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Google Announces a New Initiative Called ‘Privacy Sandbox’ to Protect Users’ Privacy on Web

Recent studies have shown that when advertising is made less relevant by removing cookies, funding for publishers falls by 52 per cent on average

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A man walks past a Google sign outside with a span of the Bay Bridge at rear in San Francisco, May 1, 2019. VOA

In a bid to protect users’ privacy as they open ads on the web, Google has announced a new initiative called “Privacy Sandbox” to develop a set of open standards to fundamentally enhance privacy on Internet.

Google said it will work with the web community to develop new standards that advance privacy, while continuing to support free access to content.

“Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve started sharing our preliminary ideas for a ‘Privacy Sandbox’ — a secure environment for personalization that also protects user privacy,” Justin Schuh, Director, Chrome Engineering, said in a blog post on Thursday.

The company also aims to ensure that ads continue to be relevant for users, but their personal data shared with websites and advertisers would be minimized by anonymously aggregating user information, and keeping much more user information on-device only.

According to the company, large scale blocking of cookies undermine people’s privacy by encouraging opaque techniques such as “fingerprinting”.

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FILE -Google CEO Sundar Pichai speaks during the keynote address of the Google I/O conference in Mountain View, Calif., May 7, 2019. VOA

With “fingerprinting”, developers have found ways to use information that vary between users — such as what device they have or what fonts they have installed to generate a unique identifier which can then be used to match a user across websites.

“Unlike cookies, users cannot clear their fingerprint, and therefore cannot control how their information is collected. We think this subverts user choice and is wrong,” said Google.

However, blocking cookies without another way to deliver relevant ads significantly reduces publishers’ primary means of funding, which jeopardizes the future of the vibrant web.

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Recent studies have shown that when advertising is made less relevant by removing cookies, funding for publishers falls by 52 per cent on average.

“So we are doing something different. We want to find a solution that both really protects user privacy and also helps content remain freely accessible on the web,” said Google, asking for feedback on this approach from the web platform community, including other browsers, publishers and their advertising partners. (IANS)

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Wikipedia Crosses Milestone Of Having Over 6 Million Articles in English Language

Following the English edition, which hit the five million-mark in late 2015, are the German version with about 2.3 million articles, and the French version, which has about 2.1 million articles

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Wikipedia
Wikipedia is available in several languages, but its English version has the most number of articles. Wikimedia Commons

The world’s largest online multilingual encyclopedia, Wikipedia, has now crossed the milestone of having more than six million articles in English language.

The feat, which comes roughly 19 years after the website was founded, is a testament of “what humans can do together,” said Ryan Merkley, chief of staff at Wikimedia, the nonprofit organisation that operates the omnipresent online encyclopedia, TechCrunch reported on Friday.

The six millionth article is about Maria Elise Turner Lauder, a 19th-century Canadian school teacher, travel writer and fiction writer.

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The world’s largest online multilingual encyclopedia, Wikipedia, has now crossed the milestone of having more than six million articles in English language. Pixabay

Wikipedia is available in several languages, but its English version has the most number of articles.

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Following the English edition, which hit the five million-mark in late 2015, are the German version with about 2.3 million articles, and the French version, which has about 2.1 million articles, the report added. (IANS)