New, Updated Foursquare Is Always Watching You… Even When You Aren’t Running Foursquare

New, Updated Foursquare Is Always Watching You… Even When You Aren’t Running Foursquare

If you launch Foursquare, you expect it to know where you are. The app is explicitly designed to record your location when you open it and so nobody’s shocked if it, well, records their location when they open it. But users who download the new Foursquare are in for a nasty surprise. The app is now tracking users’ locations at all times, whether they’ve opened it or not. [More]

Apple Will Prevent Businesses From Tracking iPhone Users Via Wifi

Apple Will Prevent Businesses From Tracking iPhone Users Via Wifi

Remember when Nordstrom began tracking customers’ movements in and out of their stores by using smartphones’ individual Media Access Control (MAC) addresses if those phones tried to connect to in-store wifi, then abruptly stopped when the public found out about it? App developers say that Apple is ending such tracking in the next version of its mobile operating system by randomizing MAC addresses. [More]

OnTrac Marks My Packages 'Delivered' Today, Delivers Them Tomorrow

OnTrac Marks My Packages 'Delivered' Today, Delivers Them Tomorrow

Last week, we shared a story from a reader who got a very early wakeup call from OnTrac, on his porch with an Amazon package a few days earlier than anticipated. Ryan, meanwhile, has sort of the opposite problem. No, OnTrac isn’t pounding on his door after he went to bed. His packaged showed up in the system as “delivered” even though there was no sign of it. He actually received it the following day. Is OnTrac messing around with flux capacitors, redefining “delivered,” or is something else going on here? [More]

OnStar Says Not To Worry About It Tracking Your Car Even After You Cancel It

OnStar Says Not To Worry About It Tracking Your Car Even After You Cancel It

Last week, OnStar raised some eyebrows when they emailed their customers to say that the company will tracking their car even after they canceled service. They then followed up with an emailed statement to the press to let everyone know they’re not bad guys. [More]

OnStar Now Tracking Your Car Even After You Cancel Service

OnStar Now Tracking Your Car Even After You Cancel Service

OnStar sent around an email to users this week letting them know they’ll be keeping close tabs on their cars, even if they cancel the service. The navigation-and-emergency service will keep tracking your car, and the company is reserving the right to anonymously resell the collected data to third parties. [More]

Web Analytics Firm, 20 Clients Sued For Web Tracking

Web Analytics Firm, 20 Clients Sued For Web Tracking

There’s big business in tracking web browsing, and temptation to grab more information than is legally acceptable. A lawsuit alleges a web analytics company and its clients stepped over the line in snooping on browsing habits, particularly of those who try to cover their tracks. [More]

How The Biggest Sites Are Stalking You And Reselling Your Info

How The Biggest Sites Are Stalking You And Reselling Your Info

Most websites you visit are monitoring your behavior, even after you leave. They install little files like cookies, beacons, and flash cookies to see where you go, what you buy, even what text you’re typing. WSJ analyzed the tracking behavior of the top 50 websites online to see how each of them is watching your every step, and then reselling the info to the highest bidder. For instance, did you know that Dictionary.com gives its users up to 159 cookies, 23 flash cookies and 41 beacons for third parties? [More]

Nielsen Partners With Facebook, Other Websites To Measure Ad Views Online

Nielsen Partners With Facebook, Other Websites To Measure Ad Views Online

If you don’t like the concept of having your online actions tracked for marketing purposes, you can add Nielsen to you list of sworn enemies. The audience measurement company is better known for its TV viewer ratings, but yesterday it announced a new partnership with websites like Facebook where it will access user info (age and gender only, it says) to collect aggregate data on ad views around the web. [More]

Thief Steals iPhone While Victim Is Participating In GPS Tracking Demo

Thief Steals iPhone While Victim Is Participating In GPS Tracking Demo

On Monday, a man in San Francisco rode his bike up to a woman holding an iPhone and snatched it out of her hand, then took off. What he didn’t know was that the woman had just walked out of her company’s office to test a new GPS program that provides real time tracking. She went back inside, gave the police location updates over the phone, and man was arrested a half-mile away, reports the San Francisco Chronicle’s Crime Scene blog. [More]

MasterCard Opens Online Store, Uses Predictive Software To Guess What You'll Buy

MasterCard Opens Online Store, Uses Predictive Software To Guess What You'll Buy

MasterCard has decided to expand into online retailing, so it’s opened a store that’s sort of Amazon lite. Well, Amazon several design iterations ago. Actually the site looks like one of those themed mini-stores eBay keeps promoting these days, but the merchandise is all new and tailored to your shopping patterns. And by “tailored,” I mean that the card issuer is using special customer behavior software to predict the things you’re most likely to buy, which it then shows to you. [More]

Find Out Where Your Dairy And Produce Items Came From

Find Out Where Your Dairy And Produce Items Came From

A longtime reader sent in a couple of links to websites that let you find out more about your food supply chain, if you’re into that sort of stuff. Where is my milk from? matches carton codes with a list of dairies published by the FDA. FoodLogiq is less user-friendly and requires free registration, but you can apparently use it to track produce from participating growers. (Thanks to Cy!) [More]

Help, Dell Won't Ask UPS To Trace My Lost Monitor!

Help, Dell Won't Ask UPS To Trace My Lost Monitor!

UPS’ website promises that they will deliver Corey’s Dell Vizio 37″ LCD monitor tomorrow, which would be exciting, except the website has said the same thing every day for the past two weeks. UPS’ customer service representatives insist that the package is lost and that Dell needs to initiate a trace. Dell would be happy to accommodate—who wouldn’t want to trace a lost package?—but their customer service representative claims that it’s Dell policy not to initiate a trace until 48 hours after the scheduled delivery date, which according to UPS, is tomorrow.

Dell Breaks Customer's New Laptop Remotely, Won't Send Him Replacement

Dell Breaks Customer's New Laptop Remotely, Won't Send Him Replacement

Anthony has been a long-time Dell customer and has shared his positive experiences with friends and family, but that’s come to an end thanks to Dell’s abysmal customer service. It’s been one month since he first received his new Studio 15 Laptop, which worked correctly for 4 days. Since then, he’s been on the phone with Dell for a total of 14 hours, he’s watched a Dell CSR remotely break his laptop by interrupting the BIOS flash, he’s been locked out of the data on his hard drive, and there’s still no replacement laptop on the way to him. When he copied us on this email, he added, “All I wanted was the computer that I paid for long ago.”

How To Opt Out Of Google's New Targeted Ads

How To Opt Out Of Google's New Targeted Ads

Last week, Google introduced its new “interest based” ads, which is based on tracking your browsing activity and targeting ads based on that behavior. Fortunately, there are several ways to opt out.

Charter Announces It Will Abandon User Tracking

Charter Announces It Will Abandon User Tracking

Last month we reported on Charter Communications’ plan to start tracking its users internet activity in order to serve more targeted ads. Charter claimed customers could opt-out of the service, but a reader reviewed Charter’s opt-out method and discovered that even if you said no, you would still be tracked. Yesterday Charter announced it was abandoning the program and will not track its customers’ activities after all—at least for the immediate future.

The Battle Of The Biggest Killer: Prescription Drugs V. Illegal Drugs

The Battle Of The Biggest Killer: Prescription Drugs V. Illegal Drugs

So, Florida is apparently plagued by addicted prescription-poppers and not the pot-addled deviants targeted by our government’s so-called “War on Drugs.” A new report shows that prescription drugs killed three-times more Floridians than illegal drugs, and not because old people can’t follow doctor’s orders. Addictive prescriptions like Vicodin, OxyContin, Valium and Xanax killed more users than all illegal drugs combined.

FedEx Breaks Your MacBook, Doesn't Deliver It, Says Your Questions Are Irrelevant

FedEx Breaks Your MacBook, Doesn't Deliver It, Says Your Questions Are Irrelevant

We get that accidents happen. What we don’t get is why FedEx won’t tell this guy what happened to his laptop—why it went out for delivery, why it got returned back to the warehouse, why it was then reported damaged and undeliverable, and finally why the person he was sent to for help keeps stonewalling him by responding that his questions are irrelevant.

ConsumerSay Wants All Your Data, Will Give You $20 For It

ConsumerSay Wants All Your Data, Will Give You $20 For It

Pssst, wanna make an easy $20? Just give all your bank account and personal data over to ConsumerSay, a consumer opinion and behavior tracking firm owned by Lightspeed Research. Jen, who sometimes fills out surveys for freebies and cash, got an email from them offering her $20 for only 5 to 10 minutes of her time. Oh, and all of her financial transaction data.