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Children’s data privacy: What’s a parent to do? – ZDNet

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Happy International Data Privacy Day! What kinds of conversations do you have with friends and family about privacy? Over the holidays and through the new year, I had the topic of children’s data privacy and device use come up multiple times. This included concerns about apps and internet-connected toys to technologies used in the classroom.

The concerns are real

Every time you share data – especially personal information — with an organization, you’re trusting that they can protect it and your privacy rights. Unfortunately, as you’ve likely seen often on the news, there are many examples of data breaches, incidents of exposed data, and data misuse. Personal data is valuable. Organizations that collect this data may seek to monetize it by sharing or selling it to third parties. Cybercriminals can also sell children’s data on the dark web, where buyers use it for tax fraud or creating synthetic identities for identity theft.

There are things parents can do

Free resources exist for parents today.

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  • Common Sense Media provides parents with free tips and tools for privacy and internet safety for kids, in addition to information about movies, TV shows, and apps/games.
  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation provides tips and questions parents can ask about student privacy to school administrators.
  • The Digital Learning Center at the Zurich University of Teacher Education has produced free teaching aids about data protection, and how to talk to children ages 4 to 9 about privacy.
  • The CynjaSpace app can help kids learn about internet safety.
  • The National Cyber Security Alliance’s Stay Safe Online offers privacy tips for parents and teens.
  • In 2019, Consumer Reports launched a Digital Lab to evaluate connected products and services and companies’ privacy practices.

Regulators and lawmakers are paying attention

In 2019, Google and YouTube settled with the FTC and New York for a total of $170 million for collecting personal information from children without their parents’ consent. In January 2020, the UK ICO published an Age Appropriate Design Code, which is a set of 15 standards that online services should meet to protect children’s privacy.

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) which recently went into effect this year, includes provisions for consent for collecting personal information about children. A new bill (Preventing Real Online Threats Endangering Children Today, or PROTECT Kids) in the US House of Representatives aims to update the existing Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) which went into effect before the age of social media and smartphones.

Companies will do more to win over customers

Laws and regulations take time to pass. Recognize that they provide a minimum bar for what companies need to do. Today, data security and privacy is a competitive differentiator, not just a compliance requirement. This spans across how a company designs its products and services, to how they communicate to you about your privacy rights and what data they are collecting and why, how they ask for your consent to collect data about your child, and more. It will all be a part of what a company must do to offer an excellent customer experience. Keep this in mind the next time you are considering a purchase or signing up for a service.

This post was written by Principal Analyst Heidi Shey, and it originally appeared here.

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Overwatch 2: Sojourn the Main Target of Nerfs in Season 2 Update – IGN

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Blizzard Entertainment has revealed what we can expect from Season 2 of Overwatch 2, including balancing updates, limited-time events, skins, and more ahead of its December 6 launch date.

Alongside the introduction of the new Omnic revolutionary tank hero Ramattra and the winding Shambali Monastery Escort map, Season 2 is also bringing some important balancing changes, according to Blizzard Entertainment’s official blog post.

Most significantly, Blizzard Entertainment has moved to nerf the damage hero Sojourn, who according to a blog post on the company’s website has been dominating the high-skill competitive scene in recent weeks, while “remaining a challenge for players without the same mechanical skills”.

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Overwatch 2: All 35 Heroes at Launch

To address the issue, the developers announced that they would be “focussing on the lethality of her Rail Gun at distance for Season 2”. This has been done to encourage players of all skills to use Sojurn’s mobility and her power slide to “close the distance for more devastating right-clicks”.

Doomfist — another tank — will also receive significant balancing tweaks to better reflect “his role as the team’s front line”. Ana, Bastion, Junker Queen, Kiriko, Mercy, and Symmetra will also be tweaked when the new season goes live on December 6, though Blizzard Entertainment has yet to reveal exactly how.

Next month’s launch will also bring a new map pool to Overwatch 2. Rialto and Blizzard World will be entering rotation alongside the new map Shambali Monastery. Oasis and Nepal will also be appearing “at different times of day”, while Hollywood and Watchpoint: Gibraltar will be rotated out.

Blizzard revealed details for the Greek mythology themed Season 2 Battle Pass. Progression rewards for the premium pass will include a Poseidon skin for Ramattra and a Hades costume for Pharah. The “pinnacle reward” for the pass is a Mythic Zeus skin for Junker Queen, which comes with “new customizations, weapon models, voice lines, and special effects”.

Season 2 is also set to bring three special events to the game. Winter Wonderland will run from December 13 – January 4, while the Lunar New Year event will start on January 17 and end on February 1.

Special skins will be up for grabs during each event, including “Epic Ice Queen Brigitte, Legendary Winged Victory Mercy, and Legendary Kkachi Echo.”

Sandwiched between these seasonal celebrations is the Battle for Olympus event, which will be around for a limited time from January 5 – 19. During this period players will be able to earn skins as they engage in a new game mode which will see certain heroes “imbued with awesome god-like powers”.

Finally, Season 2 will feature catch up challenges that will allow players to unlock heroes, including Kiriko from Season 1. To stay up to date and find out how to get the most out of your hero, be sure to check out more of IGN’s coverage of Overwatch 2.

Anthony is a freelance contributor covering science and video gaming news for IGN. He has over eight years experience of covering breaking developments in multiple scientific fields and absolutely no time for your shenanigans. Follow him on Twitter @BeardConGamer

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Xiaomi 13 Pro camera detailed with a 1-inch main sensor, floating telephoto lens

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The Xiaomi 13 series is arriving tomorrow, and today the company revealed some key features of the camera on the Pro member. According to the released teasers, the main shooter will have a 50 MP 1” Sony IMX989 sensor, while the telephoto camera will have 75mm equivalent, which is 3x magnification.

Xiaomi revealed how the new “floating” telephoto lens would work in a 20-second video – it is moving the elements closer to achieve infinite focus and take pictures of far objects; when it needs to take close-ups (up to 10 cm), the elements are moving away. The camera is developed with know-how from Leica, which once again is having its branding on the back of the phone.

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The Xiaomi 13 Pro also appeared in a leaked hands-on video, revealing the camera design and some specs like MIUI 14 on top of Android 13, 8/128 GB memory variant and a Qualcomm chipset with 3.19 GHz CPU, which is unsurprisingly the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.

We also got some punchy camera samples, but since they were posted on social media, they have been heavily compressed.


Camera samples at 3x zoom
Camera samples at 3x zoom
Camera samples at 3x zoom

Camera samples at 3x zoom

Camera samples from up close
Camera samples from up close
Camera samples from up close
Camera samples from up close

Camera samples from up close

Camera samples of main 50 MP shooter
Camera samples of main 50 MP shooter
Camera samples of main 50 MP shooter
Camera samples of main 50 MP shooter

Camera samples of main 50 MP shooter

The Xiaomi 13 series is bringing LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0 storage for extra snappy performance. We expect a Xiaomi 13 and a Xiaomi 13 Pro at the December 1 event, as well as announcements of a Xiaomi Watch S2 wearable and the MIUI 14 interface.

Source (in Chinese) | Via

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Overwatch 2 season 2: New game modes, holiday skins revealed

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Overwatch 2’s second season and new tank hero Ramattra arrive on Dec. 6, and a new trailer for the free-to-play game’s new content shows what else players can expect in season 2. That includes a new Zeus-themed mythic skin for Junker Queen, Greek mythology-inspired skins for other heroes, a new Escort map, and the return of two classic Overwatch holiday events.

Season 2 of Overwatch 2 will also include a new limited-time event called Battle for Olympus, which runs Jan. 5-19, 2023. The trailer doesn’t offer much in the way of specifics, but it does appear to take place on the game’s Ilios map and includes Junker Queen calling down team-wiping lightning strikes. The Greek gods theme for the game’s second battle pass appears to include new skins for Roadhog (Cyclops), Ramattra (Poseidon), Lúcio (Hermes), Widowmaker (Medusa), Reinhardt (Minotaur), and Pharah (Hades). Junker Queen’s new mythic skin will likely be the end-of-battle-pass reward, similar to Genji’s Cyber Demon skin from season 1.

A closer look at Overwatch 2’s season 2 skins, some of which will be available through the battle pass, others through the in-game store, are in the gallery below:

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Elsewhere in the trailer, we get a peek at new holiday cosmetics for Bastion, who appears to be getting a gingerbread house-inspired skin for Winter Wonderland 2022 (which runs Dec. 13 to Jan. 4), and Mei, who is getting a rabbit-themed skin for Lunar New Year 2023 (which runs Jan. 17 to Feb. 6).

But the bigger gameplay additions come in the form of Ramattra, who will be included as part of season 2’s battle pass, and a new Escort map, Shambali, set in the Himalayan peaks.

Overwatch executive producer Jared Neuss said earlier this month that, in response to season 1 of Overwatch 2, Blizzard wants players “to feel more rewarded” for playing the game in future seasons. Neuss hinted at more free skins that can be earned by playing events — like Battle for Olympus — and by watching streamers on Twitch.

Overwatch 2 is available now on Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Windows PC, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X.

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