privacy

Ad networks were right to be horrified by Apple’s App Tracking rules

Ad networks were right to be horrified by Apple’s App Tracking rules

iPhone users have overwhelmingly been denying apps the ability to track data for advertising, new research suggests, with App Tracking Transparency apparently delivering a worst-case-scenario for personal data brokers. Added in iOS 14.5, which was released to iPhone in late April 2021, the new system requires app-makers to request explicit permission from users before they can share any data collected on them for targeting and advertising purposes.

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Google responds to Apple App Tracking Transparency with new rules for Android

Google responds to Apple App Tracking Transparency with new rules for Android

Google released a notice today about the future of Android and user data transparency. While not a direct response to Apple's update with iOS 14.5 - at least not explicitly - Google's "pre-announcement" of an upcoming safety section in Google Play should effectively keep the two operating systems in-step on several privacy-centric fronts. The new section in Google Play for Android apps will "help people understand the data an app collects or shares, if that data is secured, and additional details that impact privacy and security."

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Facebook shut down Signal’s ads because they exposed too much

Facebook shut down Signal’s ads because they exposed too much

Facebook has barred privacy-focused messaging app Signal from running a series of Instagram ads, which would have exposed just how much personal information the photo-sharing network - and its social media behemoth owner - has on individuals as they browse their timeline. Signal had intended to use Instagram's own third-party advert tools to reveal some of the precise targeting that advertisers can buy access to.

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Apple releases iOS 14.5.1 with a good iPhone privacy reason to update

Apple releases iOS 14.5.1 with a good iPhone privacy reason to update

Apple has released iOS 14.5.1, fixing a glitch with its newest privacy system that was preventing some iPhone users from adjusting the app tracking settings. Added with iOS 14.5 - which was released late last month - App Tracking Transparency requires apps to request permission from users before they collate data across multiple services, or sell personal data to brokers for advertising purposes.

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Facebook warns Apple app tracking policy could cost users

Facebook warns Apple app tracking policy could cost users

Although there were many developers, publishers, and advertisers that raised disgruntled voices when Apple announced its new App Tracking Transparency policy for iOS, Facebook was the one that shouted the loudest. It used rhetoric and other strategies to besmirch Apple's privacy efforts, even going as far as ironically saying it will actually benefit the social networking giant in the long run. Now it's taking those efforts to a new level by warning users that Facebook and Instagram might become paid services if iOS users don't enable app tracking.

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Vivaldi browser on Android lets you automatically block cookie requests

Vivaldi browser on Android lets you automatically block cookie requests

The European Union's GDPR was a double-edged sword that protected privacy not just for the region but for the rest of the world but at the expense of some inconveniences. Website administrators had a hell of a time implementing compliance and users now get welcomed by messages asking their permission to enable cookies. These can get pretty annoying or even downright confusing which is why Vivaldi is bringing its Cookie Crumbler feature to Android to pretty much block most of those cookies and their dialogs altogether.

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Windows ramps defenses against cryptojacking – what’s that?

Windows ramps defenses against cryptojacking – what’s that?

Microsoft released a note this week about how they've been working on defending against cryptojacking for your computer. Cryptojacking is a term describing a malicious attacker, a hacker, using your computer to mine cryptocurrency. Your computer's processing power - and potentially your internet data, if you're not on an "unlimited" plan - for their own profit, without your knowledge. This is bad, and Microsoft working to defend Windows against cryptojacking is good.

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Apple App Tracking Transparency might be buggy for some users

Apple App Tracking Transparency might be buggy for some users

Apple has finally rolled out iOS 14.5 and, with it, the new App Tracking Transparency feature that has proven to be controversial, at least for advertisers and Facebook. The feature is designed to give users the first and last word on whether they will allow developers and advertisers to track their activity for advertising purposes. It seems, however, that the feature is misbehaving for some users, but in the most privacy-respecting way, ironically.

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Watch Apple justify iOS 14.5’s controversial App Tracking Transparency

Watch Apple justify iOS 14.5’s controversial App Tracking Transparency

Today Apple released iOS 14.5 for your iPhone and iPad, and with it, app tracking transparency in a whole new level. This software has been a long time coming, opposed by would-be trackers, applauded by those who would like control over the tracking of their own data. As Apple released iOS 14.5 today, they released a very brief, very simple explainer video about how the process will work for users.

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AirDrop leaks users numbers and emails says researchers

AirDrop leaks users numbers and emails says researchers

Apple has a few enviable features that other platforms, especially Android, still try to implement. The simple convenience and presumed security of AirDrop is one of those and it wasn't until last year that Android's Nearby Share finally caught up. Unfortunately, it seems that AirDrop isn't really that secure after all and the simple act of opening the share sheet in macOS or iOS is enough to have the user's phone number and email address leak to any hacker within range.

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SmartThings Find will warn you if a Galaxy SmartTag is following you

SmartThings Find will warn you if a Galaxy SmartTag is following you

Beating Apple AirTags to the punch, Samsung launched its Galaxy SmartTags last year to offer an alternative to the popular Tile trackers. The Bluetooth-enabled accessories worked in tandem with Samsung's improved SmartThings Find in order to create what is practically a crowdsourced network of users that can help locate any lost item, even if they're outside of Bluetooth range. That said, that system may have also raised some questions about privacy that Samsung will be addressing next week with an important update to SmartThings.

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Facebook posts can now be exported to Google Docs, WordPress

Facebook posts can now be exported to Google Docs, WordPress

Depending on how you look at it, Facebook may have surpassed Google in being the poster child for harvesting personal data on the Internet. Considering how much of people's online lives and information it has in its possession, the social media giant regularly gets pushed, mostly through laws and regulations, to take certain steps to secure and unlock users' information. Part of that is allowing users to move their data outside of Facebook and a new export tool will let them do just that to transfer their posts to other online services.

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