Inside Google & Alphabet - August 19th, 2019

Inside Google & Alphabet (Aug 19th, 2019)

Voice Assistant Scam / Remove Revenge Porn / Google Cuts Some Android Data For Carriers

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1. Scammers are attempting to trick Google's voice assistant users looking up the phone numbers of businesses. According to the Better Business Bureau, fraudsters are paying search engines to "bump"  fake customer service numbers. When users use voice search to find a company's number, the algorithms of Siri, Alexa, and other devices accidentally picking the fake number instead. One woman says she used voice search to call an airline's number only to have a scammer try to trick her into handing over $400. - FORBES

2. Google has closed down a free service it offered to wireless carriers worldwide over concerns about data privacy issues. The service let carriers know where the weak spots were in their network coverage, but also shared some anonymous user Android phone data. Carriers would use the latter to decide where to expand their coverage. - REUTERS

3. A lawyer says Google refused to remove her clients' revenge porn photos. Attorney Carrie Goldberg says her clients, ages 18-22, had responded to bikini ads and were forced to perform pornography, while some were raped. Their photos were then posted online, and the victims sought Goldberg's help to remove them. After sending affidavits to Google, however, Goldberg says the tech giant responded with indifference and did not take down the links, "destroying" the women's career prospects, relationships, and more. "The current policy says Google may remove nude or sexually explicit images that were shared without consent, but the company maintains sole discretion about when to remove nonconsensual pornography," she explains, adding that her case is not unusual, but in fact a larger problem the tech giant needs to address. - THE NEW YORK POST

4. President Trump says Google should be sued for allegedly manipulating millions into voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Trump slammed the tech giant in a tweet by referencing a report by Robert Epstein, a psychologist who alleges he found evidence Google search results were influencing voters. "Google manipulated from 2.6 million to 16 million votes for Hillary Clinton in 2016 Election!" tweeted Trump, later adding that his "victory was even bigger than thought!" - THE HILL

5. Anti-abortion clinics, known as "crisis pregnancy centers, are continuing to post deceptive ads despite a June 2019 Google policy meant to put a stop to the practice. This is thanks to a loophole in which only the search term "abortion" makes it clear that the clinic does not, actually, provide abortion services. These centers post ads making it seem like they offer such procedures, when in reality they do not, and are merely trying to lure women in so they can dissuade them from getting an abortion. - THE GUARDIAN

6. Google is hiring staff for its Cairo, Egypt, office, which will open full-time in September, after a period of nearly five years of relative inactivity. The Cairo location went quiet after a 2014 military coup, in which President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi took power and blocked news sites, targetted activists using internet surveillance, and more. The tech giant has also discussed expanding programs to provide digital training entrepreneurs, as well as talked about a data protection bill. - THE INTERCEPT

7. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) commissioner Mark Morgan labeled Google employees "absolutely irresponsible" for petitioning against the CBP and demanding the tech giant not work with them. Morgan continued, adding their allegations that the CBP is committing human rights abuses are lies. - FOX NEWS

8. Walmart has reduced the price of its Google Home smart speakers and displays by up to 50 percent off for Labor Day. - INSIDE DEALS via DIGITAL TRENDS

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9. Google is rolling out a major new all-white redesign of the Google Play Store. - ARS TECHNICA

10. Google is launching a new low-light mode in Duo, its video chatting app, to make it easier to chat in the dark. - THE VERGE

What's your take: Do you even use Google Duo? What do you think about this added feature? Hit reply to let me know.

Written and curated by Inside Dev and Inside Deals Editor Sheena Vasani, a freelance journalist based in California. Proficient in Javascript and Ruby. Got my start at Dev Bootcamp and Thinkful.

Editor: Bobby Cherry (senior editor at Inside, who’s always on social media).

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