Adobe New Service Aims to Follow Users Across Multiple Devices

Visiting Subway’s website on a personal computer might not seem to have anything to do with checking the NFL’s app on a phone. But these discrete activities are the foundation for a new service to help marketers follow you around.

Adobe, a company better known for Photoshop and PDF files, says the new initiative announced Wednesday will help companies offer more personalized experiences and make ads less annoying by filtering out products and services you have already bought or will never buy.

But it comes amid heightened privacy sensitivities after reports that Facebook allowed a political consulting firm to harvest data on millions of Facebook users to influence elections.

And Adobe’s initiative underscores the role data plays in helping companies make money. Many of the initial uses are for better ad targeting.

Adobe says no personal data is being exchanged among the 60 or so companies that have joined its Device Co-op initiative already. These include such well-known brands as Allstate, Lenovo, Intel, Barnes & Noble, Subaru, Subway, Sprint, the NFL and the Food Network. Adobe says the program links about 300 million consumers across nearly 2 billion devices in the U.S. and Canada.

Under the initiative, Adobe can tell you’re the same person on a home PC, a work laptop, a phone and a tablet by analyzing past sign-ins with member companies. With that knowledge, Sprint would know Bob is already a customer when he visits from a new device. Bob wouldn’t get a promotion to switch from another carrier, but might get instead a phone upgrade offer. Or if Mary has declared herself a Giants fan on the NFL’s app, she might see ads with Giants banners when visiting NFL.com from a laptop for the first time.

All this might feel creepy, but such cross-device tracking is already commonly done by matching attributes such as devices that from the same internet location, or IP address. Consumers typically have little control over it.

Adobe says it will give consumers a chance to opt out of such tracking. And it’s breaking industry practices in a few ways. Adobe says it will honor opt-out requests for all participating companies and for all devices at once. It’s more typical for such setups to require people do so one by one. All companies in the initiative are listed on Adobe’s website, a break from some companies’ practice of referring only to unspecified partners.

“We’re doing everything we can not letting brands hide themselves,” Adobe executive Amit Ahuja said.

But in taking an opt-out approach, which is common in the industry, Adobe assumes that users consent. And it places the burden on consumers to learn about this initiative and to figure out how they can opt out of it.

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

3 Facebook Messenger App Users File Lawsuit Over Privacy

Three Facebook Messenger app users have filed a lawsuit claiming the social network violated their privacy by collecting logs of their phone calls and text messages.

The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in northern California, comes as Facebook faces scrutiny over privacy concerns.

Facebook acknowledged on Sunday that it began uploading call and text logs from phones running Google’s Android system in 2015. Facebook added that only users who gave appropriate permission were affected, that it didn’t collect the contents of messages or calls, and that users can opt out of the data collection and have the stored logs deleted by changing their app settings.

The suit seeks class-action status.

A message seeking comment from Facebook on Wednesday was not immediately returned.

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

3 Facebook Messenger App Users File Lawsuit Over Privacy

Three Facebook Messenger app users have filed a lawsuit claiming the social network violated their privacy by collecting logs of their phone calls and text messages.

The suit, filed Tuesday in federal court in northern California, comes as Facebook faces scrutiny over privacy concerns.

Facebook acknowledged on Sunday that it began uploading call and text logs from phones running Google’s Android system in 2015. Facebook added that only users who gave appropriate permission were affected, that it didn’t collect the contents of messages or calls, and that users can opt out of the data collection and have the stored logs deleted by changing their app settings.

The suit seeks class-action status.

A message seeking comment from Facebook on Wednesday was not immediately returned.

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Next Step For Opponents of Gun Violence: Public Conversations With Elected Officials

In the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, students launch the Never Again movement, demanding far stronger gun laws in the US. Just five weeks after the shooting, they organized the March for Our Lives, attended by an estimated one million people across the globe. As Sama Dizayee reports, the students say it’s just the beginning.

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Next Step For Opponents of Gun Violence: Public Conversations With Elected Officials

In the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida, students launch the Never Again movement, demanding far stronger gun laws in the US. Just five weeks after the shooting, they organized the March for Our Lives, attended by an estimated one million people across the globe. As Sama Dizayee reports, the students say it’s just the beginning.

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Worried About Bolton? Pentagon Chief Mattis Dismisses Concerns

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday he had no reservations or concerns about President Donald Trump’s incoming national security adviser, John Bolton, a hawk who has advocated using military force against North Korea and Iran.

Amid speculation the two men will clash on a host of major national issues, Mattis said he would meet Bolton for the first time later this week at the Pentagon with the goal of forging a partnership.

“We’re going to sit down together [this week], and I look forward to working with him. No reservations. No concerns at all,” Mattis told a group of reporters at an impromptu briefing.

“Last time I checked, he’s an American and I can work with an American. OK? I’m not the least bit concerned with that sort of thing.”

Trump has shaken up his core national security team in the past two weeks, replacing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and firing Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state.

The moves within a small group of just a handful of advisers have raised questions about whether Mattis could find himself increasingly isolated in his views and outmaneuvered by Bolton, an inveterate bureaucratic infighter whose 2007 memoir is titled: Surrender Is Not an Option.

Mattis had forged a close relationship with both McMaster and Tillerson as he successfully advocated to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan and strengthen ties with NATO, despite Trump’s skepticism about both the 16-year-old war and the trans-Atlantic alliance supporting it.

Warning about the horrors of a war on the Korean peninsula, Mattis has also promoted a diplomatically-led strategy to pressure North Korea over its efforts to build a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States.

Cautious communicator

Mattis has also been a cautious communicator.

After Trump announced plans to talk with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Mattis was so concerned he might say something to upset the process that the defense secretary opted earlier this month to stop making any substantive public remarks about North Korea at all.

“Right now, every word is going to be nuanced and parsed apart across different cultures, at different times of the day, in different contexts,” Mattis said at the time.

On the other hand, Bolton, a 69-year-old Fox News analyst and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in the past has called for regime change in North Korea and has previously been rejected as a negotiating partner by Pyongyang.

In 2003, on the eve of six-nation talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear program, he lambasted then-North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in a speech in Seoul, calling him a “tyrannical dictator.”

North Korea responded by calling Bolton “human scum.”

More recently, Bolton described Trump’s plan to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “diplomatic shock and awe” and said it would be an opportunity to deliver a threat of military action.

‘Solemn responsibilities’

Bolton has been downplaying his aggressive rhetoric in his initial conversations with some current and former U.S. officials, and sought guidance on how to approach Mattis, sources familiar with those conversations told Reuters.

Barry Pavel, a U.S. national security expert at the Atlantic Council think-tank, said it was too soon to predict Bolton’s style or draw conclusions about how he would run the National Security Council.

“When you’re in a position like he’s going into, it’s a very, very solemn set of responsibilities … and those have a restraining factor,” Pavel said.

Asked by Reuters about the split between his world views and Bolton’s, Mattis sought to dismiss concerns, suggesting lively debate would help ensure Trump has a wide array of options.

“Well, I hope that there’s some different world views. That’s the normal thing you want unless you want groupthink,” Mattis said. “You know, don’t worry about that. We’ll be fine.”

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

Worried About Bolton? Pentagon Chief Mattis Dismisses Concerns

U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Tuesday he had no reservations or concerns about President Donald Trump’s incoming national security adviser, John Bolton, a hawk who has advocated using military force against North Korea and Iran.

Amid speculation the two men will clash on a host of major national issues, Mattis said he would meet Bolton for the first time later this week at the Pentagon with the goal of forging a partnership.

“We’re going to sit down together [this week], and I look forward to working with him. No reservations. No concerns at all,” Mattis told a group of reporters at an impromptu briefing.

“Last time I checked, he’s an American and I can work with an American. OK? I’m not the least bit concerned with that sort of thing.”

Trump has shaken up his core national security team in the past two weeks, replacing National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and firing Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state.

The moves within a small group of just a handful of advisers have raised questions about whether Mattis could find himself increasingly isolated in his views and outmaneuvered by Bolton, an inveterate bureaucratic infighter whose 2007 memoir is titled: Surrender Is Not an Option.

Mattis had forged a close relationship with both McMaster and Tillerson as he successfully advocated to keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan and strengthen ties with NATO, despite Trump’s skepticism about both the 16-year-old war and the trans-Atlantic alliance supporting it.

Warning about the horrors of a war on the Korean peninsula, Mattis has also promoted a diplomatically-led strategy to pressure North Korea over its efforts to build a nuclear-tipped missile capable of striking the United States.

Cautious communicator

Mattis has also been a cautious communicator.

After Trump announced plans to talk with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Mattis was so concerned he might say something to upset the process that the defense secretary opted earlier this month to stop making any substantive public remarks about North Korea at all.

“Right now, every word is going to be nuanced and parsed apart across different cultures, at different times of the day, in different contexts,” Mattis said at the time.

On the other hand, Bolton, a 69-year-old Fox News analyst and former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, in the past has called for regime change in North Korea and has previously been rejected as a negotiating partner by Pyongyang.

In 2003, on the eve of six-nation talks over Pyongyang’s nuclear program, he lambasted then-North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in a speech in Seoul, calling him a “tyrannical dictator.”

North Korea responded by calling Bolton “human scum.”

More recently, Bolton described Trump’s plan to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “diplomatic shock and awe” and said it would be an opportunity to deliver a threat of military action.

‘Solemn responsibilities’

Bolton has been downplaying his aggressive rhetoric in his initial conversations with some current and former U.S. officials, and sought guidance on how to approach Mattis, sources familiar with those conversations told Reuters.

Barry Pavel, a U.S. national security expert at the Atlantic Council think-tank, said it was too soon to predict Bolton’s style or draw conclusions about how he would run the National Security Council.

“When you’re in a position like he’s going into, it’s a very, very solemn set of responsibilities … and those have a restraining factor,” Pavel said.

Asked by Reuters about the split between his world views and Bolton’s, Mattis sought to dismiss concerns, suggesting lively debate would help ensure Trump has a wide array of options.

“Well, I hope that there’s some different world views. That’s the normal thing you want unless you want groupthink,” Mattis said. “You know, don’t worry about that. We’ll be fine.”

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!

WTO Chief Sees No Sign of US Departure

There is no sign that the United States is distancing itself from the World Trade Organization, and negotiations are underway to avert a global trade war, WTO Director-General Roberto Azevedo said in a BBC interview broadcast Wednesday.

U.S. President Donald Trump has launched a series of tariff-raising moves, upsetting allies and rivals alike.

Trump is also vetoing the appointment of WTO judges, causing a backlog in disputes and threatening to paralyze what is effectively the supreme court of trade. Some trade experts have begun asking whether Trump wants to kill the WTO, whose 164 members force each other to play by the rules.

“I have absolutely no indication that the United Sates is walking away from the WTO. Zero indication,” Azevedo said in an interview on the BBC Hardtalk program, according to excerpts released early by the BBC.

Last month, Trump called the WTO a “catastrophe” and complained the United States had only a minority of its judges.

Correction

The next day, Azevedo gently set him straight, noting that the United States had an unusually good deal, since it had always had one of the seven judges.

Asked whether the WTO should be thinking about a Plan B without the United States, Azevedo told the BBC that he had not heard anything to suggest that such a situation was in the cards.

“Every contact that I have in the U.S. administration assures me that they are engaging,” he said.

The question of whether U.S. tariffs were legal could be settled only by a WTO dispute panel, but the damage from such unilateral actions would be felt much more quickly as other countries retaliated, leading to a global trade war, he said.

“I don’t think we are there yet, but we are seeing the first movements towards it, yes,” he said.

Nobody believed it was a minor problem, including those in the U.S. administration, and people were beginning to understand how serious the situation was and what impact it could have on the global economy, Azevedo said.

“There are still negotiations ongoing. … We want to avoid the war, so everything that we can do to avoid being in that situation, we must be doing at this point,” he said.

$1*/ mo hosting! Get going with us!