Firefox Cracks Down On Supercookies; Grindr Faces $11.7M Fine For Alleged GDPR Violation

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Supercookies Crumble

The newest version of Mozilla’s browser, Firefox 85, includes protection against so called “supercookies.” What the heck are supercookies? According to Mozilla, they can be used in place of ordinary cookies to store user identifiers, but are much more difficult to delete and block. They’re often found hiding in “increasingly obscure” parts of the browser, including in Flash storage, ETags and HSTS, Mozilla noted in a blog post. Firefox 85 now partitions network connections and caches by the website being visited. “By isolating caches and network connections to the website they were created on,” Mozilla wrote, “we make them useless for cross-site tracking.”

What A Grind

Norwegian regulators intend to slap Grindr, a dating app that serves the gay, bi, trans and queer community, with a nearly $12 million fine over allegedy shady data-sharing practices. ABC News reports that the Norwegian Data Protection Authority notified Grindr of its intent to fine the company 100 million Norwegian krone (about $11.7 million) and accused the platform of illegally sharing users’ personal data taken from the free version of the app with third parties for marketing purposes, including MoPub, AT&T’s AppNexus, OpenX, Smaato and AdColony. Grindr has until Feb. 15 to respond before the regulator makes its final decision. The move comes a year after the Norwegian Consumer Council released an analysis of 10 popular apps demonstrating that none allowed users to make “an informed choice” about how their data would be used, a core tenet of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation. Grindr was called out as one of the worst offenders. Related in AdExchanger: “Grindr’s Data Is Sensitive, But Its Data-Sharing Practices Are The Norm In The App World.”

Let’s Revue

Newsletters are the new hotness. On Monday, Twitter acquired Revue, a startup founded in The Netherlands that allows users to write and publish their own editorial newsletters. Although the terms weren’t disclosed, The Wall Street Journal reports that Revue will remain a standalone service and that Twitter plans to expand the company’s six-person workforce. “Revue will accelerate our work to help people stay informed about their interests while giving all types of writers a way to monetize their audience – whether it’s through the one they built at a publication, their website, on Twitter or elsewhere,” Twitter said in a blog post. Twitter isn’t the only social media platform that’s recently invested in helping content creators. Instagram, Snapchat and TikTok all announced plans last year to pay creators for videos. And in other Twitter news: After booting former President Trump in the wake of the Jan. 6 mob attack on the US Capitol, Twitter isn’t stopping its efforts to curb the spread of misinformation. Per NBC News, Twitter has unveiled a crowdsourcing program called Birdwatch that will allow users to add context to tweets and flag potentially misleading posts.

But Wait, There’s More!

Donald Trump was eclipsed in media attention last week by President Biden for the first time since Trump took office. [Axios]

A peek into Facebook’s Board, which will decide whether private citizen Trump gets to come back on Facebook. [NYT]

Researchers find a new flaw that left TikTok user data exposed, including phone numbers and profile information, [Business Insider] while ByteDance’s revenue more than doubled in 2020. [The Information]

As Apple and Google privacy updates near, marketers and media buyers predict an “adverse impact on advertisers.” [Digiday]

Ecommerce startup Bloomreach raises $150 million on a $900 million valuation and acquires CDP Exponea. [TechCrunch]

Facebook launches its News tab in the UK and expects to pay some publishers to include their content. [The Verge]

Univision lines up Clorox, Coca-Cola, Dunkin, Johnson & Johnson, Toyota and Walmart as sponsors for the launch of its new PrendeTV streaming video hub. [Variety]

Contextual ad tech startup Illuma has been selected for capital fundraising through PwC’s Raise Programme. [release]

Business Insider generated 30% revenue growth in 2020 despite the COVID-19 crisis thanks to subscriptions and automated ads. [WSJ]

You’re Hired!

Stacy DeRiso and Will Wiseman leave Omnicom Group’s PHD for new roles at IPG’s Initiative. [Campaign US]

Digital out-of-home provider Hivestack appoints Louis-Philippe Denis as global chief legal and privacy officer. [release]

Ad tech company Ntooitive adds four new sales and partnership execs. [release]

Digital intelligence platform Quantum Metric brings on a new CFO and CRO. [release]

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