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Ad firms share your location and online behavior 747 times a day

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Advertisers pay to know your online behavior and location.
Advertisers pay to know your online behavior and location.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Google leads the way among ad tech companies sharing your online behavior and location with advertisers. It happens an average of 747 times a day in the United States and 376 times a day in Europe. That’s according to a new report from a civil liberties group.

Google and others use a process known as real-time bidding to help advertisers target you by behavior and location.

The group behind the report called such sharing “the biggest data breach” in the world.

DuckDuckGo and Brave browsers protect against Google’s sneaky AMP pages [Updated]

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DuckDuckGo and Brave browsers protect against Google's sneaky AMP pages
Both Brave and DuckDuckGo have moved against AMP, one of the ways Google tracks users.
Image: Brave/DuckDuckGo

DuckDuckGo and Brave have started bypassing Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages. Brave says, “AMP harms users’ privacy, security and internet experience.”

The web browsers will ignore these pages, which are surreptitiously hosted by Google, and give users the original publishers’ webpages instead.

Improved iPhone privacy protections could cost Facebook $20.9 billion and counting

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Facebook vs. iPhone App Tracking Transparency
Turns out the answer to this question was “do not track” 80% of the time.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

A tweak to iOS privacy settings made in 2021 has already cost Facebook $8.1 billion, and the social-networking company’s losses will increase by another $12.8 billion in 2022, according to an industry report.

Forcing applications to ask permission before tracking their users’ online activity hurt other companies, too. But nowhere near as much as Facebook.

Protect your email with this awesome WordPress plugin

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This WordPress plugin hides your email from malware.
If you operate a WordPress site, you can hide your email address from bots with this plugin.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Posting your email on your own website shouldn’t lead to an inbox full of spam. Luckily, there’s a middle ground between giving your audience no way to reach you and handing bots and malware everything to use against you.

The Email Protection WordPress Plugin hides your email from web crawlers that log and use your information, but still makes it easy for your readers to contact you. For a limited time, this one-time purchase is on sale for just $9.99 (regularly $37).

Tim Cook’s privacy summit keynote condemns app sideloading

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Tim Cook delivered a keynote address at the International Association of Privacy Professionals Global Privacy Summit on Tuesday.
Tim Cook delivered a keynote address at the International Association of Privacy Professionals Global Privacy Summit on Tuesday.
Photo: IAPP

Apple CEO Tim Cook called privacy a key battle of our time during a speech Tuesday. He extolled Apple’s commitment to protecting its users’ data and condemned regulations that would force Cupertino to accept app sideloading on iPhones.

“We are deeply concerned about regulations that would undermine privacy and security in service of some other aim,” he said, referring to legislation that would force Apple to allow apps for its devices to bypass the App Store.

Cook made the comments during a wide-ranging keynote address at the International Association of Privacy Professionals Global Privacy Summit in Washington, D.C.

Read more about what he said and watch video of his speech below.

Apple leaves privacy trade group it sees as too ‘industry-friendly’

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Apple's decision to drop out of the privacy trade group comes ahead of Tim Cook headlining a global privacy summit.
Apple's decision to drop out of the privacy trade group comes ahead of Tim Cook headlining a global privacy summit.
Photo: Fortune Global Forum/Flickr CC

Apple dropped out of a privacy trade group that pushes increasingly “industry-friendly data privacy laws.” The move comes ahead of Apple CEO Tim Cook headlining the International Association of Privacy Professionals Global Privacy Summit next Tuesday.

Cupertino confirmed it will leave the trade group, known as the State Privacy and Security Coalition, through a spokesperson following an initial report about it in Politico.

Facebook is still whining about Apple’s ‘harmful’ privacy features

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By running anti-Apple ads in major newspapers, Facebook's taking its battle with Apple to the next level.
Facebook is expected to lose $10 billion to Apple's changes this year alone.
Photo: Thought Catalog/Unsplash CC

Facebook parent company Meta is still bemoaning App Tracking Transparency, the “harmful” feature Apple introduced last year in iOS 14.5 to bolster the privacy of iPhone and iPad users.

The change is “making it harder and more expensive” for businesses to reach their customers, Meta said as advertisers reportedly slash their spending on Facebook and Instagram and turn to rivals like Amazon and Google instead.

AirTag needs big changes to become less criminal-friendly

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Maybe Apple should just dump AirTag
Creeps love AirTag. But there are changes Apple could make so it would be much less useful for criminals.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

New York’s attorney general issued a warning Wednesday about AirTags being used to secretly track people. And this is only the latest in a growing controversy over misuse of Apple’s tracking tags.

Perhaps Apple should drop the item tracker completely. At the very least, the functionality needs to be scaled way back.