Posts by Stacey Gray

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Custom Audiences and Transparency in Online Advertising

This morning, Facebook announced that they will begin rolling out new requirements for its “Custom Audiences” targeting tool for advertisers. These updates are a useful step towards creating better user understanding of data flows both on Facebook and in the broader web, and enhancing the accountability of advertisers who use custom marketing lists.

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Empirical Research in the Internet of Things, Mobile Privacy, and Digital Advertising

In the world of consumer privacy, including the Internet of Things (IoT), mobile data, and advertising technologies (“Ad Tech”), it can often be difficult to measure real-world impact and conceptualize individual harms and benefits. Fortunately, academic researchers are increasingly focusing on these issues, leading to impressive scholarship from institutions such as the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP), Carnegie Mellon University School of Computer Science, UC Berkeley School of Information, and many others, including non-profits and think tanks.

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Understanding Session Replay Scripts – a Guide for Privacy Professionals

Researchers at Princeton University’s Center for Information Technology Policy (CITP) have demonstrated that many websites are using third-party tools to track visitors’ individual browsing sessions. “Session replay scripts” can raise serious privacy concerns if implemented incorrectly — but with the right safeguards, can be part of a range of ordinary, useful web analytics tools. FPF has published a 3-page guide for Privacy Professionals to assist in deciding whether and how to implement session replay scripts.

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Consumer Reports Publishes Initial Findings for Privacy and Security of Smart TVs

Today, Consumer Reports released their initial findings on the privacy and security aspects of Smart TVs. Applying their Digital Standard (developed with Ranking Digital Rights and other partner organizations), Consumer Reports identified a range of important privacy aspects and potential security vulnerabilities in Smart TVs from five leading manufacturers (Sony, Samsung, LG, TCL, and Vizio).

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Seeing the Big Picture on Smart TVs and Smart Home Tech

CES 2018 brought to light many exciting advancements in consumer technologies. Without a doubt, Smart TVs, Smart Homes, and voice assistants were dominant: LG has a TV that rolls up like a poster; Philips introduced a Google Assistant-enabled TV is designed for the kitchen; and Samsung revealed its new line of refrigerators, TVs, and other home devices powered by Bixby, their intelligent voice assistant.

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NAI Combines Web, Mobile, and Cross-Device Tracking Rules for 2018

The Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) released its 2018 Code of Conduct yesterday, consolidating the rules for online and mobile behavioral advertising (interest-based advertising). NAI, a non-profit organization in Washington, DC, is the leading self-regulatory association for digital advertising, with over 100 members and a formalized internal review mechanism.

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Location Controls in iOS 11 Highlight the Role of Platforms

From Pokémon Go, to the geo-targeting of abortion clinics, to state legislative efforts, the last year has seen significant attention paid to the many ways our apps use and often share location data. In the midst of this heightened awareness of geo-location privacy, iPhone users and app developers may notice a difference this Fall, when Apple will be releasing updates to iOS 11 that will increase users’ control over how their geo-location may be collected and used. The changes highlight the ongoing importance—and legal implications—of platform settings for consumer privacy.

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The Future of Microphones in Connected Devices

Today, FPF released a new Infographic: Microphones & the Internet of Things: Understanding Uses of Audio Sensors in Connected Devices (read the Press Release here). From Amazon Echos to Smart TVs, we are seeing more home devices integrate microphones, often to provide a voice user interface powered by cloud-based speech recognition.

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Federal Trade Commission: COPPA Applies to Connected Toys

This week, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) updated its guidance on COPPA, the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, to clarify that the 1998 statute applies not just to websites and online service providers that collect data from children, but also to Internet of Things devices, including children’s toys.