Thursday, March 09, 2023

US says Google routinely destroyed evidence and lied about use of auto-delete

 US says Google routinely destroyed evidence and lied about use of auto-delete Ars Technica: “The US government asked a federal court to sanction Google for allegedly using an auto-delete function on chats to destroy evidence needed in an antitrust lawsuit while falsely telling the government that it suspended its auto-deletion practices. The US motion to sanction Google seeks a ruling that Google violated the rule against spoliation of evidence and “an evidentiary hearing to assess the appropriate sanctions to remedy Google’s spoliation.” 

The US also sought an order forcing “Google to provide further information about custodians’ history-off chat practices, through written declarations and oral testimony, in advance of the requested hearing.” The motion was filed under seal on February 10 and unsealed yesterday. 

“Google consciously failed to preserve relevant evidence. The daily destruction of relevant evidence was inevitable when Google set a company-wide default to delete history-off chat messages every 24 hours, and then elected to maintain that auto-delete setting for custodians subject to a litigation hold,” US Department of Justice antitrust lawyers wrote in a memorandum supporting the motion. Google “had a duty to preserve employee chat messages” starting in 2019 due to the litigation, the US motion said. 

“Google’s daily destruction of written records prejudiced the United States by depriving it of a rich source of candid discussions between Google’s executives, including likely trial witnesses,” according to the US filing in US District Court for the District of Columbia. Google’s auto-deletions continued until February 8, the US said. “Amazingly, Google’s daily spoliation continued until this week,” the US alleged.

 “When the United States indicated that it would file this motion—following months of conferral—Google finally committed to ‘permanently set to history on’ and thus preserve its employees’ chat messages.” A similar motion for sanctions was filed by 21 states that are also involved in the litigation against Google. 

The motions came in a lawsuit filed in October 2020 in which the US and states allege that Google illegally maintains monopolies in search and search advertising through anticompetitive and exclusionary practices.”

Predictors of enhancing human physical attractiveness: Data from 93 countries Evolution and Human Behavior:

Survey data from 93,158 human participants across 93 countries provide evidence that behaviors such as applying makeup or using other cosmetics, hair grooming, clothing style, caring for body hygiene, and exercising or following a specific diet for the specific purpose of improving ones physical attractiveness, are universal. Indeed, 99% of participants reported spending >10 min a day performing beauty-enhancing behaviors. The results largely support evolutionary hypotheses: more time was spent enhancing beauty by women (almost 4 h a day, on average) than by men (3.6 h a day), by the youngest participants (and contrary to predictions, also the oldest), by those with a relatively more severe history of infectious diseases, and by participants currently dating compared to those in established relationships. The strongest predictor of attractiveness-enhancing behaviors was social media usage.

 Google Blog – Posted by Natasha Noy, Research Scientist, and Omar Benjelloun, Software Engineer, Google Research:

 “Access to datasets is critical to many of today’s endeavors across verticals and industries, whether scientific research, business analysis, or public policy. In the scientific community and throughout various levels of the public sector, reproducibility and transparency are essential for progress, so sharing data is vital. 

For one example, in the United States a recent new policy requires free and equitable access to outcomes of all federally funded research, including data and statistical information along with publications.To facilitate discovery of content with this level of statistical detail and better distill this information from across the web, Google now makes it easier to search for datasets. You can click on any of the top three results (see below) to get to the dataset page or you can explore further by clicking “More datasets.”

  • Dataset Search, a dedicated search engine for datasets, powers this feature and indexes more than 45 million datasets from more than 13,000 websites. Datasets cover many disciplines and topics, including government, scientific, and commercial datasets. Dataset Search shows users essential metadata about datasets and previews of the data where available. Users can then follow the links to the data repositories that host the datasets.”

Datasets at your fingertips in Google Search Google Blog