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Category Archives: Internet

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…”

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

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

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

How California Reproductive Health Workers Can Protect Information They Submit to the Government

EFF: “With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs reversing long-standing rights to abortion access, workers and volunteers for reproductive health clinics must reevaluate the risks they face (also known as a threat model) and take steps to safeguard their personal information–including information they have submitted to the government.  In 2020, nearly 17% of abortions… Continue Reading

Who Is Falling for Fake News?

Knowledge At Wharton: “People who read fake news online aren’t doomed to fall into a deep echo chamber where the only sound they hear is their own ideology, according to a revealing new study from Wharton. Surprisingly, readers who regularly browse fake news stories served up by social media algorithms are more likely to diversify… Continue Reading

How to spot a deepfake? One simple trick is all you need

ZDNet: “With criminals beginning to use deepfake video technology to spoof an identity in live online job interviews, security researchers have highlighted one simple way to spot a deepfake: just ask the person to turn their face sideways on.  The reason for this as a potential handy authentication check is that deepfake AI models, while… Continue Reading

How Russian Propaganda Is Reaching Beyond English Speakers

The New York Times: “In Spanish in Latin America or in Arabic across the Middle East, a steady stream of Russian propaganda and disinformation continues to try to justify President Vladimir V. Putin’s unprovoked invasion, demonizing Ukraine and obfuscating responsibility for Russian atrocities that have killed thousands of civilians. The result has been a geographical… Continue Reading