Technology

Today’s cache | Google Chrome updates privacy and security settings, and more

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File photo.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

Today's cache is your daily download of the top 5 updates from the world of technology.

Google Chrome has made some important privacy and security changes that give people some amount of control over the data they share on the platform.

Apple and Google’s joint API has been launched on both Android and iOS platforms. And Apple, has also made some important updates to its Face ID in the 13.5 update.

Chip maker Intel has bought an important company that is behind gaming networking cards.

Lastly, source codes of Xbox and Windows NT 3.5 have been leaked online.

Chrome redesigns privacy and security settings

Google on Tuesday rolled out new tools for its Chrome browser after redesigning its privacy and security settings on desktops. The changes are being made to help users control their privacy and ensure safety on the web.

Users can now choose whether, and how, cookies can be used by the websites they visit. They will now have options to block third-party cookies in both regular and incognito modes. They can even block all cookies on some or all websites.

User control has been reorganised into two different sections to help users find website permissions such as access to location, camera or microphone, and notifications.

A new ‘You and Google’ section allows users to choose which data they want to share with Google.

‘Clear browsing data’ setting has been moved to the top of the privacy and security section as Google noticed many users delete their browsing history regularly.

As part of the safety feature, Google’s new tool will tell you if the passwords stored in Chrome have been compromised. The security tool can also spot any malicious extensions that have been installed, and tell you how they can be removed.

Chrome has also made some changes to the way users manage extensions. A new puzzle icon on the toolbar takes care of it. It gives you more control over what data extensions can access on sites you visit.

A new safety browsing option helps protect users from phishing, malware and other web-based threats.

If users turn on ‘Enhanced Safe Browsing,’ the browser checks whether pages and downloads are dangerous by sending information about them to Google Safe Browsing.

If you’re signed in to Chrome, then Chrome and other Google apps you use (Gmail, Drive, etc.) will further protect you based on a holistic view of threats you encounter on the web and attacks against your Google Account, the company said in a blog post.

Google, Apple launch contact tracing APIs for Android and iOS

Contact tracing is an important tool in public health professionals’ toolbox to track COVID-19 infections.

Google and Apple have been building an API to enable contact tracing using Bluetooth technology.

On Wednesday, the duo announced their new exposure notification technology to enable apps built by public health agencies to work accurately, reliably and effectively on both iPhones and Android phones.

The two tech giants said they’ve built their API keeping users’ privacy in mind. The technology will let someone know they may have been exposed to the virus, but will not reveal any other details.

Public health agencies can incorporate the API into their own apps that people install. The technology will work on both iOS and Android.

Individual users get to decide whether they choose to opt-in or out of exposure notifications. The newly developed system does not collect or use location data from the user’s device, and it is up to the individual to report his or her COVID-19 infection in the health app.

“User adoption is key to success and we believe that these strong privacy protections are also the best way to encourage use of these apps,” the two companies said in a joint statement.

iPhone’s Face ID can be unlocked while wearing face mask

Unlocking an iPhone using Face ID while wearing a face mask is a frustrating experience for many. Apple’s facial recognition technology uses eye, nose and mouth data to work well. With face masks on due to the pandemic, nose and mouth features remain closed for several users.

So, unlocking an iPhone took extra seconds and multiple failed attempts.

After the iOS 13.5 update, iPhone users can now unlock Face ID faster while wearing a face mask.

After installing the latest update, users need not wait for Face ID to fail before they key in the PIN code to unlock. After the first failed attempt, users can swipe up from the bottom of the screen, key in the PIN and unlock the phone.

Apart from Face ID unlock feature, the latest update allows users to turn off a feature in Group FaceTime that changes the size of participant windows when they speak.

Intel to buy Rivet Networks to boost Wi-Fi products

Intel and Rivet Networks have partnered in the past to build the Killer-branded Wi Fi technologies for immersive entertainment and gaming experiences.

On Wednesday, Intel said it is acquiring Rivet Networks for an undisclosed price.

Rivet Networks’ products enhance Wi-Fi bandwidth and optimise wireless network connections. Its Killer-branded solutions are found in Dell, Alienware, HP and other laptops.

The team at Rivet will join Intel’s wireless solutions group that is nested under client computing division. After the deal, the company’s Killer brand will be integrated with Intel’s PC Wi-Fi portfolio, giving Intel’s computer business a significant boost.

Alongside this acquisition, Intel will also expand its Wi-Fi solutions for PC portfolio and lead the industry in wireless standards.

The chip maker has been a strong advocate of Wi-Fi 6, and has closely worked with FCC and standards organisation to ensure interoperability. It has conducted testing with Cisco, Aruba, Broadcom, Qualcomm and Microsoft to ensure better user experience in Wi-Fi 6.

Xbox, Windows NT 3.5 source code leaked

Source codes of Microsoft’s original Xbox console and Windows NT 3.5 have been leaked online, TheVerge reported.

The Xbox code has the kernel for the operating system on the original console, which is a custom version of Windows 2000.

TheVerge confirms that the leaked codes appeared online earlier this month. To that claim, a Microsoft spokesperson said, “we’re aware of these reports and are investigating.”

Some of Xbox’s leaked build environments, development kit, emulators used for testing and internal documents were already passed around privately among enthusiasts.

On the Windows NT 3.5, the source code includes all build tools. As Windows 3.5 support ended in 2001, the OS is mainly used only my a small number of systems worldwide. This means that the source code leak isn’t a big security issue.

Microsoft did not share any comment on this particular leak.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 10:01:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/todays-cache-google-chrome-updates-privacy-and-security-settings-and-more/article31643514.ece

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