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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Adtech veteran Quantcast is latest tech giant to face GDPR privacy probe

Another tech giant is under investigation in Europe for potential privacy breaches of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), TechCrunch has learnt.

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC), which is the lead data protection regulator for most multinational tech giants in Europe, has opened a formal probe into Quantcast’s business — adding +1 to the 17 investigations it already had up and running into Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Apple, Twitter and LinkedIn. 

In a statement about the new statutory inquiry into Quantcast the DPC told us:

Since the application of the GDPR significant concerns have been raised by individuals and privacy advocates concerning the conduct of technology companies operating in the online advertising sector and their compliance with the GDPR. Arising from a submission to the Data Protection Commission by Privacy International, a statutory inquiry pursuant to section 110 of the Data Protection Action 2018 has been commenced in respect of Quantcast International Limited. The purpose of the inquiry is to establish whether the company’s processing and aggregating of personal data for the purposes of profiling and utilising the profiles generated for targeted advertising is in compliance with the relevant provisions of the GDPR. The GDPR principle of transparency and retention practices will also be examined

We’ve reached out to Quantcast for comment.

The full Privacy International submission to the DPC can be found here.

The privacy advocacy group raises a number of concerns about Quantcast’s products — including behavioral ad targeting tech and its consent management tool for publishers and advertisers — as well as arguing the company does not have a proper legal basis for processing people’s data.

Along with two other “adtech brokers”, Criteo and Tapad, also named in the complaint, Privacy International argues “the data practices of these companies give rise to substantial and on-going breaches of the GDPR”.

It will now be up to the regulator to investigate and determine whether the complaint stands in the case of Quantcast.

The DPC’s head of communications, Graham Doyle, told us it’s not releasing information on the number of complaints it received about the company specifically.

As we reported in February, Facebook and Facebook-owned companies still account for the lion’s share of the Irish regulator’s probes of big tech — with another added to its tally just last week (into the breach of “hundreds of millions” of Facebook and Instagram user passwords which had been stored in plaintext).

But Quantcast is an interesting addition to the DPC’s investigation list given that it’s not a consumer-facing tech giant but rather an adtech veteran which sits behind the scenes, selling ‘marketing intelligence’ tools that sift and mine Internet users’ personal data.

The addition of Quantcast shows the value of GDPR enabling campaign organizations such as Privacy International to make complaints on EU citizens’ behalf. Few consumers know the half of how adtech works.

A 2017 AdAge article described Quantcast’s technology as “almost woven into the fabric of the internet” — on account of how it got started providing measurement capabilities to publishers. (It was founded in San Francisco, back in 2006.)

But since the GDPR came into force last May Quantcast’s b2b brand has become increasingly visible to web users — with its branded technology powering many of the consent pop-ups used by online publishers to claim GDPR ‘compliance’.

These pop ups typically feature a big blue ‘I accept’ button that nudges Internet users to agree to their personal data being processed by the website they’re visiting — and any ad/analytics partners it wants to share it with.

Clicking the almost invisible and gnomically named ‘Show Purposes’ link opens a fuller menu of consent options — where users are able to toggle on/off fields that the tool’s user has not deemed ‘required’.

Reached for comment on the news of the DPC’s investigation, a spokeswoman for Privacy International told us: “We are extremely pleased that as a result of our submission the Irish DPC are commencing an inquiry into Quantcast. Quantcast is a company that most of us have never heard of but that amasses data and builds intricate profiles of our lives. PI’s submission sets out why we consider Quantcast’s practices are failing to meet the standards set by GDPR, especially its profiling. The real test of GDPR will be its enforcement.”

This report was updated with comment from Privacy International


Source: TechCrunch

Julian Assange refuses to surrender to US extradition request at first hearing – CNET

The WikiLeaks founder appeared via video link, while his supporters were shut out of the court.
Source: CNET

Facebook, FTC settlement would reportedly place privacy-minded execs in company – CNET

Mark Zuckerberg would have directly responsibility for privacy issues, Politico reported.
Source: CNET

Kentucky Derby horses get first-class treatment on Air Horse One – CNET

This flight service isn’t horsing around.
Source: CNET

Smart display debate: Are these speaker-tablets worth it or not? – CNET

Andrew likes smart displays. Megan doesn’t. Let’s have a fight.
Source: CNET

15 Best Mother’s Day Gifts: Ideas for New Moms (2019)

First-time moms can find the transition overwhelming. These Mother’s Day gifts will help. So will the snacks.
Source: Wired

What Iraq and Syria Can Teach the US About Walls

As America argues about the security of the nation’s southern border, Iraq and Syria grapple with a wall of their own, one that’s keeping people safe—and tearing them apart. One writer journeys across the divide.
Source: Wired

Flume Health is an insurance administrator cutting costs by pre-approving prices and paying on-demand

Cedric Kovacs-Johnson launched Flume Health after watching his own family struggle with payments for his sister’s surgery.

When we looked at who was calling the shots [on prices] it was this litany of service providers that was unknown to us and the cost was unknown to us until we got the bill weeks later,” says Kovacs-Johnson. 

The family had thought that their medical bills would be covered by one insurance provider, but as bills kept rolling in, they realized that what had been promised as one insurance company was actually an insurance plan managed by a benefits manager whose plan was not as extensive — and that the insurer was only managing the relationship with the benefits manager.

So the former Makerbot employee launched Flume in February 2017 to make the payment process more transparent for the hundreds of companies that are self-insuring their employees to cope with rising healthcare premiums.

Roughly 80% of companies with over 500 employees are providing their own insurance plans, or outsourcing the administration of insurance coverage to plan administrators and startups, seeing the woefully poor service these companies provide, are jumping into the fray.

Collective Health is one of the best funded, with $300 million in capital committed to the company, including a $110 million round last year. Another startup, Limelight Health has raised $40 million in financing as it tries to grab market share by providing tools to make the self-insured health management process easier for companies.

Those companies and upstarts like Flume, Apostrophe and Eden Health are all tackling services and support for companies providing self-insurance.

“We become the independent administrator [and] instead of buying a whole bundle of services from a carrier we let them buy it from independent providers.”

Flume is able to offer lower prices for procedures than competitors by offering payment on the day of an operation or within three days of a visit.

“Our difference is that you have an ability to change the fundamental relationship between payer and provider,” said Kovacs-Johnson. “We pay for a bundle. We know ahead of time that a procedure is pre-authorized… when we give them the approval on this estimated date of service… now that we know we’ve authorized the service we are going to pay that before or at the time of service. So we get discounts because providers hate the billing process.”

Traditional insurance administrators usually offer a bundled package of services that companies just pay for. Instead, Flume offers companies transparent pricing for independent services that allows patients and providers to pick and choose — cutting out much of the claims processing that creates additional administrative overhead for care providers, according to the company.

To navigate the world of third party administrators, Flume hired one. The company’s chief operating officer was the chairman of the board of third party administrators, Kevin Schlotman.

“As SPBA chairman, I am constantly looking at the future of our industry and have been frustrated by the lack of transparency in the cost and quality of healthcare, and the structural barriers in place that restrict flexibility in plan design and reimbursement methods that our clients are demanding,” Schlotman said in a statement when he joined the company in September.

So far, Flume has eight customers who’ve signed on to its digital health plan administration service pulling its first clients from unions and school districts across five states.

The New York-based company has also managed to attract a few investors, raising $4 million from New York investors including Primary Venture Partners, Accomplice, Founder Collective, and Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator.

By working directly with providers to get cash prices for services, patients avoid surprise bills and know what they’re paying before an appointment, according to the company.

“Cedric and team have created a solution to one of the most crippling problems facing America right now, and their early success is strong evidence that employers are desperate for change. What they’re doing has huge implications for the future of healthcare in our country,” said TJ Mahoney, partner at Accomplice .


Source: TechCrunch

The best Dell laptops

Picking the best Dell laptop is have because Dell produces so many good laptops. Still, there are some that rise above the rest. Whether for battery life, looks, or all round performance, these are our favorites.

The post The best Dell laptops appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Huawei doesn't need the US, hits 50% growth in phone sales – CNET

The company sold 59.1 million phones in Q1 of 2019.
Source: CNET

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