Weekly Technology Round-Up #2
Are Google Breaching GDPR?
In what they are calling by far the largest leakage of personal data ever recorded, Brave have presented new evidence to suggest that Google’s ad system, and more specifically it’s ‘Push-Pages’ relating to the real time bidding platform is circumventing EU GDPR.
Whilst the report focusses specifically on a formal complaint made to the Irish Data Protection Commission by Brave’s own Chief Policy & industry Relations Officer, Dr Johnny Ryan, it alleges that Google is deliberately pushing the personal data of visitors to any of the 8.4m plus websites using Google Ads being sent to over 2000+ companies billions of times a day, whilst asking those companies to ‘Self-Regulate’ as once distributed, Google no longer has any control over this data.
Facebook Facial-Recognition to now be Opt-In
In a recent blog post Facebook have confirmed that they are changing the way facial recognition is handled, and giving its users control about how the platform uses their facial recognition tools.
Going forwards, users that enable facial recognition will be able to get notifications about photos they are in, and Facebook also suggests they will also be able to help protect against identity theft and impersonation. Those users who do not want to take advantage of these features, and by opting out, retain more control over the use of their data, can disable this feature. Opting out will also mean a user is no longer automatically suggested for tagging in photo’s uploaded in which they appear.
Is your phone really spying on you?
Have you ever had that feeling your phone is spying on you? Have you ever had a conversation about a product, and then noticed an advert for the very same product appears in your Facebook feed? It’s happened to me and it seems to have happened to almost everyone I know.
Now, cyber security experts Wandera have tested this conspiracy, and whilst not 100% conclusive, have determined it really is just a co-incidence, well almost. As suggested by the BBC, social media platforms and advertisers already know so much about us they really have no need to listen in to our conversations to determine which advertisements will be most likely to engage with us.
Amazon Testing Pay-by-Hand Technology
The New York Times are reporting that Amazon’s engineers are testing technology that allows users to pay with just their hand as identification. It is believed the technology is currently accurate to within one ten-thousandth of a percent but the aim is to improve this to a one millionth of 1%, whilst it can also process the payment in less than 300ms.
Once ready, Amazon are believed to want to roll the technology out across its entire Whole Foods division, so that Amazon Prime account users can link their hand biometrics to their account and pay using their Prime account linked cards.
And something a bit different…
Nintendo Games to Teach Life Skills in UK Schools
Digital Schoolhouse have been shouting about the positive effects bringing e-Sports to the classroom has on education, including increasing attendance, building and maintaining friendships, and improving communication skills.
They have now partnered with Nintendo Switch to launch the Digital Schoolhouse Super Smash Bros. Ultimate Team Battle. It is expected to reach up to 60 schools and over 6000 pupils.
eSports is also increasing interest in Computing and Information Technology based curriculums and bringing more students into these industries may in time help to bridge the skills shortages currently visible in these fields.