The Verge: Facebook and Instagram notices in iOS apps tell users tracking helps keep them ‘free of charge’

The Verge: Facebook and Instagram notices in iOS apps tell users tracking helps keep them ‘free of charge’. “Facebook is continuing its campaign against Apple’s iOS 14 privacy updates, adding a notice within its iOS app telling users the information it collects from other apps and websites can “help keep Facebook free of charge.” A similar message was seen on Instagram’s iOS app (Facebook is Instagram’s parent company).”

Wired: The New iOS Update Lets You Stop Ads From Tracking You—So Do It

Wired: The New iOS Update Lets You Stop Ads From Tracking You—So Do It. “IF YOU’RE SICK of opaque ad tracking and don’t feel like you have a handle on it, a new iOS feature promises to give you back some control. With the release of Apple’s iOS 14.5 on Monday, all of your apps will have to ask in a pop-up: Do you want to allow this app to track your activity across other companies’ apps and websites? For once, your answer can be no.”

Facebook v Apple: The ad tracking row heats up (BBC)

BBC: Facebook v Apple: The ad tracking row heats up. “A new feature is being introduced to iPhones and iPads this week which is causing a huge rift between Apple and Facebook. It will allow device users to say no to having their data collected by any app. Facebook has been put in a spin by this because user data – and the advertising it can generate – is what makes the company so profitable.”

EFF: Am I FLoCed? A New Site to Test Google’s Invasive Experiment

EFF: Am I FLoCed? A New Site to Test Google’s Invasive Experiment. “Today we’re launching Am I FLoCed, a new site that will tell you whether your Chrome browser has been turned into a guinea pig for Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC, Google’s latest targeted advertising experiment. If you are a subject, we will tell you how your browser is describing you to every website you visit. Am I FLoCed is one of an effort to bring to light the invasive practices of the adtech industry—Google included—with the hope we can create a better internet for all, where our privacy rights are respected regardless of how profitable they may be to tech companies.”

The Verge: Google reportedly ran secret ‘Project Bernanke’ that boosted its own ad-buying system over competitors

The Verge: Google reportedly ran secret ‘Project Bernanke’ that boosted its own ad-buying system over competitors. “Google wrote in the unredacted filing that data from Project Bernanke was ‘comparable to data maintained by other buying tools,’ according to the Journal. The company was able to access historical data about bids made through Google Ads, to change bids by its clients and boost the clients’ chances of winning auctions for ad impressions, putting rival ad tools at a disadvantage. Texas cited in court documents an internal presentation from 2013 in which Google said Project Bernanke would bring in $230 million in revenue for that year.”

The Guardian: Web giants must stop cashing in on pension scam misery, say MPs

The Guardian: Web giants must stop cashing in on pension scam misery, say MPs. “Ministers must force tech giants such as Google, Facebook and Microsoft to stop the ‘immoral’ practice of profiting from the £10bn of pension fraud committed by internet scammers, a committee of MPs has urged. Fraudsters use online advertisements, mostly on Google, to trick people out of their pension funds, according to a report published by the work and pensions select committee, but regulators are ‘powerless’ to hold the internet firms to account.”

Neowin: TikTok will force you to see personalized ads from April 15

Neowin: TikTok will force you to see personalized ads from April 15. “Currently, TikTok lets you choose whether you’d like to see general ads or personalized ones that are based on your in-app activities like the videos you’ve liked and ads you’ve interacted with on the platform. The goal is to help businesses reach more consumers. Starting next month, these options may change ‘and the ads you’ll see may start to be based on what you do on TikTok,’ according to a notice shown on the app.”

Here’s what you need to know about FLoC: Google’s alternative to individual tracking (Neowin)

Neowin: Here’s what you need to know about FLoC: Google’s alternative to individual tracking. “Google made some waves earlier this week when it boasted that it will soon stop tracking individuals via ads and their browsing activities. Many have understandably been wary about this announcement and believe that there must be a loophole which will still allow Google to track you and present you targeted ads. As usual, it is important to look past the headlines, as the devil is in the details. In this piece, we will take a look at what Google is proposing as an alternative to its usual tracking capabilities.”

Gizmodo: Stop Letting Google Get Away With It

Gizmodo: Stop Letting Google Get Away With It. “The privacy-protective among us can agree that killing off these sorts of omnipresent trackers and targeters is a net good, but it’s not time to start cheering the privacy bona fides of a company built on our data — as some were inclined to do after Wednesday’s announcement.”

AFP: Google flags higher ad rates in France, Spain after digital tax

AFP: Google flags higher ad rates in France, Spain after digital tax. “Google has told customers that it will raise the rates for advertisements on its French and Spanish platforms by two percent from May to help offset the impact of a digital tax on profits. France has collected the levy since 2019, and Spain since this year, under pressure from voters to make US tech giants pay a greater share of taxes in countries where they operate.”

Politico: Scores of political groups sidestepped Facebook’s ad ban

Politico: Scores of political groups sidestepped Facebook’s ad ban. “Political campaigns are cheering the return of political ads to Facebook this week. But some groups never stopped running them. Scores of right- and left-wing political groups purchased tens of thousands of dollars in political ads that broke the company’s rules between January and March this year, according to an analysis by POLITICO.”