DuckDuckGo introduces a new tool to its browser to prevent apps from leaving traces on the internet

Most people use google chrome or firefox to browse the internet.
Although firefox is one of the best browsers (for computers and smartphones) there is an even better one (but only for smartphones) from the point of view of privacy: duckduckgo.
Maybe not everyone knows it but duckduckgo is also an alternative search engine to google.
As a search engine I don’t think it is up to par as many search results are not as relevant as google (or bing) but as a search engine it is unsurpassed.

A new tool from DuckDuckGo tries to prevent Android apps from tracking and tracking user data. It’s called App Tracking Protection, and it’s meant to offer greater protection from third-party trackers even over Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature, introduced starting with iOS 14.5, which allows users to disable app tracking.

The news was reported by the same development team, which explains that the tool was not released as an update, nor as a dedicated app. Those who request to try the new anti-tracking tool must download the DuckDuckGo Privacy Browser from the Play Store and enable the feature. The Tracking Protection App will then work at the system level, and not just on the browser, preventing the tracking of data by third-party apps among those installed on the device.

Spotify puts lyrics in songs all over the world: the feature is free for everyone

Spotify has finally launched the feature that allows you to play lyrics in real time worldwide, having only made it available in some countries. The lyrics are provided by Musixmatch, through a database that is expected to cover “over 8 million” of songs. Lyrics on Spotify work on all the updated apps of the streaming music service, including those for iOS, Android, desktop, game consoles and smart TVs. You don’t need the Premium subscription to get them, since even users who log in for free can view them. In addition to using the lyrics out of curiosity or to get help in singing, it is also possible to share them on social media. Spotify claims the feature will be available for the “majority” of its music library. How to view lyrics on Spotify To access the lyrics on compatible songs via mobile app, simply access the “Now Playing” screen of a song and scroll up, while on the desktop there is a new button with a microphone icon. Also from the TV, still in the “Now Playing” screen, it is possible to access the lyrics of the song with the icon in the shape of a microphone.

Telegram could become paid for those who do not want to see advertising

Telegram will not become paid for everyone but only for those who want to avoid advertising that in the next period will also be introduced on the messaging system among the most used in the world. The already announced idea of ​​Pavel Durov, founder of the Telegram platform, is to allow those who want to use Telegram in a completely ” clean ” way without therefore any kind of advertising. For this there will be the ” Premium ” version which will clearly be paid and which will however allow you to have advantages in using the app.

Channel authors will be able to disable official advertisements in their channels for all users. Some channel creators would also like to “disable” ads in their channels. At the moment, as stated by the founder himself, Telegram is calculating the economic conditions for this option. Advertisers will soon be able to place an “invisible” ad in any channel that will not generate ads in that channel.

Cutting off the power that connects the masses who are seeking peace and Liberty!

illustration of Pawel Kuczysnki

Destroying the energy and the means by which the masses and populations can assert their rights and freedoms is the most dictatorial act that can be created, especially if the population is unconscious and dozed off in a state of addiction.
Quite singular is the coincidence of the illustration by the Polish artist depicting the charging socket for smartphones, which coincidentally is not standard for all mobile phones, and which despite the fact that there is now talk of creating a standard socket for all smartphones, still not an agreement is found.

Telegram breaks another record! It has been downloaded and installed on smartphones more than a billion times

Telegram has reached a new record and this time it has done so in the Android platform and in its PlayStore that is the virtual store where all users can download applications. In this case that the application has passed for the first time a milestone that few other applications have reached this Russian during their life and we are talking about the download record on the Google PlayStore.

As reported directly on the Google PlayStore card, Telegram has been downloaded and installed on smartphones for more than a billion times. A staggering figure that few other applications have ever reached in the history of Android and which has certainly also been allowed by the latest downs of Facebook and WhatsApp.

But that’s not the only reason: Telegram over the years has been a shovel of many that no one had been able to formulate messaging in a simple application now. And if everyone has their preferences for the messaging system, it is clear that the functionalities that observe Telegram have not passed, indeed they are precisely those that have resulted in the success that the app has today. We speak clearly of the possibility of creating channels where to send messages to real communities of users, use stickers, customized or even created directly on the portal and then a user friendly aspect that over the years has improved in usability allowing anyone to use chats in fast and safe way.

And we remember, a story of a few weeks ago, as just with the down of Facebook and WhatsApp, Telegram has managed in a few hours to obtain the beauty of over 70 million new users. In short, a success that has no limits, just like the features that the app has and that are coming in the future.

Telegram boom: 70 million new users during WhatsApp outage

The sensational blocking of social networks of the giant Facebook Inc. which includes: Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp has benefited some platforms, in particular Telegram. The Telegram instant messaging platform is WhatsApp’s “alternative” par excellence, both in terms of users and in terms of functionality.

With the inability to use WhatsApp, Messenger and Direct for over 6 hours, users have turned to other platforms such as Telegram which in a single day registered 70 million new users.

“I am proud of how our team has managed unprecedented growth because Telegram has continued to work flawlessly for the vast majority of our users. This is a record increase in user registration and activity” for the service. ” said Pavel Durov, founder of Telegram.

On the other hand, it was not easy to manage the situation, given that the high and unexpected number of active users on the platform created some slowdowns, particularly in the United States. After the return to normal of the Facebook group’s apps, most likely the great majority have returned to using mainly WhatsApp but could have kept Telegram in case of future blackouts.

Mozilla vs Google: Chrome 94 violates user privacy

Google’s releasing a new version of Chrome isn’t generally great news, but Chrome 94 is an exception.

In fact, Google has implemented the Idle Detection API, a programming interface that allows sites to understand if the user who opened one of their pages is still in front of the computer or smartphone (because he is doing something) or if instead is gone.

The detection of the presence of the user is based on the execution of certain actions: it is in fact possible that the user is not interacting with a given site but is in any case using software or another application; in these cases, however, it is present.

If, on the other hand, nothing has happened for a while, or if perhaps the screensaver has started, Chrome believes that the user has moved away and, through that API, can let the sites know.

Although each site must ask for permission to use the data provided by the API, Mozilla believes that its operation creates “an opportunity for surveillance capitalism” as it “invites sites to invade aspects of the physical privacy of users. , to keep data about the user’s physical behavior for a long time, to learn the daily rhythms (such as the lunch break) and to use this data for a proactive psychological manipulation (for example by acting on the sense of hunger, emotions, choices) »as Tantek Çelik explains.

One might think that, given the rivalry between Mozilla and Google (and the ugly situation in terms of popularity that Firefox has been in for some time), the objections have an ulterior motive, beyond protecting the privacy of users.

Despite the objections, Chrome 94 is now a reality, and soon other Chromium-based browsers will integrate its functions, including the Idle Detection API, unless the various development teams decide to eliminate what they do not share.

However, if sites start using it, and considering the fact that Chrome is the most used browser in the world, it is possible that willy-nilly all browsers must adopt the Idle Detection API to ensure full compatibility with all sites.

Android, ‘billions’ of more secure devices within a few months: here’s how Google will do it

Google has announced a very important change regarding the privacy protection of users who are still using devices that are no longer supported by Nino Grasso published on 20 September 2021, at 11:31 am in the Telephony channel GoogleAndroid Google recently announced that it will implement a new privacy protection feature not only on the latest terminals, but also on older devices that are no longer supported. The feature, which will be integrated on “billions of devices” by the end of the year, allows you to automatically restore the permissions of apps that have not been used for months. In this way, the apps installed on smartphones and tablets will no longer have permission to access sensitive device functions (microphones, storage units, geolocation and much more) unless the user chooses to reactivate the permissions following the request. of the same app. The novelty will be implemented on all devices with Android 6.0 (API level 23) or later, and which have Google Play Services installed, up to devices with Android 10 (API level 29). Google explained that “starting from December 2021 the feature will be expanded to billions of devices”, and that it will be “automatically enabled” on all eligible models based on the specifications we have reported above. On these devices, users will be able to access the new settings on automatic permissions reset and enable or disable the feature on the basis of each individual app: “The system will automatically begin to reset the permissions of apps that are no longer used a few weeks after the feature is launched on the device “, explains Big G. Automatic reset of permissions on Android apps, what you need to know The automatic restoration of permissions on Android will be enabled automatically starting in December, with the distribution of the news that will go on until the first quarter of 2022 and should be completed by the second quarter. The new APIs of the “auto-reset” function have already been released to developers in Beta for a few days, and will be proposed – according to current plans – in a “stable” version starting from October. The automatic restoration of permissions on older devices is certainly a welcome change to improve the security of an obsolete device that could contain sensitive data in a minimally invasive way. Google is increasingly trying to tackle the problem – one of the oldest – of its mobile operating system, and in July it had begun to warn users of devices with Gingerbread and below (2.3.7) that they would no longer have access to their own. Google account. Android is now installed on over 3 billion devices around the world, at least based on data released by Google itself during the last Google I / O conference. Securing all Android 6 smartphones, which was released in late 2015, and later, may seem like an impossible task to complete, especially considering that older models are probably no longer supported by their respective manufacturers for some time. Google’s latest move is to eliminate security problems with these devices, or at least reduce them as much as possible.

WhatsApp under indictment, chats are not as secret as Facebook says

Conversations on WhatsApp are protected by end-to-end encryption, as are most of the shared items. However, according to a new long article written by ProPublica, not all messages exchanged on the client, now owned by Facebook, are safe from prying eyes. Facebook or third-party consultants hired by the company, in fact, can read some extracts of the conversations that take place on the platform.

The heavy accusation is brought by the source through a long article that reads how Facebook has been sponsoring for years the use of end-to-end encryption on WhatsApp as a fundamental tool to keep any data exchange that takes place on the service safe. Despite this, the company can gain access to certain parts of the conversation, and ProPublica can say this based on observations made of about a thousand firm’s contract consultants who have reviewed millions of data.
WhatsApp, the accusation: contractors paid to read parts of conversations

These contractors have access to a dedicated Facebook software that is used to monitor private messages on WhatsApp, images and videos, which have been reported by other users: “These contractors have the task of analyzing everything that is displayed on their screen – statements about anything like fraud, spam or child pornography, or even potential terrorist plots – in less than a minute, “an excerpt from the report reads.

It should be noted that the contractors do not have the possibility to read the conversations of the users in full, but only the last five lines of a one-to-one conversation that has been reported by one of the two participants. This modus operandi is also indicated on the client itself when trying to report a conversation as inappropriate. The workers contracted by Facebook to monitor WhatsApp conversations operate in Austin, Dublin, Singapore and Texas, and carry out the monitoring activity as the sole task for the giant of Menlo Park.

If on the one hand it is true that consultants paid by Facebook can access parts of the conversations, on the other hand it is also true that these are sensitive chats reported as inappropriate and potentially dangerous by users. This could clash with the “pro-privacy” narrative spread by Facebook regarding the fact that the company cannot in any way access the contents of the chats due to end-to-end encryption, but in this case the purpose is to make secure conversations for all users.

Carl Woog, communications director for WhatsApp, admitted that the different contractors also have the ability to identify and remove the “worst” abusers. The same monitoring is also done on Facebook and Instagram, since Artificial Intelligence alone cannot be 100% effective to protect the most defenseless users from inappropriate, dangerous or even annoying content.

Facebook promptly responded to the accusations made by ProPublica, and below is an excerpt from the note released:

"We have developed WhatsApp to limit the data we collect to obtain spam and threat prevention tools, thus being able to remove abusive users, even based on the reports we receive from users. This work requires extraordinary effort. from our security experts and the trusted teams we employ, who work tirelessly to help us provide the world with secure private communication. "

The company also specified that “based on the feedback received from users, we are sure that people understand that when a conversation is reported to us, we receive an extract from it to be able to analyze it”.