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Verizon Blocks Google Wallet Citing Security; ICO Introduces New ‘Cookie Law’

Google WalletVerizon Wireless,the largest U.S. wireless carrier has blocked implementation of Google Wallet on the new Galaxy Nexus handset. According to a statement issued to Bloomberg, Verizon is citing security as the rationale:

“Verizon Wireless, co-owned by Verizon Communications Inc. and Vodafone Group Plc, is working to have “the best security and user experience,” Jeffrey Nelson, a company spokesman, said today in an e-mailed statement. The Basking Ridge, New Jersey- based carrier will allow the Google service, called Google Wallet, “when those goals are achieved”.”

With its own mobile payment service in development, Verizon may be hoping to put a few speed bumps in front of Google in this emerging field, said Greg Sterling, founder of the consulting firm Sterling Market Intelligence.

Verizon Wireless’s move isn’t because of its competing payment system, said Nelson. Rather, it’s because Google Wallet is integrated more deeply on the Nexus phone through the NFC chip than most other mobile-commerce systems, he said.

“As architected by Google, Google Wallet needs to be integrated into a new, secure and proprietary hardware element in our phones,” Nelson said in a separate e-mail. “We are continuing our commercial discussions with Google on this issue.”

Verizon Wireless asked Google not to include the payment technology on the Nexus, said Nate Tyler, a spokesman for the Mountain View, California-based company.

“Google Wallet is a secure payment platform that has been designed from the ground up with security as a priority,” Tyler said in a telephone interview.

Verizon’s competing Isis venture plans to start its service in a few markets next year.

Sterling points to Sprint Nextel Corp., which doesn’t have a mobile payment product and sells Google’s Nexus S phones with NFC chips for Google Wallet.

Goo.gl and other URL shortening service 'Drive-by' Malware AttacksIn other Google new, Researchers at Solera Networks reported a new malware attack involving Googe’s goog.gl URL shortening serice is luring victims by using web-based exploits to perform a ‘drive-by’ malware download under the guise of an electronic money transfer.

The attackers using goo.gl hiding the location of the attack site.

The attacks claim to originate from the ‘Electronic Payments Association’ and notify potential victims of a failed direct deposit attempt. Clicking on the link included with the message redirects to a site which attempts to perform a number of exploits using vulnerabilities in Flash and Java.

“I am seeing non-stop examples of this every day and it is becoming a really big deal. Even with an older browser you can be relatively safe if you update things like Flash, Adobe Reader and Java,” he said.

“Cyber criminals are switching gear from sending the malware as an attachment, to drive-by downloads. Next week it will be different, but I keep seeing these attacks over and over again,” said Brandt.

ICO notice of new cookie lawsIn other Google related news, Google has admitted of struggling to create a system of processes to abide by new cookie laws owing to the sheer number of its products that are affected by the rules.

The law came into force on 26 May this year and requires companies to gain the explicit consent of web site visitors to install and run cookies that may gather information on browsing habits, but the ICO has said that it will not take any legal action for one year.

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has urged businesses to begin working towards compliance with the so-called ‘cookie law’ before enforcement begins in May 2012.

Anthony House, public policy manager at Google, said the company’s work on compliance is “in progress” but is taking longer than the firm had hoped. “One of the things that has made us move more slowly than we would like is that we have to cover it from all the angles,” he said at an event to discuss the issue hosted by law firm Field Fisher Waterhouse and attended by V3.

“We have a popular destination site, an ad network, a browser and an analytics solution that’s almost a mini-microcosm of the internet when we have an internal meeting to discuss what we are going to do, so it’s taking a little bit of time.”

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