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Google, Facebook contribute to Kejriwal’s free Wi-Fi dream

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

arvindkejriwalNew Delhi: Top global names in the internet and telecom sectors like Google and Facebook have been in discussions with the Arvind Kejriwal government, which aims at making Delhi a free wi-fi city, putting it at par with San Francisco, Stockholm and Shanghai in providing free internet connectivity throughout the city.

As the project of making Delhi a free public wi-fi city gains momentum, government officials are expecting some of the world’s best known tech firms to come forth to help in implementing the project throughout the city, over the next two months.

A Delhi government official told the Economic Times (ET), “Google, Facebook, Cisco, which is a global leader, Aruba, Ericsson, Vodafone, all of these companies, including many domestic firms, have all consulted with us and shown interest.” The official also said that the RFP tender document has been drafted and is waiting for final approval from the administration.

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“Half of the discussion has been finished, the remaining half will be done on Sunday afternoon. CM said though it is a holiday, he will have a meeting. He changed massive portions of the RFP and redid the proposal,” the official said.

Regarding the same project, Google gave a statement to ET, “We were approached for suggestions in very early stage discussion of this project.” Facebook said, “We are committed to working with various government agencies to help make Digital India a reality.”

Dwarka MLA Adarsh Shastri, the AAP government’s IT face, who oversaw the planning and consultation process of this project confirmed the interest shown by the companies.

Shastri told ET: “The interest level is very high (among global firms) because of the huge opportunity that they feel and the fact that this is a huge database. From a social standpoint they all want to participate in bridging the digital divide. Also, Delhi being a capital city, if you do something here, you are able to showcase something not just in India but also rest of the world.”

There are two crore devices in Delhi and capacity for simultaneous log-in for 50 lakh devices will be in place over a period of time. If cleared by the cabinet in mid-September, the tender document will be circulated soon and the officials expect tenders to be awarded in October.

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Tech Giant Google to Fix Loophole That Let Sites to Track Porn-viewing Habits of People

According to Google, the change will affect sites that use the “FileSystem API” to intercept “Incognito” mode sessions and require people to log in or switch to normal browsing mode,” on the assumption that these individuals are attempting to circumvent metered paywalls

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

After facing criticism over letting third-party organization get access to users’ viewing habits even while browsing in ‘Incognito’ mode, Google has said Chrome will fix a loophole that has allowed sites to detect people who are browsing the web privately.

This confirms that a loophole is indeed there in “Incognito” mode allowing site owners and publishers to detect when people are browsing privately, including porn.

“People choose to browse the web privately for many reasons. Some wish to protect their privacy on shared or borrowed devices, or to exclude certain activities from their browsing histories,” Barb Palser, a Partner Development Manager at Google said in a blog post.

Chrome will remedy a loophole that has allowed sites to detect people who are browsing in ‘Incognito’ Mode.

“This will affect some publishers who have used the loophole to deter metered paywall circumvention,” Palser added.

When third-party vendors use the loophole in Chrome’s “Incognitoa mode, Chrome’s FileSystem API is disabled to avoid leaving traces of activity on someone’s device.

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FILE – The Google logo is seen at a start-up campus in Paris, France, Feb. 15, 2018. VOA

“With the release of Chrome 76 scheduled for July 30, the behaviour of the FileSystem API will be modified to remedy this method of Incognito Mode detection. Chrome will likewise work to remedy any other current or future means of Incognito Mode detection,” Google informed.

Google’s acknowledgment came after a new joint study from Microsoft, Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pennsylvania that investigated 22,484 sex websites using a tool called “webXray” revealed that 93 per cent of pages track and leak users’ data to third-party organisations even during the “Incognito” mode.

Of non-pornography-specific services, Google tracks 74 per cent of sites, Oracle 24 per cent and Facebook 10 per cent.

Also Read: YouTube Fined in Millions Over Kids’ Data Privacy Breach

According to Google, the change will affect sites that use the “FileSystem API” to intercept “Incognito” mode sessions and require people to log in or switch to normal browsing mode,” on the assumption that these individuals are attempting to circumvent metered paywalls”.

“We suggest publishers monitor the effect of the ‘FileSystem API’ change before taking reactive measures since any impact on user behaviour may be different than expected and any change in meter strategy will impact all users, not just those using ‘Incognito’ mode,” Google explained. (IANS)