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The Data Drop News for Thursday, February 11, 2021

Updated: May 18, 2021

Apple's new app-tracking tool, EU investigations on Big Tech, DuckDuckGo milestone, unethical use of teens' data, and Grindr selling user information

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Apple's new app-tracking tool

Is Apple about to redefine data privacy?

Their new app-tracking transparency tool will let users prevent apps from collecting the data they generate. The average app includes six data trackers, which allow third parties to combine data from various sources into comprehensive advertising profiles.

Apple will introduce this new tool as part of iOS updates this spring.

EU investigations on Big Tech

In international news, the European Union has renewed investigations into Google’s advertising practices. This comes just two years after the conclusion of a decade-long investigation that saw $9-billion in fines.

Google’s most recently reported annual revenue is around $160-billion per year. The EU is also looking into the way retail giant Amazon uses sales data from its rivals.

Sitting duck no more?

Staying with search engine news, privacy-based DuckDuckGo recently surpassed 100 million daily search queries for the first time.

DuckDuckGo is the fourth most popular search engine in the United States, but only has a 2.3 percent market share. It is a favorite of privacy-minded internet users, and positions itself as “the search engine that doesn’t track you."

Teens and tech

A recent article by a professor of Digital Media and Marketing at Carnegie Mellon University explores how unethical data use impacts today’s teens. Research indicates that privacy violations and algorithm bias can cause depression, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy, particularly in younger users.

Yet many teens remain unaware of these risks, having never known a world without rampant data sharing.

Grindr selling dating data

The New York Times is reporting that dating app Grindr has been fined nearly 12 million US dollars for illegally sharing private user information with advertisers. The Norwegian Data Protection Authority has ruled that the dating app has violated data privacy laws, and may have even shared users’ sexual preferences without their consent.


The Data Drop News is a production of the Data Collaboration Alliance, a non-profit advancing data ownership and data-centric innovation through sponsored pilot projects and free learning. Learn more


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