Google Escapes Guilty Verdict in Safari Case
A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit brought against Google by consumers who claim the company violated privacy laws. In February 2012, researchers found that Google had bypassed the privacy settings of Apple's Safari browser and Microsoft's Internet Explorer browser in order to install cookies on PCs and smartphones. Consumers sued, saying that despite taking steps to prevent cookies from being installed on their machines, Google did so anyway and served them targeted ads. The judge overseeing the case said it was clear that Google circumvented the privacy settings of Safari and IE, but that the plaintiffs were unable to prove they had been harmed. Google was fined $22.5 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission last year for its transgression.
Google's Allo Messaging App Lands On the Web, Sort Of
Google today brought its assistant-backed Allo messaging application to the web. Allo on the web requires Google's Chrome browser and can only interact with Allo on Android smartphones for now (iPhone support is coming later.) Google says Allo web access requires the latest version of the mobile Allo app on your handset in order to function.
Google Makes Searching and Sharing Via iMessage Simpler
Google today detailed several new features headed to the Google Search app on iOS devices. First and foremost, Google Search gains a new extension for iMessage that lets you perform Google searches from within iMessage and then easily share the results.
Verizon to Pay FCC $1.35M Fine Over Supercookies
Verizon will pay the FCC a fine of $1.35 million to settle claims the company's wireless business violated customer privacy. The FCC says between 2012 and 2014, Verizon Wireless did not adequately disclose to customers how it used supercookies to gather user data.
Google Launches 'My Account' Site with Privacy Controls
Google today published a new web site that people can use to manage their personal information. The My Account site offers a handful of features for checking the privacy of individual accounts and performing security checkups with step-by-step guides.
Apple Addresses Face ID and Safari Privacy Concerns
Apple this week provided more detail concerning some of the behaviors of its forthcoming Face ID tech on the iPhone X and Safari in iOS 11. Concerning the former, Apple executive Craig Federighi explained to Techcrunch that "[Apple does] not gather customer data when you enroll in Face ID, it stays on your device, we do not send it to the cloud for training data." Instead, all the data created by the dot projector is processed locally on the A11 bionic chip.