WhatsApp users get more control over group chats

NEW DELHI: WhatsApp is introducing new privacy settings that will force people to seek consent from users before adding them to chat groups. The move addresses concerns around privacy that the government had been raising for over six months, and assumes importance in the election season.

As people turn to groups for important conversations, users have asked for more control over their experience. Today, we’re introducing a new privacy setting and invite system to help you decide who can add you to groups,” the Facebook-owned chat app said in a statement on Wednesday.
A spokesperson for WhatsApp termed the move a “significant change”. “We are updating the feature to a subset of users and expanding the feature from there. We’re starting in India today with beta users and will expand from there. We encourage users to update their app to the latest version,” said the spokesperson.

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Google knows about you even if you don’t use its products

Google’s sheer ubiquity means the tech giant has ample opportunity to collect data on you, whether you like it or not. Here’s a look at how much Google knows about you and what it does with that data.

Active collection: When consumers consciously interact with a Google product and provide it with personal information, like signing up for Gmail or using Search.

Passive collection: The less obvious method that sometimes collects data without user’s knowledge, including apps running in the background, Google’s advertising tools and its operating system Android.

With the above two methods across its many products, Google is able to learn about our behaviour, both online and in the real word, and build a comprehensive profile on us.

And combined with its expansive reach, with billions using at least one of their products every day, Google not only personalises your user experience but it’s also able to mint money from targeted ads based on data it has collected on your activities and interests.

More than 80% of Google’s total revenue comes just from its ad business. In the last quarter, the company earned $32.6 billion from ads and just $6.6 billion from other sources.

Google collects enough location data to tell if you’re walking, running or in a moving vehicle. On your commute to work if you take a Metro, Google Maps tracks your location with GPS coordinates of your IP address. It can also use nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi access points to track you.

Your search history is recorded by Google and is used to identify your interests and recomment similar content or specifically target you with ads.

The music app records the type of music you’re interested in to build its profile on you to send targeted ads.
Google Pay not only has your debit and credit card details, it also collects specifics of your transactions like the products you bought, how many times you purchased, and names and locations of the merchants. This is used to send you targeted ads.

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Madras High Court directs Centre to prohibit Tik Tok download

CHENNAI: The Madurai Bench of the Madras High Court has directed the Central Government to prohibit the download of Chinese video share mobile application Tik Tok on grounds that it serves as a platform for the distribution of explicit and inappropriate content likely to harm children.

A division bench comprising justice N and justice SS Sundar have also directed media organizations in the interim order to not “telecast the videos made using the Tik Tok mobile app.,” besides directing the Centre to respond on whether a legislation similar to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, as in the US, can be brought in India.

“It is said that Tik Tok App., is mostly played by the teenagers and young people and it has proved to be an addictive one. “It is said that Tik Tok App., is mostly played by the teenagers and young people and it has proved to be an addictive one. By becoming addicted to Tik Tok App., and similar Apps., or cyber games, the future of the youngsters and mind set of the children are spoiled,” the court observed in its interim order delivered on Wednesday. The petition, which has sought the banning of Tik Tok, has been posted for further hearing on April 16.

Tik Tok is owned by Chinese internet firm Bytedance. In February, Tamil Nadu Information Technology minister M Manigandan had told the Assembly that a recommendation will be made to the Centre to consider banning Tik Tok in the state.

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