Quartz: Android phones send location data even when location services are turned off

“When you use Google services, we may collect and process information about your actual location. We use various technologies to determine location, including IP address, GPS, and other sensors that may, for example, provide Google with information on nearby devices, Wi-Fi access points and cell towers.” – Google Privacy Policy Google says it collects location data when you use … Continue reading Quartz: Android phones send location data even when location services are turned off

Major changes to online privacy – except in the U.S.

Some big changes are coming to online privacy, especially when it comes to companies like Google and Facebook.  The European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) establishes a new set of rules designed to give people more control over their data. Think about how much of “you” is online.  Things like who you associate with, … Continue reading Major changes to online privacy – except in the U.S.

If you share it on social networking websites, does it become public or can access by limited? (UPDATE)

Taking on LinkedIn and Microsoft, hiQ turns to crowdfunding for help with legal costs It’s one of those David vs. Goliath battles:  LinkedIn’s 8,000 employees, a company that Microsoft bought in 2016 for $26,5 billion dollars, vs. hiQ Labs, which has 13 employees. So when they two tangle in court, you can understand how difficult … Continue reading If you share it on social networking websites, does it become public or can access by limited? (UPDATE)

Ad industry revolts against Apple’s browser blocking ad tracking

Apparently the entire digital advertising community is up in arms because Apple is baking anti-tracking into its Safari browser.  Marketers will only be able to track your online behavior for 24 hours before it restarts in the upcoming release. So no more “visit a shoe website once and gets ads for shoes for the next … Continue reading Ad industry revolts against Apple’s browser blocking ad tracking

If you share it on networking websites, does it become public or can access be limited?

It’s a battle over privacy rights that has constitutional law implications.  At the heart of it if a simple question with an incredibly complex answer:  If you share it on social networking websites, does it become public or can access by limited? Right now, the case features two companies going to court:  LinkedIn and hiQ.  … Continue reading If you share it on networking websites, does it become public or can access be limited?

Can public officials block citizens on social media or is it a violation of their constitutional rights?

Here’s an interesting debate: If you’re a public official, should you have the right to block people from your social media page? A number of public officials are being sued, including Governor’s in Maryland, Kentucky, and Maine, by state ACLU chapters. Kentucky Governor Sued In Kentucky, the ACLU there filed suit on behalf of some 600 … Continue reading Can public officials block citizens on social media or is it a violation of their constitutional rights?

Facebook refuses to release political advertising data

Television stations must disclose to the public which politicians bought advertising on which station, how much they spent, and where the ads run.  It’s available for anyone that wants to go the station’s section on the FCC website for all to see. Not so for the internet.  Facebook, not known for its transparency when it … Continue reading Facebook refuses to release political advertising data

Canada’s Supreme Court rules Google must block some search content worldwide

Can one country really tell Google what it can and can't show in its search results for the rest of the world?  Read on. Canada’s Supreme Court made a startling ruling that has broad-reaching impact around the world.  In a 7-2 ruling, the court decided to grant an injunction preventing Google from showing certain search … Continue reading Canada’s Supreme Court rules Google must block some search content worldwide

Mixing GPS location data with advertising

The privacy folks are about to have a whole lot of new things to worry about.  We’ve all been cyber-stalked by ads following us around the internet.  Publishers put a pixel, in most cases, on their website that tie into their ad network buys.  This allows them to track where else we go on-line and … Continue reading Mixing GPS location data with advertising

Safari will also limit ad tech, auto-play videos, and tracking

With ad-tech being so intrusive these days in tracking our movements, you had to wonder when people would say “enough is enough.”  Maybe we’re getting closer. Two moves this month certainly should send a message to providers that are pushing the envelope on online advertising tactics that visitors don’t like.  First, Google confirmed that its … Continue reading Safari will also limit ad tech, auto-play videos, and tracking

FTC cracks down on Zombie Cookies that track your online behavior even after you opt-out

The Federal Trade Commission has finalized a settlement with Turn over its use of Supercookies (also called Zombie Cookies). The FTC has accused Turn of deception by tracking consumers for ads even after people tried to opt out.  While not admitting any wrongdoing, the settlement will prohibit Turn from misrepresenting what it does in gathering … Continue reading FTC cracks down on Zombie Cookies that track your online behavior even after you opt-out

Lawsuit: Google is reading emails and using info to target ads (whether you use Gmail or not)

Settlement on hold as judge trashes agreement We’ve been watching the case of Matera V. Google for some time now.  At issue is the practice of scanning emails sent on Gmail accounts and using the information to send targeted ads to Gmail users.  The case alleges that Google violated the Wiretap Act by intercepting the … Continue reading Lawsuit: Google is reading emails and using info to target ads (whether you use Gmail or not)

Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor

Al Gore jokes aside, the man credited with creating the WWW in web addresses says we’ve got some big problems on-line that need to be addressed. He’s published a letter to the world, titled “Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor.” In the letter, Tim Berners-Lee, talks about three specific things that need … Continue reading Three challenges for the web, according to its inventor

FTC smacks Vizio for tracking what you watch on TV and selling data without permission

Consumers have bought more than 11 million internet-connected Vizio televisions since 2010. But according to a complaint filed by the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General, consumers didn’t know that while they were watching their TVs, Vizio was watching them. The lawsuit challenges the company’s tracking practices and offers insights into how established consumer … Continue reading FTC smacks Vizio for tracking what you watch on TV and selling data without permission

Twitter users targeted by government for “national security”

Read the actual order letters after the jump. For the first time, Twitter is able to speak openly about national security requests it received about surveillance and requests for data on Twitter account holders. Even though the requests date back to 2015 and 2016, they were accompanied by a “gag order” which legally prohibited the social … Continue reading Twitter users targeted by government for “national security”

Is your TV set gathering and sharing your habits?

I knew my “Smart TV” was a little different when I got my first one and discovered that just like a computer, it might sometimes reboot for no particular reason. I certainly never thought it was listening to me and sharing what I said. Things certainly have changed now the TV’s are connected to the … Continue reading Is your TV set gathering and sharing your habits?

Advertising groups say online “opt-in” rules violate First Amendment

Is advertising protected speech? And can internet companies use your personal information in advertising without your permission? These answer to these questions seems to be yes if you agree with the advertising trade associations that are asking the FCC to change its opt-in privacy rules for online service providers. The Association of National Advertisers, the … Continue reading Advertising groups say online “opt-in” rules violate First Amendment

FCC on privacy – Internet Service Providers will no longer be able to share data without your explicit consent

The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) voted to require broadband/internet providers to get “explicit consent” before sharing data with marketing companies.  That means no more forcing people to “opt out” of obscure user agreements.  In other words, if they want to share our data with advertising companies, they’ll need to ask us… and we’ll have to … Continue reading FCC on privacy – Internet Service Providers will no longer be able to share data without your explicit consent

Why do people keep giving their personal info when they don’t trust social media to safeguard it?

It’s an interesting case study.  People give up incredible amounts of private, personal information everyday on social media:  Who they date, where they go, what they eat, where they live, who they are connected to, and on and on.  At the same time, just about nobody trusts social media to keep things private. More Americans … Continue reading Why do people keep giving their personal info when they don’t trust social media to safeguard it?

When did we become an opt-out world?

We all know that nobody reads Terms of Service on anybody’s website, or User Agreements when downloading an app. We have just come to accept that there’s probably bad stuff in there that we won’t want but it’s the price we have to pay. I say enough! It’s time to become an opt-in world. Want … Continue reading When did we become an opt-out world?