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Google’s Facebook copycat moves put company in privacy hot seat


So far, Alphabet Inc’s Google has suffered fewer of the problems plaguing Facebook, including fake news and Russian-linked political spending, but it may still be vulnerable to data-sharing scrutiny. — AFP

So far, Alphabet Inc’s Google has suffered fewer of the problems plaguing Facebook, including fake news and Russian-linked political spending, but it may still be vulnerable to data-sharing scrutiny. — AFP

No one at Google envied Mark Zuckerberg last week as he was being grilled by US Congress. But for years, they certainly coveted the personal data that made Facebook Inc a formidable digital ad player. And the strategies they set to compete have now placed Google squarely in the cross hairs of a privacy backlash against the world’s largest social-media company. 

The US House and Senate questioned Zuckerberg for about 10 hours after revelations that data on millions of Facebook users got into the hands of Cambridge Analytica, a consulting firm that worked on President Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. The hearings centred on the digital information and machinery Facebook built up to serve targeted ads. No company has a bigger business doing that – except Google. When the grilling ended, Democrats and some Republicans called for broad privacy regulation, putting Google on the hot seat next to Zuckerberg. 

   

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