SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google is being accused of invading the privacy of students using laptop computers powered by the Internet company’s Chrome operating system.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital rights group, depicts Google as a two-faced opportunist in a complaint filed Tuesday with the Federal Trade Commission.
Google disputes the unflattering portrait and says it isn’t doing anything wrong.
The complaint alleges that Google rigged the “Chromebook” computers in a way that enables the company to collect information about students’ Internet search requests and online video habits. The foundation says Google is dissecting the activities of students in kindergarten through 12th grade so it can improve its digital services.
The complaint contends Google’s storage and analysis of the student profile violates a “Student Privacy Pledge” that the company signed last year. The pledge, which covers more than 200 companies, contains a provision guaranteeing that students’ personal information won’t be exploited for “non-educational” purposes.
The foundation is calling on the FTC to investigate Google, stop it from using information on students’ activities for its own purposes and order it to destroy any information it has collected that’s not related to education.
Google applauded the Electronic Frontier Foundation for caring about student privacy, but said it believes it is following the laws enforced by the FTC.
“Our services enable students everywhere to learn and keep their information private and secure,” Google said in a statement.
Chromebooks have become particularly popular in schools because some models sell for less than $300 and can be easily maintained by Google over the Internet.
But the way Google has managed some of its other products have previously gotten the Mountain View, California, company into trouble for violating its users’ privacy.
In 2012, Google paid a $22.5 million fine after the FTC concluded the company had created a technological loophole that enabled its digital advertising network to shadow the online activities of people using Apple’s Safari browser without their consent.
The agency determined Google’s Safari surveillance violated an earlier promise not to mislead consumers about privacy issues. That pledge came after Google set up a social networking service called Buzz in 2010 and exposed people’s email contacts. Google agreed to period privacy audits as part of that settlement with the FTC.
CLEVELAND (AP) — Josh McCown is done being battered around this season.
Unfortunately for the Browns, they’re still going to take some lumps.
McCown broke his collarbone in Monday night’s last-second loss to Baltimore, an injury that will cost him the final five games this season and re-open more quarterback chaos in Cleveland.
With the Browns in a short week before facing Cincinnati, coach Mike Pettine still hasn’t decided if he’ll re-insert Johnny Manziel, recently benched for off-field antics, into the starting lineup or stick with Austin Davis, who replaced an injured McCown in the fourth quarter.
“I have a series of meetings scheduled,” Pettine said on a conference call Tuesday. “We’re going to discuss it more and determine our best course of action moving forward. We’re going to take everything into consideration and then make a decision for this week that is best for the team.”
The 36-year-old McCown, who sustained a concussion on the Browns’ opening drive this season and missed two games with badly injured ribs, kept playing against the Ravens despite taking a hard hit in the second half.
However, he took himself out after throwing an incompletion in the fourth quarter, leaving the field in excruciating pain.
Pettine said McCown will not need surgery, the lone positive to another bad turn of events for a team that has lost six straight and may not have hit rock bottom.
“Worst possible scenario for Josh,” Pettine said. “It was not displaced, so he does not need to have surgery but it will take more than the rest of the season to get it healed up. That’s very unfortunate. Josh means a lot to this team, whether it’s in the locker room, practice field, game day, just the positive energy that he exuded, the leadership.
“I cannot say enough positive things about Josh McCown and what he’s done for this football team and what he means to this football team.”
McCown was signed to a three-year deal to stabilize Cleveland’s wobbly quarterback situation. He did the best he could while also serving as a mentor to Manziel, who was recently given the starting job and then had it taken from him for off-field behavior.
Pettine said he will meet with his coaching staff later Tuesday to decide his next move at quarterback. Davis came in with Cleveland trailing by seven and threw a game-tying touchdown pass in the final minutes. He had the Browns (2-9) in position to kick a game-winning field goal only to have it blocked and returned 64 yards for a touchdown on the game’s final play.
Davis’ inexperience also hurt the Browns down the stretch. He failed to get out of bounds on a run, forcing the team to call a timeout, and Davis had trouble with the communication device in his helmet, leading to confusion and wasting precious seconds.
Pettine said he will consult with others, but made it clear that the decision on who will start at quarterback on Sunday against the Bengals will be his alone.
Manziel, who has gone 1-2 as a starter this season, was active for Monday night’s game as Cleveland’s No. 3 quarterback. He had been selected as the starter for the last six games before a video surfaced of him partying during the team’s bye week. Manziel had promised his coaches that he would not be a distraction and then became one anyway.
Pettine demoted him to third string, saying the 22-year-old had violated the team’s trust.
Now, it’s possible the Browns will place their faith in him once again.
NOTES: Pettine said CB Justin Gilbert is in the NFL’s concussion protocol after sustaining a head injury while returning a kickoff against the Ravens. … Pettine described the loss as one of the toughest in his coaching career. “You’re poised for thrill of victory and then you’re tasting agony of defeat all within a span of 10 to 15 seconds. I can’t think of too many game-ending scenarios that would make you feel worse at the end than that.” … Despite some incriminating photos, Pettine said the coach’s game tape does not show the Ravens lined offside on the blocked field goal.
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DOVER, Del. (AP) — A black man who suffered a broken jaw after being kicked in the head by a white officer was alert and belligerent shortly afterward, a Delaware police supervisor testified Tuesday in the trial of his fellow officer.
Dover Lt. Todd Case was the first witness called in the trial of Cpl. Thomas Webster IV, who is charged with felony assault.
A dashcam video from another officer’s car shows Webster kicking Lateef Dickerson in August 2013 while Dickerson was on his hands and knees. Dickerson was knocked unconscious and suffered a broken jaw.
Webster’s attorney has argued the officer’s actions were justified as he and other officers responded to reports of a fight involving a large group of people and a man matching Dickerson’s description armed with a gun.
Case, a platoon sergeant who supervised Webster and was on patrol that night, said he asked Dickerson how he was after arriving. Case said Dickerson responded by spewing profanities and telling police they were lucky they caught him.
“He seemed fine,” Case said, adding that Dickerson had blood on his lip and chin.
“He was coherent. He was alert. He was mad. He was belligerent,” said Case, who was called as a prosecution witness.
Under cross-examination by the defense, Case said Dickerson did not complain of anything after his encounter with Webster. He also said the police response to reports of a fight involving a large group of people and a person armed with a gun was a “fluid, high-intensity situation.”
Officers were unable to locate a gun, however. Resisting-arrest charges against Dickerson were later dropped.
Prosecutors wasted no time in presenting the dashcam video, the crux of their case, to the jury. Deputy attorney general Mark Denney Jr. invited jurors during his opening statement to watch it “as many times as you like.”
“They say a picture is worth 1,000 words,” Denney said. “A video could be worth more than that.”
Denney also said the defense will try to portray Dickerson as “an awful person with a lengthy criminal history” but suggested Dickerson’s background does not matter.
“Thomas Webster used unjustified, unnecessary force on Lateef Dickerson. … He assaulted him,” Denney said.
Defense attorney James Liguori told jurors to use common sense in deciding the case.
“You saw 14 seconds of what occurred. You will see those 14 seconds broken down,” said Liguori, adding that a use-of-force expert prosecutors plan to call as a witness has made misstatements and inaccurate assumptions.
Under cross-examination from Liguori, deputy police chief Marvin Mailey Jr. acknowledged that he decided that dashcam video from Webster’s own patrol car had no evidentiary value and did not need to be retained, even though it shows Dickerson just moments before his encounter with Webster.
“You were looking for the kick,” Liguori asserted.
“I was looking for the interaction, yes,” Mailey said.
Liguori has maintained Webster’s indictment in May was the result of “state machinations” and an “abuse of power.”
Following Webster’s encounter with Dickerson, then-Attorney General Beau Biden’s office took the case to a grand jury but failed to get an indictment. The current attorney general, Matt Denn, reviewed the case after taking office in January and ordered that it be taken to a second grand jury.
Liguori has argued in court papers that Denn’s decision to take the case to a second grand jury with no new evidence was a politically motivated response to nationwide scrutiny of police encounters with black citizens.
“We live in difficult times,” Liguori told jurors Tuesday. “The status of alleged victims has unfortunately been weaponized by certain factions in our society.”
If convicted of felony assault, Webster faces a maximum eight years in prison, although guidelines call for zero to two years behind bars. He also would be prohibited from owning guns or working as a police officer.
Webster rejected an offer from prosecutors to plead guilty to misdemeanor assault in return for surrendering his certification and promising to never work as a police officer again.
TBILISI, Georgia (AP) — Georgian security services have announced the arrest of four men suspected of having ties to the Islamic State group.
The deputy head of the security services, Levan Izoria, said Tuesday that the four were arrested after searches of their homes on Sunday turned up hand guns, grenades, audio and video discs and flags of the Islamic State. He said investigators were now working to establish the extent of their involvement with the extremist group operating in Syria and Iraq.
The suspects are from the western Guria region near the Black Sea, home to many Muslims in the predominantly Christian former Soviet republic.
Most previous arrests in Georgia for suspected IS ties and recruitment efforts have involved people from the northeastern Pankisi Gorge, the home of many ethnic Chechens.
STRASBOURG, France (AP) — The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that Turkey violated the European Convention on Human Rights by blocking access to YouTube.
A group of three Turkish law teachers had taken the case to the court in 2010 after a Turkish criminal court ordered the blocking of access to YouTube for more than two years because some videos videos were available that were “insulting to the memory” of Mustapha Kemal Ataturk — the first president of the republic of Turkey.
The European Court of Human Rights ruled on Tuesday that the blocking order had affected the teachers’ “right to receive and impart information” and that there had been a “violation of Article 10 (freedom of expression) of the European Convention on Human Rights.”
December 1 marks Giving Tuesday — a global initiative to celebrate generosity and giving back. And what better time to give back than the holidays!
If you need ideas on how you can make an impact, we are here to help. Last year we asked our viewers to share with us how they are making an impact and giving back during the holiday season. We were so amazed by the responses that we put together a mashup of some of the best videos we received — watch and get inspired! Then, check out below some of our favorite charities where you can get involved.
And last but not least, tell us how you are making an impact this holiday season — send us your photos or videos to firstname.lastname@example.org and you may just get to be featured on the show!