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  1. Google makes small Android advertising concession in wake of iOS 14.5 Android ad tracking still isn't opt-in, though, so not much will change. After Apple shook up the advertising industry by requiring users to opt-in to ad tracking in iOS 14.5, Google—the world's biggest ad company—is announcing a small concession for advertising on Android. Starting in late 2021, Google will begin to roll out a feature that makes Android's years-old advertising opt-out checkbox less likely to be bypassed by apps. Enlarge / Android's ad-tracking opt-out checkbox. Ron Amadeo Android has offered an advertising opt-out option for years, and the interface doesn't seem to be changing. Buried in the settings (System Settings -> Google -> Ads) is a checkbox allowing you to "opt out of ads personalization." Checking the box would "instruct apps not to use your advertising ID," but with this new change, the checkbox will stop asking apps to not use the advertising ID and will instead show apps "a string of zeros" if they try to access it. The rollout will start affecting apps running on Android 12 devices in late 2021 and will expand to all Google Play services in early 2022. Google's advertising change has made headlines around the tech world, but the move probably won't change a lot. The key factor in iOS 14.5 is that ad personalization is opt-in. A big pop-up appears to ask if you want the app to track you, and you get to pick "yes" or "no." When asked directly, users have overwhelmingly rejected ad tracking, with one study saying 96 percent of iOS 14.5 users chose to block access to their ad ID. On Android, users won't be asked directly if they want to be tracked. They will have to know that this checkbox exists and then find it in the settings, almost certainly resulting in dramatically lower usage. Case in point: this "ad personalization" checkbox has been in Android since 2013. I bet you didn't know about it. The Google Play Store's developer policy requires that all advertising SDKs (not just Google's ad network) use the Android ad ID for ad-tracking purposes. If everyone follows the rules, this checkbox will block ad tracking across all ad networks for apps downloaded from the Play Store, just like it supposedly has been doing for years. If app-makers followed the rules, though, Google wouldn't need to make this checkbox more aggressive by passing a string of zeros to apps. Google makes small Android advertising concession in wake of iOS 14.5
  2. Technology giants such as Yahoo and Google need to do more to protect consumers from hackers infiltrating their advertising networks to deliver malicious adverts – or even point users to sites that serve malware, the U.S. Senate has warned, according to CNBC’s report. The Senate Permanent Subcomittee on Investigations said that punishments needed to be targeted not merely at hackers, but also at advertising networks that failed to prevent them taking advantage of their online promotions. “Consumers can incur malware attacks [through online ads] without having taken any action other than visiting a mainstream website,” the subcommittee said, according to PC World’s report. The subcommittee referred to two incidents in which Yahoo and Google’s advertising networks were used to deliver malicious adverts, according to Network World’s report. The report said that some advertising networks scanned for malicious advertising, but “malvertisers” scanned for this and refrained from serving ads when in danger of detection, according to Network World. “We successfully block the vast majority of malicious or deceptive advertisements with which bad actors attack our network, and we always strive to defeat those who would compromise our customers’ security,” a representative from Yahoo said, according to Phys.org. The panel said that Yahoo or Google were not singled out as vulnerable – and that the industry as a whole was vulnerable to attacks. The use of malware to misdirect users means that the economics of such scams can be quite complex – with ESET’s Joan Calvet analyzing the techniques by which the Win32/Boaxxe BE malware family drive traffic to the “wrong” advertising networks in a post here. “Boaxxe.BE, is an impressive malware family with numerous sub modules, which takes lots of precautions to stay stealthy,” says Calvet, “For example, it won’t redirect users to ads when the user clicks on common websites (Wikipedia, Facebook…), or the maintenance of its own DNS cache in order to avoid relying on the too-noisy Windows cache.” A We Live Security guide to how to detect if your PC is infected, and avoid infection with “adware” and “badware” can be found here. Source
  3. The video argues that the Pro is "more powerful than most computers," and extremely versatile, being a "scanner, camera, editing suite, notepad, cinema, music studio, book, and a computer." Other bulletpoints include available LTE support, a simple interface, and the creative possibilities of the second-generation Apple Pencil. The ad's language is notably different from earlier iPad marketing, which tried to distance iPads from regular computers while competing with them at the same time. At one point the company referred to iPads as ushering in a "post-PC" era, and in November 2017 the company aired its infamous "What's a computer?" ad, often lampooned for being out of touch with reality. The new ad would seem to be a reversal, embracing the "computer" label in order to be seen as serious hardware. That approach is also reflected to an extent in the new Pro's design, since it now uses USB-C instead of Lightning, opening up compatible accessories. Not all USB-C accessories will work though, and iOS has yet to gain an open filesystem. Source: Apple Insider
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