Privacy

Yes on Prop. 24. It’s not perfect, but it would improve online privacy

Alastair Mactaggart, left, shown with Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia), is a leading proponent of Proposition 24, an initiative to strengthen California's online privacy law. <span class="copyright">(Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)</span>
Alastair Mactaggart, left, shown with Assemblyman Ed Chau (D-Arcadia), is a leading proponent of Proposition 24, an initiative to strengthen California’s online privacy law. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Over the last decade, personal data has become the invisible currency that funds much of the internet. Social networks, sites and apps attract people with free content and services, then use the data they gather to make a fortune off of targeted advertisements.

Two years ago, the Legislature passed a groundbreaking law to give Californians more control over the personal information collected from them online. The idea was to let you withdraw from that hidden exchange of information, barring sites from selling your data to third parties that assemble detailed profiles of consumers’ habits and tastes.

Unfortunately, the California Consumer Privacy Act, which went into effect this year, didn’t live up to its billing. Major online companies found ways to wriggle

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Apple delays privacy feature to opt out of online ad tracking until 2021

Apple is delaying the rollout of a proposed privacy tweak in iOS 14 that allows users to opt out of ad tracking until early next year.

In a statement shared with TechCrunch and The Information, the iPhone maker said it’s doing so “to give developers the time they need to make the necessary changes.”

The exact date when the policy would be enforced is expected to be announced later.

iOS 14, which is due in a couple of weeks, is all set to make device identifiers (called IDFA or “Identifier for Advertisers”) — a distinct, randomly generated code assigned to every iPhone and iPad — obsolete by requiring that third-party apps seek explicit consent from users before using the unique IDs for tracking their activities across other apps and websites.

But the privacy-centric feature has drawn criticism from advertising companies who say the move would make it harder to deliver

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The Big Business attack on California’s landmark privacy law moves to the ballot box

Back in 2018, after years of consumers’ privacy rights being trampled by businesses with the indulgence of the federal government, California enacted its own consumer privacy law.

The California Consumer Privacy Act is a landmark. It gives Californians greater privacy protection than consumers anywhere this side of Europe.

a ballot initiative to strengthen the law and inoculate it from the mischief of business lobbies.” data-reactid=”25″But it’s imperfect and vulnerable to gutting by business interests working their magic in the state Legislature. So Alastair Mactaggart, the wealthy real estate investor behind the privacy law, has put up a ballot initiative to strengthen the law and inoculate it from the mischief of business lobbies.

The law is so new we don’t know what’s working and what’s not working.

Mary Stone Ross, opponent of Proposition 24, which would strengthen state privacy law

It will appear on the November ballot as Proposition 24.

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Apple privacy changes will muck up online ads

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Facebook is pushing back on new Apple privacy rules for its mobile devices — and putting app developers in the middle.

Apple will soon require apps to ask users for permission to collect data on what devices they are using and to let ads follow them around on the internet. The social network said Wednesday that those rules could reduce what apps can earn by advertising through Facebook’s audience network.

Facebook said it expects “less impact” on its own advertising revenue than on the ad-supported businesses that rely on its audience network to promote their apps. The audience network allows Facebook and Instagram advertisers to place their ads elsewhere on the internet.

Apple says the latest version of its mobile operating system, iOS 14, is designed to protect people’s privacy. It will require apps to ask users for permission to collect and share data using a

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Strava users call out the app’s “creepy” privacy settings

Photo credit: Westend61 - Getty Images
Photo credit: Westend61 – Getty Images

From Cosmopolitan

Users of the popular running app Strava are calling out it’s “creepy” privacy settings, which (unless changed) can automatically add other runners’ data onto your phone. Many have raised concerns over their own privacy and that of others, while some have also questioned whether or not it’s a good idea to share your running route online at all.

One user tweeted about her experience with the app, writing, “Ran past the same girl a couple of times on my morning run and Strava has automatically added her as a ‘group activity’. Incredibly creepy and unsettling (particularly when you consider most of us run close to home lately). And there’s no way to remove her …”

This is far from the first time users have raised their concerns, with Reddit forums dating back to five years ago full of runners asking for advice

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Judge Salas calls for protecting judges’ privacy

Police outside the home where the suspect, Roy Den Hollander, was found dead
Police outside the home where the suspect, Roy Den Hollander, was found dead

A female judge whose son was killed by an “anti-feminist” lawyer has called for protecting the privacy of federal judges in her first public comments.

“This monster knew where I lived…and had a complete dossier on me and my family,” she said.

Roy Den Hollander, dressed as a FedEx delivery man, shot Judge Esther Salas’ son and husband in New Jersey last month before taking his own life.

Authorities believe he targeted Judge Salas over her role as a federal judge.

In an emotional video statement released on Monday, Judge Salas described the incident while urging lawmakers to help protect judges from future attacks.

“My family has experienced a pain that no one should ever have to endure,” she said.

“And I am here asking everyone to help me ensure that no one ever has to experience

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How the U.S. seeks to protect children’s privacy online

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – TikTok is under investigation for allegedly violating a settlement reached with U.S. authorities last year that resolved charges the popular app broke rules governing how children’s personal information is treated online.

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which enforces the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, and the Justice Department, which often files court actions for the FTC, have opened a preliminary investigation into the matter involving the China-based video-sharing app.

Under rules dating to 1998 legislation, COPPA requires websites to get parental permission to collect data on children under the age of 13. Websites or online services are also expected to ban third parties from collecting the data.

COPPA also applies to mobile apps, gaming platforms and internet-connected toys, among others.

Under pressure from the FTC, TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance, agreed in early 2019 to pay a $5.7 million civil penalty for violating COPPA by

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How to Use Google Privacy Settings

Consumer Reports has no financial relationship with advertisers on this site.

Over the past year, Google has rolled out a number of updates to its privacy and security settings. The company introduced a redesign to the Search home page that makes some settings easier to find. There’s also a relatively new feature that automatically deletes some data Google collects, and it’s now being turned on by default for new account holders.

Google’s privacy and security settings can take a little explanation to understand and use effectively. Here’s a guide to the most important ones.

Turn Off the Master Privacy Control

If you’ve been feeling guilty about neglecting your diary, you can rest easy: With a setting called Web & App Activity turned on, Google keeps one for you.

You can see this data for yourself, with granular details about your activity on Google products such as Search, Chome, Android, and

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