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Category Archives: E-Commerce

Google uses Gmail to track a history of things you buy and it’s hard to delete

CNBC – “Google tracks a lot of what you buy, even if you purchased it elsewhere, like in a store or from Amazon. Last week, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a New York Times op-ed that said “privacy cannot be a luxury good.” But behind the scenes, Google is still collecting a lot of personal information from the services you use, such as Gmail, and some of it can’t be easily deleted. A page called “ ” shows an accurate list of many — though not all — of the things I’ve bought dating back to at least 2012. I made these purchases using online services or apps such as Amazon, DoorDash or Seamless, or in stores such as Macy’s, but never directly through Google. But because the digital receipts went to my Gmail account, Google has a list of info about my buying habits…” [I had no idea about this tracking – it is real, and it cannot be deleted.]

How to stop Google from keeping your voice recordings

The Verge -Keep your ‘Hey Google’ questions off the record (or isn’t it time you used DuckDuckGo) “Home assistants such as Alexa and Google Assistant are becoming ubiquitous, and as that happens, more and more users are discovering how much of their data is actually being collected by these handy items. The Washington Post’s Geoffrey… Continue Reading

Consumer groups accuse Amazon of illegally collecting data on children

Washington Post – Amazon Echo Dot Kids accused of illegally collecting data on children – “A coalition of 19 consumer and privacy groups plans to file a complaint Thursday alleging that Amazon’s Echo Dot Kids Edition is illegally collecting voice recordings and other identifying information on users under 13 and that the system’s parental controls are… Continue Reading

Consider this – Alexa is always listening and collecting data about you

The Daily Dot – Here’s what you need to know about the security and privacy implications of smart speakers, both the myths and the realities – 1) Smart speakers are always listening – One of the first things you’ll hear about smart speakers like echo is that they’re “always listening” to your conversations—which is technically… Continue Reading

What Amazon knows about you – more than you may have considered

“Depending on how much you shop, watch and read with Amazon, the e-commerce behemoth may know more about you than any other company on earth, Axios chief tech correspondent Ina Fried reports. [Note – this is an extensive report – I have included just a portion] Naturally, Amazon knows what you’ve browsed or bought on… Continue Reading

41% of voice assistant users have concerns about trust and privacy

TechCrunch: “Forty-one percent of voice assistant users are concerned about trust, privacy and passive listening, according to a new report from Microsoft focused on consumer adoption of voice and digital assistants. And perhaps people should be concerned — all the major voice assistants, including those from Google, Amazon, Apple and Samsung, as well as Microsoft,… Continue Reading

How Recommendation Algorithms Run the World

Wired – “…What should you watch? What should you read? What’s news? What’s trending? Wherever you go online, companies have come up with very particular, imperfect ways of answering these questions. Everywhere you look, recommendation engines offer striking examples of how values and judgments become embedded in algorithms and how algorithms can be gamed by… Continue Reading

The Antitrust Case Against Facebook

Srinivasan, Dina, The Antitrust Case Against Facebook (September 10, 2018). Berkeley Business Law Journal Vol. 16, Issue 1, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3247362 “The Facebook, Inc. (“Facebook”) social network, this era’s new communications service, plays an important role in the lives of 2+ billion people across the world. Though the market was highly competitive in… Continue Reading

Most hacked passwords revealed in UK cyber survey

The National Cyber Security Centre’s first ‘UK cyber survey’ published alongside global password risk list NCSC’s first ‘UK Cyber Survey’ shows 42% of Brits expect to lose money to online fraud Breach analysis finds 23.2 million victim accounts worldwide used 123456 as password Global password risk list published to disclose passwords already known to hackers… Continue Reading

How Grifters Gamed Amazon to Sell the ‘Mueller Report’ Already

The Daily Beast: “Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-awaited report on the Trump campaign will be released Thursday, the Justice Department announced Monday. Like all public reports, the document will be free to read. That hasn’t stopped people from trying to sell Mueller report books on Amazon for months. Amazon’s book listings are an SEO cesspool… Continue Reading

Hacker has dumped nearly 1B user records over past two months

ZDNet: “A hacker who spoke with ZDNet in February about wanting to put up for sale the data of over one billion users is getting dangerously close to his goal after releasing another 65.5 million records last week and reaching a grand total of 932 million records overall. The hacker’s name is Gnosticplayers, and he’s… Continue Reading