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Google is facing a class action lawsuit because it's incognito mode still allows websites to track your data – Mashable SE Asia

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Using incognito mode might not be the best way to hide yourself on the internet.

Many of us think that it’s a somewhat ‘safer’ way to surf the internet. But in truth, the only thing it does is not save your browsing history.

But the misconception of what it can and can’t do has angered some people who used incognito mode on Chrome.

Because of this, the tech giant was slapped with a US$5 million lawsuit for illegally tracking millions of users.

The class action lawsuit states that Google needs to pay US$5,000 in damages for each violation, which covers wiretapping and privacy laws in California.

It was filed by the San Jose, California federal court on June 2. The court said that Google collects user’s data through its Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, website plug-ins, and mobile apps in incognito mode. Google knows everything users do, including the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search on the internet.

Chrome’s incognito home page.

However, if you open the incognito window in Chrome, it clearly states that:

Your activity might still be visible to:

– Websites you visit

– Your employer or school

– Your internet service provider

And it doesn’t save the following information:

– Your browsing history

– Cookies and site data

– Information entered in forms

Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said, “Incognito mode in Chrome gives you the choice to browse the internet without your activity being saved to your browser or device. As we clearly state each time you open a new incognito tab, websites might be able to collect information about your browsing activity.”

Castaneda also said that the company plans to defend itself, because Google has clearly stated in its support page that incognito mode doesn’t hide your activity or location from websites you visit.

It's time you started taking your privacy seriously
VPN are the only tool that will hide your identity and information on the internet.

If you want to hide yourself on the internet, the best way is to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN). While these kind of services are quite costly, it’s a sure-fire way that your identity and information are kept from prying eyes.

So the next time you browse or search the internet in incognito mode, just remember that you’re still being tracked.

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Apple seeks on having the iPhone replace your passport and driver's license – gizmochina

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Apple‘s latest goal is to make the iPhone your sole means of identification by replacing passports, driver’s licenses, and others. This is another step from the Cupertino based giant to make the iPhone the only thing anyone would require.

Apple

Recently, Apple had also announced a plan to get rid of car keys and, now, the company is planning on getting rid of the need for passports and other forms of physical identification. The iPhone has already replaced the needs for notepads, cameras, pens and a lot more. So it doesn’t come as a surprise when the company says it wants to take your IDs to the digital realms.

According to a series of patent applications that are titled “Providing Verified Claims of User Identity,” the user’s ID can be recorded or transmitted. In other words, the patent details a system that stores the identification on your device. The description reads that “A device implementing a system for using a verified claim of identity includes at least one processor configured to receive a verified claim including information to identify a user of a device. The verified claim being signed by a server based on verification of the information by an identity verification provider separate from the server, the verified claim is specific to the device.”

Apple

This patent also mentions the use of servers for verification of one’s identity. So, a device such as an iPhone could securely transmit ID. This ID can be verified through the server and the device’s biometric sensors as well. Meaning, the entire system can have multiple ways of verifying your identity as well. It seems like a promising feature on paper but it’s still too soon to tell.

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Apple and ad industry clash over iOS 14 popup seeking permission for tracking – 9to5Mac

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Apple and the ad industry are once again in conflict, as ad associations object to the way iOS 14 seeks user permission for tracking.

It’s not the first time this has happened – Apple’s adoption of Intelligent Tracking Prevention led to criticism by the ad industry back in 2018

Background

Advertisers like to measure the effectiveness of their ads by working out how many people who purchase a product have seen an online ad for it. To do this, a cookie is dropped on the user’s device when they see an ad, and the website where the purchase is made can check for the presence of that cookie.

Conversely, if you visit a website about (eg) drones, the site can drop a cookie, and ad networks like those run by Google and Facebook can check for that cookie and then serve you ads for drones. This is why you often see ads relating to topics you’ve recently been researching.

This type of tailored advertising is more likely to be effective, so ad networks can charge more for displaying personalized ads.

Advertisers don’t know who you are – they don’t know the identity of the person who saw the ad or visited the website – they just know that the same person (actually, device) did both.

iOS 14 approach to seeking permission for tracking

In iOS 14, if an app wants to show tailored ads, it must display a popup asking permission from the user.

Reuters reports that the complaint stems from Apple not adopting a permission standard required by law in Europe. This means that apps with European users will need to seek the same permission twice, once with a GDPR-compliant request, and again with Apple’s request. Advertisers fear this will make it seem a bigger deal than it is, and lead to more users refusing permission.

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook Inc and Google, faulted Apple for not adhering to an ad-industry system for seeking user consent under European privacy rules. Apps will now need to ask for permission twice, increasing the risk users will refuse, the associations argued.

Facebook and Google are the largest among thousands of companies that track online consumers to pick up on their habits and interests and serve them relevant ads.

Apple rejects the criticism because it already offers a tool to help advertisers measure effectiveness.

Apple engineers also said last week the company will bolster a free Apple-made tool that uses anonymous, aggregated data to measure whether advertising campaigns are working and that will not trigger the pop-up.

“Because it’s engineered to not track users, there’s no need to request permission to track,” Brandon Van Ryswyk, an Apple privacy engineer, said in a video session explaining the measurement tool to developers.

Attitudes to personalized ads vary, some preferring relevant ads to generic ones, while others object to what they consider a privacy breach.

I’ve argued in the past that online advertising is a hot mess, and that we really need agreed standards laid down in law.

I’m personally of the view that I don’t mind anonymised tracking. I’m a decisive shopper, so generally it only results in me being shown ads for things I’ve recently bought, but I have nothing against the principle. Others disagree, and strongly object to the practice. But I don’t have strong views either way: let’s allow it or ban it – the important thing is to agree in law what is and isn’t allowed.

With ad standards legislation in place, we can finally get rid of the most obnoxious forms of advertising, and put an end to the war of escalation between ever-more aggressive brands and ever more fed-up consumers.

Part of this would involve giving websites greater control over the ads inserted by ad networks like Google. Currently, for example, you will occasionally see scam ads on sites like ours because they make it through Google’s checks. We can only block them reactively, when we spot them or a reader reports them. Legal controls would make them far less likely to make it into an ad network in the first place.

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After NBA 2K21, more publishers are considering raising game prices to $70 on PS5 and Xbox Series X – VG247

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NBA 2K21 may only be the first AAA game whose base price jumps to $70 on next-gen consoles.

This week, 2K Games revealed new details about the upcoming NBA 2K21. In the press release, the publisher confirmed that the game’s standard edition will be priced $70 on PS5 and Xbox Series X, making it the first AAA game to commit to higher pricing on next-gen consoles.

This doesn’t appear to be an isolated decision. According to research company IDG, other publishers are also considering raising the base price of their AAA games to $70, a $10 increase.

“The last time that next-gen launch software pricing went up was in 2005 and 2006, when it went from $49.99 to $59.99 at the start of the Xbox 360 and PS3 generation,” IDG CEO Yoshio Osaki told Gamesindustry. “During that time, the costs and prices in other affiliated verticals have gone up.”

Osaki explained that the price of admission across other competing industries has risen considerably over the years, but not in video games. The CEO cited cinema ticket prices, Netflix and cable subscriptions as examples, but neglected to mention that video games have a multitude of other ways to monetise users after the fact, such as DLC, microtransactions and several other forms of recurring revenue.

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“Even with the increase to $69.99 for next-gen, that price increase from 2005 to 2020 next-gen is only up 17%, far lower than the other comparisons,” Osaki went on.

“While the cost of development and publishing have gone up, and pricing in other entertainment verticals has also gone up substantially, next-gen software pricing has not reflected these increases. $59.99 to $69.99 does not even cover these other cost increases completely, but does move it more in the proper direction.”

Osaki, however, doesn’t think that $70 will become the new minimum price for every game, just the biggest and highest-profile. Indeed, the move is already being considered by other publishers, according to IDG’s research.

“IDG works with all major game publishers, and our channel checks indicate that other publishers are also exploring moving their next-gen pricing up on certain franchises, for the same reasons outlined above,” Osaki added.

“Not every game should garner the $69.99 price point on next-gen, but flagship AAAs such as NBA 2K merit this pricing more than others.”

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