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Technology 11 January 2021

The Week in Internet News: U.K. Investigating Google Chrome’s Privacy Push

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

No more cookies: Google’s Chrome browser has announced a plan to replace tracking cookies with a system that shares less information with advertisers, but the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority is worried that more user privacy would have a “significant impact” on news websites and on the digital advertising market, the BBC reports. The agency has warned that publishers’ profits could drop if they no longer run personalized advertisements.

A vulgar display of content: The Chinese National Office Against Pornographic and Illegal Publications has fined short video app Douyin, a sister app to TikTok, for spreading “obscene, pornographic and vulgar information,” the South China Morning Post says. The app was fined “tens of thousands of yuan,” the regulator said. Regulators said they received more than 900 reports related to pornographic and vulgar content on Douyin in the past year.

The sports car Internet: Gigabit Internet service is coming to rural Kansas and Missouri with funding from the Federal Communications Commission’s Rural Digital Opportunity Fund, FlatlandKC.org reports. The site compared gigabit speeds to a fast sports car. The FCC has selected 180 winning bidders to receive $9.2 billion in funding to provide increased Internet access to 5.2 million unserved homes and businesses in 49 states. The new service is expected to be deployed over the next six years.

Locked out: Facebook and Twitter locked out U.S. President Donald Trump from his accounts after election protests that he encouraged turned violent on 6 January, NPR reports. Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, and five people, including a police officer died during the riots. Meanwhile, Shopify, an e-commerce site that hosted two Trump merchandise sites, has taken down both of them and terminated its relationship with the Trump organization, the Independent says.

The spy in your phone: Al Jazeera, the Qatari state-owned news site, investigates the hacking of a mobile phone owned by one of its journalists and finds the Pegasus spyware made by Israeli technology NSO Group. Governments in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have used the spyware to spy on people, the site says.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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