Written by Nick Heer.

Results for “data broker”

Google Still Preserves Records of Sensitive Location Searches

Johana Bhuiyan, the Guardian: The tech advocacy group Accountable Tech conducted an experiment in August and October to test Google’s pledge. Using a brand new Android device, researchers with the group analyzed their Google activity timeline, where the company shows what information is logged about an account holder’s actions. This activity helps make Google’s services […]

At Code, TikTok Unites Primarily American Tech Factions Against It

Ina Fried, Axios: While TikTok had no official presence at the Code Conference, the Chinese-owned firm was the talk of the annual gathering of tech world notables this week — serving as the foil of choice for a parade of tech executives, pundits and even some government officials. […] [Scott] Galloway, who took every chance […]

Amazon’s Upcoming Ring Nation ‘Show’

Andrew Paul, Popular Science: Hosted by comedian Wanda Sykes, the show originates from MGM Studios (itself a subsidiary of Amazon), and promises “friends and family a fun new way to enjoy time with one another” via doorbell cams, although the ensuing online reaction has been less than promising. Despite the rising popularity of smart home […]

U.S. Federal Trade Commission Sues Kochava

From the FTC’s press release: In a complaint filed against Kochava, the FTC alleges that the company’s customized data feeds allow purchasers to identify and track specific mobile device users. For example, the location of a mobile device at night is likely the user’s home address and could be combined with property records to uncover […]

Privacy Bill Triggers Lobbying Surge by Data Brokers

Alfred Ng, Politico: Congress has never been closer to passing a federal data privacy law — and the brokers that profit from information on billions of people are spending big to nudge the legislation in their favor. […] The brokers, including U.K.-based data giant RELX and credit reporting agency TransUnion, want changes to the bill […]

‘Silicon Values’

A unique consequence of writing about the biggest computer companies, which are all based in the United States, from most any other country is a lurking sense of invasion. I do not mean this in an anti-American sense; it is perhaps inherent to any large organization emanating from the world’s most powerful economy. But there […]

A Short History of Apple and Facebook Digging in Their Heels

Salvador Rodriguez, Wall Street Journal: In the years before the change, Apple suggested a series of possible arrangements that would earn the iPhone maker a slice of Facebook’s revenue, according to people who either participated in the meetings or were briefed about them. As one person recalled: Apple officials said they wanted to “build businesses […]

Ad Tech Revenue Statements Indicate Unclear Effects of App Tracking Transparency

App Tracking Transparency (hereafter, “ATT”) is in the news again because many advertising-supported companies have reported a particularly bad earnings quarter attributable, many of them have said, to several factors, perhaps best summarized by Mobile Dev Memo’s Eric Seufert: It’s impractical, if not impossible, to try to tease out the individual burden of any of […]

Placer.ai Admits Users Accessed Data for Planned Parenthood Clinics

While we are on the subject of data marketplaces, here is Joseph Cox, of Vice: Placer.ai, a location data firm that Motherboard previously revealed was providing heatmaps of approximately where abortion clinic visitors live, has admitted that people have obtained data related to these visits in the past. A different location data company, INRIX, offers […]

The Problem of TikTok

Since the parallel rise over the past couple years of TikTok and concerns about the service’s connections to China — or, more specifically, its intelligence and military arms — I have been mulling over this piece. I have dropped bits and pieces, but I feel like now is a good time to bring all those […]

China’s Surveillance State Is Growing

Muyi Xiao, Paul Mozur, Isabelle Qian, and Alexander Cardia of the New York Times put together a haunting short documentary about the state of surveillance in China. It shows a complete loss of privacy, and any attempt to maintain one’s sense of self is regarded as suspicious. From my limited perspective, I cannot imagine making […]

How Period-Tracker Apps Treat Your Data

Nicole Nguyen and Cordilia James, Wall Street Journal: Different types of data, including information that can be subpoenaed from period trackers, can create an extremely detailed profile of you when combined. Prof. Fowler says she thinks it is likely that user data will have greater importance if more places criminalize abortion. While period trackers collect and store […]

U.S. Senate Bill Would Ban Data Brokers From Sharing Location and Health Data

Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica: A bill introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) would prohibit data brokers from selling Americans’ location and health data, Warren’s office said Wednesday. “Largely unregulated by federal law, data brokers gather intensely personal data such as location data from seemingly innocuous sources including weather apps and prayer apps—oftentimes without the consumer’s […]

CMA Report on Mobile Ecosystems

Dimitrios Katsifis, writing in the Platform Law Blog, published by a British–Belgian law firm: On 10 June 2022, the UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published its Final Report on its year-long market study into mobile ecosystems — namely mobile operating systems, app stores, and web browsers. The CMA found that Apple and Google have […]

American Data Privacy and Protection Act

Issie Lapowsky, Protocol: Every single pig in the D.C. metro area took flight Friday when three key bipartisan lawmakers unveiled a draft of their actual, real-life, long-promised, but rarely materializing comprehensive privacy bill. The draft of the American Data Privacy and Protection Act represents a crucial compromise between Reps. Frank Pallone Jr., Cathy McMorris Rodgers […]

Email and Password Exfiltration Before Form Submission

Leaky Forms is a new study by Asuman Senol, Gunes Acar, Mathias Humbert, and Frederik Zuiderveen Borgesius (emphasis theirs): Email addresses — or identifiers derived from them — are known to be used by data brokers and advertisers for cross-site, cross-platform, and persistent identification of potentially unsuspecting individuals. In order to find out whether access […]

The CDC Paid for Location Data From Millions of Phones Collected by Safegraph

Joseph Cox, Vice: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) bought access to location data harvested from tens of millions of phones in the United States to perform analysis of compliance with curfews, track patterns of people visiting K-12 schools, and specifically monitor the effectiveness of policy in the Navajo Nation, according to CDC […]