Look here, a really nice simple explanation on how Google search works and a very little but strong message at the end on the potential privacy impacts.

A rather interesting paper published November 2012.

Wow, Germany courts have done it again! They are so good at protecting the personal privacy of their citizens! Read on, it connects to an individual’s ‘right to be forgotten’.

Google have been been over-ruled concerning how the ‘autocomplete’ function in the search dialog works. Basically this is generated by what other users have been searching for. The reason why this has become a case for personal integrity, and also a person’s reputation is because words associated with a particular person, either by rumor or otherwise, and thus searched by users impacts that person’s reputation.

The case in question was when the complainants’ names were typed into Google’s search bar, the autocomplete function added the ensuing words “Scientology” and “fraud”.The continuing association of their names with these terms infringed their rights to personality and reputation as protected by German law (Articles 823(1) and 1004 of the German Civil Code).

What does this mean for Google? Well once Google has been alerted to the fact that an autocomplete suggestion links someone to libellous words, it must remove that suggestion.

According to Panopticon blog this German ruling is extending the “frontiers of legal protection for personal integrity and how we allocate responsibility for harm. Google says that, in these contexts, it is a facilitator not a generator. It says it should not liable for what people write (scroll down to “Google and the ‘right to be forgotten’” here, in Spain a previous case), not for what they search for (the recent German case). Not for the first time, courts in Europe have allocated responsibility differently.”

Well I don’t think so, but at least someone, some authority seems to care 😉

Now this is a really interesting legal case. Facebook has a marketing and advertising business established as a separate legal entity in Germany. In December 2012, the Schleswig DPA issued orders against Facebook Inc. in the U.S. and Facebook Ltd. in Ireland, in which the DPA demanded that Facebook allow its German users to use pseudonyms.

So which law applies? Germany, Ireland, or US? In the end Germany lost. It was decided that the Irish DPU laws applied. The ruling stated that it was not considered a sufficient presence to warrant the application of German data protection law.

Your phone number, Facebook and Evil: a recent trilogy to be aware off.

Probably most Facebook users aren’t aware, but his/her phone number is probably out there, exposed and ready to be collected by anyone. Evil project “randomly displays the private phone numbers of unsuspecting Facebook users”.

“The Hacker Highschool project is the development of license-free, security and privacy awareness teaching materials and back-end support for teachers of elementary, junior high, and high school students.

Today’s kids and teens are in a world with major communication and productivity channels open to them and they don’t have the knowledge to defend themselves against the fraud, identity theft, privacy leaks and other attacks made against them just for using the Internet. This is the reason for Hacker Highschool.” (Source: The Hacker Highschool Project)

I think these two paragraphs explain quite well the project. Although started several years ago, it is sufficiently interesting to justify a reading.