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theEweekly Wrap: Patents, smartphones and Nein to tagging

Tagging Verboten The data protection authority in Germany has written to Facebook demanding that it stop gathering facial recognition of German citizens. The social network rolled out a facial recognition photo tagging feature in June 2011, causing something of a stir. This week, Johannes Caspar of the German government has threatened the site with a fine of £262,000 if the data is not deleted immediately. He said: “Should Facebook maintain the function, it must ensure that only data from persons who have declared consent to the storage of their biometric facial profiles be stored in the database.”

The German authorities – and indeed Johannes Caspar – have taken a hard line on privacy in the past. In January, Google Analytics was banned in Germany over fears that tracking user activity was a breach of privacy. After a barrage of complaints, Google also abandoned the Street View project for Germany in April.

Smartphone nation Ofcom has conducted its annual Communications Market Report, revealing how much time we all spend on which gadgets and websites. Television viewing, radio listening and internet browsing times are all up, while readership of news websites fell by 33 per cent compared with 2010. However, the most striking statistic is that a massive one in three adults in the UK now owns a smartphone.

The average amount of time spent browsing mobile sites has also increased, with Facebook revealed as the most visited site on mobile devices. The most popular device overall was – quelle surprise – the Apple iPhone, with 32 per cent of the adult population naming it as their preferred brand. Meanwhile, 37 per cent of adults and 60 per cent of teenagers described themselves as ‘addicted’ to their smartphone.

Patent power Google shocked the tech world on Wednesday by releasing an official blog post that accuses its competitors of maliciously buying patents and charging Google to use them. The post, by senior vice president David Drummond, describes a “hostile, organized campaign against Android by Microsoft, Oracle, Apple and other companies, waged through bogus patents”.

The search giant alleges that Microsoft and Apple are teaming up to buy old Novell and Nortel patents, and imposing a fee for anyone who uses that technology. Patents are described as being “used as a weapon”, apparently in an attempt to push up the price for handset manufacturers who want to use the Android OS. However, yesterday Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith tweeted: “Google says we bought Novell patents to keep them from Google. Really? We asked them to bid jointly with us. They said no.”

Written by rachel_hand_swapRachel Hand

Google settles online abuse case Monday 24th of November, 2014by Martin Lindley Google has reached settlement with a businessman who was the victim of a sustained act of internet trolling. The search engine may have linked to over 3,600 pages of malicious content.

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Sony Pictures systems seized by hackers Tuesday 25th of November, 2014by Dan Moores Sony Pictures staff computer screens in US offices were reportedly taken over by the image of a menacing red skeleton and a message from a group that introduced itself as "#GOP".

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YouTube video bloggers warned on ‘misleading’ content Wednesday 26th of November, 2014by Andy Williams The ASA has warned video bloggers to clearly label when they are paid to promote products, after a complaint from a journalist and subsequent investigations.

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theEword - 15 hours ago

We’ve delivered over 20 free knowledge share events in 2014, we will round off our events calendar with our digital trends event at #Google

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theEword - 1 day ago

Read more about what Google and theEword are getting up to in Manchester next week! http://t.co/HjF13a09zo

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theEword - 1 day ago

We want you all to benefit from our event with Google! Tweet us your questions and get answers straight from Google themselves #AsktheEword

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theEword - 3 days ago

We are passionate about knowledge share and can’t wait to share snippets straight from Google with you on Monday http://t.co/HjF13a09zo

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theEword - 3 days ago

We're partnering with Google for an event looking at digital trends for 2015 next week. More info here: http://t.co/etwwXV1fwq

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The final Light a Fire of 2014 Friday 21st of November, 2014by Dan Moores For the fifth and final Light a Fire of 2014, Liane Grimshaw joined Dan Nolan in the cosy Library room at the Great John Street Hotel, sharing career anecdotes and wise advice.

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Digital trends for 2015 on the agenda at our Google Partner ... Wednesday 26th of November, 2014by Dan Moores The Google North event will discuss the digital trends that will shape 2015, giving valuable insight into the ways in which businesses will be able to maximise the online presence.

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theEweekly Wrap: 28 Nov Friday 28th of November, 2014by Dan Moores This week: Twitter will scan for apps, Bing labels mobile-friendly sites, and Jennifer Aniston prank video goes viral.

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