Mobile apps may or may not be collecting your child’s data—but here’s why you should assume they are

This week two democratic senators are calling on federal regulators to investigate if children’s apps are tracking their data.

Senators Edward Markey of Massachusetts and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut sent a letter on Wednesday to the Federal Trade Commission, writing they are concerned that numerous apps are potentially violating the law.

Without explicit parental consent, it is illegal to collect data on children under the age of 13 according to the Children Online Privacy Protection Act, which went into effect in 2000.

This comes after last month when the New Mexico Attorney Generalsued the maker of app Fun Kid Racing, as well as the online ad businesses run by Google, Twitter and three other companies.

The suit accused the companies of violating the law, and that Google misled parents by allowing apps to remain in its Google Play store children’s section after it was notified by researchers that thousands of apps may be tracking young children.

“The problem is this – we don’t know where the onus lies,” New York Times reporter Edmund Lee told CNBC’s “On the Money” in an interview.

Lee says the law isn’t clear on whether it should be the platform such as Google or Apple to make sure the apps in their stores are complying with the law, whether it’s up to the game developer or if it should be up to the third party data firm tracking the data.

“So there’s a whole system in place that everyone keeps passing the buck and there’s no case law yet,” says Lee. “Even the legislation – it’s not entirely clear who is ultimately responsible.”

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So what should a parent do if they are concerned their child is being tracked?

Lee says, “You should just assume it’s going to happen you should assume you’re going to be tracked.”

“Right now it’s the ‘Wild West’ there are very few protections, few sort of places of enforcement around it, and that’s why it’s hard as a parent and as a kid to navigate,” he added.

However, Lee notes most of these are harmless games, and the tracking data is used for advertising purposes, which is how these companies make money.

For parents worried about their child’s privacy – Lee says he tells his own daughter to keep her communication online only with people she knows.

“You’re not going to be able to look and know every single piece of data that’s being floated out there until there’s legislation and case law in place. But in the meantime make sure you know who your kid is talking to and it shouldn’t be strangers and it shouldn’t be someone they just met online.”

[“source=businessinsider”]

Twitter Says Removal of Fake Accounts Does Not Hurt User Metrics

Twitter Says Removal of Fake Accounts Does Not Hurt User Metrics

Twitter said on Monday it has removed fake accounts but that does not impact its reported user metrics as was indicated in a report by The Washington Post.

The newspaper had said the social media company had suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, leading to a decline of monthly active users in the second quarter.

“Most accounts we remove are not included in our reported metrics as they have not been active on the platform for 30 days or more, or we catch them at sign up and they are never counted,” CFO Ned Segal tweeted on Monday.

“If we removed 70M accounts from our reported metrics, you would hear directly from us.”

Shares of Twitter fell 9 percent on Monday after a report said the social media company had suspended more than 70 million fake accounts in May and June, which could lead to a decline of monthly active users in the second quarter.

The slump wiped about $3 billion (roughly Rs.20,600 crores) from the microblogging site’s market valuation, which had stood at about $35 billion on Friday. Twitter shares were last down 8.6 percent at $42.62 (roughly Rs. 2,900).

“Such reaction is due likely to the assumption that the lower user count would attract less ad dollars,” Morningstar analyst Ali Mogharabi said.

Mogharabi, however, pointed to big advertisers now paying more attention to the quality content alongside which their ads are placed.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Aadhaar not mandatory for any national entrance exam, for now

The Supreme Court has directed the CBSE to upload the information regarding Aadhaar number on their website. Photo: HT

The Supreme Court has directed the CBSE to upload the information regarding Aadhaar number on their website. Photo: HT

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday said unique identification number Aadhaar cannot be made mandatory for any national entrance examination for now.

The interim order was passed by a bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra in a challenge to making the 12-digit number mandatory for National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2018 for admission to medical courses.

The court said other forms of identification such as voter ID, passport or ration card can be used to register for or appear in the coming NEET. The last date to submit applications for NEET conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is 9 March.

This means even a candidate who has Aadhaar is not required to produce it for appearing in national entrance tests like NEET.

Apart from sparing NEET candidates from mandatorily furnishing Aadhaar, the interim order also prohibits CBSE, Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the University Grants Commission (UGC) from making the unique number mandatory for examinations like Joint Entrance Exam (JEE-Main) and National Eligibility Test (NET) and the Common Admission Test held by Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

The court also directed the centre to inform CBSE to follow the order and upload it on its website so that students are better informed. Currently, CBSE is the test delivery partner for most national entrance tests, including JEE-Main, NEET, UGC-NET and Central Teacher Eligibility Test.

Earlier this year, CBSE had issued notifications making Aadhaar must for appearing in several national entrance tests.

“The use of Aadhaar for applicants of UGC-NET(July) 2018 will result in accuracy of applicants’ details. This will also help ascertain identities of applicants at the examination centres in a convenient and hassle-free manner,” CBSE had said in one of its notifications dated 23 February, justifying the use of Aadhaar.

However, attorney general K.K. Venugopal told the court that the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has not authorized CBSE to make Aadhaar mandatory for students to enrol for NEET.

A Constitution bench comprising Chief Justice Misra and justices D.Y. Chandrachud, A.K. Sikri, A.M. Khanwilkar and Ashok Bhushan is hearing the case against the Constitutional validity of Aadhaar.

The order was passed on an appeal by one Abidali Yusufbhai Patel, who had specifically challenged Aadhaar being made must for filling up NEET enrolment forms. The matter was mentioned in the morning and was taken up for hearing in the afternoon, along with the main challenge to Aadhaar that is being heard by the Constitution bench.

Patel had challenged a 27 February order passed by the Gujarat high court, which refused to grant interim relief to students seeking exemption from submitting Aadhaar while appearing for JEE(Main), 2018 (JEE) and NEET.

During the course of arguments, a challenge to Aadhaar being passed as a money bill was raised by lawyer and former finance minister P. Chidambaram, who carved out the distinction between a money and financial bill. Chidambaram is one of the lawyers representing the petitioners.

“A money bill cannot be introduced in Rajya Sabha. In this case, Rajya Sabha becomes only a recommending house. They have no legislative power but only recommendative power,” Chidambaram told the court.

A batch of petitions have been tagged by the Supreme Court to be heard by the Constitution bench. They challenge several aspects of Aadhaar, the 12-digit unique identity number that has become a bedrock of government welfare programmes, the tax administration network and online financial transactions, and the use/sharing of personal data collected by the UIDAI.

There are more than 1.2 billion Aadhaar holders in the country.

[“Source-livemint”]

What Not To Say During A Salary Negotiation

If you want things to go your way, don’t say any of this

Get the best offer possible during your salary negotiation

Preparation pays off, literally, when it comes to salary negotiations. Research about the market and company standards can only take you so far – you need to be able to pitch yourself too. There are some phrases people tend to use in these discussions that don’t really end up working in their favour – despite what they (or you) believe. Here are a few of them. Remember not to say any of this during your next salary negotiation.

1. ‘I’m getting married/moving house/etc’

Let us try to say this as politely as possible – no one cares. Your personal matters are just that – personal. And you can not expect them to influence any professional decisions made at that meeting. The best thing to do is avoid talking about your personal dilemmas, no matter how much they’re affecting you, and focus on the work you’re doing and it’s worth.

2. ‘I’m sorry but…’

Don’t apologise. We all tend to use the word quite liberally, especially when talking to superiors. But there is nothing to apologise for here – you’re talking about your remuneration, which is your right. Don’t feel embarrassed or uncomfortable about it. You’ve worked hard for it.

3. ‘I need/want… ‘

But do you really ‘need’ it? And if you want it, so what? We’re sure every person wants a higher salary. But what’s more important is – do they deserve it? Sometimes the answer to that is no. During your salary negotiations, instead of telling them what you want, tell them what you deserve – and why.

4. ‘I have another offer that is much higher’

Take it then? You don’t want your prospective employer to think you’re in it just for the money. If the other company is offering you more money, and that’s all that matters, you would have taken it anyway. So don’t play that card and try to keep the focus of the conversation on the offer you’re discussing.

5. ‘I haven’t had a raise in so long’

You need to put your point across, without sounding like you’re whining and saying this doesn’t help your case. Bringing their attention to the fact that you have not gotten a raise only makes them think that there has been no reason for you to get a raise.

6. ‘But others are getting paid more to do less work’

Again, trying to compare yourself to others won’t work, nor it is your place to do so. Talk about how much time and effort you have been putting in, irrespective of others – but as soon as you make it seem like a competition, you’re going to lose favour in the discussion. Also, it makes you sound like a gossip-monger.

7. ‘I want more…’

‘More’ is too vague for you to use in this discussion. ‘More’ can be 2% more than the original offer was. There is no room for ‘more’ in this negotiation. Talk about how much more you would like the offer to be and they might take you seriously.

[“Source-ndtv”]