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.

Google's 'Ask a Techspert' Explains Machine Learning

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In Google’s Ask a Techspert series, senior software engineer Rosie Buchanan explains machine learning for non-experts.

Today, when we hear about “machine learning,” we’re actually talking about how Google teaches computers to use existing information to answer questions like: Where is the ice cream? Or, can you tell me if my package has arrived on my doorstep? For this edition of Ask a Techspert, I spoke with Rosie Buchanan, who is a senior software engineer working on Machine Perception within Google Nest.

This is a cool blog post explaining it, and I hope to see more explanations like this.

Google Privacy Sandbox Probably Won't Protect Your Privacy

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Advertising company Google wants to build a “Google privacy sandbox” as a way to improve personalized ads while attempting to remove the “personalized” part.

The goal of these proposals is to promote a dialog on ways browsers could advance user privacy, while still ensuring publishers can earn what they need to fund great content and user experiences, and advertisers can deliver relevant ads to the right people and measure their impact.

Or, if you want to support websites with ads while also protecting your privacy, stick to Safari.

News+: Should Apple Leak the iPhone 11 Design?

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In the latest issue of Macworld, Michael Simon says that Apple should leak the iPhone 11 design like Google did for the Pixel 4.

We already know it’s coming in September. And we kind of know what it will look like too. There have already been bountiful leaks that have revealed a giant square camera bump—which incidentally looks a whole lot like the Pixel 4—and it’s expected that all three models will be pretty much identical from the front. So what’s the harm in confirming what we already know?

If we accept two conditions: 1) Many Android phones tend to mimic iPhones; and 2) iPhone 11 mockups are close to or exactly the real design; Then I think the Pixel 4 was also the iPhone 11 leak.

This is part of Andrew’s News+ series, where he shares a magazine every Friday to help people discover good content in Apple News+.

Last Month Google Play Had 205 Malicious Apps With Over 32M Installs

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In July alone, Google Play had 205 malicious apps with over 32 million installations, most of them containing hidden ads.

The bulk of the suspicious software – 188 to be exact – contained hidden ads, accounting for 19.2 million installs. The rest of the offenders fell under the categories of subscription scam, ad fraud, stalkerware, fake apps, fake antivirus tools, adware droppers, and software with built-in backdoors, according to data compiled by ESET malware researcher Lukas Stefanko.

Google's Project Zero Finds 6 iOS 'Interactionless' Bugs

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Google’s security team Project Zero recently found six “interactionless” iOS bugs. If sold on the black market they would be worth over US$5 million.

According to the researcher, four of the six security bugs can lead to the execution of malicious code on a remote iOS device, with no user interaction needed. All an attacker needs to do is to send a malformed message to a victim’s phone, and the malicious code will execute once the user opens and views the received item.

The fifth and sixth bugs, CVE-2019-8624 and CVE-2019-8646, can allow an attacker to leak data from a device’s memory and read files off a remote device –also with no user interaction.

Meet the Never-Googlers Who Shun the Mountain View Company

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The Never-Googlers are people who avoid using Google services and try to convince family and friends to give them up as well.

These intrepid Web users say they’d rather deal with daily inconveniences than give up more of their data. That means setting up permanent vacation responders on Gmail and telling friends to resend files or video links that don’t require Google software. More than that, it takes a lot of discipline.

Wouldn’t you know it, I wrote a list of Google alternatives.

YouTube Union Joins With EU Trade Union IG Metall

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The YouTubers Union has joined with IG Metall, Germany’s biggest union and Europe’s biggest trade union. Together they created a venture called FairTube.

“We aren’t demanding things that cut into profits or are unrealistic. We want fairness. We want transparency. We want to be treated like partners. And we want personal communication instead of anonymous communication,” Sprave told Motherboard.

In a video announcing the move, IG Metall’s Vice President Christiane Benner, Sprave said that the partnership meant “a completely new time begins. It is no longer the case that we are helpless against Youtube. With the IG Metall, we have a strong, strong partner.” Benner added, “We know from experience that together we can achieve a lot.”

Google's AMP URL Technology Spreads to Images

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Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google invention that is meant to speed up web pages on mobile devices. But since it wraps the page in a Google-controlled container, it’s a harmful technology to the open web. The company has started to bring AMP URL technology for Google Images.

When you select an image, you’ll see a preview of the website header at the bottom of the screen. You can keep scrolling through Google Images, or swipe up on the preview to load the AMP (accelerated mobile pages) version of the site.

Earlier I found a shortcut that can clean AMP URLs. Or, use an alternative search engine like DuckDuckGo.

Your Facial Data is Worth a $5 Gift Card to Google

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Google employees are stopping people in public and offering them a US$5 gift card in exchange for their facial data. The company is thought to be working on a Face ID authentication system for the Pixel 4.

“I assume they’ll use the data to train a neural network to be able to recognize what a face is,” he replied. “Then you train your own phone on what your specific face looks like. And that’s what gets used to unlock your phone, Face ID-style, but more accurately.”

Add three zeroes to that Google, and then I’ll discuss it.