LONDON -- Germany’s top antitrust enforcer, Andreas Mundt, recently asked a room full of lawyers, academics and regulators to imagine a wall filled with their personal information collected by Facebook and Google. He told them to picture it stocked with their data broken up into categories like finances, location, relationships and hobbies. “That is you,” Mundt said. “And I promise you this wall knows you better than your wife.” Few listened to Mundt when, a few years ago, he began raising alarms about the data collected by the tech giants. While online services like Facebook and Google did not charge a dime, people paid a high price by giving the compa nies so many personal details, he argued. And the people had no choice, because the companies had no real competitors. But in February, his agency ruled that Facebook had broken the country’s law and demanded that the company stop automatically sharing data among the services it owns, like Instagram … [Read more...] about Personal data at the center of fight vs Facebook, Google
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SINGAPORE: During Chinese New Year last year, retiree Kenneth Tang wanted to visit his sister-in-law at her home in Upper Bukit Timah, in a relatively secluded area he was unfamiliar with.Instead of getting driving directions with a few taps of his smartphone, the 64-year-old sat in his living room, put on his reading glasses and studied the route on the pages of his 2018 street directory.“I think GPS is more convenient and better in many ways, but I use road directories because I can have a better idea of how to get to the place I am going to,” he told CNA.Mr Tang said the directory allows for more flexible alternative route planning in the event of congestion, and gives a clearer picture of nearby car parks – crucial for peak times when every lot has been snapped up.“I use road directories also because I have been using it for years, long before GPS was available,” he added. “My friends and I who are from the older generation have been … [Read more...] about In the age of online maps, who needs street directories anymore?
For years, fixed mobile plan contracts by Singtel, StarHub, and M1 locked you in for a period of 12- to 24-months with no way to switch telcos or plans without paying a hefty early termination penalty. How did they attract you to sign up with them? The main tactic was to dangle the latest smartphone at an attractive upfront "discount" - provided you sign up or recontract with them, locking you in again for another 24 months. Obviously, it wasn't really a discount - the cost of the smartphone was really just spread out over monthly instalments. But thanks to the entry of new players such as My Republic, Zero, Circles.Life, Zero.1 and TPG, a myriad of flexible smartphone plans at attractive rates are now available with minimum lock-in period. This means consumers are now spoilt for choice when it comes to choosing the most affordable and cost-efficient mobile plans for their needs. This has forced the traditional incumbents - StarHub, M1 and SingTel - to also up their game, and in the … [Read more...] about Best SIM-only plans for light, moderate, and heavy data users
Online lending apps probed for shaming delinquents Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) - May 22, 2019 - 12:00am MANILA, Philippines — The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has initiated an investigation of 48 online lending applications that allegedly shamed borrowers who failed to settle their obligations on time. Privacy commissioner Raymund Liboro said they have received over 400 complaints from borrowers over alleged misuse of their personal information, including disclosure of their unpaid balances to other people. “Over the past few months, we received almost identical complaints that pile up by the day from individuals accusing online lending apps of rude practices. Complainants say the harassment and shaming started when they failed to pay their balances on time,” Liboro told a press briefing yesterday. “The people behind the lending app called or texted their contact list about their inability to … [Read more...] about Online lending apps probed for shaming delinquents
WASHINGTON: U.S. lawmakers drafting a bill to create rules governing online privacy hope to have a discussion draft complete by late May with a Senate committee vote during the summer, but disputes are likely to push that timetable back, according to sources knowledgeable about the matter.The issue is of huge concern to advertisers and tech companies, like Facebook and Alphabet's Google, which provide free online services to consumers but derive revenues from advertising targeted to consumers based on preferences identified via data collection.Democratic Senators Richard Blumenthal, Brian Schatz and Maria Cantwell are leading the effort to draft the measure along with Republican Senators Jerry Moran and Roger Wicker.The Senate's No. 2 Republican, John Thune, who chairs the Commerce Committee until January, has joined the working group, Thune confirmed.The senators involved in the privacy working group, including Thune and Cantwell, were meeting in Thune’s Capitol Hill office … [Read more...] about US lawmakers struggle to draft online privacy bill