There’s No Escaping From Google Collecting Your Data Or Tracking Your Location

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It is no new information, that Google has a lot of our data, but, it was only last week that we learnt that Google tracks our location even when we believe that we’ve disabled the option for Google to do so.

While we’ve tried to figure how Google tracks us and what measures can we take to prevent it from doing so, a new study says that it is almost impossible to escape Google’s data collection and location tracking practices as we perform our regular, day to day activities over the internet.

According to a report published by The Washington Post on 21 August, Computer science professor Douglas C Schmidt at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, led a research which found that a stationary Android phone, with the Chrome browser active in the background, communicates location information to Google 340 times during a 24-hour period. This means an average of 14 times per hour. 35 percent of all this data, is location information.

It was further revealed in the study, that Android and Chrome platforms are critical vehicles for Google’s data collection. Also, if you were to compare Android and iOS, a stationary Android device sends with Google nearly 10 times more data as an Apple device sends data to Apple servers.

If you are not using a Google device, or Google, simply due to the presence of Google’s advertising technologies, it is difficult, and almost impossible to escape the company from collecting your data.

If you read further into the study, you can gather the different techniques that Google has adopted for collecting data, such as Google Maps, Hangouts chat, YouTube, and also the DoubleClick Ad Network. The DoubleClick Ad Network is the business owned by Google that lets online publishers display adverts on their websites. The research points out that it tracks a user’s activity on the third-party web pages.

Comprehending a lot of this can be tough. Schmidt says that “these products are able to collect user data through a variety of techniques that may not be easily graspable by a general user… A major part of Google’s data collection occurs while a user is not directly engaged with any of its products.”

When approached by The Washington Post, Google said that the information in the study was “misleading.”

“This report is commissioned by a professional DC lobbyist group and written by a witness for Oracle in their ongoing copyright litigation with Google. So, it’s no surprise that it contains wildly misleading information,” said Google.

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Independence Day Special: How The Indian National Flag ‘Tiranga’ Came To Its Present Design

Teaser-flag

The Indian National Flag or the beloved tricolor that we unfurl every year proudly on Independence Day and Republic Day has come through a long process of several edits and reiterations. The Indian National Flag has a very interesting history behind its design, colour and significance. The National Flag is a banner, an ideal which depicts our sovereignty and our independence. The National Flag is the most respected national symbols and depicts the freedom of all Indian subjects and the country from any dominant foreign rule. The current flag that we use was designed by Pingali Venkayya who was an Indian freedom fighter and is one of the unsung heroes of Indian freedom struggle. The National Flag is popularly called the ‘Tiranga’ which means ‘tricoloured’ or made of ‘three colours’ and has evolved from several flags which were its predecessors.

The Indian National Flag represents India’s long struggle for freedom. The flag came into being in its present form at the meeting of Constituent Assembly held on July 22, 1947 and it became the official flag of the Dominion of India on August 15, 1947. The National Flag is based on the Swaraj flag, a flag of the Indian National Congress also designed by Pingali Venkayya. By law the National Flag should be made of khadi and was previously forbidden to be used by common Indian citizens other than on Independence Day and Republic Day. However, following an appeal from Naveen Jindal, the Supreme Court of India directed the Indian Government to amend the code to allow flag usage by private citizens.

Like our country, our National Flag also has a rich history that dates back to pre-independence era. Let’s look at some of the flags that were used during the pre-independence era and were the predecessor of our present National Flag. Pingali Venkayya 141st Birth Anniversary: Tributes Pour In For the Designer of Indian National Flag

1.Sister Nivedita’s Flag (1904-1906)

1.Sister Nivedita’s Flag (1904-1906)

Source: tourheaven.blogspot.com

It was during 1904-1906 that the first Indian flag came into existence. It was made by Sister Nivedita, an Irish disciple of Swami Vivekananda. The flag came to be known as Sister Nivedita’s flag. The flag comprised of red and yellow colour and had a figure of ‘vajra’, the weapon of Lord Indra and a white lotus in the middle. The flag had the words ‘Bonde Matoram’ in Bengali written on it. The red and the yellow colour signified freedom and victory whereas the ‘vajra’ symbolized strength.

2.Calcutta Flag (1906)

2.Calcutta Flag (1906)

Source: Wikimedia Commons

After Sister Nivedita’s flag, the Calcutta flag introduced the idea of a tricolor for the first time. The flag had three horizontal stripes of blue, yellow and red. It had eight differently shaped star aligned in a straight line on the top most blue stripe. ‘Vande Mataram’ was written on the yellow part and  a sun and a crescent moon with a star was on the red stripe at the bottom.

3.Early Nationalist Flags (1906-1907)

3.Early Nationalist Flags (1906-1907)

Source:Wikipedia Commons

In 1906 another flag came into existence which was hoisted on August 7, 1906 at an anti-partition rally in Parsee Bagan Square in Kolkata. This tricolor is believed to have been designed by Sachindra Prasad Bose and Sukumar Mitra. It had three stripes of green, yellow and red from top to bottom. The top most green band had eight lotus flowers representing the eight provinces, the middle yellow stripe bore the words ‘Vande Mataram’ and the lowermost band had a crescent moon on the left and a sun on the right side.

4.The Berlin Committee Flag (1907)

4.The Berlin Committee Flag (1907)

Source: Wikipedia Commons

The Belin Committee Flag was collectively designed by Madame Bhikaji Cama, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar (Veer Savarkar) and Shyamji Krishna Varma. The flag was first unfurled in Stuttgrat, Germany by Madame Cama on August 22, 1907 and was the first Indian flag to be hoisted on foreign soil. The flag was also a tricolor but introduced the colour saffron for the first time. The top most band was of orange colour with eight lotuses, yellow was in the middle with words Vande Mataram and green at the bottom with symbols of the sun and moon.

saptarshi-flag

Source: dvpjal.wordpress.com

Another version of the flag was also released with one lotus and seven stars. The seven stars signified the Saptarishi constellation.

5.The Home Rule Flag (1917)

5.The Home Rule Flag (1917)

Source: Wikipedia

The Home Rule Movement had a separate flag which was propounded by Bal Gangadhar Tilak to demand the status of a Dominion within the British Empire like Australia and New Zealand. The flag was a red-green striped one with the Union Jack at the upper left hand corner and seven stars in the middle. The stars were placed as the stars in the Saptarishi constellation. The flag also had a crescent moon and and a star at top right corner.

6.Mahatma Gandhi’s flag (1921)

6.Mahatma Gandhi’s flag (1921) Gandhis-flag-introduced-at-the-Indian-National-Congress-meeting-in-1921

Source: Wikipedia

In 1921, Mahatma Gandhi proposed a tricolour flag with the ‘charkha’ or a spinning wheel at its centre. The colours of the flag represented the dominant religions of the country with a message of promoting religious harmony. However, the colour of the flag was not agreed upon and further changes were sought. The lowermost stripe of red represented sacrifice, the middle green stripe represented hope and the topmost white stripe represented peace. The flag was introduced at the Indian National Congress meeting in 1921.

7.The Swaraj Flag (1923- 1947)

7.The Swaraj Flag (1923- 1947) The-Swaraj-Flag-officially-adopted-by-the-Congress-in-1931

Source: Wikipedia

The previous flag was not well-liked by the public and the leaders since it was interpreted with a communal angle. The colours of the flag were changed to saffron, white and green. The saffron colour was chosen to showcase both the Hindu yogis and Muslim darvesh. The white band in the middle stood for other religious communities. It was the first official flag of India and was designed by Pingali Venkayya. The symbol of ‘charkha’ was retained to symbolize the Swadeshi movement.

8.The flag of sovereign India (1947)

8.The flag of sovereign India (1947)

When India attained Independence, a committee headed by Dr. Rajendra Prasad was formed to select the National Flag of India. The committee adopted the Swaraj Flag with a slight change as the flag of independent India. The ‘charkha’ in the middle was replaced by the Ashoka Chakra and hence our present National Flag came into existence. The significance of the colours was also changed. The saffron band came to denote courage and selflessness, the white stood for purity, peace and truth, the green stripe for faith, fertility and prosperity and the Ashoka Chakra symbolized the rule of dharma.

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APPLE INFORMS TRAI THAT THE NEXT IOS UPDATE WILL ALLOW USERS TO REPORT SPAM CALLS

India’s telecom regulator and Apple have been at loggerheads for nearly a year now on the inclusion of TRAI’s DND (do not disturb) app on the latter’s app store”

Apple FaceIDTech titan Apple has informed telecom regulator TRAI that the new version of its operating system includes a feature that would allow users to report unwanted messages and calls as spam, sources said.

The issue of reporting unsolicited telemarketing calls and messages has been a major bone of contention between the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India and the US-based company.

According to sources, Apple in its letter dated June 19 said it has recently announced a new feature in iOS 12 (its operating system) to enhance spam SMS and call reporting. This new capability, the company said, provides developers with the ability to create an app extension that allows users to report both unwanted messages and calls as spam.

To report the unsolicited communication, the user will have to enable an Unwanted Communication extension in the Settings app, it added.

However, iOS and Apple’s app store review guidelines still do not allow a mobile app to transmit a customer’s personally-identifiable information and usage history to a third-party automatically, without the user directing that action.

Sources, who have seen the letter, said Apple has argued that doing so would open the door to users being tracked by third parties without their knowledge and may expose them to harm.

A senior TRAI official, who did not wish to be named, confirmed that Apple has sent a letter, saying that it is building functionalities in iOS version 12 to enable handling of complaints related to spam and pesky calls.

Apple did not comment on a query mailed by PTI on the issue.

India’s telecom regulator and Apple have been at loggerheads for nearly a year now on the inclusion of TRAI’s DND (do not disturb) app on the latter’s app store.

Trai Chairman R S Sharma has, in the past, termed as “unreasonable” Apple’s stance of not allowing the regulator’s pesky call reporting app on its platform, asserting that the issue is about giving users control over their own data and not one of privacy.

TRAI’s pesky call app allows users to flag telemarketing calls and unsolicited messages directly to the regulator. Google’s Android operating system already supports the app. Apple is believed to have resisted listing of the app on its platform citing privacy concerns.

TRAI had also maintained that its rules on curbing pesky calls do not target any specific player or operating system, and has advocated giving consumers the freedom to report unsolicited commercial communications or complain about them to the sector regulator.

Defending the DND app, Sharma today said that it did not ask for access to all call logs, but rather allows the users to share only details of unsolicited calls or messages.

“Unnecessarily, people are given an impression that our app is asking for wholesale permission to access contacts and call logs…,” Sharma said.

To a specific query on the embroglio with Apple, the outgoing TRAI chief said the regulator “does not fight any pitched battles with anybody” but declined to discuss the issue at length.

Meanwhile, TRAI today announced that two of its mobile apps — do not disturb app that reports pesky calls and Mycall app that measures call quality — will be available on UMANG platform.

UMANG provides a single platform for various e-governance apps and citizen-centric services by the Centre and local administrations.

Presently, UMANG has more than 50 lakh downloads and TRAI apps individually have over 4 lakh downloads, and the integration would increase reach of the regulator’s apps.

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7 Success Secrets Every Entrepreneur Must Eventually Learn

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5 Hilarious Fables Teach Valuable Lessons That Everyone Should Know

5 Hilarious Fables Teach Valuable Lessons That Everyone Should Know 015 Hilarious Fables Teach Valuable Lessons That Everyone Should Know 025 Hilarious Fables Teach Valuable Lessons That Everyone Should Know 035 Hilarious Fables Teach Valuable Lessons That Everyone Should Know 045 Hilarious Fables Teach Valuable Lessons That Everyone Should Know 05

Old but still valid…Mouth Shut!

Fun & Joy!

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GDPR vs. ePrivacy: The 3 differences you need to know

GDPR_Header

After months of waiting, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect on May 25, 2018, and user inboxes were flooded with emails alerting them of changes to company privacy policies. However, even though the world has (mostly) accepted GDPR and kept moving forward, that isn’t the end of EU privacy regulations for the tech industry.

On the heels of GDPR comes the ePrivacy regulation, a separate regulation that focuses on ensuring individual privacy as it relates to electronic communications. While the final draft of the ePrivacy regulation didn’t make it out in time to release with GDPR, it is in the works and expected to release soon.

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As such, it is important that companies understand the different ways in which the GDPR and ePrivacy regulations will affect their business. Here are the three differences that business leaders and professionals need to know.

1. ePrivacy specifically covers electronic communications

9-26-2014-12-30-30-PMWhile the GDPR is the general regulation for personal data stored or used by a company, ePrivacy is lex specialis to GDPR when it comes to communications. What that means is that, when a data privacy issue is raised regarding communications, regulators will default to ePrivacy for that given instance. The two are meant to complement one another.

The ePrivacy regulation is an update to the standing ePrivacy Directive, which was originally put into place to guarantee “right to privacy in the electronic communication sector,” according to the directive. The directive originally focused mainly on email and SMS messages, but the proposed regulation would also address data privacy in services like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Skype, along with Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

Additionally, the ePrivacy regulation will also protect metadata associated with electronic communications as well.

2. ePrivacy includes non-personal data

iStock-168621112-700x524GDPR is laser-focused on the protection of personal data, but the ePrivacy regulation is focused more broadly on the confidentiality of communications, “which may also contain non-personal data and data related to a legal person,” the proposal states.

The original ePrivacy Directive is often referred to as the “cookie law” because it imposed the need for informed consent before a firm could track an internet user with cookies. The regulation will add new clarifications and simplifications for the consent rule, along with other new tools for protecting against unwanted communication tracking and more.

3. They have different legal precedents

Which-Bitcoin-Legal-Precedents-Were-Set-in-2016Both GDPR and the proposed ePrivacy regulation reflect similar aspects of privacy, but they do so from the perspective of different legal charters.

As noted in the proposal itself, the basis for the ePrivacy regulation are Article 16 and Article 114 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. However, it also reflects part of Article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights: “Everyone has the right to respect for his or her private and family life, home and communications.”

GDPR, on the other hand, is based on Article 8 of the European Charter of Human Rights, which states: “Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.” However, for ePrivacy, the proposal notes that the meaning and scope of Article 7 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights shall be regarded in the same way as Article 8 from the European Charter of Human Rights.

Thank you techrepublic.com

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11 ways to hit inbox zero

Keeping your email inbox completely empty can help decrease distractions and increase productivity.

zero-inboxIt’s common knowledge that professionals tend to be on the lookout for ways to increase efficiency and productivity, whether that’s through a company-wide effort or in a personal space like their email inbox. It’s also common knowledge that professionals receive a lot of email.

Enter inbox zero. Developed by productivity expert Merlin Mann, inbox zero is a way to manage email by keeping the primary inbox empty. Instead of having several emails waiting in the inbox, the concept encourages professionals to either act on or organize emails into subfolders.

“Aiming for inbox zero makes life far less stressful, and once it’s achieved it’s easy to maintain,”

Here are 11 ways business professionals achieve and maintain inbox zero.

1. Get an early start

Begins each day with about 30 minutes of going through emails. The early start, along with working on emails periodically throughout the day, helps reduce inbox anxiety and push business forward. Try it!

2. Try out some plug-ins

A variety of tools and plug-ins exist to help better manage emails. Boomerang, which lets people set times for emails to reappear in their inbox. The tool essentially allows a user to delete an email until they truly need it, and can help schedule necessary follow-ups.

3. Utilize filters

What is your zero inbox method

Set up filters to automatically send emails with certain words in the subject or from specific senders into folders. This could also act as a catch-all spot for newsletters or social media notifications that you don’t need to get to immediately.

“The most important thing you can do to avoid inbox clutter is to prevent messages that don’t require your action or immediate attention from reaching your inbox in the first place,” .

“Your inbox should only hold important emails. Think of it as a sacred space.”

4. Only leave emails you need to deal with in your main inbox

“You don’t strew every single piece of business paperwork across your desk, so you shouldn’t do the same with your email client,” .

“Emails that don’t require action, or have already been dealt with, should be dragged immediately to their subfolders.”

5. Check email on your mobile device

A key part of achieving inbox zero is deleting emails, and a person can delete a lot of their emails after a quick glance or reply. Use brief periods of downtime, like waiting in a line, to get rid of emails.

6. Set up keyboard shortcuts

David Emerson, Deputy CISO at Cyxtera Technologies, uses custom keyboard shortcuts to quickly move emails from the inbox to popular subfolders. Shortcut setup depends on what computer software you use—here’s how to set them up on OS X El Capitan.

7. Have a tab or folder for everything

inboxzeroThe goal of inbox zero is to have your primary inbox empty, but additional tabs or folders are fair game. Most people who subscribe to inbox zero use these to organize different kinds of emails, ranging from action categories to a holding spot for shipping notifications. Think of what folders you need the most, and create them.

8. Answer your emails right away

“I don’t just skim through my box for fires that I need to put out,” Sylvie Stacy, a physician fulfillment expert, said. “I read each email deliberately and then stop and think, ‘Can I take whatever action is needed right here and now, in the amount of time I have available?’ If the answer is yes, then I do it. Otherwise, I make a plan to address it later, which might involve putting an item on my to do list.”

9. Rely on the archive button

Archive emails and trust that you’ll be able to find an email later via the search bar, several professionals said.

“I’ve learned to trust the search function,” entrepreneurship writer Fiona Adler said. “Years ago, searching didn’t work well and some of us came up with elaborate filing systems for our email. With today’s technology, there’s no need to do this.”

10. Don’t use the inbox as a to-do list

Treating your inbox as a to-do list nearly guarantees emails will always be there. Instead, read the email and figure out the best course of action. If there is an appointment to be made or task to be completed, create the appointment or task in a separate area.

11. Learn to be OK with deleting

Email-content-might-be-deleted-if-its-unoptimized-for-mobile-350x350“It’s amazing how many people equate deleting emails with some sort of mass personal affront – and instead take the time to meticulously file away those old meeting briefs, dial in reminders, and pictures of cats”. 

“If you’re never going to re-read an email don’t store it in your inbox, bin it now.”

Inbox-zero-1

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