The analytic software is a greedy monster that devours all the data it can get, no matter how sensitive and private. And no matter if the company owning the software even has a clear plan of making money out of these data. Sometimes they just get trouble instead of profits.
For example, this February, mobile web analytics provider Mixpanel caught itself (and it’s SDK users) collecting user passwords that people typed into forms on sites. Mixpanel soon announced the bug fixed. But, as researchers say, it keeps saving passwords from input fields on some sites even after the patch was released.
The ancient proverb about a mountain that gave birth to a mouse fits perfectly to describe the events of this February in ad blocking. Google started blocking ads in Chrome! We've been waiting for it for about half a year!
A recent poll by Global Web Index shows that ad-blocking users aged 21-34 (millennials) often pay for content, but mostly for video (movies, TV, streaming) and music. Only 18% paid in the past month for an e-book, 17% — for learning materials, and 13% — for a news service.
Web programming language HTML5 gives developers a lot of new options, but it also lets advertisers identify and track users without their knowledge or consent.
A group of researchers from Princeton University developed a technique called PinMe that allows to define a smartphone’s location by combining information from the phone’s sensors and other data from open sources like public transport timetables or elevation maps.
Internet of Things still lacks security, regulation, and sensibility, while users are greatly concerned about its impact on privacy and quality of life. These are the results of IoT research made by Cyber Security Research Institute at the request of F-Secure.
Some highlights and quotes:
Zirconium, a group of 28 fake ad agencies, has been exposed by security researchers from Confiant. They built business relationships with 16 ad platforms and generated a billion impressions (ad views), showing among other things fake software update requests and all sorts of tech support scam.
Good news from browsers keeps coming. Mozilla has recently added opt-in tracking protection in the new version of Firefox Quantum. Previously the protection worked only in the Private Browsing mode, now it can be turned on in settings and be active all the time. Besides privacy protection, the option provides faster web experience, it takes less time for web pages to load without trackers.
Only 52% of US shoppers are ready to share their email address with an e-commerce website, the research by SAP Hybris shows. Just 53% of the French and 55% of Germans will comply with requests for email addresses, compared with 68% of respondents from India, 66% from Korea, 62% from Russia and 60% from Canada.