Google Play plays down security breach, can the Streisand effect beat the biggest search engine?

Google play, the android answer to iTunes is where you can buy music, apps, books & films for a few bob and have them magically appear on all of your android devices in no time at all. Nice.

It also has a very nice ad of analog things describing how one purchases makes the app, film or book appear on any of your devices. That ad can be found in this article describing a massive security flaw at Google Play where users info is displayed to app creators... But then it gets even more complicated when Google asks journalists to tone down the story of the massive security flaw. And they say advertising bucks shan't control the media. Oh that's right, nobody says that anymore.

Google seeks to bury story, tone down articles and SEO on the subject

After publishing the story, reported that "this story was amended at the request of Google. took out the words 'massive' and 'huge' - referencing the size of the security 'flaw'. The word 'flaw' was also put into inverted commas."

Google wouldn't comment on the record, but apparently views the issue of sharing customers' data as non-newsworthy policy that shouldn't be reported as a security flaw, especially not as a serious one that users should take notice of.

The author, Claire Porter, added a comment on the story after its headline had been neutered to the nicer "Google 'flaw' puts users' details on display" that stated, "For the people asking how the story was amended: Despite the fact that Google refused to comment on the record, I was asked to change the headline (both the homepage headline and SEO headline inside the story), as well as the standfirst and lead (first paragraph). Google's issue was with the use of the word 'flaw.'

"Apparently a system that is designed to share users information with developers without their knowledge or permission and without explicitly saying so in any terms of service is not considered to be a flaw," Porter wrote.

Here's the thing, you may like the granular control of G+ where you decide exactly who gets to view your photos, you may use gmail for it's superb spam filtering and extra large storage. You may even let all of your youtube, gmail, G+ and play accounts merge together for ease of use and only one login. And then your address is handed over to the creator of a sexting app that your underage kid wanted to try and you're fired from the church where you work. Lets call a spade a spade, it's a massive privacy issue and should not exist. The reason it does is because Play developers have to complete their own tax returns, so they need to know where they sold apps to. Meanwhile at iTunes, Apple does the developers tax returns for them, and thus doesn't need to share any information about buyers.

The question for us ad-peeps and those interested in PR is, will the worlds biggest search engine be immune to the Streisand effect? Doubt it.

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