Items tagged with Privacy

Two years ago Mark Zuckerberg and the gang introduced an advertising platform called Facebook Audience Network. It was designed to help publishers and developers support their services through targeted ads, which are ads that are determined to be relevant and of interest to the person viewing them. Up until now the Facebook Audience Network was used only to show ads to people with Facebook accounts who visit specific websites and apps, but now they'll follow you across the web. The Facebook Audience Network is also expanding to include those who don't use or aren't connected to Facebook. Through... Read more...
We don't need to tell you that Apple has been dealing with some extreme issues revolving around encryption in recent months. Most of the hassle was spurred back in December when the FBI wanted the Cupertino company to help break into a terrorist's iPhone 5c, something it refused to do. As time went on, the FBI figured out its own solution to getting in, much to Apple's chagrin. Since then, government agencies have made use of this newfound power to gain access to consumer iPhones, and that has guaranteed just one thing: hardware vendors are going to push even harder to make sure this isn't possible... Read more...
John McAfee, the antivirus pioneer who created the self-titled AV software that was eventually sold to Intel for $7.68 billion, tried shopping a story to the media that he and his merry band of hackers thwarted WhatsApp's encryption because of a major flaw in Android. The only problem is it didn't exactly happen that way.WhatsApp is an interesting target because it recently announced the addition of end-to-end encryption. It's also the most used messaging application in the world with over a billion users, so if there's a flaw in Android, the most popular mobile OS on the planet, that compromises... Read more...
The rise of the Internet has forever changed the way we go about our daily lives and made certain things more convenient, but the more online services a person uses, the higher the potential privacy cost. That's been a rising deterrent for Americans, many of which now avoid certain online activities over concerns about privacy and security, according to a recent study by the National Telecommunications & Information Administration. NTIA combed over survey data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, which included answers to several privacy and security questions by more than 41,000 households... Read more...
Researchers at Aarhus University in Denmark caused quite the online kerfuffle when they posted personal information of nearly 70,000 users registered at OkCupid, a popular online dating website. The data dump contained usernames, ages, gender, religion, personality traits, and answers to questions designed to help the site find matches for singles. Lead author Emil Kirkegaard and his research partner Julius Daugbjerg Bjerrekaer zeroed in on OkCupid "because users often answer hundreds of not thousands of questions," making it a rich and readily available source of survey data. The information obtained... Read more...
The FBI ultimately dropped its suit against Apple involving the now infamous iPhone that was connected to a terrorist in the San Bernardino shooting, but the quest to set a legal precedent marches on. FBI Director James Comey hinted as much when said this week there would be more legal battles over encryption and with regards to forcing tech companies to help law enforcement access data on electronic devices.It's not game over, in other words. Though the FBI ultimately didn't need Apple's help in extracting data from the iPhone 5c model it confiscated from a dead terrorist who had locked the handset... Read more...
Internet privacy is kind of like a VCR or CD player, in that one day our kids will ask us “you used to have that?” It’s staggering how much of our online activity is tracked, catalogued, and used for a wide array of purposes, most of them related to commerce. But if you’re a dissident, journalist, someone who lives in a country where the Internet is restricted, or just want to browse the web without being tracked, your options are becoming increasingly limited. It’s likely the situation will only get worse in the future, as companies devise more sophisticated ways of tracking our every move online.... Read more...
Tinder, a popular mobile app that purports to help "meet interesting people nearby," is testing a new feature called Tinder Social. The concept behind Tinder Social is to bring together groups of friends and it works the same way as finding dates—swipe and match with other groups that are also headed out to do something interesting. That's fine and dandy except that Tinder users are automatically opted into Tinder Social; if you're using Tinder on the down low (or simply don't want to advertise your participation to your friends), you'll have to opt-out before you're discovered. Naturally Tinder... Read more...
It's beginning to look a lot like no website on Earth can be trusted with our important data, as attackers are attracted to any service that has a huge number of users. They're even attracted to websites that seek out attractiveness, apparently, as BeautifulPeople.com has had its mammoth user database stolen. Are you unsightly and want revenge? Good news! The database is for sale. As its name implies, BeautifulPeople.com is a site dedicated to hooking up good-looking blokes and gals. That makes it quite an exclusive site, especially thanks to the fact that you have to be approved by the community... Read more...
When Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the NSA's comprehensive spying efforts a few years ago, some might have thought that the agency (along with others) would cool their jets. After all, they were caught red-handed prying into our lives without our knowledge. As recent months have shown, however, the government, and especially the FBI, has no qualm about prying into our mobile devices if the desire is there. The FBI apparently even found a way into iPhones without Apple's help (which Apple has chosen to ignore). Fortunately for us, many software solution providers are capitalizing on consumer... Read more...
If you've ever tried to link someone to a Google Maps URL, you'll undoubtedly understand the benefit of URL shorteners. With them, we can take grossly long URLs and shorten them to a mere fraction of their original length, allowing your Facebook status update to retain a clean look and actually put a few words alongside a URL in a tweet. There's a reason services like Google Maps and Twitter offer their own URL shorteners... they're convenient and useful. According to a new report released out of Cornell Tech, however, we should be showing some concern over the use of URL shorteners. There's a... Read more...
As we grow increasingly dependent on various online services that contain information about our personal lives, the need for privacy is paramount. This has major tech companies at odds with the U.S. government, the latter of which would like unfettered access to all things digital. Rather than give in, Microsoft is fighting back by filing a lawsuit against the Department of Justice over a law that allows its to request customer emails without their knowledge.Microsoft is fighting for customers' right to know when a government agency obtains a warrant to read their emails. As it currently stands,... Read more...
It's no secret that law enforcement agencies and governments at large want to have access to our personal data whether we like it or not. Hot on the heels of the FBI managing to bypass security measures that should have protected the data on a terrorist's iPhone 5c, we see that the case is definitely not closed. As many had suspected, now that the floodgates are open, agencies like the FBI are not content to let this one win be the last. This week, draft legislation leaked out of the U.S. Senate that to some highlights the government's ignorance about encryption. Within the bill is an... Read more...
The Oculus Rift has finally begun shipping to fans that have been eagerly anticipating their pre-orders.  For many, the Rift is the virtual reality device beat despite the best efforts of HTC, Sony, and others.  According to some, however, the Oculus Rift may come with a greater cost than its $599 pricetag and we aren't talking about the beast of a gaming machine you'll need to adequately power it.  Instead, these concerns stem from Facebook's ownership of Oculus.  These concerns have been heard before, of course, back when Facebook acquired the company two years ago, but now... Read more...
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