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The tracking of people’s location is becoming an increasingly useful tool for many businesses, whether they want to use it to connect customers with their special offers, monitor footfall, or provide other location-based services.

However, a snag is coming in the shape of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation, which introduces much tougher rules around the collection and use of personal data. And location data can most certainly qualify as personal data, anytime it relates to an identifiable individual.

It’s not that European regulators haven’t cracked down on location-based data protection abuses before. In 2015, France’s CNIL censured the billboard giant JCDecaux for installing Wi-Fi boxes on their signs that captured the unique MAC addresses that identified passing smartphones – the firm wasn’t properly anonymizing the data, and it wasn’t getting people’s informed consent, either.

The Swedish “visitor flow” tracking outfit Bumbee Labs got into similar hot water with that country’s privacy watchdog around the same time, leading it to stop collecting MAC addresses.

But the GDPR is something else, partly because of the way in which it will harmonize law across EU countries, and partly because of the new obligations it will bring – starting with data protection impact assessments.

Source: The Next Web

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A draft of a legal document in Brussels reportedly shows a law that would regulate the operations of search engines in order to protect citizens and businesses from the whims of Google and others of its ilk. Specifically, the law would go after commerce practices seen as “harmful”, and would require search engine providers to be more transparent about how their algorithms and processes work, helping businesses and online presences to make more informed decisions about how to boost their search rankings and how to react to their rankings changing.

Sporce: Android Headlines

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Google passed Facebook as the top referral traffic driver in 2017 as the search giant doubled down on mobile and the social giant cleaned up its News Feed. That move resulted in an even bigger change last year: Search overtook social in 2017, after the two first swapped spots in 2013. The chart above shows this best, detailing the quarterly share of visits for six search engines and the top 13 social networks.

Source: VentureBeat

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If you head over to a Whois service and search for, you'll see that this site is registered to our publisher Condé Nast at One World Trade Center in New York City. If you have your own domain name, you’ll find your name and home address on Whois, unless you pay for a proxy service to hide that information.

New European privacy rules may change this—not just in Europe, but around the world. The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation will take effect on May 25. The regulation forbids companies from sharing their European customers' personal data without explicit permission, and gives customers the right to delete their data at any time. As a result, Whois entries may soon contain a lot less information.

Source: WIRED

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The company in charge of monitoring Australia's New Payments Platform (NPP) issued a statement last week in response to concerns that its PayID look-up function is an invasion of privacy after "a person on Twitter" posted screenshots of him entering random mobile numbers and returning PayIDs registered to real people.

Source: ZDNet

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