If Your YouTube Account Isn’t ‘Commercially Viable’ Google Will Delete It

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According to YouTube’s new terms of service, your YouTube account can be terminated if it isn’t commercially viable enough. The phrasing is broad enough that some people think this means Google will take action against people using adblockers.

YouTube may terminate your access, or your Google account’s access to all or part of the Service if YouTube believes, in its sole discretion, that provision of the Service to you is no longer commercially viable.

I’m personally not sure if that’s the case. You don’t need a Google account to watch YouTube, nor does Google need you to have an account for it to track you.

Google's OpenTitan aims to Create an Open Source Secure Enclave

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Google wants Android phones to have a Secure Enclave chip like iPhones. Its OpenTitan project aims to help design an open source one.

OpenTitan is loosely based on a proprietary root-of-trust chip that Google uses in its Pixel 3 and 4 phones. But OpenTitan is its own chip architecture and extensive set of schematics developed by engineers at lowRISC, along with partners at ETH Zurich, G+D Mobile Security, Nuvoton Technology, Western Digital, and, of course, Google.

The consortium will use community feedback and contributions to develop and improve the industry-grade chip design, while lowRISC will manage the project and keep suggestions and proposed changes from going live haphazardly.

You can view the OpenTitan Github repo here, but it’s not fully fleshed out yet.

New Messaging Standard RCS Won't Have Encryption

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Everyone is talking about a new messaging standard the Big Four carriers have agreed upon. It’s called RCS and it’s meant to replace SMS. But your RCS conversations won’t be end-to-end encrypted.

The CCMI neatly fixes both the first and the second problem. Garland says the carriers believe there are some implementation issues with the Universal Profile that the CCMI can address more elegantly, but it will follow the standard to ensure interoperability.

As for encryption, Garland wouldn’t commit. He emphasizes that the CCMI intends to make sure that the chats are “private” and that the app it’s making is “an experience [customers] can trust.”

Having Apple join the project would certainly legitimize RCS, but if it doesn’t have encryption I don’t think Apple will partake.

Google to Fix HEIC Photo Backup 'Bug'

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Redditor u/stephenvsawyer found that HEIC photos were given unlimited backups to Google Photos because they are smaller than JPGs. If Google tried to compress them the files would actually get bigger, which would be a waste of storage space. But Google calls it a bug and says it will fix it.

However, what that means remains unclear. Would Google start charging for HEIC images stored in Photos, even if they’re small and don’t take up much space? Would it forcibly re-convert those pics to compressed JPEG, or compress them further under the HEIC format? And will the fix apply to all HEIC images or just iPhones?

I’m not sure how Google will fix it unless they just check if the file extension is .HEIC and arbitrarily limit these files (arbitrary since converting them would increase their size).

Google Built Fake Webpages Called 'Push Pages' to Defy GDPR

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As part of Google’s DoubleClick/Authorized Buyers advertising system, the company created hidden webpages for advertisers that violate its own policies.

Google Push Pages are served from a Google domain (https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com) and all have the same name, “cookie_push.html”. Each Push Page is made distinctive by a code of almost two thousand characters, which Google adds at the end to uniquely identify the person that Google is sharing information about. This, combined with other cookies supplied by Google, allows companies to pseudonymously identify the person in circumstances where this would not otherwise be possible.

Google Bans Apple Card From Advertising Platform

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Google doesn’t want customers to use virtual card numbers, and that includes the one Apple Card uses. An anonymous person writes about their experience.

Last week I received my Apple Card and decided to use it on my Google Ads account for another project. Getting a little bit of daily cash back for my meager ad spend was attractive. Within a couple of hours of updating my payment method my account had become suspended for suspicious payment activity.

I’m writing this to warn anyone else that intended to use the card online that you may experience… difficulties. And if you’re planning on using the Apple Card for anything important, think again.

It makes sense, on the premise that tracking companies like Google would oppose private measures like the Apple Card. I assume other virtual cards like Privacy.com would suffer the same fate.