Exclusive: Google’s privacy push draws U.S. antitrust scrutiny – sources (Reuters)

Reuters: Exclusive: Google’s privacy push draws U.S. antitrust scrutiny – sources. “Google’s plan to block a popular web tracking tool called ‘cookies’ is a source of concern for U.S. Justice Department investigators who have been asking advertising industry executives whether the move by the search giant will hobble its smaller rivals, people familiar with the situation said.”

Ars Technica: New browser-tracking hack works even when you flush caches or go incognito

Ars Technica: New browser-tracking hack works even when you flush caches or go incognito. “The prospect of Web users being tracked by the sites they visit has prompted several countermeasures over the years, including using Privacy Badger or an alternate anti-tracking extension, enabling private or incognito browsing sessions, or clearing cookies. Now, websites have a new way to defeat all three.”

Engadget: Firefox’s Total Cookie Protection aims to stop tracking between multiple sites

Engadget: Firefox’s Total Cookie Protection aims to stop tracking between multiple sites. “As part of its war on web tracking, Mozilla is adding a new tool to Firefox aimed at stopping cookies from keeping tabs on you across multiple sites. The ‘Total Cookie Protection’ feature is included in the web browser’s latest release — alongside multiple picture-in-picture views (more on that below) — and essentially works by keeping cookies isolated between each site you visit.”

The Register: In a trial run, Google Chrome to corral netizens into groups for tailored web ads rather than target individuals

The Register: In a trial run, Google Chrome to corral netizens into groups for tailored web ads rather than target individuals . “Google’s cookie banishment plan followed shortly after its Privacy Sandbox announcement, a set of proposals since augmented with suggestions from other ad tech firms – there have been about 30 of them to date – that redefine how online ads get auctioned and how behavioral ad targeting can work without the privacy risks.”

Gizmodo: Google’s Plan To Quash Cookies Draws Scrutiny From Regulators

Gizmodo: Google’s Plan To Quash Cookies Draws Scrutiny From Regulators. “On Friday, UK’s antitrust authority announced a new investigation into Google’s plan to end support for third party cookies in Chrome. The probe, it explained, is meant to determine whether the change ‘could cause advertising spend to become even more concentrated on Google’s ecosystem,’ potentially choking out competing companies that are — for the most part — already gasping for air.”

CNET: Why you’re hounded by pop-ups about cookies, and how they could go away

CNET: Why you’re hounded by pop-ups about cookies, and how they could go away. “California voters approved a privacy law in November that creates an incentive for companies to stop pestering you about cookies. It can be hard to tell from many of the pop-ups, but businesses are asking you to give them permission to install small files on your web browser so they can sell or share data about your browsing habits. The process for making these messages less common is already underway.”

When you tell Chrome to wipe private data about you, it spares two websites from the purge: Google.com, YouTube (The Register)

The Register: When you tell Chrome to wipe private data about you, it spares two websites from the purge: Google.com, YouTube. “Programmer Jeff Johnson noticed the unusual behavior, and this month documented the issue with screenshots. In his assessment of the situation, he noted that if you set up Chrome, on desktop at least, to automatically delete all cookies and so-called site data when you quit the browser, it deletes it all as expected – except your site data for Google.com and YouTube.com.” Google says this is a bug that will be fixed.

Mashable: New tool makes it easy to see which websites are in bed with Facebook

Mashable: New tool makes it easy to see which websites are in bed with Facebook. “The internet is a labyrinthian place, and Facebook is hiding around almost every corner. A new tool, dubbed Blacklight, helps you spot the behemoth lying in wait. Developed and released by the Markup, Blacklight reveals what trackers are running in the background of websites without — and here’s the key— you having to visit those websites first. One such tracker, the Facebook Pixel, is particularly problematic.”

‘Re-architecting the entire process’: How Vice is preparing for life after the third-party cookie (Digiday)

Digiday: ‘Re-architecting the entire process’: How Vice is preparing for life after the third-party cookie. “Vice Media Group pulls in 57.5 million global unique visitors a month, according to Comscore; Vice itself says it has a global audience of ‘more than 350 million individuals.’ But only a minority of those users are logged in at any time. With third-party cookies soon to be obsolete and Apple clamping down on the free-for-all sharing of mobile IDs, Vice’s first-party data strategy aims to improve its registration process and double down on contextual ads.”

TechCrunch: Cookie consent tools are being used to undermine EU privacy rules, study suggests

TechCrunch: Cookie consent tools are being used to undermine EU privacy rules, study suggests. “Most cookie consent pop-ups served to internet users in the European Union — ostensibly seeking permission to track people’s web activity — are likely to be flouting regional privacy laws, a new study by researchers at MIT, UCL and Aarhus University suggests.”

New York Times: I Visited 47 Sites. Hundreds of Trackers Followed Me.

New York Times: I Visited 47 Sites. Hundreds of Trackers Followed Me.. “Earlier this year, an editor working on The Times’s Privacy Project asked me whether I’d be interested in having all my digital activity tracked, examined in meticulous detail and then published — you know, for journalism. ‘Hahaha,’ I said, and then I think I made an ‘at least buy me dinner first’ joke, but it turned out he was serious. What could I say? I’m new here, I like to help, and, conveniently, I have nothing whatsoever at all to hide.”

Freedom to Tinker: Deconstructing Google’s excuses on tracking protection

Freedom to Tinker: Deconstructing Google’s excuses on tracking protection. “Blocking cookies is bad for privacy. That’s the new disingenuous argument from Google, trying to justify why Chrome is so far behind Safari and Firefox in offering privacy protections. As researchers who have spent over a decade studying web tracking and online advertising, we want to set the record straight.”