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Google might give Android its own anti-tracking feature with a catch

Google might give Android its own anti-tracking feature with a catch

The phrase "hell has frozen over" probably no longer has the same impact these days, especially in tech circles. Microsoft has professed its love for Linux, Apple has apps for Android, Jeff Bezos has stepped down as Amazon CEO, and Google is looking into reducing user tracking activities on Android. The latter is, at least, the latest insider rumor about the company that has built an empire out of advertising and tracking. And while the change may be inspired by Apple's move, it might not have the same tooth.

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YouTube will make it easy to watch Super Bowl ads without the game

YouTube will make it easy to watch Super Bowl ads without the game

If you're one of the people who don't enjoy watching football but watch the Super Bowl for its advertisements, YouTube will make things a bit easier for you this upcoming weekend. Google has detailed some features it has for football fans, including its YouTube AdBlitz plan that'll offer up many of the big game's ads.

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Facebook calls Apple’s bluff with new ad privacy warning

Facebook calls Apple’s bluff with new ad privacy warning

Facebook hasn't been shy about criticizing Apple's App Tracking Transparency plan, which will require developers to get a user's permission to track their habits for ad-targeting purposes. Despite criticism, Apple is proceeding with the new control, and so Facebook is back with a change of its own -- a prompt that lays out reasons it believes users should allow the platform to continue tracking their data.

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Apple App Tracking Transparency release date puts Facebook on notice

Apple App Tracking Transparency release date puts Facebook on notice

Starting in "early spring", Apple will be releasing a new version of iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14 with a requirement for App Tracking Transparency. Per Apple's update, coming first with Apple's next beta update, App Tracking Transparency "will require apps to get the user's permission before tracking their data across apps or websites owned by other companies." Users will be able to see app requests for permissions in iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV Settings, and "make changes as they see fit."

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Google iOS apps will work around Apple’s new privacy requirements

Google iOS apps will work around Apple’s new privacy requirements

iOS 14 will bring many big changes but the most controversial one is perhaps the new App Tracking Transparency (ATT) policy. It's controversial at least for some major companies like Facebook who made a very big stink about the changes. It isn't the only big Internet advertising platform around, though, and Google and its customers are just as affected by it. Google, however, is more diplomatic about it even as it is practically saying it has found a way around having to prompt users about tracking them.

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Budweiser donates Super Bowl ad spot for COVID-19 while other brands sit it out

Budweiser donates Super Bowl ad spot for COVID-19 while other brands sit it out

Several big-name brands will dedicate their Super Bowl advertising time to fighting COVID-19. Anheuser-Busch announced that they "aren't running a commercial during the Super Bowl." To be clear, here, they're not leaving the time-honored and massively expensive tradition - they're donating their airtime to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative's "COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative."

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YouTube might soon put shopping links in videos

YouTube might soon put shopping links in videos

Netflix may be the king of video streaming and VODs but YouTube remains at the top for all other kinds of videos (ironically except the kind that Netflix offers). As such, it becomes the prime platform for reaching out to millions of viewers and, consequently, millions of potential customers. The latter is exactly why YouTube is apparently experimenting with embedding shopping links right inside videos for the benefit of sellers, viewers, and, of course, YouTube.

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Telegram will soon serve ads in channels to avoid selling out

Telegram will soon serve ads in channels to avoid selling out

Telegram has just pushed out an update that adds a major feature that some found to be a bit controversial, bringing group audio calls that have been compared to platforms like Discord. That, however, has been eclipsed by the revelation made by the popular encrypted chat service's founder made alongside that update. Telegram, Pavel Durov boasts, is nearing 500 million users but that number comes with the challenge of finding a sustainable way to support its operations without selling out to companies like Facebook.

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Nickelback made an ad for Google and it’s surprisingly amusing

Nickelback made an ad for Google and it’s surprisingly amusing

Nickelback, the Canadian rock band that gets its fair share of criticism, is the subject of a new Google Photos advertisement...and it's actually pretty amusing, all things considered. The band created a parody of its own song Photograph, remixing the music video with shots of Google Photos and a couple of self-deprecating jokes.

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Apple responds to Facebook: it’s about standing up for users

Apple responds to Facebook: it’s about standing up for users

Unlike with Google and Microsoft, Apple's relationship with Facebook can't even be described as being frenemies. They stand almost diametrically opposed on the privacy spectrum, with Facebook being the poster child of violations and Apple as the champion of protecting it. The latest bout of mudslinging between the two has Facebook presenting itself as the defender of small businesses that will be affected by iOS' upcoming privacy feature while Apple seems to be taking the side of users whose privacy has become the currency of the Internet.

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2K Games describes NBA 2K21 unskippable ad as a bug

2K Games describes NBA 2K21 unskippable ad as a bug

With gaming on consoles, PCs, and even mobile becoming an even more lucrative industry, it's really no surprise that brands see it as the next fertile land for advertising revenue. Some might have even come to accept that as a sad fact of life, just like web ads, especially on free to play titles. But when you're paying dozens of dollars, the last thing you want is to be interrupted by an ad you can't escape from. That's the surprising situation NBA 2K21 players found themselves in and, according to the game's publisher, it was simply an honest error.

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NBA 2K21 sneaks in unskippable ads because loot boxes aren’t enough

NBA 2K21 sneaks in unskippable ads because loot boxes aren’t enough

NBA 2K21 is coming under fire today for playing unskippable ads that players have to watch during loading screens. Ads in games are nothing new, but generally we only see them in free-to-play mobile titles. The difference, of course, is that NBA 2K21 is a game that costs $60 upfront, and even more if you want to get a next-gen upgrade, which means that people probably aren't going to be too fond of these ads.

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