Busting the five myths of cloud computing

HP argues that virtualization is not the only step to do cloud, cloud is also for business critical applications, private cloud is not that secure, public cloud is not the cheapest and there are more than one way of doing cloud, HP in its new whitepaper tries to shed light on a few myths, which IT fraternity believes to be true. Let us see what they are:

Myth one: the public cloud is the most inexpensive way to procure IT services

HP agrees ‘public cloud is a relatively inexpensive “pay-as-you-use” model’, and that the starting price for standard on-demand instances with the Amazon EC2 Web service is less than a dime per hour based on system size, operating system, and locale. However, delivery from the public cloud is not always the cheapest than that delivered by internal IT. ‘For resources that are needed constantly, enterprises can actually reduce costs by leveraging other cloud models, such as shared resources delivered via a private cloud. In cases like this, the private cloud actually is more cost-efficient than even the pay-as-you-use public cloud model,” says the whitepaper.

Myth two: baby steps in virtualization are the only way to reach the cloud

Whereas, HP says that virtualization and cloud are mutually exclusive, and that ‘virtualized infrastructure is a strong catalyst for the next step’, however, it is just one of the ways, or ‘just – a step’, to begin. Similar to virtualization, even a private cloud brings tremendous benefits such as reducing IT complexity, significantly lowering IT costs, and enabling a more flexible and agile service delivery. ‘Even private cloud automates the underlying provisioning of infrastructure and applications and adds a convenient way for end users to request IT services. A private cloud based on shared pools of resources—resources that can be automatically tapped to meet business needs—can help IT keep up. The private cloud allows IT managers to have complete control over available assets, while adhering to the security standards required both within the cloud and in the data center. The cloud provides the agility needed to automate workflows and reduce human involvement in time-consuming but necessary tasks such as the provisioning of applications.”

Myth three: critical applications do not belong in the cloud

HP points out ‘it is one thing to relegate a few servers running test and development jobs to a cloud-based infrastructure. But delivering business applications quickly and efficiently continues to be the most important charter for IT organizations.’ Studies such as a recent one by Forbes show that IT executives are under extreme pressure to:

  • Cut infrastructure costs
  • Adjust their service levels to meet changing needs
  • Deliver applications with greater speed

IT professionals are interested in cloud computing to help them address all three of these requirements. And the same applies to their business critical applications.

Myth four: all cloud security requirements are created equally

The use of a public cloud service can provide relief from investments in hardware and software, as you pay for service delivery instead. HP points out that many IT executives are unwilling to create a system where their data resides outside of their control. Fearful of the constant growth in attack methodologies, IT executives believe that the private cloud is the answer because it keeps the cloud infrastructure on the premises, inside company firewalls, and under the direct control of the IT group. However, the whitepaper notes that private cloud model penetrable as ‘vulnerabilities exist with a connection to the Internet. There also remains the threat of insider attacks and data theft.’

Myth five: there is only one way to do cloud computing

There are several, infact, such as public and private and hybrid cloud. ‘Hybrid cloud is composed of two or more clouds (private, community, or public). These clouds remain unique entities, but they are bound together by standardized technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load-balancing between clouds),’ says the whitepaper.

Source: CIOL Bureau

A Startup Hopes to Help Computers Understand Web Pages

Diffbot aims to make it easier for apps to read Web pages the way humans do – Diffbot’s visual learning technology can identify the different items that make up Web pages, like the one shown here.

No matter what language you speak, when you look at a Web page, you can get a good idea of the purpose of the different elements on it—whether they’re images, videos, text, music, or ads. It’s not so easy for machines to do the same, though. That’s where Diffbot hopes to make a difference. The startup, based in Palo Alto, California, offers application programming interfaces that make it possible for machines to “read” the various objects that make up Web pages. This could enable a publisher to repurpose the contents of pages for a mobile app, or help a startup build a price-comparison site. The company’s efforts come at a time when some tech titans are also working to add more structure to the vast amount of data on the Web. Google, for example, recently unveiled the Knowledge Graph, an effort to identify the meaning of search queries and return relevant results, rather than simply matching the text of a query with Web pages that include the same words. But these efforts usually rely on people to help by tagging Web content to infer meaning. John Davi, Diffbot’s vice president of product, says that at its heart, the company is about taking the visual learning technology that propels self-driving cars forward on a road and applying it to Web pages.

The idea, which CEO and founder Mike Tung hatched several years ago while he was a graduate student at Stanford, has hummed along since last year. That’s when Diffbot rolled out an API capable of analyzing two types of Web pages on the basis of the URL. On article pages, Diffbot can pick out headlines, the text of articles, pictures, and tags; and on home pages, it can determine basic layout elements like headlines pictures, links to articles, and ads. By now, several thousand programmers are using it to analyze over 100 million URLs each month, Tung says. There are many more types of Web pages out there, though. The company believes there are roughly 18 main types, ranging from product and job pages to photo galleries. With a $2 million round of funding announced Thursday—its first following an earlier round of seed funding—the company plans to get moving on the 16 other types. This will involve determining what makes up pages of these types—photos, prices, and so on—and using that information to build algorithms that can process unfamiliar pages.

While Diffbot offers its API to customers for free, it charges for high levels of usage. Brad Garlinghouse, the CEO of file-sharing site YouSendIt and an investor in and advisor to Diffbot, says that while the company isn’t currently profitable, it could be without too much trouble. “They’re solving some here-and-now problems that customers are willing to pay for,” says Garlinghouse. Currently, a number of Diffbot users are media companies, including Garlinghouse’s previous employer, AOL (Diffbot powers the content aggregation behind AOL’s tablet magazine, Editions). As Davi, of Diffbot, points out, media companies often purchase publications whose online content has been created with a different content management system. Diffbot’s API can ease the process of consolidating content, he says. As the company makes it possible to analyze pages of additional types, its founders hope to see Diffbot used for things like product price comparison, photo and recipe aggregation, and more. Tung says, “It’s going to be really exciting to see what people build.”

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

How Google managed to get all your private data and got away with it

Secrets spilled across the computer screen. After months of negotiation, Johannes Caspar, a German data protection official, forced Google to show him exactly what its Street View cars had been collecting from potentially millions of his fellow citizens. Snippets of e-mails, photographs, passwords, chat messages, postings on websites and social networks – all sorts of private Internet communication – were casually scooped up as the specially-equipped cars photographed the world’s streets. “It was one of the biggest violations of data protection laws that we had ever seen,” Caspar recently recalled about that long-sought viewing in late 2010. “We were very angry.” Google might be one of the coolest and smartest companies of this or any era, but it also upsets a lot of people – competitors who argue it wields its tremendous weight unfairly, officials like Caspar who says it ignores local laws, privacy advocates who think it takes too much from its users. Just this week, European anti-trust regulators gave the company an ultimatum to change its search business or face legal consequences. American regulators may not be far behind. The high-stakes anti-trust assault, which will play out this summer behind closed doors in Brussels, might be the beginning of a tough time for Google.

But never count Google out. It is superb at getting out of trouble. Just ask Caspar or any of his counterparts around the world who tried to hold Google accountable for what one of them, the Australian communication minister Stephen Conroy, called “probably the single greatest breach in the history of privacy”. The secret Street View data collection led to inquiries in at least a dozen countries, including four in the US alone. But Google is yet to give an explanation of why the data was collected and who at the company knew about it. No regulator in the US has ever seen the information that Google’s cars gathered from the citizens. The tale of how Google escaped a full accounting for Street View illustrates not only how technology companies have outstripped the regulators, but also their complicated relationship with their adoring customers. Companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple supply new ways of communication, learning, entertainment and high-tech wizardry for the masses. They have custody of the raw material of hundreds of millions of lives – the intimate e-mails, the revealing photographs, searches for help or love or escape. People willingly, at times eagerly, surrender this information. But there is a price: the loss of control, or even knowledge, of where that personal information is going and how it is being reshaped into an online identity that may resemble the real you or may not. Privacy laws and wiretapping statutes are of little guidance, because they have not kept pace with the lightning speed of technological progress.

Source: The Economic Times

What does a cloud offer? – Cloud: What is it?

Cloud has myriad of definitions, but one thing is clear that the IT industry is largely accepting it as the next phase of service delivery. Here, we tell you what it means

Cloud, cloud computing, software-as-a-service (SaaS), platfrom-as-a-service (PaaS), infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), hosting, cloud storage, private cloud, managed cloud, public cloud or hybrid cloud – there was a time when you would have drawn a blank face at the utterance of these terms. Today, they are no more aliens, and it is rare to meet someone who is closely, or even not so closely, associated with the world of information technology (IT) and has not yet come across them at some  point. Vikram Bhatia, Windows Azure Lead, Microsoft, says: “While talking to CXOs at a few medium to large enterprises about cloud, I was pleasantly surprised to see the change in the content of their concerns and queries over the last two years. Two years ago, the two most common questions I had to address were: (i) what is this “cloud” business? Isn’t that marketing jargon for hosting? And (ii) what about the security of my data?” True, cloud was a mere hype back then that not many CIOs were serious about and looked upon with caution. More so because the technology in itself was not clear, and moreover, the private/public/hybrid varieties only worsened the confusion. No, we are not getting into the private vs public vs hybrid cloud frontier. That is entirely a different game altogether, something we might take up later. For now, it is just cloud, without its prefixes and suffixes.

In an interview sometime back, Andy Jassy, senior VP, Amazon Web Services, had noted: “We find all those terms such as private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, infrastructure-as-a-service, platform-as-a-service, as a kind of overloaded and confusing terms. It is often the old world IT players, who talk about it, because private cloud protects the business or margin structure that they built over the past 30 years.” The frenzy back then was such that every second company wanted to reach out to the market with its ‘cloud services’. Even today, not all the CIOs are open to the idea, however, at least most of them agree that it is indeed a new form of doing one’s business. “A year later, I saw a shift happening. It is no longer about what is the cloud, but more about what can I effectively do with the cloud. The two most common queries I get today are: (i) is the cloud worth it for me? What about my existing investments (read hardware, software licenses or in-house apps)? And (ii) How will I manage cloud-based apps? Won’t this make my environment more complex? This shift in concerns tells me that the market has matured considerably and enterprises have evolved from being skeptics to adopters,” Bhatia adds.

There was a time when every executive one spoke to would have a definition or two of the cloud, which seemed more suitable to the service that they were trying to sell than something that a user wanted to hear. However, with time this has also changed. The IT industry has come to terms with technology and has started to accept it as the next phase of IT service delivery. We would try and bring to you what it means and why not all that shines out there is a cloud. To begin with here is a simple definition of what cloud is. Pradeep Agarwal, country head – India Enterprise, Google, said: “’Cloud computing’ refers to Internet-based computing, where software and information in data centres is sent over the Internet to computers, cellphones, and other devices. This technology enables people to quickly turn on applications and innovation like a utility, instead of having to install and run their own applications. Data can be accessed from any Internet-connected device.” And to put it in a simpler form, “The cloud is a service you use, not a system you build,” says Peter Coffee, VP and head, Platform Research, salesforce.com.

And if that is also not sufficient, here is a bit from its history. “What started as “co-location” a few decades ago, i.e. shared hosting of one’s servers in a third party data centre, soon evolved into ‘hosting’, which means servers owned and managed by a third party rented out to multiple organizations for running their business applications. The next stage in the evolution was outsourcing, or better yet, total outsourcing, which moved not only the machines and software, but also human resources and services to third parties. Cloud happened in the last few years, driven primarily by the need to drive down costs further through both scale and scope, but made possible because of technologies like virtualization and remote application management,” adds Bhatia.

Source: CIOL World

SAP teams-up with Amazon Web Services – To offer customers cloud-based option for mobile device and application management

SAP AG (SAP) announced that SAP Afaria mobile device management solution is now available on Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace, at Sapphire Now, being held in Orlando, Florida, May 14-16, 2012. The AWS Marketplace will feature fully configured SAP Afaria 7.0 server, which brings a new user interface, consumer-like app portal with SAP Store integration and mobile analytics dashboards for business intelligence (BI) reporting. “As the cloud rapidly becomes the IT deployment model of choice for business of all sizes, Amazon Web Services is excited to be working closely with SAP in bringing enterprise solutions to the cloud,” said Andy Jassy, senior vice president, Amazon Web Services. “Adding SAP Afaria to AWS Marketplace provides customers a fast, simple and trusted way to shop for and implement an enterprise-ready mobile solution.” SAP Afaria can be found by visiting http://aws.amazon.com/marketplace “By offering SAP Afaria on the secure, scalable AWS cloud infrastructure, we are extending our existing close relationship with AWS and making it as easy as possible for customers and partners to test and deploy the industry’s leading mobile device management solution in an economical and reliable fashion,” said Sanjay Poonen, president, Product Go-to-Market, and head of Mobile Division, SAP. “This announcement is just a sneak preview of what’s coming from SAP as we lay the ground work for long-term innovation around our comprehensive, unmatched B2B and B2C mobile platform – both on premise and in the cloud.”

Source: CIOL Bureau

Apple may attempt to push Android Tabs off market

In an attempt to counter the burgeoning number of Android Tab market, tech giant Apple is releasing an ”iPad Mini” at a loss-making price of around 150 pounds. The low priced tablet will even feature the same ”Retina” display featured on its big brother, iPad 3, bringing the same 3.1million pixels to a smaller 7-8″ display. With the screen as a premium feature, it is likely Apple would have to compromise on other parts of the tablet, such as reduced storage space of, for instance, 8GB for apps, videos and music. According to the Daily Mail, tech analysts claimed that if such a stance in adopted by Apple, the firm might have to take a serious cut to its margins, if not sell the Mini at a loss. “Considering the kind of cash Apple has on hand, though, it might be willing to take the hit just to help kill-off competition from Android tablets,” IMore was reported, as saying. However, it expected to appeal people who want an iPad for casual browsing and occasional use of apps and movies, but are not willing to shell out 400 pounds for the bigger brother.

Source: The Financial Express

Social media growth falling in India: Gartner report

India may be embracing latest technologies like mobility and cloud, but factors like privacy concerns and cultural fabric could restrain social media growth in the country as compared to other nations, a report by research firm Gartner today said. The report suggests that four significant forces that will shape businesses during the next five years are IT, mobile, cloud and social media. These pivotal technologies include the explosive use of media tablets, mobile applications, context-aware computing, Internet, analytics and in-memory computing (IMC), it added. “India is poised to become one of the world’s biggest consumer economies in the coming five years. By 2014, it is expected to have more than one billion mobile subscribers and will also see significant roll-out of new IT infrastructure in both public and private sectors,” Gartner Research VP Rakesh Kumar said. The youthful, increasingly well-educated and technically sophisticated population will drive the adoption of new technologies in the country, he said. However, the use of social media during the next five years may be at lower levels in India compared with other countries.

“Although it’s easy to see how social media could grow rapidly during the next few years, privacy concerns and the cultural fabric of the country may suggest otherwise,” Kumar said. India with over 25 million users is one of the major markets for social networking site Facebook. Apart from Google’s Orkut and professional networking site LinkedIn, there are smaller networking sites operating too. Companies, especially in sectors like FMCG, consumer durables, auto and telecom are leveraging social media to connect with consumers to get feedback. “This will lead to a further engagement of brands with customers and helps the economy as well,” he said. Besides, India has gained a substantial position for application development, maintenance, support and innovation globally and the same now needs to be used domestically. “A sense of entrepreneurship is embedded into the Indian psyche which is beginning to lead to startups exploring areas such as pattern mapping. What will now be important is that the same is deployed in the domestic market as well,” he added.

Source: The Economic Times

Apple to drop Google Maps from upcoming mobile platform iOS 6

Apple will drop Google Maps from its upcoming mobile platform iOS 6 in favour of its own mapping system, it was reported Friday. The application design is said to be fairly similar to the current Google Maps programme on the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, but it is described as a much cleaner, faster and more reliable experience, said technology news website 9to5mac, citing its sources. Over the last few years, Apple has been acquiring mapping companies like Placebase, C3 Technologies and Poly9. The acquisitions enable Apple to create a complete mapping database of its own instead of relying on Google’s solutions, reported Xinhua. The most important aspect of the new Apple Maps application, according to the report, is a powerful 3D mode, which is technology straight from C3 Technologies, a Swedish company Apple bought last year. Apple has been gradually pushing Google Maps away. Last week, Apple acknowledged that its iOS iPhoto app, a photo-sorting tool for the iPad and iPhone, had switched from Google Maps data to OpenStreetMap data since March. The app uses mapping data to display the shoot location of geotagged photos. Apple is scheduled to hold its annual Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco from June 11 to 15. The key announcement at this year’s conference is expected to be iOS 6, the sixth generation of its mobile operating system.

Source: The Economic Times

Linux OS is no longer a geeks-only zone and good for a normal user

In the battle of the desktop operating systems (OS), there are only three dominant players left – Windows, Mac and Linux. At some point, Windows was cast as the platform for the common man, Mac as the one for the artist, and Linux as the geek’s playground. Linux found favour in powering servers, supercomputers, large businesses and even stock exchanges. And Google even used it as the platform to build its popular Android mobile operating system. But in the desktop and notebook space, it still failed to gain traction. There’s an image associated with Linux that can be frightening for a normal user, invoking pictures of command lines and terminal windows. But over the past 20 years, some massive steps have been taken to make the OS more accessible.


Linux comes in more flavours today than what you would find in an ice cream shop. Each flavour, called a ‘distribution’ or ‘distro’ , is designed for a different set of users. Some of the most popular ones are Ubuntu, Fedora, Mint, OpenSUSE, Debian and CentOS. Each distro has its own unique, intuitive and easy to use interface, designed following rigourous user testing. Developers have carefully studied what steps people take for common day-to-day tasks and have made significant improvements to simplify as well as speed up the user experience. Still, behind all the eyecandy lies the same stability and flexibility that makes Linux the OS of choice for companies like Google, Amazon and eBay. Distros use different interfaces, giving a broad variety in look and feel. Popular ones are Unity, Gnome or KDE, which work best if your system has 512MB RAM or higher. If you are running an older PC or desire faster speeds, interfaces like LXDE or Xfce are the way to go.

Each distro is open source and the applications are developed by a community of enthusiasts. This usually translates into a plethora of unique features and add-ons that make computing much easier. For example, if you have thousands of MP3 files on your hard drive, an application called Nautilus – a file explorer – lets you hold your mouse over the file for a few seconds to automatically play the track. Similarly, those who love instant messengers and use multiple ones – Yahoo Messenger, ICQ, Windows Live or Google Talk – might sometimes be stormed by a flurry of messages popping up together. In Linux, if you receive five messages, they all sit in the message queue. The first one shows up in the notification area, fades out, and the next one fades in. The Empathy Instant Messaging client supports all the popular chat applications, including Facebook chat, so you need only one program to connect to all your favourite chat services.


Initially, Linux users face a major problem in finding software for each distro, as well as installing it. But all that has changed recently. One of the things that mobile users enjoy most is the ability to discover and install applications from their phone’s app store. Similarly, Linux desktops also have app stores, such as the Ubuntu Software Center and Deepin Software Center, which offer thousands of free and paid software for gaming, education, productivity and development. But will Linux be fine for your usual computing needs? On the work front, it’s up to speed. For all office applications such as word processors, spreadsheets and presentations , most distros come with an office suite pre-loaded , such as LibreOffice, OpenOffice, or Calligra (or you can download them if not pre-installed ). These can easily open most MS-Office files, be it one made in the latest MS Office 2010 or older versions. They can also save files to the same formats, as well as others such as PDF – perfect if you want to send an invoice to someone without allowing them to edit it. The only thing missing is an email suite to take on the powerful Microsoft Outlook.

But Mozilla’s Thunderbird supports Linux and is more than capable of executing anything you would have done in Outlook. There’s no shortage of games available either. Popular titles such as Battle for Wesnoth or OpenArena will let you while away some time. And hey, what’s a computer without Solitaire? The world’s favourite digital card game and its twin FreeCell are both available on Linux, as well as Tux Math – a fun game to keep your mathematical skills sharp. You can play music in the wide variety of music players available, and also edit your tracks using Audacity. There’s also the ability to edit videos with Shotwell, and the famous VLC player can play most audio or video files. And of course, the Gimp image editor will make you never miss Photoshop again. In most cases, if you think you need a program for something, then chances are that it’s available for Linux – and now it’s easier then ever before to find it.


One of the major attractions to Linux and open source is that the software has no viruses, eliminating the headache of your PC going down every few months, or of buying expensive antivirus software. “There are about 60,000 viruses known for Windows, 40 or so for the Macintosh, about 5 for commercial Unix versions and perhaps 40 for Linux. Two-three of the Macintosh viruses were widespread enough to be of importance. None of the Unix or Linux viruses became widespread – most were confined to the laboratory,” write Dr. Nic Peeling and Dr Julian Satchell in their report titled Analysis of the Impact of Open Source Software. Linux also doesn’t slow down over time; it runs at the same speed as when it was first installed. And what’s perhaps more important is that its applications theoretically won’t hang your whole system. If some program misbehaves, only that application hangs without affecting other things. Linux also gets rid of those con stant pop-ups asking you to update a program or install drivers every time you run it. The system man ages all updates centrally, so you only have one application that prompts you for the upgrade. And it’s customizable enough that you can make it automatic, ask for a notification without a pop-up , and even turn it off entirely. It makes for a clutter-free and uninterrupted computer experience. A major concern for computer users is the support for hardware If you have used Linux in the past it might have had trouble detecting your printer or a third-party device Today, however, most of the devices work well without installing any drivers, as Linux now supports 3,000 printers, 1,000 digital cameras and 200 web cams. In fact, you can even sync your iPod/iPhone music with the Rhythmbox media player with out installing iTunes.


If you are now ready to try Linux on your computer, you don’t need to uninstall your existing operating system. You can easily dual-boot Linux with Windows or Mac. What’ more, Linux also has the ability to run as a full OS directly off a CD or a pen drive, letting you try it out before installing it. Be warned though, the speeds would be a little slower than what you get if you were to install it on your hard disk. The best part, of course, is that Linux is free. And this cost is usu ally passed on to the consumer, as PCs running Linux from Dell and Wipro cost about Rs. 3,000 lesser than the same model bundled with Windows. Considering the benefits it might be worthwhile to give Linux a chance…

Source: The Economic Times

How Internet detectives, and others, find out where you live

An explosion of people checking into social networks is being exploited by mobile application makers and private detectives, who say they can use people’s online chatter and photos to track them and find out where they live. In March, Apple (AAPL.O) stopped downloads of a “stalker” mobile application that told men where women around them were “hanging out”, using only publicly available information from social networks. But other readily available apps can do the same and more, say online investigators who use them. When a person uses a mobile phone to post a tweet on Twitter or upload a photo to the image-hosting website Flickr, sometimes so-called geolocation data can be found lurking underneath the tweet or photo. This can be used to track down their local haunts, including their home or where they study.

“It is quite easy sometimes to work out which house a tweet is coming from,” said Neil Smith, a former police officer turned online researcher in Britain. Geolocation research is a fast evolving area as most applications are built on the back of freely available open-source software. One of Smith’s favourite applications was developed by 27-year-old Greek IT engineer Ioannis Kakavas, who aptly called his invention Creepy. The free app collates geolocation data attached to a person’s tweets and pictures to figure out where they might work, said Smith, who says he uses it to track down perpetrators of insurance fraud for corporate clients. Police officers in Vancouver, Canada and in Arizona and Colorado in the United States also say they have used Creepy in their investigations. An array of social networks like Twitter, Foursquare, Twitpic, Flickr, YFrog, Gowalla, and Lockerz can provide such geolocation data, Kakavas said.


Some of these websites allow users to disable geolocation, but those like Foursquare and Gowalla depend on it. Twitter users can choose to enable it when they join and Facebook says it strips off the location data on photos. Smith, who says he has recently been hired by journalists who want to use geolocation data in their research, says his work is for “honourable, legal purposes”. For many parents, mobile apps that use geolocation can also be a source of reassurance: FamilyTracker and Life360 are two apps which show parents where their children are on a map. But Smith and other professional snoops admit that many people oblivious to geolocation data can find themselves unwittingly exposed. “Teenage girls are taking pictures of themselves unclothed and then sending them to their boyfriends,” said Chris Hadnagy, a security expert and owner of social-engineer.com, a service which shows companies how vulnerable they might be to hacking. “These photos may contain the location of where the photo was taken.Regulators in the United States and the European Union have come out in force for new ways to protect people’s privacy online, but geolocation data on social networks seems to be at anyone’s fingertips without breaking the law.

“We have geolocation information that the users knowingly and deliberately make public,” said Kakavas, who says he developed Creepy to show people how easy it can be for prying eyes to scrutinise their private lives. But Smith cautioned: “If you don’t care about your own security then don’t be surprised by tools like Creepy which can harvest that information.” U.S. and EU regulators agree that people using the Internet should have the choice to stop websites from gathering their data to send them targeted ads. To meet these demands advertising firms, web publishers and privacy experts have been meeting under the banner of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) to write an updated version of “Do Not Track”, a tool users can install on their browser to stop online marketing companies from gathering their web browsing history. But geolocation is more difficult to deal with. “Because where someone is located may affect how they are treated under law, we cannot bar all geolocation,” said Aleecia McDonald from the open source browser company Mozilla Firefox, a member of the W3C. “However, we are agreed that very precise geolocation … which gets down to about a dozen households, is not in keeping with the spirit of Do Not Track.”

Source: Reuters India