Articles about tracking

How Apple is taming the ad biz. Just don't expect Google or Zuck to follow

Can the world's biggest tech company tame the Wild West of the digital ad industry as its data slurping becomes ever more intrusive? Since Facebook and Google are essentially colluding with behavioural data collection, and Microsoft has given up the fight for user privacy, few companies have Apple's means or incentive. But for …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Sep 2017
chicago_crop_648

It's the thought that counts: Illinois emits 'no location stalking' law

The US state of Illinois is about to pass a law that makes it illegal to track a phone's location without the owner's consent. The bill, dubbed the Geolocation Privacy Protection Act (HB3449), has been passed by both houses in the state legislature and now awaits the signature of Governor Bruce Rauner. The bill makes it …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jun 2017

Delete Google Maps? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

Google, it seems, is very, very interested in knowing where you are at all times. Users have reported battery life issues with the latest Android build, with many pointing the finger at Google Play – Google's app store – and its persistent, almost obsessive need to check where you are. Amid complaints that Google Play is …
Kieren McCarthy, 12 Sep 2016
Cookies

Google off the hook for feeding kids bad cookies

A US court has dismissed Google from a lawsuit accusing the advertising giant of illegally tracking small children online. The US Third Circuit Court of Appeals said the Chocolate Factory will not [PDF] have to face allegations it used information about youngsters to serve them customized ads without their parents' knowledge …
Shaun Nichols, 29 Jun 2016
warrant

Get outta here, officer, you don't need a warrant to track people by their phones – appeals court

A US Court of Appeals has ruled that police do not need a warrant to track the whereabouts of a person's mobile phone. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled [PDF] that police in Baltimore did not violate the Fourth Amendment rights of two suspected robbers when they pulled the phone location data of the men from their …
Shaun Nichols, 31 May 2016
Internet anonymity

FBI: Er, no, we won't reveal how we unmask and torpedo Tor pedos

The FBI is refusing to hand over details of the software it used to track and unmask anonymous viewers of a child sex abuse websites. The Feds said the details are irrelevant to the case. In February of 2015, the FBI seized the servers running a dark-web pedophile website called Playpen, described as the largest archive of its …
Iain Thomson, 29 Mar 2016

TV broadcast vans drive ESA from Perth

Urban sprawl and interference from TV broadcast vans have obliged the European Space Agency (ESA) to shutter its Perth station in Western Australia, which until now has been handling initial tracking of spacecraft soaring aloft from Kourou, French Guiana. Perth station "hosts a 15-metre antenna with transmission and reception …
Lester Haines, 24 Nov 2015
Google faces antitrust charges in the European Union

Google shouldn’t worry while EU commissars fight over policing tech giants

Comment Try getting through a day without using Google, Facebook, Amazon, PayPal or a music service. Even if you heroically avoid stepping on any of their properties, it’s likely that your activity will have been tracked and recorded. Few things affect your online life more than “platforms”. They’re almost impossible to avoid, and the …
Andrew Orlowski, 18 Sep 2015

Zuck-Up as Facebook Messenger app tracks you everywhere forever

The ZuckerBorg collects so much data on its users that even visiting the site tags your ineffable soul for eternal tracking. But now a Harvard student's browser extension can now exploit the default location sharing setting to literally plot Facebook Messenger app users' movements on a map. Aran Khanna, a CompSci student at …
Shopping trolley. Pic: Mikey, Flickr

Looking for laxatives, miss? Shoppers stalked via smartphone Wi-Fi

The FTC has now settled with a New York startup that stealthily tracks the movements of Americans around stores using their smartphones' Wi-Fi signals. The regulator alleged [PDF] in late 2013 that Nomi Technologies broke the FTC Act by not being totally upfront with shoppers. Nomi's Listen service is used by retail chains to …
Shaun Nichols, 24 Apr 2015

Bell Canada pulls U-turn on super-invasive web-stalking operation

Following the Canadian Privacy Commissioner's investigation into "an unprecedented number of complaints" regarding Bell Canada, the telecommuncations giant is suddenly back-pedalling on its customer tracking policy. A report from the Canadian Privacy Commissioner's Office (OPC) has urged telecommunications companies to adopt " …
Watching You

Facebook 'violates Euro data law' say Belgian data cops' researchers

Facebook has reportedly been illegally tracking the web browsing habits of every visitor to its site, even if those visitors aren't account holders or have explicitly opted out of tracking when within the EU, according to a critical analysis by researchers at the University of Leuven and the Free University of Brussels. The …
cookies_eyes_privacy evercookies flash cookies

Verizon: FINE OK, you can now rid your life of our stalker supercookies

Verizon has finally got around to giving its subscribers the option to opt out of its controversial supercookie tracking program. Customers can find the switch in their My Verizon account settings, or by calling the toll-free number (866) 211-0874. "Verizon Wireless provides customers the ability to opt-out of our advertising …
Shaun Nichols, 31 Mar 2015

Leaky battery attack reveals the paths you walk in life

More than 100 mobile apps leak users' location regardless of whether they opt to keep the information private, according to researchers. Power consumption data is the source of the leaks, which make it possible to determine users' whereabouts with 90 percent accuracy. A quartet from Stanford University and Israeli defence …
Darren Pauli, 23 Feb 2015
cookies_eyes_privacy evercookies flash cookies

A cookie with a 7,984-year lifespan. Blimey, Roy Batty only got 4!

A cookie can last 7,984 years, according to new international privacy study, far out-lasting the operational usefulness of the device (or human user presumably). The idea that some of the small files stored on a device when it is used to visit a website are programmed, to last at least as long (if not far longer) than the …
John Leyden, 18 Feb 2015
Angry woman on mobile

WhatDaHell, WhatsApp? Student claims 'stalker' tool shows security flaws

A newly discovered security flaw in WhatsApp allows anyone to track a user’s status, regardless of their privacy settings, a student claims. The same bug also lifts the kimono on profile picture and privacy settings - in default settings only - and status messages regardless of privacy settings. Maikel Zweerink, a Dutch …
John Leyden, 16 Feb 2015
Crop of doctor with pen and clipboard

Turn your head and cough (up your details), HealthCare.Gov has sprung a leak!

Researchers have spotted a security lapse on the healthcare.gov site that leaves users vulnerable to data harvesting. The Associated Press and the EFF report that the site is providing some personal information about visitors to third-party advertisors. According to the researchers, the healthcare.gov site provides …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Jan 2015
The Child Catcher

Edu-apps may be STALKING YOUR KIDS, feds warn

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning parents after the discovery of possible user-tracking activity by educational software for children. The commission said that some children's education software, such as that marketed by China-based BabyBus, appears to be collecting locational data from users and possibly …
Shaun Nichols, 22 Dec 2014

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