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As Epic case begins, senior Google engineer undermines one of Apple’s arguments

Epic case begins with Google undermining key argument

On the day that the Apple/Epic case begins, a senior Google engineer has used a blog post to undermine a key part of the Cupertino company’s antitrust defense.

Apple denies that the iOS App Store amounts to a monopoly, for two reasons. First, it says that developers can create apps for other platforms, like Android and games consoles. Second, it argues that those who want to reach iPhone users can simply create web apps. It is this latter claim that has come under fire …

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Comment: Google’s scattered approach to App Store Privacy Labels leaves users in the dark

google privacy labels

Two weeks ago, a report from Fast Company highlighted that Google had suspiciously not updated the vast majority of its iOS apps since December 7, a day before Apple required developers to provide a privacy report for every app available on the App Store. Following that report, Google quickly fired back and said it would start updating its iOS apps with the privacy labels as soon as that same week, the week of January 4.

Two weeks later, Google still hasn’t updated the vast majority of its iOS applications with these privacy labels, including its popular apps such as Gmail and YouTube. Even if Google has no mal-intent, this scattershot approach is leaving users puzzled and concerned.

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Report speculates that Google hasn’t updated its iOS apps in weeks to avoid providing privacy details

google privacy labels

Apple officially rolled out its new App Privacy labels on the App Store last month, requiring developers to provide detailed privacy information about what data is collected from users. Interestingly, Fast Company has spotted that Google has not updated any of its iOS applications since the new App Privacy details became mandatory.

Update: Google says it will add these privacy labels as soon as this week.

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Apple is holding Google in check when it comes to web privacy

Web privacy – Apple influence

Business Insider has an interesting look at the battle for web privacy — and how Apple is effectively keeping Google’s data-grabbing ambitions in check across the web as a whole.

New web standards are agreed by the World Wide Web Consortium, also known as the W3C. In theory, each member organization gets one vote, but the site’s Shona Ghosh argues that the reality is somewhat different…

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How to export Google Photos to iCloud Photos walkthrough

Bummed free unlimited storage is ending? Here’s how to export Google Photos to iCloud Photos

After launching in 2015 with free unlimited storage and marketing the service around that key feature, Google Photos has become a popular option even for Apple users. However, that’s all changing as the company announced that the free unlimited storage is ending come 2021. Read on for how to export Google Photos to iCloud Photos.

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Apple search engine efforts ‘stepping up’ as Google deal under threat – FT

Apple search engine speculation heightened with iOS 14

Speculation about plans for an Apple search engine to compete with Google has been around for many years now, ever since the company was first seen to be using its own web crawler back in 2014. Apple confirmed the existence of the Applebot crawler in 2015.

A report in the Financial Times claims that Apple is now ‘stepping up’ efforts to create its own search engine as its lucrative deal with Google comes under threat …

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New CDC criteria points to Apple and Google contact tracing system as a ‘preferred’ choice

Apple Google COVID-19 contact-tracing

The CDC has shared a new document today that covers some of the minimum as well as preferred criteria for digital contact tracing apps. No surprise here but Apple and Google’s exposure notification system lines up with many of the “preferred” criteria elements and looks like it will offer a good choice for local health authorities as they develop apps and start to release them this month.



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iPhone and Android COVID-19 contact tracing FAQ: What govt. sees, where data is stored, more

Apple Google COVID-19 contact-tracing

Apple and Google announced their partnership two weeks ago to develop contract-tracing via Bluetooth in iOS and Android. Last week we shared details about how it will work and roll out, and today we’ve got answers to frequently asked questions about COVID-19 contact tracing for iOS and Android as well as updates on the Bluetooth and cryptography specifications.


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First version of Apple/Google contact tracing API will be available on April 28

Tim Cook held talks with European Commissioner Thierry Breton yesterday regarding the upcoming contact tracing frameworks, that Apple and Google are jointly collaborating on. The companies announced a privacy-preserving API that allows devices to be notified when another user’s device who reports positive for COVID-19 was in close proximity, based on Bluetooth, without sharing the identities of said user.

However, some governments want more data like location information and user identification. Breton said that tech companies should do everything possible to develop solutions for the national use cases, but did not mention specific cases. As reported by iGeneration, Cook also announced a new date for the rollout of the contact tracing API.



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Comment: Apple really needs to spell out the contact tracing privacy features

Coronavirus contact tracing privacy features 1

If there’s one thing that’s become abundantly clear since Apple and Google’s API partnership, it’s that the coronavirus contact tracing privacy protections need to be spelled out in terms that non-technical people (even POTUS) can understand.

The two companies have gone to pains to explain that privacy was top priority in the design of the application programming interface, but mainstream media reports and conversations with non-techy friends have made it obvious that many don’t understand why apps that use this can be trusted …



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iPhone and Android COVID-19 contact-tracing: Public health authority apps only, can be disabled by region, multiple iOS updates required

Apple Google COVID-19 contact-tracing

Last week Apple and Google announced a group effort to introduce a single contact-tracing system that works with both iOS and Android. The development is the latest in an ongoing effort to stop the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.

The concept is simple — at least as far as contact-tracing systems go. iPhones already use Bluetooth for all sorts of features like AirDrop and streaming music to AirPods. Starting in mid-May, Bluetooth will also be used as a tool to help detect exposure to COVID-19 before symptoms are even present.



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Here’s how Apple and Google’s COVID-19 contact tracing API could be implemented to help reopen society

apple google contract tracing implemented

Apple and Google announced a collaboration to release a COVID-19 contact tracing API at the end of last week. It will enable health departments around the country to release apps to track and contain the pandemic but there are still privacy and security concerns even though Apple and Google have described how the approach will work anonymously via Bluetooth as well as questions about how it will all roll out to users. Here are a couple of ways we could see health departments across the US implement Apple and Google’s contact tracing API in iOS and Android apps to move us closer to reopening society (or at least portions of it).



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Apple-Google coronavirus API sees weakened adoption plan and criticisms in UK

Apple-Google coronavirus API weakened plan in UK

The UK’s National Health Service has announced plans to adopt the Apple-Google coronavirus API jointly announced last week, but in a weakened form.

Even without the UK’s planned compromise, the idea of this type of contact tracing has come under criticism from a University of Cambridge computing professor …



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Amazon and Google smart speakers can eavesdrop and phish owners; HomePod safe

Some smart speakers can eavesdrop and phish

We’ve known since the spring of last year that Amazon Alexa and Google Home smart speakers can eavesdrop on owners, and even phish them via voice. However, new research shows that new malicious apps with these capabilities continue to be approved by both companies.

The two vulnerabilities, demonstrated in videos below, occur because both companies make their speakers smarter by allowing third-party developers to create apps or “skills” for them. Apple’s HomePod is safe because the company doesn’t allow this type of third-party access…



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