A few days after an Associated Press investigation about Google’s privacy practices was reported, Google has revised its deceptive description on its website to ‘clarify’ it still tracks user location even after they turn off location history setting.
This affects Android powered devices and iPhones loaded with Google software such as Chrome, Google Maps, etc.
An Associated Press report has revealed that several Google services on Android devices and iPhones store your location data even after users set a privacy setting that is meant to stop Google from doing so.
Computer-science researchers at Princeton confirmed AP’s findings.
Storing location data in violation of a user’s preferences is wrong, said Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission’s enforcement bureau. A researcher from Mayer’s lab confirmed the AP’s findings on multiple Android devices; the AP conducted its own tests on several iPhones that found the same behavior.
“If you’re going to allow users to turn off something called ‘Location History,’ then all the places where you maintain location history should be turned off,” Mayer said. “That seems like a pretty straightforward position to have.”
Google says it is being perfectly clear.
“There are a number of different ways that Google may use location to improve people’s experience, including: Location History, Web and App Activity, and through device-level Location Services,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement to the AP. “We provide clear descriptions of these tools, and robust controls so people can turn them on or off, and delete their histories at any time.”
When compared to the likes of Facebook, Google, and others, Apple are probably doing a better job. But they could be doing more.
Bloomberg Businessweek (paywall):
Bloomberg News recently reported that for years iPhone app developers have been allowed to store and sell data from users who allow access to their contact lists, which, in addition to phone numbers, may include other people’s photos and home addresses. According to some security experts, the Notes section—where people sometimes list Social Security numbers for their spouses or children or the entry codes for their apartment buildings—is particularly sensitive. In July, Apple added a rule to its contract with app makers banning the storage and sale of such data. It was done with little fanfare, probably because it won’t make much of a difference.
When developers get our information, and that of the acquaintances in our contacts list, it’s theirs to use and move around unseen by Apple. It can be sold to data brokers, shared with political campaigns, or posted on the internet. The new rule forbids that, but Apple does nothing to make it technically difficult for developers to harvest the information.
Genetic testing firms Ancestry and 23andMe pledge to be more upfront about how they share/sell users’ DNA data to business, police, and others – Fortune, Washington Post
Dozens of game developers are removing data collecting software created by Red Shell after players discovered it was recording their information.
Developers and publishers behind Conan Exiles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Hunt: Showdown, Total War, and others have vowed to remove Red Shell – or have already removed it.
More: Wired, Rock Paper Shotgun
Walmart will pay for its workers to earn a college degree – but only in the U.S. – NY Times
What’s going on in your child’s brain when you read them a story? – NPR
Not enough cows are getting massages, leading to a shortage of luxury goods – Bloomberg // Where does one apply to become a Cow Masseur?
Apple’s Craig Federighi provided a perfect explanation for why the iPad is a bad computer replacement – Insider // I agree. It’s even a pain to do some simple tasks such as cut and paste.
Do You Like Your Name? – NY Times
Facebook shared your data with at least four Chinese tech companies — Huawei, Lenovo, Oppo, and TCL — since at least 2010 – NY Times, Globe & Mail, Reuters // It’s scummy businesses like Facebook that make it necessary to have tough privacy and data protection laws.
- ‘Sure looks like Zuckerberg lied to Congress‘ – LA Times // This was intentional and he should face the consequences.
- Can Facebook be cut down to size? – NY Times
As a Canadian, a native Montrealer, and a huge Formula 1 fan, this is embarrassing. The Ferrari race team tweeted a video that identified the Toronto skyline as belonging to Montreal. That video has since been replaced. And in the typical Ferrari way, there is no apology. The 2018 Canadian Grand Prix takes place in Montreal (the one without the CN Tower) on Sunday. To add insult to injury, the race is contested on the Gilles Villeneuve circuit, named in honour of one of Ferrari’s most passionate and loved race drivers. More at CTV News
Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High high school shooting are not taking a summer vacation. They have planned a campaign, aimed at the four million Americans turning 18 this year, for stricter gun laws, with a plan for a 60-day, 20-state bus tour to rally the youth vote ahead of November’s U.S. midterm elections. The March for Our Lives: Road to Change tour will start on June 15 in Chicago with a peace march.
Antarctica’s first Pride celebration – Earther
Microsoft is buying Github for $7.5 billion
At least 25 people are dead after the Volcan de Fuego erupted in Guatemala – Globe & Mail, CBC
Facebook wants your naked photos – CBC
Facebook gave over 60 device makers, including Apple, Amazon, and Samsung, deep access to users’ personal info – NY Times, BBC, Telegraph, Bloomberg, The Hill, Fortune
Bayer to retire Monsanto name, but not it’s products – Reuters
No-one answers the phone anymore – The Atlantic
- How I’ve learned to get someone to put down their phone and listen – Fast Company
Alcohol should be banned on flights – WSJ
The U.S.A.’s National Security Agency (NSA) posters from the 50s and 60s [pdf] – Government Attic
Facebook claims users can view the personal information they have collected about you. But the download doesn’t include everything Facebook knows about you.
Nitasha Tiku, Wired:
“Download Your Data” hardly tells you everythingFacebook knows about you. Among the information not included:
- information Facebook collects about your browsing history
- information Facebook collects about the apps you visit and your activity within those apps
- the advertisers who uploaded your contact information to Facebook more than two months earlier
- ads that you interacted with more than two months prior
Download Your Data is particularly spotty when it comes to the information Facebook taps to display ads. Typically, Facebook uses information it collects or buys to place users into categories that advertisers can target. This can include data a user provides explicitly (your age), implicitly (which browser you use) or unknowingly (information on purchases from loyalty cards).