any customers since the relation between the GEICO trademark and the competing ads is calculated internally, and never shown to a consumer. However, just because the customer doesn’t ever see the calculations behind the scenes,
  • they are given competing ads when GEICO is entered into a web search. This could constitute the selling of advertisements based on GEICO’s trademark and name. Because of this, a good argument for the commercial use of the GEICO trademark is made, and Google can be held liable for that use. Holdings: The sale of keyword-linked advertising constitutes a commercial use of GEICO’s trademarks, and an injunction against the use of those trademarks is granted against Google. However, GEICO failed to state a solid claim for interference under the Lanham Act and as such, any liability or claim against Google based on that Act is dismissed. Field v. Google – January 12, 2006 Facts: Blake Field brought a copyright infringement suit against Google alleging that links made to archived copies of Field’s website contained copyrighted material. He sought to get statutory damages from Google in the amount of $2.5 million for the alleged republishing of his works. Legal Issue: Is the automatic archiving of and linking to copyrighted works an infringement on copyright? Opinion: There are billions of sites on the web, and as it would be impossible for Google to manually index them, they have an automatic service that does the indexing and caching of websites. When a user performs a search via Google, they are offered a list of websites that meet their criteria, a short snippet of the website’s content, and a link to bring the user directly to the website. In addition, there is also a link that will show the user a cached copy of the website as it was when it was initially scanned by Google’s automatic WebCrawler. The author of any website can request that Google remove all cached versions of their site, a fact that the plaintiff was aware of. Because Field never told Google that he didn’t want his website to be cached, he in effect granted them an implied license to cache his webpages. Holdings: Because Google automatically crawled and cached webpages, they are not liable of intentional copyright infringement. In addition, the author of the webpage knew that not only would Google provide cached copies of his website but also that he could prevent them, granting implied consent. The case is thereby dismissed.
  • Parker v. Google (2) – March 10, 2006 Facts: Gordon Roy Parker alleged that Google was infringing on his copyright because they archived a section of his book which he himself had posted on Google’s Usenet service. He also alleged that any automatic linking to the archived post done by Google’s Usenet indexing was likewise a copyright infringement. In addition, Parker said that Google was vicariously liable for defamation because they had also archived negative posts about Parker. For their part, Google asked that the case be dismissed. Legal Issue: Does automatic linking to copyrighted works constitute copyright infringement according to the Copyright Act? Does archiving a defamatory post on a public service make the archiving service liable for defamation? Opinion: On the issue of the alleged copyright infringement, there is a very important distinction in the Copyright Act that states that to be found liable for infringement, an act “requires conduct by a person who causes in some meaningful way an infringement.” This by in large lets many ISPs off the hook because any alleged acts of infringement are done automatically without any user intervention. The major point is that automatic caching and archiving is not purposefully done with the intent to infringe on someone’s copyright. On the second point, that of Google publishing defamatory remarks about Parker because of their archive, the Communications Decency Act (§ 230(c)(1)) provides a “safe harbor” for ISPs, stating that “most Internet services [are granted] immunity from liability for publishing false or defamatory material so long as the information was provided by another party.” Holding: Neither automatic linking nor automatic archiving of past materials can count towards copyright infringement. Likewise, any archived remarks made by others that are re- published on an Internet service do not make the ISP liable for defamation due to safe harbor. Because of these two facts, the case has been dismissed. Perfect 10 v. Google – February 21, 2006 Facts: Perfect 10 (P10) is the publisher of an adult magazine and adult website which provides high quality images of nude models for download and viewing by paying subscribers. Google’s image search feature was able to automatically search through and cache these images to provide thumbnail copies of them on the search engine. P10 alleges that this
  • constitutes copyright infringement of their images. Google on the other hand says that their automatic indexing and caching of small thumbnails of the images constitutes fair use and should not be considered direct infringement. Legal Issue: Does Google’s Image Search infringe on the copyright of each image owner, or is that thumbnail copy covered under fair use guidelines? Opinion: In order to prove infringement, the plaintiff must prove two things: that they have a valid copyright and that the defendant has violated one of their exclusive rights under copyright law. The fact that P10 holds the copyright is indisputable, so the second point must be addressed. To begin with, Google’s image search only shows a thumbnail sized image. When the user clicks on the thumbnail, it links directly back to the origin of the full sized image, in this case, back to P10’s website. So Google is not actually reproducing the original content; they are merely linking to it. This essentially supports the fact that Google does not store or reproduce any full sized images on their Image Search site. This leaves the thumbnails on Google’s servers and an examination of their validity under fair use. First, to be considered for fair use, the purpose and character of the use must be looked at. Google does gain a commercial benefit from the thumbnails due to their AdSense and AdWords programs, weighing slightly in favor of P10. However, because the images are resized to a fraction of their original dimensions however, the court finds that Google’s use is transformative. Secondly, the nature of the copyrighted work must be examined. In this case, P10’s photos are creative in nature and are considered artistic works, thus, this also weighs in P10’s favor. Third is the amount of the work used. Because these are thumbnails, the court finds that Google has used no more than was necessary to provide their public service, and as such, are covered under fair use for this part. Finally, while the thumbnails don’t affect the value of the full size images on P10’s website, they do affect the sales of smaller sized images for cell phone use. In this manner, Google’s use does infringe and the court finds slightly in P10s favor here. Holding: Google’s thumbnails are not covered under Fair Use in this case as three of the four tests for fair use are found slightly in favor of the plaintiff. For this reason, the court grants a preliminary injunction against Google with regards to displaying thumbnails of P10’s images. NetJumper Software, L.L.C v. Google – March 29, 2006 Facts:
  • NetJumper Software has a patent on a piece of software that allows the user to do web navigation via a floating popup window. While the floating window is how the software is usually used, it can also be integrated into a web browser to dock along any of the four sides of the window. They allege that the Google Toolbar infringes on their patent because it can do many of the same things. Google alleges that NetJumper’s software is not only meant to display in a separate window, but that there was also prior art before NetJumper’s patent and that their patent should thus be invalid. Legal Issue: Does a piece of software that is functionally similar to but visually different from another piece of software infringe on its patent? Opinions: In the patent for the NetJumper software, they not only clearly describe the function of their program, but they also describe its location. While Google claims that the patent states that the NetJumper software must be run in a free floating window, the patent actually does include a broader list of possibilities: “In alternate embodiments the jumper window may take any of several forms. The user interface may include popup or persistent window, a toolbar, a menu modification of the browser window, a toolbar modification of the browser window, or the use of accelerator keys on the keyboard.” Because of this, and the fact that the Google Toolbar performs a functionally identical set of instructions, the NetJumper patent is upheld. On the second claim, that the NetJumper patent is invalid, Google must by law provide a clear and convincing case for the invalidity, which they have not done. Holdings: The NetJumper patent is not only valid, but Google’s Toolbar is also in violation of patent infringement. Contract/E-Commerce SearchKing, Inc. v Google – May 27, 2003 Facts: Google uses a PageRank system to numerically show how useful, relevant, and significant a certain website is. These PageRanks are automatically generated by an algorithm that Google uses in their internal processes. SearchKing was a company that sold advertising based on PageRank, charging higher premiums for ads based on pages with higher rankings. In July of 2002, SearchKing had a PageRank of 8. In August of
  • 2002, SearchKing, and their partner site, the PR Ad Network (PRAN), had their PageRanks reduced to 4 and 0 respectively. SearchKing alleged that the rankings were intentionally and maliciously tampered with and that the devaluation adversely impacted their business model and sued Google for tortious interference. Google on the other hand asserts that PageRanks are considered protected speech and that they are thus immune from any liability. Legal Issue: Is the Google PageRank system simply a subjective opinion, and thus has first amendment protection? Opinion: SearchKing believes that the PageRank system is objectively verifiable and that, because the algorithm that performs the page rankings is patented, it must be objective and replicable. This argument is not without merit, but it does not make a distinction between a process and a result. In the case of Google’s PageRank system, the algorithm behind the scenes is objective in nature, and represents the process which helps to shape the PageRanks. The actual value and result however is published by Google, and is therefore highly subjective in nature. It was this subjective result that was modified, and as such, it is that which SearchKing has brought action against. These PageRanks are therefore considered opinions of Google, not objectively verifiable facts, and as such should be considered protected speech. Furthermore, constitutionally protected speech is per se lawful and can not give rise to any action for tortious interference even if the speech is motivated by ill will. Holdings: Because the PageRank rankings are considered protected speech, there is no real action for SearchKing to legally bring a suit against. The case is thereby dismissed. Microsoft v. Google (2) – October 27, 2005 Facts: Dr. Kai-Fu Lee began working for Microsoft in 1998 and signed a Non-Compete Agreement with them. In May of 2005, Lee left Microsoft and was hired by Google. Microsoft immediately brought an injunction against Google and Dr. Lee, stating that his Non-Compete Agreement should be upheld. Legal Issue: Does a Non-Compete Agreement from Washington State apply in California, and can it be upheld?
  • Holding: Dr. Lee’s Non-Compete Agreement is binding and a temporary injunction is granted. Christina Elwell v. Google – Jan. 30, 2006 Facts: Christina Elwell was employed by Google and promoted in 2004 to their National Sales Director for North America. That same year, she became pregnant with quintuplets and stated that she would be unable to travel for a while during her pregnancy. She was subsequently demoted, fired, and then re-hired in a lower grade position. During her disability leave, she was paid less than expected and rude comments about her were made by her boss, Timothy Armstrong. She consequently sued Google and Armstrong for employment discrimination and retaliation. Google responded by issuing a motion to compel arbitration. Legal Question: Can Google force arbitration in this case? Opinion: Under the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA), any case in which arbitration is possible and in which a contract exists that states arbitration shall be used in the case of disputes, must be settled via arbitration. In this case, Elwell’s initial employment contract contained a clause for arbitration in the settlement of disputes. Even though that arbitration clause was broad and non-specific, it does apply to any employment related disputes brought by the employee and, according to the FAA, it is the court’s duty to move the dispute into arbitration instead. Holding: Google’s case is granted: the dispute must be tried in arbitration. Carl E. Person v. Google – Oct. 11, 2006 Facts: Carl Person tried to purchase a number of Google ad-words for use during his 2006 campaign for Attorney General in New York. When he tried to purchase a number of very low ranked, and thus minimally priced, ad-words for his website, he was told that the words were not available for use. He also tried some more useful ad-words, and found that the prices charged for those words were, in his estimation, exorbitant. He thus alleges that Google’s AdWords program is intentionally monopolistic and meant to prevent small businesses from purchasing any ad-words by pricing ad-words out of the range of a small
  • business customer. Rather than respond to this directly, Google stated that since Mr. Person had signed a contract governing the use of ad-words, and that that contract had a forum selection clause, the case should be closed in New York and moved to California. Legal Issue: Is the forum selection clause binding and will it cause Mr. Person undue complications for his suit? Opinion: To begin with, the court has the right to examine a forum selection clause to see if it is fair and balanced and not simply included to grant the holder of the contract the ability to ‘forum shop’. However, the forum clause must be upheld if the court finds that it is not meant to block legal action from taking place. In this case, the plaintiff had signed the contract, meaning that he had prior notice of the clause, and had agreed to the terms help within. In addition, he would still be able to bring suit and attend court if the case were tried in California. Likewise, he made no case to show that the courts in California would try the case any differently from the court of New York. Holding: The case is hereby transferred to the venue chosen in the contract. Conclusion and Opinions Looking over the number of cases that Google has been involved in and looking at how they have performed in these cases shows a fairly even mix of victories and defeats over the past few years. However, the overall trend seems to show that the courts are willing to give Google the benefit of the doubt in many instances. Many existing laws, such as the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, Communications Decency Act, and the Copyright Act of 1976 give Google a series of protections with regards to republishing, storing, and linking to copyrighted material. Perhaps it is because of these protections that a company the size of Google has comparatively few large legal cases against it. As they move into new markets however and increase their influence over the Internet (such as through their recent purchase of YouTube), that could be expected to change.
  • Potential Future Legal Issues Google libraries- book scanning: Google’s Print for Libraries program is a project being developed to scan millions of the world’s books to make them searchable online. The Association of American University Presses is outraged by this project and accuses Google of posing a risk of “systematic infringement of copyright on a massive scale.” The AAUP claims that the project has a potential risk of serious financial damage to the group’s membership. One of the major concerns with this project is that publishers are worried Google might someday distribute these digital copies of copyrighted books without the author’s approval. Publishers dispute that libraries do not have the legal right to digitize copyrighted books by giving it to Google. Another issue is piracy. Google must make sure they protect all copyrighted material. The main argument involves the fair use section of the copyright statute. Some experts believe that Google does not interrupt the market for purchasing these books, which heavily favors Google. Others believe that this project could open liability for potential copyright infringement if all the concerns aren’t settled now between all parties. Google and YouTube Google’s latest acquisition of YouTube may trigger many copyright lawsuits in the near future. Google may be exposing itself when it comes to liability for copyright violations. Youtube supposedly deletes any copyrighted video when notified, and is trying to make a system that automatically filters out the copyrighted material. A problem with this is that most homemade videos, which are allowed by the site, use such things as copyrighted music in the background. These people obviously didn’t get permission from the copyright owner to play the music. In order for Google to avoid these potential lawsuits it must work out some kind of agreement with the music, TV, and movie companies that are out to get Google. Google’s ad system: Google will always have the possibility of facing cases addressing trademark protection in Google’s ad system. Google receives most of its profits from ad revenue. There has already been a case between Geico and Google involving this matter.
  • Google Desktop: This Google product brings on a major privacy issue with consumers. This service stores copies of users' files such as pdf’s, word documents and spreadsheets and makes them searchable from any other user’s computer. This makes user’s personal information is extremely vulnerable to government subpoenas, private litigants, as well as hackers. With all the privacy issues Google has faced already, it seems ridiculous that people are going to trust Google with their personal computers. If the user does not choose their options carefully, then Google could possibly have copies of tax returns, love letters, business records, financial and medical records. The government only needs a subpoena to acquire this information instead of a search warrant if they were to acquire it from a computer in someone’s home. The Electronic Communication Privacy act only gives limited privacy protection for emails and other files stored with online service providers. If Google were to use one’s data for marketing purposes that limited privacy protection would be gone, and Google’s current privacy policy allows that. Privacy laws are outdated allowing for this type of activity. Until laws are updated users are going to have to give up most f their privacy if they want to use these new technologies. Antitrust Google may become more susceptible to future antitrust lawsuits as the company keeps on growing and expanding. Since Google is such a high power on the Internet, it is more likely to run into antitrust problems. With its patented rating system, Google has the potential to make or break other companies. Google currently faces lawsuits from companies such as KinderStart, the search engine for kids that plummeted from Google’s rankings. This seems to be a practice that may hurt businesses like KinderStart and has the potential to present Google with antitrust problems. Some claim that there is no future antitrust litigation in Google’s future. As long as Google remains to be the leading search engine, they can take over as much of the market as they want. Others still believe that if Google does this cleanly they’re still vulnerable to antitrust lawsuits and can be a “victim of its own success.”
  • Conclusion As long as Google is around there will always be lawsuits brought against them. With the amount of information Google collects from its users, will always face some type of legal problems. With every new service Google comes up with there will always be some type of copyright or privacy issue, with other individuals or organizations trying to take their money. Google has a huge team of legal experts looking after and defending every issue that is brought up. Google faces lawsuits all the time, usually small cases that are usually settle between the two parties before the courts get involved. It would take a lot for Google to ever get in any real big legal problems.
  • Conclusions “Don’t be Evil.” That has been Google’s motto from the very beginning, and it has served as a very broad moral compass for the company. In looking over the history of the company, it is easy to see that they have certainly kept themselves busy with designing new ways to increase their revenue streams, but it’s harder to see just where the evil isn’t being done. It is clear that Google is trying to become the single most indispensable tool on the web however, by creating web based utilities for the masses. With such powerful tools as Google Search, G-Mail, Google Calendar, and now Video and Image searching capabilities, Google is poised to give Internet users a one-stop shopping solution. Where this potentially becomes a problem, and where their business models dive right to the heart of their unwillingness to “be evil”, is when one realizes that Google gathers marketing information and PII from every single person who touches one of their multitude of services. This has brought Google up against many companies who dislike exactly how Google uses that information, as can be seen in the legal cases we have highlighted. It also has forced Google to do battle with the biggest user of PII in the country, the U.S. Government. It is in that particular case where we start to see Google’s motto take effect, and we see the morality of the company’s founders standing up to protect their users and their user’s rights. Juxtaposed against the complete willingness of many of America’s telecommunications companies to provide the Government with whatever they ask for, this definitely shows Google in a better light. So the question remains, will Google continue to act as they have and provide some measure of safety for the massive volumes of information that they have collected? Only time will tell, but, based on the research that we have done, and the legal cases that Google has been involved in, we feel confident that they will. Their willingness to allow users to opt-out of automatic linking and searches, their relatively open policies with regards to how they use PII and how they protect it, and their relatively clean past with regards to how that information has been used, all point towards a positive future for the mega-giant. And hopefully, they’ll continue to be good to all of us.
  • Appendix 1 Products and Services Taken verbatim from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Google_products Reproduction permitted under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License Desktop applications These are computer programs from Google. Development Summary Product stage Blogger Web Comments Blogger Web Comments is a Mozilla Labs Firefox browser extension, that displays related comments from Blogger sites. Browser Sync Google Browser Sync for Firefox is Version 1.2 (Labs) an extension that continuously synchronizes web browser settings, including bookmarks, history, cookies and saved passwords, across multiple computers. It also allows users to restore open tabs and windows across different machines and browser sessions. [1] Dashboard Widgets for Mac Google Dashboard Widgets for Mac Labs are small applications that appear on the Mac OS. Widgets include interaction with Gmail, Blogger and Search History. Desktop Google Desktop is a desktop search Version 4 application, that makes e-mails, documents, music, photos, chat and web history searchable. It allows the installation of Google Gadgets, which are similar to Mac OS X's widgets. [2] Earth Google Earth is a free, downloadable Version 3
  • virtual globe application. It maps the Version 4 (Beta) entire earth by pasting images obtained from satellite imagery, aerial photography and GIS over a 3D globe. [3] Gmail Notifier Gmail Notifier is an application for Windows that alerts the user of new messages in their Gmail account. [4] Hello Hello is a free application that allows Unknown users to send images across the Internet and publish them to their blogs. [5] Notifier for Mac Google Notifier for Mac is an Unknown application for Mac OSX which informs the user of new emails through the Gmail service and of upcoming events from the users personal Google Calendar. [6]. Pack Google Pack is a collection of Beta computer applications, including Google Earth, Google Desktop, Picasa, Google Talk, Mozilla Firefox and more. It was released on January 6, 2006. [7] Picasa Picasa is a downloadable photo- Windows:Version organization application. Users can 2.5 organize photos into albums and Linux version: collections, view in various orders, Labs apply simple effects, create slideshows, print and order physical prints. There is a Microsoft Windows version [8] and a Linux version [9] available. Send to Phone Google Send to Phone is a Firefox Labs extension that allows users to send text messages to their mobile phone about web content. SketchUp Google SketchUp is a simple 3D Unknown sketching program with many of the tools a professional 3D program has.
  • SketchUp models can be directly imported into Google Earth and can be skinned with various pre-made colors and textures. [10] Talk Google Talk is a windows application Version 1 (Beta) for VoIP and instant messaging. Google Talk beta was released on August 24, 2005. It consists of both a service and a client used to connect to the service. It is integrated with Gmail. [11] Toolbar Google Toolbar is an internet Firefox: Version 2 browser toolbar available for Internet Explorer: Microsoft Internet Explorer and Version 4 Mozilla Firefox (with slightly different features). Features include, but not limited to, Google search bar, phishing protection, feed subscription, spellcheck, autofill, translator and pop-up blocker. There is a version for Internet Explorer [12] and a version for Mozilla Firefox [13] Video Player Google Video Player allows you to Unknown watch videos downloaded from Google Video and resume video downloads automatically. [14] Web Accelerator Google Web Accelerator is a Unknown (Labs) download that uses various strategies to increase the speed of browsing. [15] Web applications These are applications, including search engines, that are web-based. Advertising Product Summary AdSense Google AdSense is an advertisement program for website owners. Adverts generate revenue on either a per-click or
  • per-thousand-ads-displayed basis, and are adverts shown are from AdWords users, depending on which adverts are relevant. [16] AdWords Google AdWords is Google's flagship advertising product, and main source of revenue. AdWords offers pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, and site-targeted advertising for both text and banner ads. [17] Analytics Google Analytics is a free service that generates traffic statistics for defined websites. Webmasters can optimize their ad campaigns, based on the statistics that are given. Analytics is based on previous Urchin software. [18] Click-to-Call Google Click-to-Call is a service which allows users to call advertisers for free at Google's expense from search results pages. [19] Grants Google Grants is a scheme for non-profit organizations to benefit from free Cost-Per-Click advertising on the AdWords network. [20] Website Optimizer Google Website Optimizer, released on October 18, 2006, is a tool to test different website content, in order to gain to the most successful advertising campaigns. It is fully integrated with AdWords, and is currently only available to selected beta testers. [21] Aggregration Product Summary Personalized Home Google Personalized Homepage is a customizable, modular, tabular, dynamic page which a user can access through their Google Account. It was launched in May 2005. The user selects the content of the page from RSS feeds as well as specialized modules known as Google Gadgets. Multiple page tabs can also be created. [22] Reader Google Reader is a web-based news aggregator, capable of reading Atom and RSS feeds. It allows the user to search, import and subscribe to feeds. The service also embeds audio enclosures in the page. Major revisions to Google Reader were made in October 2006. [23] Communication & Publishing Product Summary
  • Apps for Your Domain and Apps for Education Google Apps for Your Domain service combines Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Talk, and Google Page Creator into a single offering targeted to small businesses and educational institutions. Includes Administrator's control panel for managing services and users, and makes the services work with client's domain. Apps for Your Domain; Apps for Education Blogger Blogger is a weblog publishing tool. Users can create a customisable, hosted blog with features such as photo publishing, comments, group blogs, blogger profiles and mobile-based posting with little technical knowledge. [24] Calendar Google Calendar is a free online calendar. It includes a unique "quick add" function, that inserts events from natural language input. Other features include Gmail integration and calendar sharing. It is similar to those offered by Yahoo! and MSN. [25] Docs & Spreadsheets Docs & Spreadsheets combines both previous applications Spreadsheets and Writely into a single interface. It was released on October 11, 2006. [26] Dodgeball Dodgeball is a social networking site built specifically for use on mobile phones. Users text their location to the service, which then notifies them of crushes, friends, friends' friends and interesting venues nearby. [27] Gmail Gmail is a free webmail and POP e-mail service provided by Google, known for its abundant storage and advanced interface. Its competitors include AIM Mail, MSN Hotmail / Windows Live Mail, and Yahoo! Mail. It was first released in an invitation-only form on
  • April 1, 2004. [28] Joga Bonito Joga Bonito is an Internet community for those interested in soccer. It is similar to services like as MySpace, in that each member has a profile, and can join groups based on shared interests. The service allows a user to meet other fans, create games and clubs, access athletes from Nike, and watch and upload video clips and photos. [29] JotSpot JotSpot is an application wiki company that offers enterprise social software and was founded by Joe Kraus and Graham Spencer, co-founders of Excite. The product is targeted mainly to small and medium-sized businesses. It was acquired by Google on October 31, 2006[30] Measure Map Measure Map provides statistics for blog writers. It was launched on February 2, 2006. [31] Notebook Google Notebook provides a simple way to save and organize information when conducting research online. The tool permits users to clip text, images, and links from pages while browsing, save them online, access them from any computer, and share them with others. [32] Orkut Orkut is a social networking service, where users can list their personal and professional information, create relationships amongst friends and join communities of mutual interest. New Orkut accounts are by invitation only from an existing member. [33] Page Creator Google Page Creator is a web- publishing program, which can be used to create pages and to host them on Google's servers. [34]
  • Picasa Web Albums Picasa Web Albums is Picasa’s newest feature, designed to help users post and share their photos quickly and easily on the web. [35] YouTube YouTube is a popular online video sharing service. On October 9, 2006, Google announced that it would purchase YouTube for $1.65 billion in stock. Development Product Summary Code Google Code is Google's site for developers interested in Google-related development. The site contains Open Source code and lists of their API services. [36] Code Search Google Code Search is a search engine for programming code found on the Internet.[37] Co-op Google Co-op is a platform for users to expand and apply Google Search to specific sites and topics. Currently, there is Custom Search Engine, Subscribed Links and Topics. [38] Sitemaps Google Sitemaps is part of Google Webmaster Tools, and allows users to create a file that lists the URLs on the site for better indexing. [39] Web API The Google Web API is Google's public interface for registered developers. Using Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP), a programmer can write services for search and data mining that rely on Google's results. Also, users can view cached pages and make suggestions for better spelling. [40] Web Toolkit Google Web Toolkit allows users to create AJAX interfaces for their websites by "compiling" Java apps into JavaScript. Google claimed it could be used to create similar interfaces to that of Gmail and Google Calendar. [41] Mapping Product Summary
  • Maps Google Maps provides maps, satellite imagery, driving directions and local search for the USA, Canada, the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Australia and New Zealand. It is also available as a mobile service in some countries. [42] Mars Google Mars provides imagery of Mars, using the Google Maps interface. Elevation, visible imagery and infrared imagery can be shown. It was released on March 13, 2006, the anniversary of the birth of astronomer Percival Lowell. [43] Moon Google Moon provides NASA imagery of the moon through the Google Maps interface. It was launched on July 20, 2005, in honor of the first manned Moon landing on July 20, 1969. [44] Ride Finder Google Ride Finder is a service that allows users to find a taxi, limousine or shuttle using real time position of vehicles in 14 US cities. Ride Finder uses the Google Maps interface and cooperates with any car service that wishes to participate. [45] Transit Google Transit provides public transport trip planning through the Google Maps interface. Google Transit was released on December 7, 2005, and is currently available in six cities. [46] Search Product Summary Accessible Search Google Accessible Search is a search engine, aimed at the blind and visually impaired. It prioritises usable and accessible web sites in the search results, so the user incurs minimal distractions when browsing. [47] Alerts Google Alerts is an e-mail notification service, which sends alerts based on chosen search terms, whenever the are new results. Alerts include web results, Groups results and news. [48] Answers Google Answers allows users to pay approved researchers to answer questions. Once a question has been resolved, they can be browsed or searched for free. [49] Base Google Base enables content owners to submit content, have
  • it hosted and make it easily searchable via Google. Information within the database is described using labels and attributes. [50] Blog Search Google Blog Search is a search engine for blogs, with a continiously-updated search index. Results include all blogs, not just those published through Blogger. Results can be viewed and filtered by date. [51] Bookmarks Google Bookmarks is a free online bookmark storage service available to Google Account holders which organizes bookmarks with tags. Bookmarks labelled homepage will be displayed on the user's Personalized Homepage. [52] Book Search Google Book Search is a search engine for the full text of printed books. Google scans and stores in its digital database. The content that is displayed depends on the arrangement with the publishers, ranging from short extracts to entire books. [53] Catalogs Google Catalogs is a search engine for over 6,600 print catalogs, which are acquired through Optical character recognition. [54] Checkout Google Checkout is an online payment processing service provided by Google aimed at simplifying the process of paying for online purchases. Webmasters can choose to implement Google Checkout as a form of payment. This service is currently only available to US residents. [55] Directory Google Directory is a collection of links arranged into hierarchical subcategories. The links and their categorization are from the Open Directory Project, but are sorted using PageRank. [56] Finance Google Finance features searchable US business news, opinion, and financial data. Features include company- specific pages, blog search, interactive charts, executives information, discussion groups and a portfolio. [57] Froogle Froogle is a price engine that searches online stores, including auctions, for products. It is also offered in Wireless Markup Language (WML) form as Froogle Mobile. [58] Groups Google Groups is a searchable Usenet archive. As well as
  • searching, users can join a group, make a group, publish posts, track their favorite topics, write a set of group web pages updatable by members and share group files. [59]. On October 4, 2006 a beta version of Google Groups was released. New features include the ability to create customised pages and share files, such as photos or music. [60] Image Labeler Google Image Labeler is a game that induces participants to submit valid descriptions (labels) of images in the web, in order to later improve image search. [61] Image Search Google Image search is a search engine for images. Results are based on the filename of the image, the link text pointing to the image, and text adjacent to the image. When searching, a thumbnail of each matching image is displayed. [62] Mobile Google Mobile allows users to search using Google from wireless devices such as mobile phones and PDAs. [63] Music Trends Google Music Trends shows a ranking of the songs played with iTunes, Winamp, Windows Media Player and Yahoo Music. Trends are generated by Google Talk's "share your music status" feature. [64] Language Tools Google Language Tools is a collection of applications, including one that allows users to translate text or web pages from one language to another, and another that allows searching in web pages located in a specific country or written in a specific language. [65] News Google News is an automated news compilation service and search engine for news. There are versions of the aggregator for more than 20 languages. While the selection of news stories is fully automated, the sites included are selected by human editors. [66] News Archive Search Google News Archive Search is a feature within Google News, that allows users to browse articles from over 200 years ago. [67] Personalized Search Google Personalized Search prioritizes Google search results based on previous search habits. Search History keeps a record of all searches and clicked results while a user is logged into a Google Account and allows this to be accessed and searched. This also tracks queries made to
  • Google Images and Google News. [68] Scholar Google Scholar a search engine for the full text of scholarly literature across an array of publishing formats and scholarly fields. Today, the index includes virtually all peer-reviewed journals available online, except those published by Elsevier, the world's largest scientific publisher. [69] SearchMash SearchMash is a search engine that means to "test innovative user interfaces." Among its features are the ability to reorder search results, a URL menu, image results on the same page as web results, and continuous scrolling results. Aside from its privacy policy and terms of service, there is no Google branding on the site.[70] Sets Google Sets attempts to make a list of items when the user enters a few examples. For example, entering "Green, Purple, Red" produces the list "Green, Purple, Red, Blue, Black, White, Yellow, Orange, Brown. [71] SMS Google SMS is a mobile phone short message service offered by Google in several countries, including the USA, Japan, Canada, Germany, Spain and formerly the UK. It allows search queries to be sent as a text message. The results are sent as a reply, with no premium charge for the service.[72] Special Searches Google Special Searches is a collection of search engines, tailored to a particular topic. These include U.S. Government Search, Linux Search, BSD Search, Apple Macintosh Search, and a Microsoft Windows Search. There is also Google University Search, which lets you select a particular university, then search within their own site, and Google Public Service Search, a service intended for non- commercial organizations only. [73] Suggest Google Suggest uses auto-complete while typing to give popular searches. It is still in beta stage. [74] Trends Google Trends shows, as a graph, the popularity of particular search terms over time. Multiple terms can be shown at once. Results can also be displayed by city, region or language. Related news stories are also shown. [75] Video Google Video allows users to search, buy, watch and upload videos. Users can also see stills and closed caption transcripts of some videos. Search is based on title,
  • keywords, network and transcript. Google has signed agreements with CBS and the NBA to offer some programs online. [76] Web Search Google Web Search is their core product, a Web search engine. It was the company's first creation, coming out of beta on September 21, 1999, and remains by far their most popular and famous: it receives 200 million requests a day and is the largest search engine on the Internet.[77] Zeitgeist Google Zeitgeist is a collection of lists of the most frequent search queries. There are weekly, monthly and yearly lists, as well as topic and country specific lists. [78] Miscellaneous Product Summary Labs Google Labs lists all of Google's experimental projects, that are not yet widely available. [79] Store Google Store sells a range of physical Google-branded products. These include clothes, toys, office equipment and lava lamps. [80] Previous products Past applications created by Google, that are either no longer available or have been re- branded. Summary Product Local Google integrated it's existing Mapping service (known as Google Maps) into the company's local directory service (known as Google Local). The product was later renamed to Google Maps. Print Google Print was the name for Google's book search engine, before it was renamed to Google Book Search. Spreadsheets Google announced Spreadsheets on 6 June 2006, and initially made it available to only a limited number of users, on a first-come, first-serve basis. The limited test was then lifted, and replaced with
  • a beta version available to all Google Account holders. Spreadsheets was merged into Google Docs & Spreadsheets. Writely Writely was an online word-processor created by software company Upstartle. On March 9, 2006 Google acquired Upstartle. On October 10, 2006, Writely was merged into Google Docs & Spreadsheets. Google X Google X was a re-designed Google search homepage, that used a Mac OS style interface. It appeared in Google Labs, but was removed the day after.