privacy

Siri is going to get much more useful in iOS 15

Siri is going to get much more useful in iOS 15

iOS 15 is bringing a number of privacy updates along with it, but among the most useful is heading to Siri. Apple confirmed today that Siri will be getting on-device speech recognition in iOS 15. Not only is this a big move for privacy as it regards Siri, but it also looks like it's going to be a big step forward on the usability front as well.

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Apple adds tougher privacy tools and launches iCloud+ subscriptions

Apple adds tougher privacy tools and launches iCloud+ subscriptions

Apple is increasing the stakes in its big privacy push, extending anti-tracking systems to apps as well as websites, and shutting down so-called "invisible pixel" tracking in emails. It's part of an ongoing war on data sharing - or, more accurately, data sharing that happens when users aren't aware it's taking place - which has set Apple at odds with some heavyweights in the tech world.

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Apple WWDC 2021 will put a focus on privacy

Apple WWDC 2021 will put a focus on privacy

Apple has been in the news a lot in the past few weeks for two particular reasons. First is its hard stance on privacy that has ruffled the feathers of the like of Facebook and was briefly put into question with the launch of AirTags. The other hot topic is Epic Games' epic lawsuit against the company over allegations of monopoly, particularly over the Apple App Store. At its WWDC 2021 this week, Apple is set to address one of those two topics directly and it won't be about addressing developers' complaints about that monopoly.

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Google to make it harder for advertisers to track users on Android

Google to make it harder for advertisers to track users on Android

Mobile users are tired of advertisers tracking what they do on the Internet, and both Google and Apple have made changes to help prevent tracking. While Apple implemented changes to make it more difficult for appetizers to track users, Google is just now gearing up to make similar changes. Google has allowed Android users to opt out of personalized ads for a long time.

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Apple AirTag update aims to settle stalking fear plus Android app in works

Apple AirTag update aims to settle stalking fear plus Android app in works

Apple plans to update AirTags to speed up warnings for people who may not know they're being tracked, while an Android app is now in the works to bring improved alerts to non-iPhone users. Launched earlier this year, AirTags are Apple's long-rumored entry into the personal tracker market, intended to help find keys, bags, and other items. However concerns were voiced about the potential privacy implications.

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WhatsApp confirms multi-device support, disappearing messages are on the way

WhatsApp confirms multi-device support, disappearing messages are on the way

It seems that several big, new features are on the way to WhatsApp. First and foremost, it looks like WhatsApp is nearly ready to move multi-device support into testing. While that's big enough news on its own, we're also learning today that WhatsApp will expand disappearing messages functionality in addition to launching a new feature called "View Once" that makes the existence of photos and videos very temporary.

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I just opted out of Amazon Sidewalk: Here’s how and why

I just opted out of Amazon Sidewalk: Here’s how and why

Amazon Sidewalk launches this month, but I just headed into the Alexa app to make sure I wasn't automatically enrolled into the controversial shared neighborhood network. Part of Amazon's Echo and Ring products, Sidewalk makes big promises about more resilient connectivity, useful features like lost object tracking, and even helping get new smart home devices online. At the same time, though, Sidewalk and the way Amazon is launching it has given many users pause.

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Google FLoC Privacy Sandbox promised not to have backdoors

Google FLoC Privacy Sandbox promised not to have backdoors

For the past few years, Google has been waging a war against web browser cookies, particularly third-party cross-site tracking ones that violate users' privacy outright. Of course, such cookies are also extensively used by advertising platforms, which means even Google has to find or create an alternative. That is exactly what its Privacy Sandbox and Federate Learning of Cohorts or FLoC are for and, unsurprisingly, they are earning no small amount of criticism for it. Google is now promising that it won't be violating its own rules but privacy advocates and rival ad tech companies still aren't buying it.

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Google Android privacy practices revealed in court documents

Google Android privacy practices revealed in court documents

Google has never been one to be associated with privacy in a positive light but it has admittedly been making strides in improving that image. Perhaps it is in part due to the scrutiny and legal sanctions the company has been slapped with over the years and also in part due to the popularity Apple enjoys over its championing of privacy practices. This, however, might be something new for Google as unredacted documents in an Arizona lawsuit show the extent the old Google went through to make it harder for users to keep their location private.

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Amazon Sidewalk Wi-Fi sharing experiment goes live next month

Amazon Sidewalk Wi-Fi sharing experiment goes live next month

It might not be as big a name in tech as Google or Apple or Microsoft or in social networking like Facebook but it's hard to argue that Amazon may have actually trumped them all. Best known for its e-tailer business, Amazon's empire actually covers a whole range of industries and there seems to be no stopping its ambitions even in the face of controversy, criticism, and lawsuits. Its latest will surely put it under a microscope once more as it prepares to flip the switch on its controversial Internet sharing experiment known as Amazon Sidewalk.

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Venmo is finally adding a private friend list feature following Biden report

Venmo is finally adding a private friend list feature following Biden report

Venmo, the PayPal-owned financial app that makes it easy to send money to your friends, is rolling out an important update that adds a major new privacy option. Going forward, Venmo users will have the option to hide their friend lists, making it harder for other people to identify their social circle. The change follows the discovery of President Biden's Venmo account and the people he was linked to through it.

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Apple privacy ad gives iPhone users Thanos’ dusting powers

Apple privacy ad gives iPhone users Thanos’ dusting powers

Almost all news about Apple these days revolves around privacy or the Epic Games lawsuit. Even its new Apple M1-powered iPad Pros have mostly been overshadowed by the AirTags and their privacy implications. The company's new App Tracking Transparency policy definitely ruffled a lot of feathers, including from the big advertising birds, and Apple's new video clip puts that feature into a comical but real perspective while giving users almost the same powers as the Mad Titan. Except for ad trackers, of course.

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