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Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL)

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  • K
    Google illegally tracking Android users, according to new complaint

    Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems has filed a complaint against Google in France alleging that the US tech giant is illegally tracking users on Android phones without their consent.
    Android phones generate unique advertising codes, similar to Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), that allow Google and third parties to track users’ browsing behavior in order to better target them with advertising.

    In a complaint filed on Wednesday, Schrems’ campaign group Noyb (None of your business) argued that in creating and storing these codes without first obtaining explicit permission from users, Google was engaging in “illegal operations” that violate EU privacy laws.
    Noyb urged France’s data privacy regulator to launch a probe into Google’s tracking practices and to force the company to comply with privacy rules. It argued that fines should be imposed on the tech giant if the watchdog finds evidence of wrongdoing.
    “Through these hidden identifiers on your phone, Google and third parties can track users without their consent,” said Stefano Rossetti, privacy lawyer at Noyb. “It is like having powder on your hands and feet, leaving a trace of everything you do on your phone—from whether you swiped right or left to the song you downloaded.”

    Google, which has roughly 300 million Android users in Europe, is facing a separate complaint from Noyb to the Austrian data protection authority, which argues specifically that users cannot delete the identifier from their Android devices.
    According to people familiar with the latest complaint, Noyb chose to approach the French data watchdog because its legal system is well suited to handling complaints under the European ePrivacy directive.
    Noyb also had concerns over the effectiveness of the Irish data protection authority—the de facto leader in European data privacy regulation—after a number of member states including Germany accused it of sluggish enforcement.
    Last year, Schrems won a landmark case at Europe’s highest court that ruled a transatlantic agreement on transferring data between the bloc and the US used by thousands of corporations did not protect EU citizens’ privacy.
  • M
    Waymo CEO stepping down as it continues to rack up huge losses

    WASHINGTON, April 2 (Reuters) - The head of Alphabet Inc’s self-driving unit Waymo said on Friday he was stepping down as chief executive and would be replaced by a pair of executives.
    John Krafcik, a long-time auto industry executive who has headed Waymo for more than five years, will stay on as an advisor, the company said. "This is a choice John has made after a long and successful career in the automotive industry," Waymo said in statement.

    Dmitri Dolgov, one of the founders of the Google self-driving car project and Tekedra Mawakana, who was Waymo's chief operating officer and has worked at a number of tech firms, will serve as co-CEOs, the company said.
    "We’re committed to working alongside you to build, deploy, and commercialize the Waymo Driver," the co-CEOs said in the statement.
    Waymo, which was formed in 2009 as a project within Alphabet's Google unit, is widely considered the leader in developing self-driving technology. But Waymo is still years away from building large-scale businesses, while their rival Tesla Inc has been selling its semi-automated driving system.
  • r
    GOOGL's financials are truly breathtaking. Let's teach these shorts a lesson on why it is suicide to short this shall we? PE of only 38 and this is a growth stock...not an unreasonable valuation at all. Beta of exactly rising rates are not going to affect this company at all. Let's dive into the financial ratios....gross margin 54 percent, EBITDA margin 30 percent, operating margin 22.5 percent, net margin a whopping 22.1 percent, leverage nonexistent. Let's move into growth rates....current quarter revenue growth rate 24.7 percent, earnings growth rate over the next 5 years 16.95 percent, market implied 5 year compound annual growth rate 21 percent as of yesterday. inventory turnover more than 3 times the industry median, the list goes on and on. Netlist longs will get pocket change assuming this lawsuit actually is victorious which is very questionable, people like me that have been long since 2013 will barely feel a pinch from the decline, as will GOOGL. So I expect tons of thumbs down but why you would short a company with the kind of revenue growth and earnings growth and free cash flow growth GOOGL has is beyond me. And those who think GOOGL won't recover should they lose all these lawsuits don't realize that the company has zero competition and excellent management to boost. From a money making standpoint this company is a no brainer over the long haul.
  • E
    US privacy, consumer, competition and civil rights groups urge ban on ‘surveillance advertising’

    A coalition of organizations across the privacy, antitrust, consumer protection and civil rights spaces has called for a ban on “surveillance advertising”, further amplifying the argument that “big tech’s toxic business model is undermining democracy”.

    The close to 40-strong coalition behind this latest call to ban “creepy ads” which rely on the mass tracking and profiling of web users in order to target them with behavioral ads.
    “As leaders across a broad range of issues and industries, we are united in our concern for the safety of our communities and the health of democracy,” they write in the open letter. “Social media giants are eroding our consensus reality and threatening public safety in service of a toxic, extractive business model. That’s why we’re joining forces in an effort to ban surveillance advertising.”

    The coalition is keen to point out that less toxic non-tracking alternatives (like contextual ads) exist, while arguing that greater transparency and oversight of adtech infrastructure could help clean up a range of linked problems, from junk content and rising conspiracism to ad fraud and denuded digital innovation.
    “There is no silver bullet to remedy this crisis — and the members of this coalition will continue to pursue a range of different policy approaches, from comprehensive privacy legislation to reforming our antitrust laws and liability standards,” they write. “But here’s one thing we all agree on: It’s time to ban surveillance advertising.”

    “Big Tech platforms amplify hate, illegal activities, and conspiracism — and feed users increasingly extreme content — because that’s what generates the most engagement and profit,” they warn.
    “Their own algorithmic tools have boosted everything from white supremacist groups and Holocaust denialism to COVID-19 hoaxes, counterfeit opioids and fake cancer cures. Echo chambers, radicalization, and viral lies are features of these platforms, not bugs — central to the business model.”
    The coalition also warns over surveillance advertising’s impact on the traditional news business, noting that shrinking revenues for professional journalism is raining more harm down upon the (genuine) information ecosystem democracies need to thrive.

    “Facebook and Google’s monopoly power and data harvesting practices have given them an unfair advantage, allowing them to dominate the digital advertising market, siphoning up revenue that once kept local newspapers afloat. So while Big Tech CEOs get richer, journalists get laid off,” the coalition warns, adding: “Big Tech will continue to stoke discrimination, division, and delusion — even if it fuels targeted violence or lays the groundwork for an insurrection — so long as it’s in their financial interest.”

    Among a laundry list of harms the coalition is linking to the dominant ad-based online business models of tech giants Facebook and Google is the funding of what they describe as “insidious misinformation sites that promote medical hoaxes, conspiracy theories, extremist content, and foreign propaganda”.
    “Banning surveillance advertising would restore transparency and accountability to digital ad placements, and substantially defund junk sites that serve as critical infrastructure in the disinformation pipeline,” they argue, adding: “These sites produce an endless drumbeat of made-to-go-viral conspiracy theories that are then boosted by bad-faith social media influencers and the platforms’ engagement-hungry algorithms — a toxic feedback loop fueled and financed by surveillance advertising.”

    Other harms they point to are the risks posed to public health by platforms’ amplification of junk/bogus content such as COVID-19 conspiracy theories and vaccine misinformation; the risk of discrimination through unfairly selective and/or biased ad targeting, such as job ads that illegally exclude women or ethnic minorities; and the perverse economic incentives for ad platforms to amplify extremist/outrageous content in order to boost user engagement with content and ads, thereby fuelling societal division and driving partisanship as a byproduct of the fact platforms benefit financially from more content being spread.
    The coalition also argues that the surveillance advertising system is “rigging the game against small businesses” because it embeds platform monopolies — which is a neat counterpoint to tech giants’ defensive claim that creepy ads somehow level the playing field for SMEs versus larger brands.

    “While Facebook and Google portray themselves as lifelines for small businesses, the truth is they’re simply charging monopoly rents for access to the digital economy,” they write, arguing that the duopoly’s “surveillance-driven stranglehold over the ad market leaves the little guys with no leverage or choice” — opening them up to exploitation by big tech.
  • T
    The DK Finance Show
    Google (Alphabet) is an amazing stock to buy, in my opinion, for these reasons:
    1. Strong revenue growth with an expected growth of 23.9% for 2021
    2. Low forward P/E ratio of 26, considering it continues to have double digit revenue growth
    3. The market for Google search, YouTube and Google Cloud will continue to have strong growth, in my opinion, as Google search seems to be essential in almost every aspect of life. YouTube also continues to produce top quality content for every niche category you can think of and will help eliminate cable in conjunction with Netflix, in my opinion.
    4. Alphabet’s financial statements are incredible with strong revenue growth 12.77% in 2020 even when it was in a worst-case scenario with lockdowns and reduced advertising budgets. Google’s paid clicks for advertising was up 19% in and impressions were up 15% in 2020.
    5. The company is highly profitable and has an incredible balance sheet with $136.7 billion of cash and marketable securities.
    6. Alphabet stock seems like such a safe investment, in my opinion, compared to many other high flying tech stocks trading at 50+ forward P/E ratios. I sleep very well at night holding Alphabet in my stock portfolio.

    As with every company, Google stock also has some risks. There is a risk of government intervention on how Google collects and uses its customers data and there is a risk the government may try to break up the company which I believe is unlikely to happen.

    Check out my full analysis here:
  • J
    Up 10% since 4/1/2021-now 2265.44, (12/31/2020 close 1751.88) that is 29% gain I own G. Do I buy more or wait ?
  • L
    Advocacy groups urge FTC to be tougher on surveillance giant Google with protecting kids privacy on apps

    Two advocacy groups want the Federal Trade Commission to take a tougher stance against Google, accusing its app store of recommending apps that transmit kids' personal information such as location without their parents' consent in violation of a 1998 law that protects children online. 
    The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC) and the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) said they plan to file a complaint with the FTC Wednesday asking regulators
    to investigate how the Google Play Store promotes apps for kids.

    The groups say three recent studies, including one conducted by the American Medical Association last year, found that more than two-thirds of apps – 67% – used by kids age 5 and under were transmitting information to third-party advertisers.
    "If you’re under 13, your data is not supposed to be shared with advertisers, but that’s happening routinely, and at scale on the apps on Google Play," Josh Golin, the CCFC's executive director, told USA TODAY. 

    Massachusetts Sen. Ed Markey, a Democrat who authored the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, known as COPPA, said in a statement that while he's both "disturbed, but not surprised" that it remains a problem.
    "Children are spending an unprecedented amount of time on their devices right now, and they shouldn’t be tracked at every turn," Markey said. "That has to stop. It’s time for Big Tech to be held accountable for prioritizing profits over privacy, particularly when it comes to our children.”

    Parents have become increasingly concerned about how to keep kids safe on the internet during the pandemic when screens are in such heavy use. 
    In 2019, Google's YouTube agreed to provide new protections for children and paid a $170 million fine to settle a year-long investigation by the FTC and the New York state attorney general into complaints from consumer groups that it illegally collected data from children under the age of 13 children to target advertising.

    The new complaint comes amid increased government scrutiny of the tech giants. Google faces antitrust lawsuits from the Justice Department and separate coalitions of states. 
    Concern over Big Tech's effect on children's well-being has also become a rare bipartisan issue on Capitol Hill.
  • a
    What usually happens when googl reports earning. Is it a buy on rumor and sell on news or does it continue upward?
  • G
    Google asked for mediation in regard to Litigation with Netlist March 25th over Netlists patent they infringed. The 912 patent was fully validated at Federal Appeals Court last year on June 15th. How much will the settlement be? 12 years of willful infringement has a hefty price tag. Probably wise to pursue the mediation under the ADL. Come on Google lets get this behind us. Pay and move forward.
  • K
    52 week high today, again. nice!
  • a
    Business corporations are very busy placing online ads in anticipation of strong economic recovery later this year. That's great news for GOOGL.
  • C
    People love
    Buying high they never learn $tsla $googl $w $amzn
  • F
    The magnificent google !
  • s
    GOOG Up $216/share for the first 6 trading days of April. There are stocks that will never achieve a full stock price of $216 in the entire history of their company.
  • G
    Google hogs traffic for itself, according to data showing nearly two-thirds of searches ended without a click in 2020

    Per data compiled by Rand Fishkin, the CEO of audience intelligence platform SparkToro, 65% of Google searches on mobiles and laptops ended without users clicking through to another domain.
    The takeaway is that in a large number of cases, Google is directing its billions of search engine users their valuable eyeballs at its own properties. Google, alongside Facebook, dominates the digital ad market and in the fourth quarter of 2020 pulled in $32 billion in revenue primarily from search.
    Fishkin previously published research in 2019 that suggested just over 50% of Google queries ended without a click. He warned that it was tough to compare the 2019 and 2020 research because he used different data sources as the basis for analysis but, he wrote, the trend was one of "increasing click cannibalization by Google."

    Of major concern to Google critics will be the idea that the search giant is finding ways to keep people on its own properties, potentially at the expense of third-party sites and publishers.
    For example, a Google search for "COVID-19 deaths" offers the below, with information pulled from the likes of the New York Times, Wikipedia, and the World Health Organization placed at the top of the page, ahead of clickable links to their sources.

    Google is under pressure over the way it presents results in the US and EU, specifically its "OneBoxes", the prominent squares of text or images that pop up when you search, for example, holiday destinations or the weather in a particular city.
    A host of job and travel companies have accused the tech titan of using its dominance in search to expand into specialist search services, like Google Flights or Google Travel, at the expense of competitors.
    In a letter signed by the likes of TripAdvisor, Expedia, and Trivago, more than 130 accommodation, travel, and job vacancy firms from around the world said claim Google has "[leveraged] its unassailable dominance in general Internet search ... to gain a competitive head start."
  • a
    Lauren Martin, sr. Analyst of internet and media stocks for Needham & Co. just gave googl a buy with target of 2,500.
  • S
    Steve J
    Supreme Court rules in Google’s favor in copyright dispute with Oracle over Android software.

    That's why GOOGL soared today. That was a $9B suit.

    Headed to $2500 fast and with solid YouTube/ YouTube TV and search numbers combined with rapidly recovering travel industry GOOGL should see $3k in the next year. Split? Anything is possible.
  • M
    Google is the best FAANG for the reopening trade
  • S
    Behemoth GOOG will accelerate its growth trajectory throughout the year and is impervious to competition.
  • K
    A new Android spyware masquerades as a 'system update'

    Security researchers say a powerful new Android malware masquerading as a critical system update can take complete control of a victim's device and steal their data.
    The malware was found bundled in an app called "System Update" that had to be installed outside of Google Play, the app store for Android devices. Once installed by the user, the app hides and stealthily exfiltrates data from the victim's device to the operator's servers.
    Researchers at mobile security firm Zimperium, which discovered the malicious app, said once the victim installs the malicious app, the malware communicates with the operator's Firebase server, used to remotely control the device.
    The spyware can steal messages, contacts, device details, browser bookmarks and search history, record calls and ambient sound from the microphone, and take photos using the phone's cameras. The malware also tracks the victim's location, searches for document files and grabs copied data from the device's clipboard.

    The malware hides from the victim and tries to evade capture by reducing how much network data it consumes by uploading thumbnails to the attacker's servers rather than the full image. The malware also captures the most up-to-date data, including location and photos.

    Zimperium CEO Shridhar Mittal said the malware was likely part of a targeted attack.
    "It's easily the most sophisticated we've seen," said Mittal. "I think a lot of time and effort was spent on creating this app. We believe that there are other apps out there like this, and we are trying our very best to find them as soon as possible."