Google Plans Changes to How Long It Holds on to User Data

Google disclosed that it had changed its policy regarding how long it will hang on to users’ search data. Last year, the company introduced an option that allowed users to automatically delete data related to Internet searches, requests made to Google Assistant and location history after three months or 18 months. Beginning now, Google’s default policy is to automatically delete location history, voice recordings and web/app activity on new accounts after 18 months. The settings on existing accounts will remain the same. Continue reading Google Plans Changes to How Long It Holds on to User Data

NAB 2018: Distinct Traits of Gen Z, The YouTube Generation

Call them Gen Z, or Plurals or Centennials. But whatever you do, don’t call these 14- to 19-year-olds millennials. During one of NAB’s Future of Cinema sessions, ETC Immersive Media Initiative lead Phil Lelyveld described Gen Z and what makes them distinct from the much more familiar millennials. For starters, he said, they spend only 13.2 hours a week watching TV, the lowest number of any preceding generation. Lelyveld also noted that the exact definition, by age, of Gen Z is undetermined, but behaviors are clear. Continue reading NAB 2018: Distinct Traits of Gen Z, The YouTube Generation

Brave Browser Aims to Reinvent Online Advertising Paradigm

Brendan Eich created JavaScript, the world’s most widely used programming language and co-founded Mozilla, the organization behind the Firefox browser that has become one of the most popular ways to navigate the Web. Now he’s back with Brave Software, a startup developing an open source browser for desktop and mobile that carves a middle path between excessive online advertising and antagonistic ad blockers. In his paradigm, advertisers, browser companies, websites and users stand to win. Continue reading Brave Browser Aims to Reinvent Online Advertising Paradigm

TPP Trade Agreement Sparks Response from Tech Community

With the publication of the Trans Pacific-Partnership (TPP) international trade treaty, numerous technology and privacy rights groups are speaking up over a range of issues. Non-profit consumer rights organization Public Citizen decries what it says is “serious implications for online privacy.” Others note that the TPP would prevent member countries from requiring that companies from other member states hand over the source code of their products. And some activists believe TPP could help further net neutrality. Continue reading TPP Trade Agreement Sparks Response from Tech Community

Twitter Users Can Change Setting to Expand Direct Messaging

As promised, Twitter is moving forward with new changes to expand its private messaging feature that will allow users to receive private messages from any account. Twitter’s previous messaging policy forbid users from exchanging private messages, unless both users were following one another’s accounts. The new change, a setting option that will have to be manually enabled, may prompt more users to make use of Twitter’s Direct Messaging service, which has yet to gain significant traction. Continue reading Twitter Users Can Change Setting to Expand Direct Messaging

Android Users Warned They Are at Risk of Malicious Software

Researchers at security firm Lookout have been tracking mobile malware for almost two years. As the firm predicted, millions of mobile users have been affected by a recent mobile epidemic of viruses and spam. Hackers are finding new ways to deceive mobile device users via techniques involving email and implanting harmful codes on websites. As attackers become more sophisticated in their methods, mobile users should be more careful of their online activity.   Continue reading Android Users Warned They Are at Risk of Malicious Software

Google Experiments with New Approach to Individual Privacy

Google is re-evaluating its privacy standards with a new open source tool that is designed to maintain confidentiality among participants being evaluated in heavy data sets. The ongoing project, known as RAPPOR, stems from a 1960’s technique that disrupts the correlation between a given data point and the individual behind that data point. The project is set to preserve the privacy and identity of the individual that is often vulnerable in the hands of companies today. Continue reading Google Experiments with New Approach to Individual Privacy

Google Creates Manager for Permanently Inactive Accounts

With Internet users posting an increasing amount of information online, the question has arisen regarding what happens to that data once an individual passes on. Google may now have an answer with its new Inactive Account Manager. With this technology, users of any Google service can set a time to delete their “digital life” or send selected elements to a person of their choosing, after the account or accounts become permanently inactive. Continue reading Google Creates Manager for Permanently Inactive Accounts

COPPA Changes Could Affect Mobile Game Development

The Federal Trade Commission has made changes to the COPPA laws in regards to the definition of a “children’s app.” Changes to the online privacy rules will go into effect July 1, with an emphasis on data collection practices, which could mean that requesting information or images from mobile devices could be viewed as a violation. Several developers are scaling back on game production in order to avoid being penalized by the FTC. Continue reading COPPA Changes Could Affect Mobile Game Development

New Facebook Ad Strategy May Cause Privacy Concerns

Facebook has created a new way to use ads that appeal more directly to its users. Through third party marketers, the social media site will use offline information in order to show advertisements that cater to a user’s specific interests. Even though personal information will reportedly stay secure, the approach is raising concerns regarding whether or not Facebook is trying to collect too much information from consumers. Continue reading New Facebook Ad Strategy May Cause Privacy Concerns

Industry Responds to Upswing in Online Privacy Concerns

As Internet users become more aware of online privacy issues, Internet companies are working to prove that consumer data is safe and under control. Some companies are even trying to gain advantage in the market by promoting themselves as more privacy-friendly than their rivals. Mozilla recently took this approach when it announced it would allow users to disable third-party tracking software. Others have taken similar tacts. Continue reading Industry Responds to Upswing in Online Privacy Concerns