SAN FRANCISCO, August 17, 2018 - Google has revised an erroneous description on its website of how its "Location History" setting works, clarifying that it continues to track users even if they've disabled the setting.
The change came three days after an Associated Press investigation revealed that several Google apps and websites store user location even if users have turned off Location History. Google has not changed its location-tracking practice in that regard.
But its help page for the Location History setting now states: "This setting does not affect other location services on your device." It also acknowledges that "some location data may be saved as part of your activity on other services, like Search and Maps."
Previously, the page stated: "With Location History off, the places you go are no longer stored."
The AP observed that the change occurred midday Thursday, a finding confirmed by Internet Archive snapshots taken earlier in the day.
The AP investigation found that even with Location History turned off, Google stores user location when, for instance, the Google Maps app is opened, or when users conduct Google searches that aren't related to location. Automated searches of the local weather on some Android phones also store the phone's whereabouts.
In a Thursday statement to the AP, Google said: "We have been updating the explanatory language about Location History to make it more consistent and clear across our platforms and help centers."
The statement contrasted with a statement Google sent to the AP several days ago that said in part, "We provide clear descriptions of these tools."
Jonathan Mayer, a Princeton computer scientist and former chief technologist for the Federal Communications Commission's enforcement bureau, said the wording change was a step in the right direction. But it doesn't fix the underlying confusion Google created by storing location information in multiple ways, he said.
"The notion of having two distinct ways in which you control how your location data is stored is inherently confusing," he said Thursday. "I can't think off the top of my head of any major online service that architected their location privacy settings in a similar way."
K. Shankari, a UC Berkeley graduate researcher whose findings initially alerted the AP to the issue, said Thursday the change was a "good step forward," but added "they can make it better." For one thing, she said, the page still makes no mention of another setting called "Web & App Activity." Turning that setting off that would in fact stop recording location data.
Huge tech companies are under increasing scrutiny over their data practices, following a series of privacy scandals at Facebook and new data-privacy rules recently adopted by the European Union. Last year, the business news site Quartz found that Google was tracking Android users by collecting the addresses of nearby cellphone towers even if all location services were off. Google changed the practice and insisted it never recorded the data anyway.
Critics say Google's insistence on tracking its users' locations stems from its drive to boost advertising revenue. It can charge advertisers more if they want to narrow ad delivery to people who've visited certain locations.
Several observers also noted that Google is still bound by a 20-year agreement it struck with the Federal Trade Commission in 2011. That consent decree requires Google to not misrepresent to consumers how they can protect their privacy.
Google agreed to that order in response to an FTC investigation of its now-defunct social networking service Google Buzz, which the agency accused of publicly revealing users' most frequent Gmail contacts.
A year later, Google was fined $22.5 million for breaking the agreement after it served some users of Apple's Safari browser so-called tracking cookies in violation of settings that were meant to prevent that.
The FTC has declined to say whether it had begun investigating Google for how it has described Location History.
KUALA LUMPUR, August 17, 2018 (News Wires) - HTC Malaysia has officially announced the availability of their latest flagship device, the U12+. If you are one of those HTC fans who are eager to secure a unit, you’re in luck.
Starting from August 17, 2018 (12am), you can pre-order the flagship phone online or via authorised dealers and outlets.
To recap, the HTC U12+ gets an octa-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor, 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage that can be expanded via microSD. Besides that, it also gets a 6-inch QHD+ display and packs a 3,500 mAh battery.
For capturing images and recording videos, the rear camera configuration consists of a 12MP wide-angle camera and a 16MP telephoto lens. At the front, it features dual 8MP selfie cameras. If you want to know more about the HTC U12+, you can check out our post here.
KUALA LUMPUR, August 17, 2018 (News Wires) - OPPO Malaysia has just announced the F9, its latest selfie centric smartphone that comes with an even smaller notch. While the core hardware underneath is similar to the OPPO F7, the new smartphone now comes with a dual camera setup and OPPO’s very own fast charging feature.
In front, the F9 gets a 6.3″ Full HD+ display with an aspect ratio of 19.5:9. With a smaller notch and thinner bezels, it boasts a screen to body ratio of 90.8 per cent This is also one of the first smartphones to use Gorilla Glass 6 which is designed withstand repeated drops.
To stand out from the rest, the back of the F9 features a stunning looking glass effect which looks different in various angles. The device comes in various gradient colours and the special paint job even flows onto the frame.
Under the hood, the F9 gets a familiar MediaTek Helio P60 chipset with 6GB RAM and 64GB of storage. If you need more, you can expand further using the dedicated triple slot tray, which enables you to use two SIMs and a microSD card simultaneously.
The tiny notch in the front houses a 25MP selfie camera that’s also used for face unlock. Over at the rear, it gets an AI powered 16MP + 2MP dual camera setup which offers depth of field effects.
SAN FRANCISCO, August 14, 2018 (News Wires) - Cross-platform messaging app WhatsApp recently included a 'Report feature' and today in the 2.18.246 update it made available a new layout for it.
The Report feature is available for both chats and groups and a new alert appears when the Report button is tapped. Once confirmed, a report will be sent to WhatsApp for that specific phone number/group and hence the contact can be quickly blocked and all messages be deleted in the chat.
The new layout is also available for groups where WhatsApp asks users whether they want to exit group. With this new layout, WhatsApp wants to make easier to understand how the report feature works.
Moreover, now users can keep the chat history for reported chats/groups.
SEOUL, August 14, 2018 (News Wires) - A recent report leaked the camera setup for the Samsung Galaxy S10, revealing a three-camera setup. 2019 marks 10 years since Samsung’s first Galaxy phone - the Samsung i7500 - which also signalled the brand’s entry into the Android smartphone market.
To celebrate the anniversary, Samsung will doubtless want to release a feature-packed Galaxy S10 to impress fans. So far, reports have suggested a triple-cam setup, two selfie cameras and 5G support.
The three-camera rumours seem to be true, but DJ Koh, president of the South Korean tech giant’s mobile business told journalists at the Galaxy Note 9 launch that Galaxy S10 won’t be the firm’s first 5G phone - another model will take that honour.
Samsung are still determined to be the world’s first vendor to launch a foldable smartphone, though.
The company is rumoured to be announcing three Galaxy S10 variants - two featuring the same screen size- of which only two will get the three-camera setup.
According to the report, the main S10+ camera will have a 16MP regular snapper, a 13MP sensor with a telephoto lens, and a third cam equipped with a wide-angle lens and a 12MP sensor.
Furthermore, rumours suggest Samsung want to be the first to introduce a triple setup to a midrange smartphone, through their Galaxy A series, presumably with the A9 (2019).
GSM Arena noted that if the South Korean tech giant goes down that road, it will likely unveil the phone with a 32 MP + 8 MP + 5 MP configuration. No details are known on when Samsung will introduce the Galaxy S10, Galaxy A (2019) or even the foldable phone, dubbed Galaxy X.
BEIJING, August 14, 2018 (News Wires) - Huawei fans could be in for a treat as the brand confirms the P20 Pro will feature a triple lens camera with 40MP, as well as 5x zoom and “much more”, according to a recent tweet.
The Chinese tech giant was not too impressed with Samsung’s latest offerings, tweeting on the same day as the Note9 was revealed, “we’re all about real upgrades.”
Samsung’s Unpacked event on August 9 brought fans a new Galaxy Note 9 and Galaxy Watch, and also the first Bixby-powered smartspeaker, Galaxy Home.
However it seems that Huawei’s tweet was mostly directed at the latest smartphone, a device said to share a similar design to its predecessor (Galaxy Note 8) and some of the upgrades given to the Galaxy S9.
Huawei’s Twitter account shared an image of the upcoming flagship rear side, titled “This is called a real generation upgrade,” revealing three cameras—possibly making it the first Android smartphone with a triple camera setup.