tracking

Thu
23
Nov
John Lister's picture

Google Tracked User Location even when GPS Turned Off

Google has admitted it tracked the location of cellphone users even when they had location services switched off. It says it's now stopped an 11-month program designed to improve "message delivery." Having location services switched on allows an ... Android phone to collect information about a user's location, commonly combining GPS data, details of nearby WiFi networks, and the location of nearby cellphone towers - all of which can be detected by a phone. Google - and third party app makers - use this data for tools such as mapping, navigation and finding nearby outlets of a particular chain of ... (view more)

Wed
30
Aug
John Lister's picture

Uber Ditches Post-Ride User Tracking

Uber has ditched a policy that meant it could track a user's location for five minutes after the cab has dropped them off. The move could be related to a change in management. Until last November, users had the option to only give the 'ridesharing' ... app permission to access location data on their phone while they were actually using it. Following an update, users had to choose between giving permission for continuous tracking or having location details switched off completely. Customers Choose Between Privacy and Convenience The latter option meant that although the app would still work, users ... (view more)

Wed
08
Feb
John Lister's picture

Smart TV Maker Spied on Viewing Habits, Sold Data

Vizio is to pay $2.2 million in fines after tracking viewing habits on 11 million smart TVs without their owners' knowledge or permission. They then sold the details, including personal information, to advertisers. As part of a settlement, Vizio has ... now agreed to inform customers about the practice and promises to always get their express consent before tracking any viewing. It will also have to delete much of the data it has already collected. Vizio had relied on the idea that customers retained enough control because there was a setting named "Smart Interactivity" that could ... (view more)

Tue
08
Mar
John Lister's picture

Verizon Fined for Secretive Use of 'Super Cookies'

Verizon has agreed to pay a fine of $1.35 million for its use of controversial "super cookies." The files, which are solely used to track its own users, were set up in a way that made them difficult if not impossible to delete. Cookies are small ... text files placed on a user's computer by a website. In many cases, cookies have a perfectly legitimate use of identifying a visitor, even if the site doesn't have a login or registration system. Examples of such user might include a weather site automatically delivering a forecast for the user's preferred location, or a sports ... (view more)

Wed
10
Feb
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Phones Home to 50+ Microsoft IP Addresses

Windows 10 "phones home" thousands of times each day even with the most restrictive privacy settings, according to a newly published article. While the precise figures are in question, it highlights ongoing concerns about Microsoft monitoring. The ... experiment was carried out by a message board poster using the somewhat unlikely name of CheesesCrust. He decided to find out exactly what happens if Windows 10 is run with all tracking supposedly disabled. (Source: voat.co ) To do this, he used a virtual machine tool on a laptop to simulate installing Windows on a completely new machine. ... (view more)

Fri
27
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

How to: Safely Disable Windows 10 Tracking

Infopackets Reader Tom H. writes: " Dear Dennis, I'm currently running Windows 7 and would like to upgrade to Windows 10. However, the one thing I'm greatly concerned about is how Windows 10 will track and share my information online. In your ... opinion is Windows 10 worth it or should I stick with Windows 7? " My response: That's a good question, and there a number of things to consider. Updates for the Life of the Machine In my opinion, it's definitely worth the upgrade to go from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 simply for the fact that you will be running the latest operating system from ... (view more)

Wed
28
Jan
John Lister's picture

FTC: Smart Gadgets a Huge Security Risk

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has warned that the boom in Internet-connected home gadgets could increase security risks significantly. It's put together consumer advice and says it will work on applying the law to this new area of tech. The FTC ... has published a report on the " Internet of Things ". That's something of a vague term, but the commission defines it as any physical object that can connect to the Internet. Today, the Internet of Things doesn't simply apply to computer and smart phones -- it also applies to billions of other objects, including cameras, home ... (view more)

Fri
14
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

Should I Delete my Web Browser Cookies?

Infopackets Reader 'r clee' writes: " Dear Dennis, Every web browser I've used has the option to 'disable third party cookies'. Most articles I've read on privacy say not to allow third party cookies; however, recently, I visited tripadvisor.com to ... read a post, but found my comment wouldn't be accepted unless I enabled third-party cookies. Now, Google is telling me that my Firefox is 'outdated'. When I click the link to find out more detail, it says if I don't enable third party cookies, my email interface will switch to the plain vanilla HTML format ... [Is this] a stab at deeper data mining ... (view more)

Mon
23
Jun
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Facebook to Monitor User Activity Outside its Site

Facebook has altered its privacy policy and it's unlikely the change will be popular with the social network's 1+ billion members. In the next few weeks, Facebook will begin tracking user activity outside of it's own web site, so that it can ... generate 'more appropriate' advertisements tailored towards its members. In the past, Facebook kept close tabs on what its users posted to their profiles in an effort to bring forth more relevant advertisements. But the social network only monitored user activity on the Facebook website itself, including the pages they liked and the links they clicked ... (view more)

Mon
28
Apr
Brandon Dimmel's picture

Automatic App Tracks Driving Habits, Fuel, Parking

A new electronic device promises to help drivers tailor their driving habits in order to save money on fuel. The device, which is called "Automatic" and developed by a company of the same name, plugs into your car's computer socket. Most cars have ... this type of socket if the vehicle was made after 1996. The socket connects directly to the car's onboard computer, and is typically located under the steering wheel, not far from the gas and brake pedals. Users then pair Automatic's hardware device with a special smartphone application that is compatible with both Apple's iOS and ... (view more)

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