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Tag Archives for " tracking "

Privacy Debated in Fight Over Google Chrome Browser History Tracking

The plaintiffs in the class action claim they signed up for Chrome because Google explicitly said they would not have their browsing history sent to Google unless they decided to “sync” the browser with their account.

Despite these assurances, Chrome tracked their web browsing and sent it to Google, in violation of federal law and the newly minted California Consumer Privacy Act.

Google attorney Andrew Schapiro said plaintiffs had misconstrued the issue, saying that each of the plaintiffs was notified their web browsing history would be tracked when they agreed to the terms of service.

The attorney for Google also said the plaintiffs misunderstand how the advertising tracking component of the company works, because it tracks web browsing based on the website not on the browser.

Source: Privacy Debated in Fight Over Google Chrome Browser History Tracking – Courthouse News Service

A patent shows how surveillance drones could ID you from above

An Israeli biometrics startup with a history of defense contracts has applied for a patent on technology that repositions drones to get a better shot of a person on the ground.

The patent application, titled “Adaptive Positioning of Drones for Enhanced Face Recognition,” describes a computer vision system that analyzes the angle of a drone camera in relation to the face of a person on the ground, then instructs the drone on how to improve its vantage point. The system can then send that image through a machine-learning model trained to classify individual faces. The model sends back a classification with a probability score. If the probability score falls below a certain threshold, the whole process starts over again.

A future defined by this type of mass surveillance would “obliterate privacy and anonymity in public as we know it,” said Kade Crockford, head of the Technology for Liberty Program at the ACLU of Massachusetts.

Source: A patent shows how surveillance drones could ID you from above

Tracker pixels in emails are now an ‘endemic’ privacy concern

Spy pixels, also known as tracking pixels or web beacons, are invisible, tiny image files — including .PNGs and .GIFs — that are inserted in the content body of an email.

They may appear as clear, white, or another color to merge with the content and remain unseen by a recipient and are often as small as 1×1 pixels. Similar pixels are also widely used on web domains to track visitors.

However, according to Hey co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson, they also represent a “grotesque invasion of privacy.”

Full article: Tracker pixels in emails are now an ‘endemic’ privacy concern | ZDNet

New EFF Report Shows Cops Used Ring Cameras to Monitor Black Lives Matter Protests

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has obtained emails that show that the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) sent at least one request—and likely many more—for Amazon Ring camera video of last summer’s Black-led protests against police violence.

In a report released yesterday, EFF shows that the LAPD asked for video related to “the recent protests,” and refused to disclose to EFF what crime it was investigating or how many hours of footage it ultimately requested.

Source: New EFF Report Shows Cops Used Ring Cameras to Monitor Black Lives Matter Protests | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Google challenges French data watchdog’s €100 million fine in court

France’s administrative court known as the Council of State considered on Thursday an application for interim measures filed by Google LLC and Google Ireland after the French Data Protection Authority known as the CNIL fined the digital giant €100 million last December for its cookie collection policy.

In its deliberation of 7 December 2020, the French data protection authority (CNIL) accused the US giant, whose European headquarters are based in Dublin, of contravening the law on information technology, files, and freedoms.

For its part, Google has appealed to the one-stop-shop mechanism provided for in the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which, in its view, requires it to report on data protection matters only to the corresponding authority in the country in which it is based, namely Ireland.

Source: Google challenges French data watchdog’s €100 million fine in court – EURACTIV.com

Google admits failing to wipe all Android apps with location-selling X-Mode SDK from its Play Store

Google on Friday removed 25 Android apps from the Google Play Store after missing them during a prior purge. The apps contained the X-Mode SDK that the Chocolate Factory previously banned for selling location data.

The SDK gathers location data that X-Mode, a Reston, Virginia-based data broker, then sells to third-parties. In early December, Google and Apple gave mobile app developers seven days and two weeks respectively to jettison the X-Mode SDK, a software library the developers had integrated into their apps in exchange for payment.

Due to an oversight during our enforcement process, 25 apps containing the X-Mode SDK were not removed from Google Play after the developers were given a 7-day warning.

Source: Oops: Google admits failing to wipe all Android apps with location-selling X-Mode SDK from its Play Store • The Register

Google is reportedly working on an anti-tracking feature for Android

Google is looking to develop an anti—tracking feature for Android similar to the one Apple is rolling out with iOS 14.5.

The tech giant is reportedly in the early stages of exploring how it can limit data collection and cross-app tracking for its mobile OS. However, it intends to find a less stringent solution than Apple’s so as not to completely alienate its advertising partners.

Source: Google is reportedly working on an anti-tracking feature for Android | Engadget

Google Explores Alternative to Apple’s New Anti-Tracking Feature

Google is exploring an alternative to Apple Inc.’s new anti-tracking feature, the latest sign that the internet industry is slowly embracing user privacy, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

Internally, the search giant is discussing how it can limit data collection and cross-app tracking on the Android operating system in a way that is less stringent than Apple’s solution, said the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private plans.

Google is trying to balance the rising demands of privacy-conscious consumers with the financial needs of developers and advertisers. The Alphabet Inc. unit is seeking input from these stakeholders, similar to how it’s slowly developing a new privacy standard for web browsing called the Privacy Sandbox.

Source: Google Explores Alternative to Apple’s New Anti-Tracking Feature – Bloomberg

Constitutional court bans bulk Internet surveillance in South Africa

In a landmark judgment handed down on Thursday, the constitutional court banned the South African state from bulk surveillance of online communication, preventing security agencies from hoovering up Internet data.

This sort of surveillance, which is routinely done by agencies such as the National Security Agency in the US and GCHQ in the UK – both of which have routinely tapped into submarine Internet cables – is now illegal in South Africa thanks to the country’s highest court.

Source: Constitutional court bans bulk Internet surveillance in South Africa – TechCentral

CNIL Calls Organizations to Audit their Sites and Apps for Cookie Compliance

French Data Protection Authority (CNIL) announced that it sent letters and emails to approximately 300 organizations, both private and public, to remind them of the new cookie law rules and the need to audit sites and apps to comply with those rules by March 31, 2021.

On October 1, 2020, the CNIL published a revised version of its guidelines on cookies and similar technologies, its final recommendations on the practical modalities for obtaining users’ consent to store or read non-essential cookies and similar technologies on their devices and a set of questions and answers regarding the Recommendations. The CNIL decided to allow for a transition period of six months to comply with the Guidelines (i.e., until March 31, 2021), and announced that it will carry out inspections to enforce the Guidelines after that transition period.

Source: CNIL Calls Organizations to Audit their Sites and Apps for Cookie Compliance

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