Requests on Google up by 120%

Google updated its Transparency Report with new data on government requests. In the updated report, Google says that requests from government for user information are up 120 percent since it first started publishing the data back in 2009.

Like other technology and communications companies, Google regularly receives requests from governments and courts around the world to hand over user data. In this report, Google discloses the number of requests they receive from each government in six-month periods with certain limitations. Usage of their services has increased every year, and so have the user data request numbers.


Copy Cat Education

A recent article1 in the BBC highlighted that the UK government are considering doing an exchange programme for maths teachers in the UK with maths teachers in China. The aim is to increase standards and learn from a teachers in Shanghai, a city which has one of the best academic records in the world.

I think the UK government are missing something here and not considering the culture and desire of people within the east. China has a population over one billion and so getting a school place is a competition and sets the competitive mindset in parents from birth.

Other things to consider:

  • The poorest and richest people in the world live in China, with very little government handouts. This has added an increased pressure on students to succeed. The need to do well becomes a survival instinct rather than a nice to have.
    In China education is part of the culture, not something that can just be picked up and copied or borrowed.
  • Culture brings expectations. Similar to other Asian societies, China still has an embedded cast system, resulting in some families worrying about their standing within society. Concerns over jobs associated to their background, education for their children, the background of the future partners for their kids and even the car they drive.

I just do not think this type of solution really works. Governments need to really think about the cause and effect connectives.

  1. BBC