Google has faced a lot of scrutiny in Europe. Whether it's finding fault with Google being the default search provider on Android phones to considering a ban on face recognition in public spaces, the EU generally takes a very pro-consumer focus on things. Now a series of working documents have surfaced that indicate the European Commission is considering a number of proposals that affect big tech — including a requirement that users be allowed to remove any pre-installed applications on a device.
Late last year, Facebook announced a tool to let users easily migrate their uploaded photos to Google Photos. The tool was initially available in Ireland, with plans to expand to more countries in the first half of this year. The social network has made good on those plans by expanding the rollout to the US and Canada in April, and now reaching a global rollout today.
Just when you think the post-Brexit situation can't get any worse for us poor sods in the UK, another depressing tidbit rears its ugly head. This time, it's news that Google users in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland will no longer be protected by GDPR and will instead be at the mercy of the privacy regulations of the United States.
With the increasing scrutiny around the privacy of users, Google has announced some new features to give us all some additional peace of mind. Updates to Maps, YouTube, and Assistant will make it easier to control how much of your data the company has access to, and Password Checkup will help you ensure everything stays secure.
What happens if you want to watch something on the big screen, but your main source of internet is your phone, and you don't want to max out your available data? That's enough of a problem in India that Google is addressing it with a new Data Saver mode for Android TV, which is now rolling out in India and will come to more regions soon.
If you're working on any kind of software that utilizes facial recognition — a secure Face ID camera system for a phone is just one example that comes to mind — you need a good amount of data in order to train the AI that powers it. Google isn't exactly new to the data collection game, but you might be surprised to learn that it's been doing so via such an old-fashioned method.
Video game developer and publisher Beamdog has had two of its apps pulled from the Google Play Store. The Android versions of Baldur's Gate II: Enhanced Edition and Icewind Dale: Enhanced Edition have been missing from the store for two weeks, but the company hopes to get them back online soon. At the center of the issue is a new user data policy rule for publishers.
Google has been trying to be more transparent with the information it collects lately. After launching the My Activity site back in 2016, it recently let users delete their "OK Google" recordings from its databases. The company is continuing to make it easier to review what it has on you, as it just added an option to access your Assistant data directly into the app's settings.
AT&T subscribers on the company's Mobile Share Advantage Plus plans will be getting a bit more data for the same price soon. Messages are being sent out to "select" qualifying subscribers notifying them of the change. Eligible customers with one of the 32 or 50GB plans will be bumped up to 40 or 65GB, respectively, at no additional charge.
Republic Wireless is offering an interesting new product: SIM cards that come pre-loaded with either 30 or 90 days of (technically) unlimited data. The new cards don't require activation, an account, or even a payment method after purchase. There are a few caveats, though.