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There is an indication of the personal information-collecting practices of ad-free digital services, including Facebook and weather apps: If you don’t pay for the product, Friend is the product.
But sometimes you can pay for a product and is the product.
Common Sense Media, a nonprofit advocacy group for children and families, published a report this week that found most popular US streaming services and TV streaming add-ons like Netflix, Roku, and Disney+ do not meet the team’s minimum requirements for privacy and security practices. The only exception is Apple.
We are used to the arms race of companies to track every click and swipe of a credit card. But what’s surprising from the team’s report is that streaming entertainment products people spend their money on has some of the same data habits as sites like Facebook and Google make their money renting data. our material to make advertising money.
James P. Steyer, chief executive officer of Common Sense Media, told me: “This should be a wake-up call for streaming platforms. “These platforms can and should do better, and I think they will.”
The organization says streaming companies can do more to keep to themselves the data they collect from US households, finding exceptions to their information practices to protect children better and provides additional assurance that people’s data will not be used to deceive customers. advertised on the internet or included in profiles compiled by data intermediaries.
The researchers previously analyzed the data habits of several streaming products. What Common Sense Media has done with this latest report is very comprehensive. It examined the privacy policies of 10 online video services, like HBO Max, and five streaming devices, including those from Amazon’s Roku and Fire TV. The organization also sets up computer systems to track digital information leaving applications or streaming video devices.
Common Sense Media found that most of the companies in its analysis could use information about what people do on their service to tailor advertising to customers on the internet or to allow Other companies do the same thing. For example, it can be seen that many streaming companies have passed data to the advertising businesses of Amazon and Google.
Some streaming companies, including Netflix, say they often don’t let other companies know what we watch during a Friday night binge. Others in the analysis left open the possibility that information about what we view could be used for targeted advertising or for other purposes.
Data from streaming companies can also be combined with companies that aggregate a range of information like the brand of toothpaste you buy in stores and what you do on your phone. And Common Sense Media says some efforts to provide customers with informed consent are too complicated. For example, the organization says that Amazon has asked people on the Fire streaming extension to click through 25 policies to use the device, plus two more for using its Alexa voice assistant.
The organization said Apple, which has always adhered to consumer privacy guidelines but has not always lived up to its stated ideals, has stronger protections for the service. Apple TV+ video streaming and a TV-connected device named Apple TV compared to others tested.
(Apple supports funding a Common Sense Media news program for schools, and it is among the companies that license the organization’s ratings and reviews. Common Sense Media told me that’s not the case.) regarding its privacy reviews.)
Not all of our data collection or use is harmful. Streaming companies use people’s information to help us reset forgotten passwords and make sure we can watch Hulu when we switch from smartphone to TV.
The problem that Common Sense Media highlights is that Americans, with limited exceptions, simply cannot know what companies do with all the information they collect about us. Most of us have to rely on legal documents that give the illusion of control and think about hypothetical risks about what might happen to our personal information in the wild.
That situation has contributed to Americans’ distrust of tech companies and concerns about what happens to our personal data, but Steyer says there’s a silver lining to corporate anxiety. can us: Companies and politicians know that more Americans care about information privacy.
“I am extremely pleased to see a fundamental shift in public perception and perception, and that is what will drive both political change and industry change,” says Steyer. “Tides are changing.”
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Before we go…
Theranos’ stigma: My colleague, Erin Griffith, writes that some female startup founders – especially those in the life sciences, biotechnology and healthcare industries – have to compare with Elizabeth Holmes, who Blood testing startup Theranos shut down in 2018 after a reporter investigation questioned her claims about the company. Holmes will soon face court to face criminal fraud charges.
Effective and respectful conversations! On Facebook! The Washington Post writes about a Facebook group called Vaccine Talk that has 70,000 members and is a forum for civil and evidence-based discussions about vaccines. The group has 25 moderators and administrators to monitor posts and strict rules against giving medical advice or making scientific claims without proof.
It’s hard to go green in consumer electronics: In two articles, Protocol looks at why it’s hard for manufacturers of smartphones, TVs and other electronics to create their products in a more environmentally sustainable way. Doing so could require drastic changes in production and in shopper expectations to get companies and people to embrace more expensive, longer-lasting gadgets.
Check this out llama walking on the beach in the Bay Area. The dogs seem confused about their strange new friend, who is named Chubby.
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