privacy Stories April 11

While the added privacy measures are not as noticeable as notification snoozing, Picture-in-Picture, and other new customizations, there are a number of them in Android O. With this release, Google is specifically aiming to limit device identifiers and other information that apps can request.

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privacy Stories April 1

Just a few days after Congress reversed internet privacy rules enacted during the Obama administration, Comcast, AT&T, and Verizon have all made statements claiming they will not sell personal web browsing histories.

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Everyone can use an Echo Dot: Just $50!

privacy Stories March 14

Re/code found that Google’s mobile messaging app Allo can reveal your search history and other personal information when you include the Google Assistant bot in chats. Associate editor Tess Townsend made the discovery during an Allo chat with a friend.

My friend directed Assistant to identify itself. Instead of offering a name or a pithy retort, it responded with a link from Harry Potter fan website Pottermore. The link led to an extract from “Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix,” the fifth book in J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. But the response was not merely a non sequitur. It was a result related to previous searches my friend said he had done a few days earlier.

And search history isn’t the only private data the Assistant can reveal to anyone you chat with …

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privacy Stories April 15, 2016

Google announces new user data guidelines for Chrome Web Store apps and extensions

While the Play Store usually gets more billing, the Chrome Web Store serves an equally large audience and is full of many useful apps and extensions. Google is updating the User Data Policy for the store with more stronger policies in regards to user data.

privacy Stories December 3, 2015

Yesterday it was revealed that a privacy group (EFF) had a filed a complaint with the FTC claiming that Google “deceptively tracks students’ internet browsing”. Specifically, the group claims that Google is breaching a Student Privacy Pledge that it signed in January. One issue with Chrome OS in particular is Chrome Sync, a feature which enables users to have the same bookmarks, logins and other data across various devices with the Chrome Browser installed. As you would expect, it didn’t take long for Google to deny claims of wrongdoing…

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privacy Stories November 11, 2015

Here’s how to see the personal information Google shares about you on the web

Google has launched a new ‘About Me’ page, which lets you see and change what personal information is visible to others when you use any of Google’s services. The company has most likely introduced the service in an effort to counter concerns about data privacy.

Don’t expect too much from it: it’s essentially the same information you can see on Google+, and mostly appears to be an alternative for those of us who long ago consigned Google+ to history. When I checked my data, it showed only my name, gender, birthday and occupation. But if you shared contact details with any Google service, those may also be visible, so it’s worth a quick look.

You can edit the information shown, as well as choose who can view each piece of data. Personally, I always enter a false date of birth on web forms, as it’s a key piece of information used by identity thieves. I set it to private simply to ward off any mistaken birthday wishes.

You can check your own data at aboutme.google.com, where you’ll also find a link to Google’s existing privacy checkup.

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