WebKit’s new anti-tracking policy puts privacy on a par with security

WebKit, the open source engine that underpins Internet browsers including Apple’s Safari browser, has announced a new tracking prevention policy that takes the strictest line yet on the background and cross-site tracking practices and technologies which are used to creep on Internet users as they go about their business online. Trackers are technologies that are […]

Facebook’s human-AI blend for audio transcription is now facing privacy scrutiny in Europe

Facebook’s lead privacy regulator in Europe is now asking the company for detailed information about the operation of a voice-to-text feature in Facebook’s Messenger app and how it complies with EU law. Yesterday Bloomberg reported that Facebook uses human contractors to transcribe app users’ audio messages — yet its privacy policy makes no clear mention […]

Most EU cookie ‘consent’ notices are meaningless or manipulative, study finds

New research into how European consumers interact with the cookie consent mechanisms which have proliferated since a major update to the bloc’s online privacy rules last year casts an unflattering light on widespread manipulation of a system that’s supposed to protect consumer rights. As Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May […]

Don’t miss this epic Twitter fight between the IAB’s CEO and actual publishers

Grab popcorn. As internet fights go, this one deserves your full attention — because the fight is over your attention. Your eyeballs and the creepy ads that trade data on you to try to swivel ’em. In the blue corner, the Internet Advertising Association’s CEO, Randall Rothenberg, who has been taking to Twitter increasingly loudly […]

Google ordered to halt human review of voice AI recordings over privacy risks

A German privacy watchdog has ordered Google to cease manual reviews of audio snippets generated by its voice AI.  This follows a leak last month of scores of audio snippets from the Google Assistant service. A contractor working as a Dutch language reviewer handed more than 1,000 recordings to the Belgian news site VRT which […]

Europe’s top court sharpens guidance for sites using leaky social plug-ins

Europe’s top court has made a ruling that could affect scores of websites that embed the Facebook ‘Like’ button and receive visitors from the region. The ruling by the Court of Justice of the EU states such sites are jointly responsible for the initial data processing — and must either obtain informed consent from site […]

Researchers spotlight the lie of ‘anonymous’ data

Researchers from two universities in Europe have published a method they say is able to correctly re-identify 99.98% of individuals in anonymized data sets with just 15 demographic attributes. Their model suggests complex data sets of personal information cannot be protected against re-identification by current methods of “anonymizing” data — such as releasing samples (subsets) […]

Facebook fails to keep Messenger Kids’ safety promise

Facebook’s messaging app for under 13s, Messenger Kids — which launched two years ago pledging a “private” chat space for kids to talk with contacts specifically approved by their parents — has run into an embarrassing safety issue. The Verge obtained messages sent by Facebook to an unknown number of parents of users of the […]

Why commerce companies are the advertising players to watch in a privacy-centric world

Justin Choi Contributor Justin Choi is the founder and CEO of Nativo, which empowers brands and publishers through its advanced platform for content. More posts by this contributor Snapchat will make Los Angeles a stronger tech hub Adtech isn’t dead, it just has a lot of dead weight The unchecked digital land grab for consumers’ […]

Italy stings Facebook with $1.1M fine for Cambridge Analytica data misuse

Italy’s data protection watchdog has issued Facebook with a €1 million (~$1.1M) fine for violations of local privacy law attached to the Cambridge Analytica data misuse scandal. Last year it emerged that up to 87 million Facebook users had had their data siphoned out of the social media giant’s platform by an app developer working […]