Privacy push could stop some annoying website pop-ups and online tracking

If you’re sick of websites tracking you and just as frustrated with website pop-ups prompting you to dig through obscure browser cookie settings — good news. An alliance including web publishers and browser makers has developed technology to stop websites from selling or sharing the data they gather about you, and you can try it now.



a piece of paper: Angela Lang/CNET


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Angela Lang/CNET

If the effort succeeds, a single setting in your browser could forbid website publishers from selling your data — at least if you live in California. And unlike a related effort years ago called Do Not Track, this one could have legal teeth.

Allies include publishers like The New York Times and Washington Post and browser makers Brave and Mozilla . One way to try it is with the Nightly test version of Brave, the browser maker said. Another is by installing DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser or desktop browser extension, the privacy-centric search engine said. “We hope [Global Privacy Control] will become a widely adopted standard,” DuckDuckGo said in a tweet.



a piece of paper: In at least 10 schools, Inpixon has installed radio frequency scanners to pull data from phone signals like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to keep track of students.


© Angela Lang/CNET

In at least 10 schools, Inpixon has installed radio frequency scanners to pull data from phone signals like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to keep track of students.


The Global Privacy Control project dovetails with two recent privacy laws. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the earlier Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe are why so many websites make you wrestle with settings for cookies. Those small text files are key to how many websites track your online activity.

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One provision of the CCPA allows for a single switch you could set in your browser, through the browser itself or a

Privacy push could stop some annoying website popups and online tracking

Companies want to know what you do online.

Angela Lang/CNET

If you’re sick of websites tracking you and just as frustrated with website pop-ups prompting you to dig through obscure browser cookie settings — good news. An alliance including web publishers and browser makers has developed technology to stop websites from selling or sharing the data they gather about you, and you can try it now.

If the effort succeeds, a single setting in your browser could forbid website publishers from selling your data — at least if you live in California. And unlike a related effort years ago called Do Not Track, this one could have legal teeth.

Allies include publishers like The New York Times and Washington Post and browser makers Brave and Mozilla. One way to try it is with the Nightly test version of Brave, the browser maker said. Another is by installing DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser or desktop browser extension, the privacy-centric search engine said. “We hope [Global Privacy Control] will become a widely-adopted standard,” DuckDuckGo said in a tweet.

The Global Privacy Control project dovetails with two recent privacy laws. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the earlier Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe are why so many websites make you wrestle with settings for cookies. Those small text files are key to how many websites track your online activity.

One provision of the CCPA allows for a single switch you could set in your browser, through the browser itself or a browser extension, that would tell every website what you wanted and sweep away those dialog boxes. That’s what the alliance members have built, and they’re working to make it legally binding under the CCPA so websites

Why Apple Didn’t Need FDA Approval for the Blood Oxygen Tracking Feature in the Apple Watch Series 6

Prior to releasing ECG functionality in the Apple Watch Series 4, Apple needed FDA approval for the feature, but the same isn’t true of Blood Oxygen monitoring in the Apple Watch Series 6 because Apple doesn’t see it as a medical feature.


As outlined by The Verge, pulse oximeters like the blood oxygen tracking feature in the Apple Watch are considered Class II Medical devices and documentation is generally required, but there’s a way around that. If a pulse oximeter is marketed as being for general wellness or fun rather than for a medical purpose, FDA documentation is not required.

That’s the reason why the blood oxygen tracking feature is not being marketed by Apple as a medical feature, and an Apple Support document clearly states that measurements taken using blood oxygen tracking are “not intended for medical use” and are designed for “general fitness and wellness purposes.”

The ‌Apple Watch Series 6‌ Blood Oxygen app provides no insight into blood oxygen readings, nor does it send alerts when a lower than normal blood oxygen level is detected, because that would be a medical feature.

Apple is prohibited from using the blood oxygen tracking feature from impacting the medical care that someone receives, which is a deviation from how the ECG functionality works. ECG readings from the watch are used to alert users of an abnormal heart rhythm (atrial fibrillation) and thus required greater oversight. Apple was required to provide the FDA with data proving that the feature can detect atrial fibrillation, which could be examined by experts.

Avoiding regulatory approval in the United States and in other countries permitted Apple to launch the blood oxygen feature in more than 100 countries. ECG availability is still limited because it requires medical approval in each country it launches in.


Michael

Privacy push could banish some annoying website popups and online tracking

Companies want to know what you do online.

Angela Lang/CNET

If you’re sick of websites tracking you and just as frustrated with website pop-ups prompting you to dig through obscure browser cookie settings — good news. An alliance including web publishers and browser makers has developed technology to stop websites from selling or sharing the data they gather about you.

If the effort succeeds, a single setting in your browser could forbid website publishers from selling your data — at least if you live in California. And unlike a related effort years ago called Do Not Track, this one could have legal teeth.

The Global Privacy Control project, with support from publishers like The New York Times and Washington Post and browser makers Brave and Mozilla, dovetails with two recent privacy laws. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the earlier Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe are why so many websites make you wrestle with settings for cookies. Those small text files are key to how many websites track your online activity.

One provision of the CCPA allows for a single switch you could set in your browser, through the browser itself or a browser extension, that would tell every website what you wanted and sweep away those dialog boxes. That’s what the alliance members have built, and they’re working to make it legally binding under the CCPA so websites would have to honor the setting.

It’s the latest move in a years-long effort to balance privacy protections with the convenience of free, ad-supported websites. Advertisers held the upper hand with an earlier, voluntary effort called Do Not Track that fizzled.

But the tone of the discussion is different now: Privacy protection is in

SpaceX receives contract to build missile tracking satellites for the Defense Department

Yesterday, SpaceX received a contract worth more than $149 million from the Space Development Agency (SDA), tasking the company with building a new satellite for the US military capable of tracking and providing early warnings of hypersonic missile launches. Another company, L3 Harris out of Florida, was given more than $193 million by the agency to also build tracking satellites.

The satellites are meant to be the first crucial part of the SDA’s Tracking Layer Tranche 0, which is designed to provide missile tracking for the Defense Department from space using infrared sensors. SpaceX and L3 Harris will together build eight satellites to deliver to the DOD for the Tracking Layer — the first satellites in a planned constellation.

The Tracking Layer will work in partnership with the SDA’s proposed Transport Layer, another planned constellation of between 300 and 500 satellites that will provide “low-latency military data and connectivity worldwide” to military assets. Both layers will be able to communicate with one another through intersatellite links. That way, any data that the sensors pick up in the Tracking Layer can quickly be disseminated to personnel on the ground. Lockheed Martin and York Space Systems both received contracts to develop the initial satellites for this Transport Layer.

This is the first time SpaceX has been granted a DOD award to build satellites. The company is quickly growing its own satellite flight with its Starlink constellation — a proposed constellation of nearly 12,000 satellites intended to beam broadband internet connectivity down to users on Earth. To win this SDA award, SpaceX bid a satellite concept based on its Starlink design, Space News reports.

“We are confident these fixed-price awards will help us deliver the initial tranche of the Tracking Layer on schedule,”