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Tech Giant Google Relaying Personal Information of Users to Advertisers

YouTube earned millions of dollars by using the identifiers, commonly known as cookies, to deliver targeted ads to viewers of these channels, according to the complaint

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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

Google is allegedly relaying your personal information to advertisers via hidden web pages, allowing it to circumvent the European Union privacy regulations, new evidence submitted to Ireland’s Data Protection Commission has revealed.

The Data Protection Commission began an investigation into Google’s practices in May after it received a complaint from privacy-focused browser maker Brave that Google was allegedly violating the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), CNET on Wednesday quoted a Financial Times report.

Johnny Ryan, chief policy officer for Brave, submitted the new evidence, and discovered that Google allegedly used a tracker containing web browsing information, location and other data and sent it to advertising companies via webpages that “showed no content”.

Ryan’s evidence showed that Google had “labelled him with an identifying tracker that it fed to third-party companies that logged on to a hidden web page”.

Google responded, saying it doesn’t serve “personalized ads or send bid requests to bidders without user consent”.

According to the Data Protection Commission, the purpose of its inquiry “is to establish whether processing of personal data carried out at each stage of an advertising transaction is in compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR.

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

“The GDPR principles of transparency and data minimisation, as well as Google’s retention practices, will also be examined,” it had said.

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) on Wednesday directed Google to pay a record $170 million over YouTube’s child privacy violations.

The settlement requires Google and YouTube to pay $136 million to the FTC and $34 million to New York for allegedly violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) Rule.

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In a complaint filed against the companies, the FTC and New York Attorney General alleged that YouTube violated the COPPA Rule by collecting personal information — in the form of persistent identifiers that are used to track users across the Internet — from viewers of child-directed channels, without first notifying parents and getting their consent.

YouTube earned millions of dollars by using the identifiers, commonly known as cookies, to deliver targeted ads to viewers of these channels, according to the complaint. (IANS)

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ICC Cricket World Cup Becomes “Top Trending Query” on Google Search in 2019

The major news event related searches were dominated by the Lok Sabha Elections, Chandrayaan 2, and Article 370

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World Cup
Apart from ICC Cricket World Cup Films like Kabir Singh, Gully Boy, Mission Mangal, Joker and Marvel's blockbusters -- Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel also featured in the overall list. Pixabay

ICC Cricket World Cup was the top trending query on Google Search in 2019 in India, the company announced on Wednesday while announcing its “Year in Search” results, which highlight stand-out moments in Search across news, sporting events, personalities, movies, and songs.

Recapping the trends that stoked the Indian users’ imagination in 2019, Google India has compiled the list named “Year in Search”.

The top 10 list of trending search terms this year included Lok Sabha elections followed by the interest that surrounded the launch of Chandrayaan 2.

“Films like Kabir Singh, Gully Boy, Mission Mangal, Joker and Marvel’s blockbusters — Avengers: Endgame and Captain Marvel also featured in the overall list,” the company said in a statement.

IAF Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman topped the list in the most searched personalities this year followed by Lata Mangeshkar and Yuvraj Singh.

This year also witnessed a unique entry of the Internet singing sensation Ranu Mondal.

Sporting searches were dominated by the Cricket World Cup followed by the Pro Kabaddi League. Other international sporting spectacles like the Wimbledon, Copa América, and the tennis tournaments (including the Australian, French and US Open) were also widely searched.

The major news event related searches were dominated by the Lok Sabha Elections, Chandrayaan 2, and Article 370.

World Cup
ICC Cricket World Cup was the top trending query on Google Search in 2019 in India, the company announced on Wednesday while announcing its “Year in Search” results, which highlight stand-out moments in Search across news, sporting events, personalities, movies, and songs. Pixabay

Other important news events including the Maharashtra and Haryana state assembly elections were also widely searched.

The list also saw a mix of both local and global news moments such as the Pulwama attack, Cyclone Fani, the Ayodhya verdict, and the Amazon forest fire.

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Some of the most-interesting search terms were centered around “How to..”, and “What is…”.

On local searches around ‘Near me…’, the top queries revolved around “Dance classes near me” followed by “Salons near me”. Interestingly, a pertinent entry in this particular list in 2019 was “Air quality Index near me”. (IANS)