recommended reading

How 'Privacy' Killed Google Reader

When Google explained that it was shutting down its beloved news hub, Reader, it offered a couple of reasons for the decision: Not enough people were using it, and the company wanted to focus on a smaller set of more profitable enterprises.

But the death of Google Reader may also have been a casualty of the firm's growing sensitivity to privacy lawsuits. Via AllThingsD:

That means every team needs to have people dedicated to dealing with these compliance and privacy issues — lawyers, policy experts, etc. Google didn’t even have a product manager or full-time engineer responsible for Reader when it was killed, so the company didn’t want to add in the additional infrastructure and staff, the sources said.

In other words, Reader had to die so that your privacy might live.

This is a bitter message for skeptical Reader diehards to accept. Google's own commitment to user privacy tied the company's hands? The irony is too rich. Reader is perhaps among the least intrusive of all of Google's data-hungry Web products. It's certainly no Google Buzz, the company's Twitter-like service that by default revealed a person's most-messaged contacts without their consent. And as The Verge points out, it's no Wi-Fi snooping scandal, which earned Google a $7 million fine. Google services are habitually coming under attack on privacy grounds, but the idea that Reader should suddenly count itself among them seems improbable.

The responsibility for ending Google Reader still lies with the business team that decided it didn't "want" to bring the product into compliance with its new privacy standards — not the standards themselves, admirable as they are in their own right.

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.