Grindr sends HIV status to third parties, and some personal data unencrypted

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Hot on the heels of last week’s security issues, dating app Grindr is under fire again for inappropriate sharing of HIV status with advertisers and inadequate security on other personal data transmission. It’s not a good look for a company that says privacy is paramount.

Norwegian research outfit SINTEF analyzed the app’s traffic and found that HIV status, which users can choose to include in their profile, is included in packets sent to Apptimize and Localytics. Users are not informed that this data is being sent.

These aren’t advertising companies but rather services for testing and improving mobile apps — Grindr isn’t selling them this data or anything. The company’s CTO told BuzzFeed News that “the limited information shared with these platforms is done under strict contractual terms that provide for the highest level of confidentiality, data security, and user privacy.” And to the best of my knowledge regulations like HIPAA don’t prevent the company from transmitting medical data provided voluntarily by users to third parties as specified in the privacy policy.

That said, it’s a rather serious breach of trust that something as private as HIV status is being shared in this way, even if it isn’t being done with any kind of ill intentions. The laxity with which this extremely important and private information is handled undermines the message of care and consent that Grindr is careful to cultivate.

Perhaps more serious from a systematic standpoint, however, is the unencrypted transmission of a great deal of sensitive data.

The SINTEF researchers found that precise GPS position, gender, age, “tribe” (e.g. bear, daddy), intention (e.g. friends, relationship), ethnicity, relationship status, language and device characteristics are sent over HTTP to a variety of advertising companies.

Not only is this extremely poor security practice, but Grindr appears to have been caught in a lie. The company told me last week when news of another security issue arose that “all information transmitted between a user’s device and our servers is encrypted and communicated in a way that does not reveal your specific location to unknown third parties.”

At the time I asked them about accusations that the app sent some data unencrypted; I never heard back. Fortunately for users, though unfortunately for Grindr, my question was answered by an independent body, and the above statement is evidently false.

It would be one thing to merely share this data with advertisers and other third parties — although it isn’t something many users would choose, presumably they at least consent to it as part of signing up.

But to send this information in the clear presents a material danger to the many gay people around the world who cannot openly identify as such. The details sent unencrypted are potentially enough to identify someone in, say, a coffee shop — and anyone in that coffee shop with a bit of technical knowledge could be monitoring for exactly those details. Identifying incriminating traffic in logs also could be done at the behest of one of the many governments that have outlawed homosexuality.

I’ve reached out to Grindr for comment and expect a statement soon; I’ll update this post as soon as I receive it.

Mobile – TechCrunch

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Federal Circuit sends Oracle v. Google back for third trial

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The Federal Circuit has ruled for a second time in Oracle v. Google, the software copyright lawsuit over Google’s Android platform. The new decision reverses the district court yet again and sends the case back for a third trial to determine damages for Oracle. In the last trial, Oracle sought almost $ 9 billion in damages.

The litigation has been dragging on for about eight years now, bouncing up and down through appeals and two whole jury trials. It all started because Google wanted to make the Android platform compatible with apps written in the Java language. Rather than license the Java platform from Sun Microsystems, which would allow programs written in Java to run, Google instead chose to write its own version (also known as a…

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Apple’s third large California campus is already built

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Article Image

In January, Apple announced plans to build a new campus in the United States. However, it hasn’t previously said much about AC3, its third major campus development already nearing completion in Silicon Valley. Here’s a look at the more immediate growth occurring in Apple’s backyard as the company works to accommodate an expansion of workers.
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Cloudflare aims to create a “third place” for computing jobs

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Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince. Image courtesy of the company.

This week, Cloudflare introduced its Workers platform to the world as a new form of edge computing. The news is worth taking a closer look at given all the intense focus on edge computing today. For example, the telcos are all pushing forward with their version of edge computing, contained on servers at the edge of their cellular networks.

And not a week goes by without some startup claiming it has a new edge computing platform or tool. Part of the ubiquity of the phrase “edge computing” comes from the fact that every player in the IoT thinks of the edge in a different way.

Sensor companies think of the edge as tiny, battery-powered devices that gather data, while industrial manufacturers consider it a computer on a machine that gathers data from multiple sensors. Intel and Dell think of the edge as a gateway, or as servers on a factory floor. While the telcos — along with content delivery and internet security provider Cloudflare — view the edge as the limits of their own networks.

For Matthew Prince, CEO of Cloudflare, the edge touted by industrialists and sensor folks will eventually disappear. “Any on-premise devices are going away,” he says. Instead, he sees a future where there is device-side computing, back-end computing in the cloud, and what he calls the “third place” of computing, which happens in between those two.

The benefits of such an architecture are that a company can take advantage of computing power that’s geographically closer to the device, and build devices at the edge that are cheaper because they have no need for big CPUs. As an added bonus, because those devices connect through Cloudflare’s network, they aren’t directly on the public internet and as such, have some security protection. The downside to this architecture is that when the internet fails, so do all the programs you have running in the cloud. Basically one might make the trade-off of putting expensive compute chips in an edge device to putting in dual forms of connectivity.

I’m not sure all on-premise devices will go away, especially not in the next five to 10 years, but I do think the idea of having a third place for computing makes sense. Some of the examples Prince offered by way of customer stories really resonate. For example, a company building an edge device designed to take in constant data, such as a thermometer, could send the data to a Cloudflare Worker program that aggregates it and then sends a sample to the cloud for storage or for processing later on. But if the temperature data spikes, the Worker program can take action and send an alert to the end user.

And ideally, that alert would take less time to reach the end user and would be more resilient than a function hosted on the cloud that’s dependent on a single data center location. Another advantage of this approach is that it makes managing the equipment a bit easier. In the temperature sensing example, for instance, the end user just has to buy the sensors tied to the Cloudflare Worker program and put them in his or her location.

As those sensors age, they can be updated remotely and even replaced without having to futz with a gateway box. One of the more challenging aspects of deploying IoT offerings is that provisioning connected devices can be a nightmare of typing in passwords or snapping pictures of QR codes. In this case, devices can arrive pre- provisioned.

What I’d like to see is a robust discussion of the merits of each approach and a clear understanding of their related trade-offs. There’s obviously an opportunity for this version of edge computing with some connected devices, especially those that need to be cheap and easily deployed.

Currently, Cloudflare Workers can be written in Javascript, but support for more languages will be coming. And Prince is also thinking about how to add the concept of state to his edge computing network via some kind of distributed and reliable data store. “That’s what we’ll be talking about next year,” he says.

Stacey on IoT | Internet of Things news and analysis

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Rubicon Project Opens Up Its Guaranteed Private Marketplaces to Third Party DSPs

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MMW learned today that Rubicon Project, the Global Exchange for Advertising, announced it has opened up its exchange to DSPs for programmatic buying in guaranteed private marketplaces.

Google’s DoubleClick Bid Manager is the first DSP to integrate with Rubicon Project’s exchange for programmatic guaranteed buying. Rubicon Project is the only third-party exchange to currently offer programmatic guaranteed buying for all deal types within the DoubleClick Bid Manager Marketplace Interface.

Rubicon Project’s exchange offers a forum for high-quality buyers around the world to transact in private marketplaces with guaranteed inventory and committed volumes. Rubicon Project is providing integrated partners with detailed signals in the bid stream for guaranteed buying in private marketplaces, ensuring that the hundreds of thousands of buyers utilizing DSPs, like DoubleClick Bid Manager, are provided a highly predictable and repeatable process to be best positioned to win the auction.

Paul Cocks, EMEA Head of Product for Inventory & Programmatic Direct at Google commented, “We are constantly looking to identify the most efficient and effective ways to use the power of real-time and data-driven decisions and we are excited to now combine this with access to reserved publisher inventory with Programmatic Guaranteed. As we bring Programmatic Guaranteed to market we look forward to working with many partners who play an important role in facilitating and expanding opportunities for advertisers and publishers to connect and transact in one simple platform.”

Rubicon Project is currently in the process of signing up other major DSPs for guaranteed private marketplace integrations in the near future.

The post Rubicon Project Opens Up Its Guaranteed Private Marketplaces to Third Party DSPs appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Amazon’s NFL series returns for a third season April 27th

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Amazon's sports documentary series All or Nothing is coming back next month for a third season and this time it follows the Dallas Cowboys. The eight-episode season starts off on a handful of positive notes — owner Jerry Jones was elected into the P…
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More than a third of all US adults use Instagram now

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A new Pew Research Center survey finds that 35 percent of US adults use Instagram — an increase of 7 percent from 2016. Other findings confirm most of what we’ve come to know of other social media platforms: Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter tend to be more popular among the young crowd, especially 18 to 24-year-olds. YouTube is the most popular online platform, used by 73 percent of all US adults and 94 percent of those ages 18 to 24. That means virtually all college-aged people consistently watch videos on YouTube.

Facebook also remains at the top of the social media popularity totem pole for most people except those age 65 and above. Its usage has grown since Pew started its surveys in 2012, although the number of US adult Facebook…

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Best Apple Watch Bands and Straps from Third Party Manufacturers

Best Apple Watch Bands for Series 1, 2, and 3

A list of best Apple Watch bands and straps from third-party manufacturers to customize your watch every day with amazing colors and designs. I’m sure you wouldn’t be content with just a couple of watch bands. And why not, Apple Watch is not just an advanced smartwatch loaded with cutting-edge technology but also a gorgeous wearable device which can make an enhanced fashion statement.

Note: These Apple Watch bands perfectly fit on new Apple Watch Series 2 and 3. However, we have created the fresh list of best Apple Watch 3 bands, make sure to check it out.

Best Apple Watch Bands for Series 1, 2, and 3

Looking forward to having a quick look at the best Apple Watch bands? The best thing is that you can buy the cheapest Apple Watch Sport starting $ 349 and upgrade it to stainless steel or leather band at a comparatively low price. Let’s dive ahead to find out more!

Best Apple Watch Bands [Fit Apple Watch Series 1, 2, and 3]

Quick access

#1. eLander

eLander 42mm Apple Watch Band

eLander has been carved out of top-grain leather. The smooth leather texture feels nice to the touch. Metal clasp offers additional security and perfectly fits the Watch slots.

There are multiple cut holes to ensure the watch band fits most wrists. You can pick it in two colors like black and brown. It’s available for both 38mm and 42mm Apple Watch. Lastly, the eLander leather strap comes with lifetime warranty.

USP: Top-grain leather
Price: $ 12.99 on Amazon at the time of writing this.
Buy it from Amazon.com

#2. J&D Tech

J&D Tech Apple Watch Band for Series 1, 2, and 3If you admire high-quality leather band, you should consider J&D Tech watch band. It’s made of genuine leather and has the soft-textured finish. Several precise cut holes make it easier to fit most wrists.

Metal clasp immaculately fits Apple Watch slots. The leather strap is compatible with both 38mm and 42mm models. Moreover, you can pick this durable watch band in seven attractive colors including blue, brown, pink rose, etc.

Price: $ 9.95 on Amazon at the time of writing this.
Buy it from Amazon.com

#3. Wearlizer (Genuine Leather)

Wearlizer Apple Watch Band for Series 1, 2 and 3

Wearlizer is neatly crafted out of genuine leather. With the superior workmanship, it has a professional appeal. The metal adapter allows you to install watch band quickly.

It comes with protective skin to safeguard the screen from scratch. Wearlizer is available for both the models of Apple Watch and comes in more than ten charming color variants to make it a lot easier for you to choose the right fit.

USP: Highly durable
Price: $ 49.99 [$ 12.99 on Amazon while we are writing this.]
Buy it from Amazon

#4. BRG

BRG Apple Watch Band for Series 1, 2, and 3

BRG stainless steel band is beautifully designed and pairs elegantly with the Apple Watch. The top-grade steel mesh augments its appearance and also reinforces its durability.

The strong lugs lock tightly onto the smartwatch. Built-in magnets hold the band securely. As the band comes in multiple attractive colors like Rose Gold, Silver, Black, Gold, Space Gray etc. you can choose the right match for your watch. Aside from colors, BRG watch band comes in both 38mm and 42mm models and is available for 18 month warranty.

USP: Durable steel mesh
Price: $ 18.99 on Amazon at the time of writing this.
Buy it from Amazon

#5. Marge Plus

MARGE PLUS Apple Wath Band for Series 1, 2, and 3

If you love classic design, Marge Plus will instantly win you over at the very first sight. It’s readied with top-grade horse leather. With the bold stitching, it looks very impressive. Metal clasp endows it more stability.

As it’s skin-friendly, you will enjoy wearing the band for long. You have multiple nice color variants like black, brown, dark blue, white, red etc. to pick from. Colors aside, Marge Plus comes for both 38 and 42mm Apple Watch models.

USP: Premium soft top genuine leather
Price: $ 15.99 on Amazon while we are writing this.
Buy it from Amazon

#6. eLander (stainless steel)

eLander Apple Watch Stainless Steel Band for Series 1, 2, and 3

This stainless steel band from eLander is really handsome and perfectly fits the watch. The top-grade material has reinforced its durability, while the refined finish has further enriched its design.

With the double folding clasp, it offers more safety. What’s more, eLander is available in multiple nice-looking color options like rose gold, silver, and space gray to choose from. Besides, you can find it in both the sizes of the Watch.

USP: Double folding clasp
Price: $ 18.99 on Amazon at the time of writing this.
Buy it from Amazon

#7. Wearlizer (stainless steel)

Wearlizer Apple Watch Band for Series 1, 2, and 3

Showcasing fashionable design, Wearlizer easily arrests your attention. The biggest highlight of this band is the premium stainless steel built-up. Addition of resin has brought more charm to it.

The band comes with the adapter to let you install and remove it without any hassle. There is also a removal tool that makes it a lot easier to change the strap. Wearlizer (38 and 42mm) comes with 12-month warranty and available in seven color variants.

USP: Elegant design
Price: $ 29.99 on Amazon while we are writing this.
Buy it from Amazon

#8. Lwsengme

Lwsengme Apple Watch Band for Series 1, 2, and 3

Lwsengme is beautifully designed and makes an excellent match with the Apple Watch. What has raised its style quotient is the addition of some bling (rhinestone).

Created with a top-quality stainless steel material, it’s a durable companion of the watch. The clasp is readied to lock the watch flawlessly. Beyond features, Lwsengme comes in several colors so that you can choose the most befitting partner for your smartwatch.

USP: Made for her
Price: $ 19.99 on Amazon at the time of writing this.
Buy it from Amazon

#9. Secbolt

Secbolt Apple Wach Band for Series 1, 2, and 3

Should you wish to have a watch band with some bling, Secbolt would be worth consideration. It’s prepared with the high-grade stainless steel.

The addition of diamond (rhinestone) on the link gives it a fashionable look. Courtesy of the eye-catching profile, you’d like wearing it in parties. You can easily resize the band just by removing the clasp.

Moreover, Secbolt comes in four attractive color variants including black, silver, gold and rose gold. It’s available for both 38 and 42mm watch models along with one-year replacement warranty.

USP: Fashionable design
Price: $ 49.99 [$ 24.99 on Amazon while we are writing this.]
Buy it from Amazon

#10. Mkeke

Mkeke Apple Watch Band for Series 1, 2, and 3

There are very few leather cases that can make a match with Mkeke’s craftsmanship. The genuine horse leather material gives it a luxurious look. Vivid stitching further augments its design and workmanship.

It features large-sized silver stainless steel buckle, which provides more stability. Being completely sweat-absorbent, it doesn’t irritate the screen. Multiple alternative holes allow you to adjust the length comfortably. You can choose Mkeke in two colors: black and brown. Furthermore, the leather strap comes both the sizes of Apple Watch with the one-year warranty.

USP: Genuine horse leather
Price: $ 15.84 on Amazon at the time of writing this.
Buy it from Amazon

#11. Fullmosa

Fullmosa Apple Watch Band for Series 1, 2, and 3

Boasting adorably sophisticated design, Fullmosa has a rich appearance. The premium calf leather coupled with top-of-the-line craftsmanship makes it really pleasing to the eyes.

Certified by RoHS, the leather band is completely free of any hazardous and toxic substances. The high-quality connector with micro-bounce technology allows you to install and remove the band easily.

Besides, it also comes with an assistant tool to let you quickly change the band. The cross-stitched collars endow it more durability. Additionally, Fullmosa comes in 15 vibrant color options.

USP: Sophisticated design
Price: $ 35 [$ 9.99 on Amazon while we are writing this.]
Buy it from Amazon

#12. Spigen

Spigen Apple Watch Band for Series 1, 2, and 3

Spigen watch band features rugged and sporty design. If you are a fitness freak and want a more durable strap for your smartwatch, this one can be a reliable option.

The hybrid polymer material is very soft and skin friendly. Lugs spotlessly connect with the watch. Hence, you will comfortable wearing the watch as there is no fumbling. The “pin and tuck” functionality provides a steady closure. Past the features, Spigen watch strap is available only for 42mm Apple Watch.

USP: Rugged profile
Price: $ 44.99 [$ 27.99 on Amazon at the time of writing this.]
Buy it from Amazon

That’s all, friends!

What’s your favorite?

I hope you have liked having a look at these watch bands. By the way, did you like any strap? Feel free to let us know its name and the quality you have found appreciable in it.

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