Weekly Digital News Roundup: Jan 29 – Feb 2
Apple to Open Giant Data Center in Arizona
- According to the New York Times, on Monday, the State of Arizona announced that Apple would invest $2 billion in the creation of a data center at a facility in Mesa after its original plans to produce sapphire, a material tougher than glass, there were abandoned.
- While Apple may have abandoned sapphire production at the Arizona facility, the company has not given up on the facility itself, which measures 1.3 million square feet. Apple on Monday said that the multibillion-dollar investment in the data center was one of its most significant investments ever, creating 600 engineering and construction jobs. The center will be partly used as a central command center for monitoring Apple’s other data centers around the world, the company said.
- “We’re proud to continue investing in the U.S. with a new data center in Arizona, which will serve as a command center for our global networks,” said Kristin Huguet, an Apple spokeswoman. She said the facility would be powered entirely by renewable energy, much of which will come from a solar farm.
Verizon Wireless to allow customers to opt-out of cookie tracking
- According to Washington Post, Verizon Wireless said Friday that it will allow customers to opt out of having the company’s controversial tracking code inserted into their Web traffic.
- The company previously offered a way for customers to opt-out of having their data used in its online advertising program. But the company continued to insert a unique code into their Web traffic, angering civil liberties groups who said the technology could be used to track customers movements on the Internet — even if they took steps to protect their privacy. Now, the company is taking steps to give users more control.
- But even Verizon’s willingness to allow customers to opt-out may not be enough to silence some critics, who argue that the company shouldn’t automatically enroll its customers in their online marketing efforts in the first place. “Verizon really shouldn’t be doing this in the first place and it should really be opt-in, not opt-out,” says Jeffrey Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy.
Google removed more than 524 million ‘bad’ ads last year
- According to LA Times, Google cracked down on unscrupulous advertisers last year, disabling more than 524 million bad ads and banning more than 214,000 advertisers who were misusing ads for harmful or deceptive purposes.
- The search engine giant on Tuesday released its annual review of bad advertising practices. Google revealed that it removed 250,000 sites from its network for hiding forms of malware and said it banned 7,000 advertisers for promoting counterfeit goods, down from 14,000 in 2013.
- For example, last summer Google’s analysis technology flagged a particular set of accounts as suspicious. The ads appeared to be ordinary rental property ads that met the company’s policies, but the vacation rentals turned out to be a scam and the rental properties didn’t exist.