The New York Times reports on a new tool for tracking personal data online. Called XRay, the open-sourced tool created by researchers at Columbia University reverse-engineers correlations made by web services—for example, Gmail or Facebook ads or Amazon product recommendations—to help understand how the ads or recommendations are served up. “The web today is a big black box,” said one of the researchers. “What’s needed is transparency.” Meanwhile, Junkee’s Elizabeth Flux reports on a Google Maps website that reveals, when a user’s location services are on, where the phone has been for up to a month. For the website to work, a user must log in with the same account used on a smartphone and have location services turned on. (Registration may be required to access this story.)
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