Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Author Archives: Sabrina I. Pacifici

Meta injecting code into websites to track its users, research says

UK Guardian – “Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has been rewriting websites its users visit, letting the company follow them across the web after they click links in its apps, according to new research from an ex-Google engineer. The two apps have been taking advantage of the fact that users who click on links are taken to webpages in an “in-app browser”, controlled by Facebook or Instagram, rather than sent to the user’s web browser of choice, such as Safari or Firefox. “The Instagram app injects their tracking code into every website shown, including when clicking on ads, enabling them [to] monitor all user interactions, like every button and link tapped, text selections, screenshots, as well as any form inputs, like passwords, addresses and credit card numbers,” says Felix Krause, a privacy researcher who founded an app development tool acquired by Google in 2017. In a statement, Meta said that injecting a tracking code obeyed users’ preferences on whether or not they allowed apps to follow them, and that it was only used to aggregate data before being applied for targeted advertising or measurement purposes for those users who opted out of such tracking…”

Massachusetts just passed a massive climate and clean energy bill

Washington Post: “Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) on Thursday signed a major climate and clean-energy bill that contains sweeping policies targeting renewables, transportation and fossil fuels — a move that lawmakers and advocates say is critical to supporting the state’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050. Baker’s decision to sign the bill, which was… Continue Reading

How a False Claim About Wikipedia Sparked a Right-Wing Media Frenzy

Slate “…The article was thrust into the limelight on July 28, when the Commerce Department released data showing that the U.S. gross domestic product had shrunk for a second straight quarter, meeting a common shorthand definition of a recession. Republicans, seeking to highlight the economy’s weakness as part of a case against Democrats ahead of… Continue Reading

National Wastewater Surveillance System

CDC – “In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, CDC launched the National Wastewater Surveillance System (NWSS) in September 2020. CDC developed NWSS to coordinate and build the nation’s capacity to track the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, in wastewater samples collected across the country. CDC’s NWSS works with health departments to track… Continue Reading

Bipartisan Panelists Highlight “Desperate Need” to Counter Election Misinformation

“Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, held a roundtable with state officials and election experts to examine the effects of the unprecedented rise in election lies following the 2020 presidential election.  Ahead of the roundtable, the Committee released new findings from the Committee’s investigation into the dire problem of… Continue Reading

Partisanship Colors Views of COVID-19 Handling Across Advanced Economies

“Publics are increasingly satisfied with the way their country is dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey in 19 countries. A median of 68% think their country has done a good job dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, with majorities saying this in every country surveyed except Japan. However, as… Continue Reading

Google Will Start Letting You Know When You Can’t Just Google It

BuzzFeedNews: “If Google isn’t confident about the overall quality of search results when you search for something, it will now let you know at the top of the results page. “This doesn’t mean that no helpful information is available, or that a particular result is low-quality,” Pandu Nayak, Google’s vice president of search, said in… Continue Reading

2 quick ways to spot dubious Amazon reviews

Fast Company – “While there are several ways to outwit unscrupulous sellers–searching product reviews outside of Amazon, looking into seller history, reading every word of every review from newest to oldest with a magnifying glass–it gets terribly tedious. In that spirit, here are two simple checks I leverage whenever I’m buying something on Amazon. Neither… Continue Reading

Microsoft shares workarounds for Outlook crashing after launch

Bleeping Computer: “Microsoft is investigating customer reports of a known issue causing Outlook for Microsoft 365 to freeze and crash right after opening. According to a new support document published by Redmond on Thursday, these Outlook desktop client crashes will be automatically logged and can be confirmed by checking the Windows Event Viewer Application Log… Continue Reading

The Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the globe since 1979

Rantanen, M., Karpechko, A.Y., Lipponen, A. et al. The Arctic has warmed nearly four times faster than the globe since 1979. Commun Earth Environ 3, 168 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s43247-022-00498-3 “In recent decades, the warming in the Arctic has been much faster than in the rest of the world, a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification. Numerous studies… Continue Reading

One of 5G’s Biggest Features Is a Security Minefield

Wired – “New research found troubling vulnerabilities in the 5G platforms carriers offer to wrangle embedded device data. True 5G wireless data, with its ultrafast speeds and enhanced security protections, has been slow to roll out around the world. As the mobile technology proliferates—combining expanded speed and bandwidth with low-latency connections—one of its most touted… Continue Reading

EPA Webinar on PFAS Strategic Roadmap: Research Tools and Resources

Register and join the webinar on the EPA PFAS Strategic Roadmap “Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of chemicals that have been manufactured and used in a variety of industries in the United States and around the globe since the 1940s, and they are still being used today. There are thousands of different… Continue Reading