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Google Maps Just Introduced a Controversial New Feature That Drivers Will Probably Love but Police Will Utterly Hate

On long drives, I often find myself running two real-time mapping programs on my phone at once: Google Maps and Waze.

The reason is that Google Maps seems to be a better, faster-loading map program that shows alternate routes on long trips more quickly.

But Waze, which is actually owned by Google, has one feature I greatly appreciate: It lets other drivers warn of the locations of road hazards and police speed traps.

I’m not an especially lead-footed driver, but I’d still rather know where the cops are. It’s been a very small first-world problem for me that Google didn’t just combine both apps.

This week, however, Google announced the next best thing: Starting immediately, drivers will be able to report hazards, slowdowns, and speed traps right on Google Maps.

Apparently this has been rolled out in some cases to Android phones, but it will now be available across the board — on Android and iOS. I’m excited, and I think other drivers will be, too.

But one group that will likely not be happy is the police. In recent years, police have asked — or even demanded — that Waze drop the police-locating feature.

In February, the NYPD wrote to Google:

The NYPD has become aware that the Waze Mobile application … currently permits the public to report DWI checkpoints … Accordingly, we demand that Google LLC, upon receipt of this letter, immediately remove this function from the Waze application.

The Waze feature — and presumably the new version on Google Maps — makes no distinction between police who are running speed traps, manning DWI checkpoints, or simply sitting by the side of the road.

Previously, the LAPD and the National Sheriffs’ Association (.pdf link) also insisted that Waze drop the feature.

“There is no moral, ethical, or legal reason to have the police locator button on the app,” the sheriffs’ association wrote in 2015. “We are concerned that terrorists, organized crime groups, and gangs will find this a valuable tool to further their illegal activities.”

Google has always responded by saying that drivers slow down and strictly obey the law when they know that law enforcement is nearby.

That’s certainly my experience driving up and down the highways of New England and the New York area. Of course, if drivers know to watch their speed when they’re around speed traps, they’ll get fewer speeding tickets.

There’s a temptation here to suggest that “follow the money” is one reason law enforcement might object to drivers notifying one another to where police speed traps are located.

Most departments would dispute that there’s any link to revenue, or to the idea of police having informal quotas for the number of tickets they have to write or arrests they have to make.

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But there could be one other reason to “follow the money,” on the other side.

Earlier this month, Apple announced a major update to its own Maps application. This was a big milestone for Apple, since years ago it admitted its own app was really bad — and actually encouraged people to use Google Maps instead.

Now, Apple is back in the maps game, as my colleague Jason Aten reported. And mere weeks later, Google introduces a popular interactive feature that some users have wanted for a long time.

Sounds like a potential win for both Google and its users — and a potential loss for police who oppose it.

Source: Google Maps Just Introduced a Controversial New Feature That Drivers Will Probably Love but Police Will Utterly Hate

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Google Says Chrome Will End Support for Third-Party Cookies That Track You. Here’s Why That’s Not All Good News

On Tuesday, Google announced what appears, at least at first, to be a fairly monumental change to its Chrome browser: Over the next two years, it plans to “phase out support for third-party cookies in Chrome.” Third-party cookies are little pieces of code used by advertisers to track what you do online so they can serve you targeted ads on sites you visit based on where you’ve previously visited.

So, for example, if you browse Pottery Barn’s website, and start seeing ads everywhere for the coffee table you were looking at, it’s usually because of third-party cookies. In reality, while most of us would say it’s kind of creepy, targeted ads are effective. At the same time, they’re also a very real invasion of your privacy–which is a problem. In fact, those privacy concerns are why browsers like Brave and Safari have already ended support for this type of tracking.

Back in August, I wrote about Google’s new “Privacy Sandbox,” which the company said was a way to introduce privacy protections for users online while still allowing digital advertisers to serve up targeted ads. The problem, at the time, was that Google said that it couldn’t eliminate support for third-party cookies because it would have a detrimental effect on the web at large.

Now it seems that’s changing, and there are huge implications for users as well as advertisers. Google’s blog post announcing the change puts it this way:

We are confident that with continued iteration and feedback, privacy-preserving and open-standard mechanisms like the Privacy Sandbox can sustain a healthy, ad-supported web in a way that will render third-party cookies obsolete.

So, let’s look at the good news and the bad news. If you’re a user, there’s mostly good news, because ending third-party cookies is generally good for privacy. The caveat here is that it’s not yet entirely clear how Google plans to have it both ways. Meaning, it’s not clear how Google thinks it can provide a privacy-protected browsing experience that also provides targeted ads.

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There’s also the fact that some less ethical advertisers will no doubt resort to other types of more nefarious tracking, like browser and device fingerprinting. Those technologies create a profile of you based on information sent by your browser about your device, the operating system, your location, and other unique identifiers. Safari has introduced protection against that, and it will be interesting if Google takes a similar approach with Chrome.

This leads us to more good news, this time for Google. Google has arguably the most to gain from this change, because its advertising model doesn’t depend on the same type of tracking technology. In effect, by eliminating third-party cookies, Google is edging out any of its digital advertising competitors. Since Chrome is the most popular browser in the world, all of your web traffic is already going through Chrome. It doesn’t need cookies for that.

If you’re a digital advertiser, on the other hand, this could be very bad news. That’s especially true if you’re a smaller business or startup, since both tend to rely more heavily on digital advertising. Larger brands are able to better absorb changes like this, but if you’re bootstrapping a new company and count on PPC advertising to reach your customers, this is going to hurt.

That said, while I’m generally sympathetic to the overall challenge facing entrepreneurs in this regard, I still have to lean in the direction that it’s a good thing whenever tech companies start respecting our privacy. In fact, the headline of my column back in August was that “Google Could Make the Internet Respect Your Privacy.” At the time, I was pretty sure it wouldn’t.

In this case, I’m happy to be proved wrong.

By Jason Aten Tech columnist @jasonaten

Source: Google Says Chrome Will End Support for Third-Party Cookies That Track You. Here’s Why That’s Not All Good News

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A Beginner’s Guide To Using Keywords In Google Ads

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Google Ads can be an effective way to reach an audience of new customers. However, if you do not have a well-thought-out keyword list, your search and display ads may not be shown to those much-coveted consumers.

What is a keyword list? It is a set of terms, words and phrases that are associated with your business, brand or product. For example, if you own a yoga studio, keywords or phrases might include yoga classes, beginners’ yoga, hot yoga or meditation classes.

Beyond compiling a list of keywords and phrases that correlate to your business, think about the ways that people may search for you. Listing out your business or product name is always a must. But what if people do not already know about you? In our example of the yoga studio, keywords to use could be yoga studio near me, yoga studio in [town name], or even something as simple as good yoga studios.

The more specific your keywords are, the narrower the audience will be that finds them in their search. Ashtanga vinyasa yoga is a good keyword if you are targeting experienced and knowledgeable yogis, but it may exclude those new to the practice trying to find a studio. However, too broad of a keyword and you may be wasting money on showing your ad to people that may not be your target audience. Yoga is a pretty broad keyword and it competes with many other facets of the practice, including magazines, blogs and other online websites. Finding keywords that hit the proverbial sweet spot, as mentioned in paragraph three, will help optimize your reach to those searching for your business.

Once you have a keyword list ready, you must next decide on the modifiers. These are ways of inputting the keywords into Google Ads using quotation marks, brackets, plus signs, or leaving no modifiers of the keyword or phrase at all. The options are exact match, phrase match, broad match modifier, and broad match, respectively.

Exact Match is much like it sounds. By choosing the Exact Match modifier using brackets, ads will show when someone searches that exact term. [Beginners’ Yoga Studio] is an example of an exact match. Only someone searching that exact term will see the ad associated with that keyword.

Phrase Match uses quotation marks around the word or phrase. “Beginners’ Yoga” would be shown to those searching that phrase or a variation of that phrase, like beginners’ yoga classes.

Broad Match Modifier utilizes plus signs in front of the keywords so that they will appear when those terms, or close variations of those keywords, are searched in any order. +Beginners’ +yoga is an example of Broad Match Modifier. If someone searches yoga for beginners, the ad associated with that phrase will be shown to them.

Leaving out any modification and inputting the keywords or phrases just as they are is Broad Match. This type of matching leaves the terms open to include misspellings, synonyms and variations of the term. This is the default match when adding your keywords into Google Ads.

Which modifier is better to use is up to you. However, Google Ads makes it very easy to access your keywords and make changes at any time. If you start your ads with Broad Match but find that you are not converting customers, try Broad Match Modifier or Phrase Match. Google Ads’ dashboard can help you determine which keywords are successful. Google will also provide you recommendations on what keywords you may want to add to the campaign.

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Finally, create a negative keyword list for terms for which you do not want to be found. Using the yoga studio as an example again, if it does not offer hot yoga classes, then the term hot yoga can be added to the negative keyword list. When people search the term hot yoga, your ads will not show up, saving the money on ads to be shown to those who are in the market for your type of studio.

Google Ads can act as a driver to gain brand awareness, push more visits to your website, receive more phone calls and, most especially, grow your customer base if they are set up correctly. Taking your time with your keyword list is a great way to start.

Forbes Agency Council is an invitation-only community for executives in successful public relations, media strategy, creative and advertising agencies. Do I qualify?

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French regulator orders Google to take measures on advertising — peoples trust toronto

http://bit.ly/2RqgIqZ January 31, 2019 PARIS (Reuters) – France’s competition regulator has ordered Google to take measures regarding some of its advertising methods, saying these had hit French firm Amadeus which runs a directory service in France. “Google will need to quickly clarify the rules for its Google Ads online advertising platform that apply to electronic […]

via French regulator orders Google to take measures on advertising — peoples trust toronto

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Malware researcher Lukas Stefanko has found four fake cryptocurrency wallets on the Google Play Store that were trying to steal users’ personal data, according to a blog post published Nov. 13. The apps were posing as cryptocurrency wallets for NEO, Tether and an extension for accessing Ethereum (ETH), MetaMask. They were purportedly designed to phish users’ mobile banking credentials and credit card information. Stefanko classified the wallets into two groups, wherein the fake MetaMask app was a “phishing wallet” and the other three apps were “fake wallets………

Read more: https://cointelegraph.com/news/four-fake-cryptocurrency-wallets-found-on-google-play-store

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