AT&T Mobility has stopped adding an undetectable and undeletable tracking ID into its customers' mobile Internet browsing activity that could be used by the carrier or advertisers to build up a profile of a users' mobile Web usage. Verizon Wireless is still using the program, which has been dubbed a "super cookie" because it is more powerful than a regular Web tracking cookie that users can delete.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is raising questions about the profiling technologies used by Verizon's Precision Market Insights division. Verizon's Precision Market Insights creates anonymous profiles of Verizon users, including its wireless users, which it then sells to advertisers. The advertisers can use the data to create more targeted online advertisements.
HALF MOON BAY, Calif.--Wickr, a secure messaging application that encrypts data from end to end and lets users destroy messages they receive, hopes to be the platform that powers similar messaging capabilities for Facebook Messenger, Snapchat and many other messaging services, according to CEO Nico Sell.
Apple CEO Tim Cook on Wednesday met in Beijing with Ma Kai, China's vice premier, according to Chinese state news agency Xinhua, and "exchanged views on protection of users' information." The meeting came just days after a report emerged that indicated Chinese-based hackers had attacked users of Apple's iCloud cloud storage service in the country.
AT&T said it fired an employee who gained unauthorized access to personal information on around 1,600 customers, including their Social Security and driver's license numbers. Nearly all of the customers affected were wireless customers, according to AT&T.
Apple put a major new focus on how it safeguards its users' private information and launched a website to keep its customers better informed of how their data is stored and protected. Meanwhile, amid concerns that its new iPhones and forthcoming Apple Watch wearable device will be collecting reams of health data, the company reportedly sent emissaries to quell concerns in Congress.
AT&T Mobility is shutting down its location-based "Alerts" text-message-based marketing program at the end of the month and plans to release an updated version of the service later this year.
The National Security Agency and its British counterpart, the Government Communications Headquarters, have been targeting smartphone applications as part of a years-long surveillance effort to gather data such as a smartphone users' locations and the unique identifying characteristics of their phones, according to documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
AT&T is shuttering part of its advertising network that had allowed advertisers to deliver ads based on the behavior of AT&T's mobile subscribers. Instead, the company is focusing on tracking subscriber behavior via its U-verse TV service and other internal platforms.
The National Security Agency has the ability to hack into and access user data on smartphones running software from Apple, Google and BlackBerry, according to a report from German newspaper Der Spiegel.