- EU’s right to be forgotten to include .com websites?
- Tumblr and Pinterest see biggest increase in user base
- Uber’s user data collection on Android criticized
- Android Pay coming to China
The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Search Results
The European Union’s ‘right to be forgotten’ has been a controversial issue for several years. The 2014 Court of Justice of the European Union Costeja case established that users could request that search engines remove pages under certain conditions.
At the moment this right applies to search engines within the EU (google.co.uk/.fr/de etc.) However a proposal from European data protection watchdogs wants to extend this to search engines outside the EU, such as google.com. After all, it’s easy enough to switch from google.fr to google.com if you can’t find the dirt you’re looking for.
Take away: Google and the EU have had a complicated relationship for some time now, and this isn’t helping. If this proposal goes through it will create a headache for search engines. How this would work in practice is uncertain. Search engines already filter results based on location but this would possibly mean limiting searches based on users’ ip addresses – and nobody’s sure that would even work.
Users rush to Tumblr and Pinterest
Tumblr and Pinterest are the big winners in GlobalWebIndex’s (paywall) survey of social media user trends in the past six months.
Tumblr saw an increase of 45 percent growth in members and a staggering 120 percent increase in active users. Pinterest took the top spot for userbase growth with 57 percent increase but came second in terms of active users with 111 percent. Instagram, the previous GlobalWebIndex survey leader came third with a healthy 64 percent increase in active users. These three as well Linkedin, Twitter, YouTube and Google+ all performed better than Facebook (6 percent user growth, 2 percent active user growth) over this six month period.
Take away: Facebook still has the biggest userbase by some margin but we might be approaching ‘peak Facebook’ now. The silver lining for Facebook is that the Facebook Messenger app was the second fastest growing social media app, after Snapchat. However that growth is influenced by Facebook forcing users to download Messenger by separating it from the Facebook app. Ingrid Lunden has posted a useful breakdown of the statistics (including information about the Chinese market) on TechCrunch (http://techcrunch.com/2014/11/25/tumblr-overtakes-instagram-as-fastest-growing-social-platform-snapchat-is-the-fastest-growing-app/).
Uber collects more user data from Android users
Continuing its impersonation of Lionel Richie stalking unfortunate blind women, Uber is doing its darndest to come across as creepy as possible. An Arizona security researcher has revealed that Uber’s Android app is collecting a lot of personal information about its users. Code in the app suggests that Uber is collecting information about local wifi networks, phone calls, text messages and whether the handset is rooted or jailbroken.
Take away: Uber has denied that they collect information about Heartbleed, malware infection or whether a device is rooted, stating that this code comes from their mobile security vendors. After the widely reported story about Uber threatening to track a journalist , this is just the latest issue for the controversial company. Whether users will react negatively to Uber’s privacy practices remains to be seen.
Android Pay takes on China, maybe
With Apple Pay rumored to arrive in China sometime in 2015 in partnership with China UnionPay, stories are beginning to emerge that UnionPay is also planning to launch Android Pay in China Q3 2015. Union Pay is the biggest credit card company in China and as a result Android Pay could launch with wider functionality and more support from retailers.
Take away: We’ve written about mobile payments and Apple Pay before but the situation in China is a little different. With the dominance of Android in China and UnionPay’s clout, Android Pay could be very successful. Apple Pay has had a fairly successful first month according to most reports, so it will be very interesting to see how well it does in China with a strong competitor.