Google roundup: Fighting Hollywood; target of complaint in Europe; ‘OK Google’ tracking

We’ve got Google news from all over.

• First stop, Mississippi. Google sued Jim Hood, that state’s attorney general, last year, accusing him of conspiring with Hollywood studios in his investigation to determine whether the company should be held liable for certain material on its sites, including copyrighted movies. As Matt O’Brien wrote then, Google believed the Motion Picture Association of America coordinated an anti-Google campaign called “Project Goliath” in an attempt to revive the failed SOPA, or Stop Online Piracy Act. Now, Google is asking a judge to force three movie studios to comply with subpoenas for documents that may show that Hood conspired with the studios. Reuters reports that Google says in its complaint made public today that Viacom, Twenty-First Century Fox and NBCUniversal have “produced nothing” in response to March 12 subpoenas.

• Next stop, Europe, where a privacy app maker has reportedly filed an antitrust complaint against Google. Disconnect, a U.S. startup founded by former Google employees, says Google abused its dominance by blocking its app from the Google Play store. The app is supposed to help Android users avoid invisible tracking and malware. A Google spokesman told Reuters that it is the company’s policy to block apps that interfere with other apps’ functionality or way to make money. In April, the European Commission launched an investigation into whether Google has abused its position related to Android (along with filing antitrust charges against the company over search).

• Final destination for today: your smartphone. As I wrote yesterday, Google launched a hub for users to check on and control their privacy and security settings. CNN reports that some users were surprised to learn that Google keeps track of users’ “OK Google” voice searches on their Android phones. You can find that info under “Personal Info & Privacy,” then “Voice and Audio Activity” — where you can also choose to stop Google from storing it. (ICYMI, Pat May wrote two years ago that the questions iPhone users ask Siri are also retained by Apple for a couple of years.)

 

Photo from AFP/Getty Images

 

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