Android 12's quietly important privacy progress

Credit to Author: JR Raphael| Date: Tue, 25 May 2021 07:21:00 -0700

This year, for the first time in a long time, it’s easy to glance at Google’s latest Android effort and focus mostly on the surface.

Android 12’s most striking element is without a doubt the overhauled look and feel it brings to the operating system (even if realistically, Pixel owners are the only ones who’ll reap the full benefits of that change). We haven’t seen such a dramatic reimagining of the Android interface in many a moon — since 2014’s Android 5.0 (a.k.a. Lollipop) release — and this progression stretches past the core software itself, even, with effects set to reach the experience of using apps within Android and eventually also Google apps on the web. The same principles will apply to Chromebooks, Smart Displays, and Wear-based wearables before long as well, making this a true Google ecosystem evolution.

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Microsoft patents biometric 'wellness insights' tool for workers

Credit to Author: Matthew Finnegan| Date: Wed, 28 Apr 2021 04:32:00 -0700

Microsoft has patented an employee “wellbeing” recommendation feature that uses biometric data to detect a worker’s stress levels when completing tasks such as sending emails, encouraging them to take a break when anxiety levels run high.

The “Emotion Detection From Contextual Signals For Surfacing Wellness Insights” patent, filed in October 2019 and published last week, describes a “wellness insights service” that collates data from a range of sources. This includes blood pressure and heartrate monitoring data that could be obtained from an employees’ wearable devices, such as smart watches and fitness trackers.

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Collaboration analytics: Yes, you can track employees. Should you?

Credit to Author: Matthew Finnegan| Date: Mon, 12 Apr 2021 03:00:00 -0700

From email to video meetings and team chat, collaboration applications have become vital tools to connect workers. And by giving companies the tools to track employee use of these apps, software vendors can provide insights into working patterns and help organizations better understand how they operate.

The ability to view analytics data in collaboration and productivity software is not new; such products have long provided admins with a snapshot of app utilization. Typically aimed at gauging user uptake and tracking deployment progress, these metrics were otherwise limited in their wider business use.

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3 Android 12 features you can bring to any phone today

Credit to Author: JR Raphael| Date: Tue, 02 Mar 2021 07:42:00 -0800

Google’s Android 12 software is nowhere near ready for prime time, but Goog almighty: We’ve sure seen plenty of hints about some of the tantalizing touches it could include. And if you’re anything like me, that makes it tough not to feel at least a teensy bit hungry for a taste.

The current Android 12 developer preview, unfortunately, won’t do much to satisfy that craving. It’s basically just a barebones framework of the software, made mostly for developers, and most of the mouthwatering morsels are carefully tucked away, disabled, and not yet visible or available for regular-mammal phone-owner use.

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Chrome vs. Edge vs. Firefox: Which is the best browser for business?

Credit to Author: Preston Gralla| Date: Tue, 19 Jan 2021 03:00:00 -0800

What’s the most important piece of productivity software in the business world? Some might say the office suite. But if you look at the time spent actually using software, the answer may well be the web browser. It’s where people do most of their fact-finding and research.

Edge

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The New Normal: When work-from-home means the boss is watching

Credit to Author: Matthew Finnegan| Date: Thu, 29 Oct 2020 03:00:00 -0700

In the midst of a pandemic that’s led to unprecedented levels of remote working, digital tools to monitor employees in real time are gaining popularity among companies looking for new ways to track employee productivity. At the same time, the trend raises concerns about employee privacy and how far companies should be allowed to go to keep tabs on their workers.

Applications such as StaffCop, Teramind, Hubstaff, CleverControl, and Time Doctor include real-time activity tracking, can take screenshots of workers’ computers at regular intervals, do keystroke logging, and record screens. In some cases, the tracking tools can be installed without the knowledge of employees. Companies say they’re focused on transparency and productivity, but privacy groups decry draconian “Big Brother” moves made possible by technology. (Computerworld reached out to several of the vendors for comment; they either did not return messages or could not provide someone to discuss their software.)

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Slack talks up security with new encryption options, FedRAMP certification

Credit to Author: Matthew Finnegan| Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2020 10:43:00 -0700

As Slack works to entice large organizations to deploy its channel-based collaboration app, the company is touting a variety of security upgrades, including an expanded enterprise key management (EKM) system and stronger compliance capabilities.

Among the updates announced Tuesday is the extension of EKM to give admins greater flexibility over the encryption of message data. Slack’s EKM, introduced in 2018 for Enterprise Grid customers, can now cover data sent by users accessing the Workflow Builder automation tool. The company also plans to expand EKM to messages sent in Slack Connect – the company’s  recently announced platform for multi-company conversations – when it launches later this year. 

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10 steps to smarter Google account security

Credit to Author: JR Raphael| Date: Wed, 26 Feb 2020 03:00:00 -0800

There are important accounts to secure, and then there are important accounts to secure. Your Google account falls into that second category, maybe even with a couple of asterisks and some neon orange highlighting added in for good measure.

I mean, really: When you stop and think about how much stuff is associated with that single sign-in — your email, your documents, your photos, your files, your search history, maybe even your contacts, text messages, and location history, if you use Android — saying it’s a “sensitive account” seems like an understatement. Whether you’re using Google for business, personal purposes, or some combination of the two, you want to do everything you possibly can to keep all of that information locked down and completely under your control.

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