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Lawsuit accuses Google of tracking users in Incognito mode – Engadget

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A proposed class action lawsuit filed against Google is accusing the company of violating federal wiretap laws by tracking users’ online activities even when they’re in Incognito mode. The complaint says the tech giant uses tools like Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager, smartphone and PC applications, as well as website plug-ins, to monitor users even if they don’t click on Google-supported ads. It also says that “millions” of users who went online in Chrome’s Incognito mode since June 1st, 2016 have likely been affected.

“Google tracks and collects consumer browsing history and other web activity data no matter what safeguards consumers undertake to protect their data privacy,” the lawsuit reads. The plaintiffs argue that by tracking users’ info when they’re in Incognito, Google has been intentionally deceiving customers into believing that they have control over the information they share with the company. According to Reuters, the lawsuit is seeking $5 billion in damages or at least $5,000 per affected user for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.

In a statement sent to The New York Times, Google spokesperson Jose Castaneda said that the company strongly disputes the claims and that it will defend itself “vigorously” against them. He also explained:

“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 during your session.”

Back in 2019, Google rolled out a Chrome update that prevents website from tracking users in Incognito. When activated, it closes a loophole that websites use to identify whether a user is browsing in private or not.

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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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Google-backed groups criticise Apple's new warnings on user tracking – CNA

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SAN FRANCISCO: A group of European digital advertising associations on Friday (Jul 3) criticised Apple’s plans to require apps to seek additional permission from users before tracking them across other apps and websites.

Apple last week disclosed features in its forthcoming operating system for iPhones and iPads that will require apps to show a pop-up screen before they enable a form of tracking commonly needed to show personalized ads.

Sixteen marketing associations, some of which are backed by Facebook 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 said the new feature was aimed at giving users greater transparency over how their information is being used. In training sessions at a developer conference last week, Apple showed that developers can present any number of additional screens beforehand to explain why permission is needed before triggering its pop-up.

FILE PHOTO: Facebook is among thousands of companies that track online consumers to pick up on their habits and interests and serve them relevant ads. (Photo: AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

The pop-up says an app “would like permission to track you across apps and websites owned by other companies” and gives the app developer several lines below the main text to explain why the permission is sought. It is not required until an app seeks access to a numeric identifier that can be used for tracking, and apps only need to secure permission once.

The group of European marketing firms said the pop-up warning and the limited ability to customize it still carries “a high risk of user refusal.”

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.

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Here's How the iPhone 6s Runs on iOS 14 [VIDEO] – iPhone in Canada

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Brandon Butch on YouTube has released a video showing how Apple’s iPhone 6s (2015) runs iOS 14 beta.

Apple’s iPhone 6s is the oldest iPhone to support iOS 14 and Butch goes through how the device handles new widgets, picture in picture video, new messages features, camera controls, Safari tracking, performance, battery life and more.

The iPhone 6s running a fresh install of iOS 14 beta looks relatively smooth when it comes to widgets and accessing the App Library. Picture in picture does take up a lot of real estate on the smaller iPhone 6s display, but the demo shows it does handle it fine.

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Apps open up fairly quickly in iOS 14, which Butch says is “pretty impressive”. But performance is “not bad” and the only lag is related to some apps hanging and the keyboard lagging in Messages, as Apple’s A9 chip and 2GB of RAM struggle to keep up.

As for battery life in iOS 14, it’s pretty bad due to widgets using background data. Of course, iOS betas have been known to have less than stellar battery life. Usually, battery life does include in the later betas.

Overall, it’s impressive Apple is still supporting iOS 14 for an iPhone that’s five years old. Android devices that are five years old are unable to get the latest version of its own software.

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