advertising

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)

Tue
10
Apr
John Lister's picture

YouTube's Under-13 Policy In Question

Consumer groups say YouTube is breaking the law by collecting data about pre-teens without parental permission. They've asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate. The alleged breach is of the Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act ... (COPPA), a federal law that significantly restricts the way sites can handle data about users aged under 13. That's why many major websites that have user accounts officially ban pre-teens from signing up with their services. That's not quite the case with YouTube. Users do have to be 13 or older to get a Google account, which is necessary for some ... (view more)

Thu
20
Apr
John Lister's picture

Bose Accused of Spying on Listening Habits

A proposed class action lawsuit accuses Bose of selling personal data about customers who use its wireless headphones. But the claims are unconfirmed and the argument may be somewhat overstated. Customer Kyle Zak made the complaint about Bose ... Connect, an app for iPhones and Android devices. The app isn't mandatory to use, but is designed to make it easier to switch between different headsets and speakers on a Bluetooth connection without needing to repeatedly pair and unpair the devices. Podcast Choices Could Be Revealing According to the lawsuit, Bose uses the app to collect details of ... (view more)

Tue
21
Mar
John Lister's picture

Advertisers Ditch Google Over Extremist YouTube Videos

Google has apologized to businesses whose ads appeared next to extremist videos on YouTube. It follows several major brands and the British government dropping Google advertising over the affair. The Times newspaper reported that videos from ... extremist groups had appeared beside advertising from many a host of big businesses and government agencies. That not only meant embarrassment but could mean that the advertisers were unwittingly -- if indirectly -- contributing to extremist groups. Content Classification Confusing Google's Matt Brittin told a conference that he wanted to " ... (view more)

Thu
16
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Report: You can be Tracked Online, even without IP or Cookies

Researchers have found a way to track web users even if they switch web browsers. It could improve security but also weaken online privacy. The researchers at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania were trying to find ways of improving fingerprinting. ... That's a way to attempt to identify an individual user (or at least their computer) without relying on single identifiers such as login details, browser cookies, or an IP address. Instead, fingerprinting involves taking multiple pieces of information provided by a user's browser such as the browser name, it's version, whether they have an ad blocker ... (view more)

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