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The Hacker News - Cybersecurity News and Analysis: Digital Advertising

Google Extends Support for Tracking Party Cookies Until 2023

Google Extends Support for Tracking Party Cookies Until 2023

June 25, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google's sweeping proposals to deprecate third-party cookies in Chrome browser is going back to the drawing board after the company announced plans to delay the rollout from early 2022 to late 2023, pushing back the project by nearly two years. "While there's  considerable progress  with this initiative, it's become clear that more time is needed across the ecosystem to get this right," Chrome's Privacy Engineering Director, Vinay Goel,  said  Thursday. In buying extra time, the search giant said it hopes to arrive at a consensus on the right solutions, while simultaneously engaging with regulators, and enabling publishers and the advertising industry to migrate their services to privacy-preserving technologies that prevent "alternative forms of individual tracking, and discourage the rise of covert approaches like  fingerprinting ." The revised timelines comes close on the heels of a fresh regulatory setback in the European Union, after the Eur
Mozilla Says Google's New Ad Tech—FLoC—Doesn't Protect User Privacy

Mozilla Says Google's New Ad Tech—FLoC—Doesn't Protect User Privacy

June 11, 2021Ravie Lakshmanan
Google's upcoming plans to replace third-party cookies with a less invasive ad targeted mechanism have a number of issues that could defeat its privacy objectives and allow for significant linkability of user behavior, possibly even identifying individual users. "FLoC is premised on a compelling idea: enable ad targeting without exposing users to risk,"  said  Eric Rescorla, author of TLS standard and chief technology officer of Mozilla. "But the current design has a number of privacy properties that could create significant risks if it were to be widely deployed in its current form." Short for Federated Learning of Cohorts,  FLoC  is part of Google's fledgling  Privacy Sandbox  initiative that aims to develop alternate solutions to satisfy cross-site use cases without resorting to third-party cookies or other opaque tracking mechanisms. Essentially, FLoC allows marketers to guess users' interests without having to uniquely identify them, thereby eli
Python-Based Adware Evolves to Install Malicious Browser Extensions

Python-Based Adware Evolves to Install Malicious Browser Extensions

June 26, 2018Wang Wei
Security researchers have been warning of a few newly detected variants of python -based adware that are being distributed in the wild not only to inject ads but also found installing malicious browser extensions and hidden cryptocurrency miner into victims' computers. Dubbed PBot , or PythonBot , the adware was first uncovered more than a year ago, but since then the malware has evolved, as its authors have been trying different money-making schemes to profit themselves, according to researchers at Kaspersky Labs. The previous versions of the PBot malware were designed to perform man-in-the-browser (MITB) attacks to inject unwanted advertising scripts on web pages visited by the victim, but the newer variants have been found installing malicious ad extensions in the web browser. "Developers are constantly releasing new versions of this modification, each of which complicates the script obfuscation," Kaspersky researchers said in their blog post published today.
US Senate Just Voted to Let ISPs Sell Your Web Browsing Data Without Permission

US Senate Just Voted to Let ISPs Sell Your Web Browsing Data Without Permission

March 24, 2017Mohit Kumar
The ISPs can now sell certain sensitive data like your browsing history without permission, thanks to the US Senate. The US Senate on Wednesday voted, with 50 Republicans for it and 48 Democrats against, to roll back a set of broadband privacy regulations passed by the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) last year when it was under Democratic leadership. In October, the Federal Communications Commission ruled that ISPs would need to get consumers' explicit consent before being allowed to sell their web browsing data to the advertisers or other big data companies. Before the new rules could take effect on March 2, the President Trump's newly appointed FCC chairman Ajit Pai temporarily put a hold on these new privacy rules. Ajit Pai argued that the rules, which are regulated by FTC, unfairly favored companies like Google, Twitter, and Facebook, who have the ability to collect more data than ISPs and thus dominate digital advertising. "All actors in the online
New Privacy Rules require ISPs to must Ask you before Sharing your Sensitive Data

New Privacy Rules require ISPs to must Ask you before Sharing your Sensitive Data

October 28, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Good News for privacy concerned people! Now, your online data will not be marketed for business; at least by your Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Yes, it's time for your ISPs to ask your permission in order to share your sensitive data for marketing or advertisement purposes, the FCC rules. On Thursday, the United States Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has imposed new privacy rules on Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that restrict them from sharing your online history with third parties without your consent. In a 3-2 vote, the FCC approved the new rules by which many privacy advocates seem pleased, while some of them wanted the Commission to even apply the same rules to web-based services like Google and Facebook as well. Initially proposed earlier this year, the new rule says : "ISPs are required to obtain affirmative 'opt-in' consent from consumers to use and share sensitive information." What does 'sensitive' information mean h
Beware! Advertisers Are Tracking You via Phone's Battery Status

Beware! Advertisers Are Tracking You via Phone's Battery Status

August 02, 2016Mohit Kumar
Is my smartphone battery leaking details about me? Unfortunately, YES! Forget about supercookies, apps, and malware; your smartphone battery status is enough to monitor your online activity, according to a new report. In 2015, researchers from Stanford University demonstrated a way to track users' locations – with up to 90 percent accuracy – by measuring the battery usage of the phone over a certain time. The latest threat is much worse. Two security researchers, Steve Engelhard and Arvind Narayanan, from Princeton University, have published a paper describing how phone's battery status has already been used to track users across different websites. The issue is due to the Battery Status API (application programming interface). How Does Battery Status API Help Advertisers Track You? The battery status API was first introduced in HTML5 and had already shipped in browsers including Firefox, Chrome, and Opera by August last year. The API is intended to allo
Verizon Set to Buy Yahoo for $5 Billion — Here's Why a Telecom is so Interested!

Verizon Set to Buy Yahoo for $5 Billion — Here's Why a Telecom is so Interested!

July 22, 2016Swati Khandelwal
Finally, Someone has come forward to buy Yahoo! Guess Who? The telecommunication giant Verizon . Yes, Verizon Communications Inc. is reportedly closing in on a deal to acquire Yahoo's core business for about $5 Billion, according to a report from Bloomberg. Since the agreement between the companies has not been finalized, it is unclear at this moment that which Yahoo's assets the deal would include. "In order to preserve the integrity of the process, we're not going to comment on the issue until we've finalized an agreement," a Yahoo spokeswoman said in a statement provided to CNNMoney. You might be wondering Why Verizon is buying Yahoo! Well, I'll come to it in the second half of my article, because before discussing this point, let's first focus on why Yahoo! wants to get acquired. Why Yahoo Was Up For Sale? Founded in 1995, Yahoo! was once the brightest star of the Web. But when its rivals including Google, Facebook and even few-years-old com
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