google

Mon
21
Jun
John Lister's picture

Gov't Proposes Curbing the Reach of Big Tech

The House of Representatives will examine five different proposals for curbing the power of big tech companies. The bills take very different approaches to the task, though it's unclear if any but the least dramatic has a shot at becoming law. There ... could be a couple of reasons why lawmakers have thrown out so many ideas. One is simply a numbers game with the hope that more attempts means more chance of something becoming law. Another is to present some more drastic measures that get rejected in the hope that the "weaker" bills then look more reasonable and balanced. The five bills, as ... (view more)

Wed
02
Jun
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Google Accused of Hiding Tracking Settings

Internal Google documents suggest the company intentionally made it harder for users to stop it accessing their location data. The documents have become public through a lawsuit that claims Google broke data consent rules. The state of Arizona is ... suing over the way Google handles location tracking. Officials say that even when users switched off location tracking for specific apps, Google continued tracking in the background. It only stopped when users switched off a tracking setting for the entire Android system. That's led to the lawsuit, based on the logic that Google made profits from ... (view more)

Thu
06
May
John Lister's picture

Google Criticized Over Misleading Gov't Ads

Google has been accused of failing to do enough to tackle rip-off ads. The issue involves advertisers who mislead customers into paying for government services that should be free of charge. The accusation comes from the BBC News site and involves a ... series of services such as applying for driving or travel permits. While the official costs vary from country to country, such services often have little or no cost from a government agency. Third party sellers run websites that are vague about their status and then charge users inflated fees to apply on their behalf. Such sites are often legal as ... (view more)

Wed
14
Apr
John Lister's picture

Phones to Alert Pedestrians to 'Pay Attention'

Android phones could soon warn users to stop using their device when walking. The feature will be "entirely optional." The warnings will come in Google's Digital Wellbeing app. Google's rules say all devices running Android 9 ("Pie") or later must ... have some form of Digital Wellbeing app, with many manufacturers choosing to simply install Google's version rather than create their own. The apps, which are optional to use, have so far concentrated on factors such as monitoring screen time and alerting users how long they have spent using their device in different ... (view more)

Wed
17
Mar
John Lister's picture

$5B Lawsuit Advances Over Chrome Incognito Privacy

Google will have to go to court to answer claims it misled users by tracking their online activity in a supposed private browsing mode. A judge agreed a lawsuit seeking $5 billion can go ahead with class action status. That status doesn't change ... Google's chances of winning or losing, but could mean much bigger consequences if it does lose. It means anyone meeting set criteria could effectively be treated as a plaintiff, eligible for any financial awards, without having to launch their own case. The case appears largely to come down to whether Google's wording is clear enough, rather than it ... (view more)

Thu
04
Mar
John Lister's picture

Chrome Zero-Day Bug: Update Now

If you use Chrome, you need to make sure it's up to date. The browser has been hit by a dreaded zero-day flaw . In this case, hackers are aware of the bug and are actively exploiting it before Google has a chance to issue a security patch. The name ... comes from the fact that Google has "zero days" head start in getting the patches out. Google confirmed that it "is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2021-21166 [the bug in question] exists in the wild." (Source: googleblog.com ) High Severity Flaw The security flaw is rated as "high severity" on Google's rankings of how much ... (view more)

Tue
02
Feb
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Hotmail, Outlook Email Limits Force $70/yr Fee

Long-time Hotmail and Outlook users may face a choice between seeing old messages deleted or paying $70 a year. Microsoft is legitimately enforcing storage limits but critics say it didn't do enough to remind users they were approaching those ... limits. The policy affects users of Outlook.com, with those most likely to be affected being Hotmail users that migrated over back in 2013 when Hotmail closed. As part of the move, users could keep their old Hotmail address, but were subject to a 15GB storage limit as with all other Outlook users. That includes both sent and received messages and file ... (view more)

Wed
27
Jan
John Lister's picture

Google Says Cookie-Free Advertising Works

Google believes it's found a way to replace privacy-breaching cookies while still letting advertisers find success. It's testing a way to effectively combine data from thousands of users to target ads. Cookies fall into two main types: first and ... third party. First-party cookies are generally uncontroversial as they simply identify a user on a website, including any previous activity such as website preferences. For example, a premium website could let somebody log in to an account and then use cookies so they don't have to log in again for a set period such as a week. Third-party cookies are ... (view more)

Thu
21
Jan
John Lister's picture

Online Shopping Prices May Be Manipulated

Mysterious algorithms could harm online shoppers by aiding collusion according to a newly-published paper. Because the effects are personalized, it could be tricky to prove wrongdoing. The claims come in a researched paper published by the United ... Kingdom's Competition ... (view more)

Tue
19
Jan
John Lister's picture

Google, Facebook Face News Fees

Google and Facebook could have to pay a fee to show content from Australian news organizations. The proposed laws have upset not just the tech giants, but the United States government. The Australian proposals follow a government investigation that ... concludes the two companies have too much control in the media market. It pointed to several regional newspapers closing and advertising revenue falling for publications at the same time Google and Facebook benefit from using news extracts on Google News and in Facebook posts. No Surprise Algorithm Changes Under the laws, Google and Facebook would ... (view more)

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