• Nov 30, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Google’s “smart city” in Toronto: what it wanted, what it will now get – and why it’s still problematic for privacy

Earlier this year, Privacy News Online wrote about the latest news concerning plans to create a model “smart city” on Toronto’s waterfront. The company involved, Sidewalk Labs, is part of the Alphabet stable, along with Google. In an attempt to quell fears about privacy and other aspects of the plan, Sidewalk Labs released 1500 pages … Continue reading “Google’s “smart city” in Toronto: what it wanted, what it will now get – and why it’s still problematic for privacy”

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At last, some good news for privacy: signs that micro-targeted advertising may be on the way out

At the beginning of this year Privacy News Online wrote about how people were waking up to the dangers of micro-targeted advertising. Despite that, nothing much happened – until now. One reason for the shift is the heightened awareness of the role of social media in politics and elections. Twitter has said it will drop … Continue reading “At last, some good news for privacy: signs that micro-targeted advertising may be on the way out”

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  • Nov 7, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Google, Facebook and many others are coming for your health data: watch out for your privacy

Last week, Google announced that it would be buying Fitbit, valuing the 12-year-old company at $2.1 billion. Many have seen this as an attempt to boost Google’s position in the wearables sector. So far, the company’s Wear OS platform has made relatively little impact. The acquisition certainly improves Google’s position, but it is only part … Continue reading “Google, Facebook and many others are coming for your health data: watch out for your privacy”

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  • Oct 26, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy, Programming,

Smartphones with wheels: how modern transportation brings new privacy problems

Tracking vehicles as a way of carrying out surveillance has been used by governments around the world for years. When exactly it should be allowed is still a hot topic, in the US at least. And it’s not just the police that use tracking devices. Recently it emerged that the car manufacturer Mercedes has covertly … Continue reading “Smartphones with wheels: how modern transportation brings new privacy problems”

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  • Sep 27, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Top court says “right to be forgotten” doesn’t always apply outside EU – and orders search engines to manipulate results

One of the more controversial elements of EU data protection law is the so-called “right to be forgotten” (RTBF), which dates back to 2014. This allows EU citizens to request internet search engines such as Google to remove search results directly related to them. Despite its misleading name, they are not “forgotten”: the material that … Continue reading “Top court says “right to be forgotten” doesn’t always apply outside EU – and orders search engines to manipulate results”

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  • Sep 4, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Linux, Open Source, Privacy, Programming,

The next great platform shift is underway, and that could be really bad for privacy

The first computing era was based on the keyboard. Mainframes, minicomputers, personal computers – they were all controlled using fingers typing out commands. Later on, the graphical front end of the Macintosh and Windows allowed people to point and click, but the keyboard was still there for text to be entered at some point. The … Continue reading “The next great platform shift is underway, and that could be really bad for privacy”

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  • Aug 31, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Programming,

Google says: “Privacy is paramount to us, in everything we do”; here’s why that can’t be true

Back in May Mark Zuckerberg proclaimed: the future is private“. Now Google is joining in: Privacy is paramount to us, in everything we do. So today, we are announcing a new initiative to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on the web. We’re calling this a Privacy Sandbox. As a slogan, … Continue reading “Google says: “Privacy is paramount to us, in everything we do”; here’s why that can’t be true”

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Why you need to use a VPN to stop Google and Facebook from tracking your porn habits

A team of researchers from Microsoft, the University of Pennsylvania, and Carnegie Mellon have revealed a study showing that Google and Facebook are keeping tabs on your porn viewing habits with trackers and using incognito mode or private browsing does not stop it. The researchers analyzed 22,484 porn websites and noted a whopping 93% of … Continue reading “Why you need to use a VPN to stop Google and Facebook from tracking your porn habits”

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  • Jul 12, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Open Source, Privacy,

Here’s why Google thinks you should trust it with unprecedented quantities of your city’s “urban data”

Last October, Privacy News Online wrote about an ambitious project from Google’s sister company, Sidewalk Labs. It aims to take the idea of a “smart city” to the next level, measuring everything that happens in the public sphere so that it can be optimized – and monetized. As that post reported, many people were understandably … Continue reading “Here’s why Google thinks you should trust it with unprecedented quantities of your city’s “urban data””

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  • Jul 8, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

The writing is on the wall for ads based on real-time bidding in the EU – and maybe everywhere

Privacy News Online noted back in February a growing disquiet at the huge amounts of personal information that sites like Facebook and Google routinely gather about us, and how it is used for personalized advertising. Of particular concern is real-time bidding (RTB), which sees often extremely private information sent out to hundreds of potential advertisers, … Continue reading “The writing is on the wall for ads based on real-time bidding in the EU – and maybe everywhere”

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