advertising

Thu
16
Jan
John Lister's picture

Chrome to Block Third-Party Cookies

Google says it will block third-party cookies, which can track Internet users in ways they don't expect. But it could be up to two years before the block is fully in place. A cookie is a small text file placed on a user's computer by a website. The ... idea is the site can check for the cookie later on and customize the users' web experience. Examples of 'legitimate' cookie use would be an online store that holds items in a virtual 'shopping basket', and a movie theater chain's site 'remembering' a user's location to automatically show them local listings. The more controversial variant is third- ... (view more)

Tue
24
Dec
John Lister's picture

Facebook Stops Using Phone Numbers for Advertisements

Facebook is to stop treating user's phone numbers as a way to target advertising and recommend friends. Critics said the practice undermined a key security measure. The company says it wasn't collecting the numbers directly from phones or the ... Facebook app. Instead, users provided the number when taking advantage of two factor authentication. With this set-up, it means that if a user tries to log in to Facebook on a new device or from a new location, Facebook sends a security code by text message to the number on file. The user then has to type the code in to Facebook before they can login ... (view more)

Tue
06
Aug
John Lister's picture

Site Opens 100 Tabs to Fool Web Trackers

Mozilla has designed a site that will open 100 tabs at once, quite likely crashing a web browser. It's meant as a creative way to show how web tracking works. The stunt is based around cookies: small text files put onto a computer via the browser to ... customize an online session to a website. Third-party tracking cookies are then generated, which keep a record of the sites a user visits. This information is then used by ad servers to deliver targeted ads based on website history. "Track THIS" works by opening 100 tabs selected to represent a particular type of web user. The idea is that there ... (view more)

Tue
07
May
John Lister's picture

Google's New Cookie Tracking Policy Raises Eyebrows

Google is set to make it easier for users to block tracking cookies. Perhaps unsurprisingly the reported changes would also be very helpful for Google. Cookies are small files that a website saves onto a computer's hard drive via the web browser. ... When the user next returns to the site, it will check for cookies and use the information to customize the site's content or appearance. For example, if a user were to enter in their name and password on a forum website and then selected the "remember me" option, this preference would be saved using a cookie. The next time the user visits ... (view more)

Tue
23
Apr
John Lister's picture

Hugely Popular Android Apps Exposed As Scam

Six very opular Android apps have been exposed as scams to defraud advertisers. The scam also drained batteries and sucked up mobile data on the handsets. The six apps are AIO Flashlight, Omni Cleaner, RAM Master, Selfie Camera, Smart Cooler and ... Total Cleaner. All were in the official Google Play store but have been removed since their real purpose came to life. The revelation came after three security companies - Check Point, ESET and Method Media Intelligence - worked with news site Buzzfeed to investigate risky apps. They concentrated on apps which were widely used and required permissions ... (view more)

Tue
01
Jan
John Lister's picture

Apps Share Data With Facebook, Even if No FB Account

20 popular Android apps are sharing user data with Facebook without permission, according to a new report. Privacy International says the data sharing happens even if the user doesn't have a Facebook account. The organization tested 34 apps, each of ... which have been installed at least 10 million times on Android devices. It looked at data that was transmitted through the Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK). The kit is a set of tools that are designed to help app developers coordinate their apps with the Facebook system. This is more commonly associated with retrieving data from ... (view more)

Thu
01
Nov
John Lister's picture

Report: Apps for Kids Contain Dubious, Unsuitable Ads

Apps aimed at very young children are a "wild west" of dubious advertising according to the author of a new study. Jenny Radesky of the University of Michigan's CS Mott Children's Hospital said the advertising was often manipulative. The researchers ... looked at 135 Android apps played by children, including the 96 most downloaded from the Google Play store in the "5 And Under" category. Their headline finding was that 95 percent contained at least one form of advertising. That's arguably a little misleading as this includes 42 percent of the apps featuring a commercial character such as one ... (view more)

Thu
13
Sep
John Lister's picture

Vizio Smart TVs Spied on Users; Sold Data to Ad Firms

Smart TV sets that passed on user data without permission might have to display a message suggesting users sue the manufacturers. It's an unusual proposal in a class action lawsuit. Last year Vizio agreed to pay $3.7 million in fines to settle ... investigations by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the New Jersey attorney general. The TVs in question used Internet connectivity (providing the TV was connected to Internet access at the home by the user), which then utilized a feature called "Smart Interactivity". Though the feature was enabled by default, users could switch it off ... (view more)

Thu
06
Sep
John Lister's picture

New Firefox to Block Unwanted Tracking, Cryptojacking

Firefox is getting a series of updates to boost performance, privacy and usability. Unwanted tracking tools and browser hijackers are among the targets of security updates. Two of the biggest measures deal with websites that track user activity ... online, potentially to make site content more relevant, but more commonly to deliver targeted advertising. Version 63 of Firefox, due in September, will by default block ad trackers if they take a particularly long time to load, in turn making pages slow to appear. This setting is purely to do with the load time of the tracker rather than what it ... (view more)

Wed
02
May
John Lister's picture

Firefox Browser To Carry Ads

The Firefox browser will soon incorporate paid advertising on its new tab page. It will be personalized to a degree, though developers Mozilla say it won't compromise privacy. The ads will appear in the form of links to pages. These links will ... appear whenever a user opens a new tab in the browser, before they type in an address. They won't appear on the home page that shows up when users first open Firefox itself. The new tab page will contain a list of recommended links to pages the user might find interesting. Some of these will be "sponsored" results while others will be included without ... (view more)

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