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Red alert! Google assembles crack team to AVOID privacy gaffes

Just how can we stop our dastardly behaviour attracting the Feds?

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Google has answered the beeping red telephone, pressed the red button and assembled a "red team" as it's known in security parlance - all after seeing red over the US Federal Trade Commission's small-change fine for tracking Safari users.

The team will try to crack Google's software and penetrate its networks to critically examine the ad giant's engineering skills, a move supposedly in response to the embarrassing privacy cock-up relating to Apple's web browser, which the FTC recently settled.

Security outfit Kaspersky Lab reported in a blog post that it had spotted a job ad posted by Google, which showed it is searching for a data privacy engineer to join that team.

The ad reads:

As a Data Privacy Engineer at Google you will help ensure that our products are designed to the highest standards and are operated in a manner that protects the privacy of our users. Specifically, you will work as member of our Privacy Red Team to independently identify, research, and help resolve potential privacy risks across all of our products, services, and business processes in place today.

Top candidates will have an intimate knowledge of the inner workings of modern web browsers and computer networks, enjoy analysing software designs and implementations from both a privacy and security perspective, and will be recognised experts at discovering and prioritising subtle, unusual, and emergent security flaws.

Damage limitation is becoming increasingly important to Google, given the high-profile probes of its business practices on both sides of the Atlantic in relation to its data handling over the past few years. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

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