Investigations are underway to examine Avast’s practice of collecting and selling its users’ browser histories.
Avast, which is based in the Czech Republic, claimed it was stripping away users’ personal details from the collected browser histories as a way to “de-identify” the data, and preserve their customers’ privacy. However, the joint investigation from PCMag and Motherboard found the contrary: The same data can actually be combined with other information to identify the web activities of individual Avast users, including their internet searches. As many as 100 million users had their data collected.
I’m glad there are investigations. As I found out last week, there are likely other companies participating in this data collection practice.
The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) ruled that websites that use Facebook’s ‘like’ button can be held liable for data collection.
Kazuki Ota, founder and CEO of data aggregator Arm Treasure Data, said that although Sign in With Apple will limit some tracking, it won’t eliminate it completely.
Treasure Data’s ID Unification feature can take attributes of multiple IDs and combine them into one profile across data sources. “Eighty to 90% of the work of creating this type of clean profile is actually having a lot of clean-up process of the data and also having a higher quality data,” Ota said. “It won’t be perfect, to be honest, because 100% clean data is almost an imaginary situation.”
I look forward to seeing the impact Sign in With Apple will have.
Senators Mark Warner (D-Va.) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) will introduce the DASHBOARD act so people can know how much their data is worth.
A recent study by online security experts vpnMentor has delved through the various privacy policies of some of the most popular applications, to discover how they’re really tracking our every move. The company also created a tool that tells you all of the data different companies collect from you. For example, apps like Tinder continue to track your location even when you’re not using the app; Facebook and Instagram track your location and save your home address and your most frequently visited locations. Both Facebook, LinkedIn & Instagram use the information you share on their messaging services, while Twitter and Spotify openly state they have access to any messages sent on their platforms. Device Information – Google and Amazon keep hold of voice recordings from searches and Alexa, while Apple Music tracks phone calls and emails sent and received on the devices the service is used on.
Google Stadia looks likely to shake up the gaming world, but there’s more than one way to skin a gaming cat, and Apple is focused on AR. Bryan Chaffin is joined by guest cohost Andrew Orr to discuss how those different tracts might fare. They also talk about the good sides of corporate data surveillance, and yes, they will both forgive you if you are surprised either would entertain such a notion.
Here’s a question to ask yourself: Would you let Apple collect more of your data to improve its services? The company already collects some stuff, but it doesn’t seem to be enough for services like Siri. Mark Sullivan’s answer to that question is yes.
Everyone is waking up to the fact that big tech companies have been skimming personal data for years and not saying much about it. And don’t get me wrong, the tech companies deserve all the mistrust and scrutiny they’re getting. But I hope they get a second chance with user data, because there’s so much cool stuff they could do with it, especially in the age of AI. I think they might find that many of us would be fine with giving up more of our personal data–if we get more in return.
I think my answer is yes as well. I would love for Apple’s services to be more personalized to me. I just don’t want my data to be used for advertising. The premium price I pay in lieu of ads is for the hardware.
Louise Matakis put together a guide on how to manage your online personal data, and figuring out who buys, sells, and barters it.
Personal data is often compared to oil—it powers today’s most profitable corporations, just like fossil fuels energized those of the past. But the consumers it’s extracted from often know little about how much of their information is collected, who gets to look at it, and what it’s worth. Every day, hundreds of companies you may not even know exist gather facts about you, some more intimate than others. That information may then flow to academic researchers, hackers, law enforcement, and foreign nations—as well as plenty of companies trying to sell you stuff.
A good guide as usual from Wired.
Apple has redesigned the Apple Maps image collection page featuring a list of locations the company will survey in the future.