Items tagged with Privacy

We hear about hacks and attacks on web services all of the time, and often, there's a big reason behind it. The attackers either want to fetch information for their financial gain, or just to simply cause havoc. In this latest case involving Epic Games' forums, it appears to be the latter. In a new blog post, Epic says that it believes its Unreal Engine and Unreal Tournament forums have been compromised, with the attackers gaining access to email addresses and other information. Fortunately, no passwords were included, whether salted or not. This points to a smart design: while the bulk of the... Read more...
Internet providers are still hashing out issues with the FCC. In particular, Comcast is currently defend its “pay-for-privacy” model to the FCC [PDF]. Comcast has even contended that  “the FCC has no authority to prohibit or limit these types of programs.”So what exactly is the “pay-for-privacy” system? Essentially, companies like Comcast offers discounts to customers in exchange for allowing ISP's to use their data. Comcast then floods these customers with various behaviorally-targeted ads. Customers who prefer privacy over pricing are charged a premium.Several weeks ago a number of lawmakers... Read more...
Law enforcement officials found a way to unlock a murder victim's Samsung Galaxy S6 by using specially printed copies of fingerprints on file from a previous conviction. It wasn't easy thwarting Samsung's biometric security, but with the help of Anil Jain, a professor of computer science and engineering at Michigan State University, the detectives assigned to the case were ultimately successful in tricking the phone's fingerprint recognition.It took several tries and pricey equipment for this to work. The detectives brought the phone and a copy of the victim's fingerprints to Jain with the hope... Read more...
If you're a SwiftKey user and have been experiencing some oddities lately: you're not alone. Due to a bug, some SwiftKey users have been receiving some downright bizarre recommendations, including phrases that they never use. Even worse? The software also predicted names and email addresses of other users! Once this discovery was made, the company behind the software took swift (sorry) action to pull some of its services offline; namely, the cloud-related bits. The company says that the vast majority of users were unaffected by this issue, which is a little reassuring as the software has millions... Read more...
So you’ve finally made the decision to upgrade to Windows 10. Congratulations! You put up the good fight and held out for a year, but with the prospects of paying $119 now staring you in the face, there are likely millions of people like you around the globe in the same situation. However, the move to Windows 10 also comes with some words of caution as well. As you might have already heard over the past year, Microsoft ruffled the feathers of users that value their privacy with Windows 10. So, to that end, we have a guide that is dedicated to helping you navigate these murky waters to... Read more...
The Internet is littered with memes describing awkward moments and perhaps now someone will make a new one describing that awkward moment when a service that prides itself on anonymity mistakenly shares your email address without thousands of others. So it goes with Glassdoor, an online portal where employees past and present can leave anonymous reviews of companies.Glassdoor is a popular and handy website for any job seeker considering employment at a particular firm. It's filled with useful information, a lot of it anecdotal in terms of being user reviews, but also what kind of compensation to... Read more...
Law enforcement officials are seeking help from a professor at Michigan State University with creating a special 3D printed replica of a homicide victim's fingers in order to unlock his phone using his fingerprints. In theory it sounds like a brilliant idea, one that would sidestep the potentially contentious process of trying to get Apple or Google to assist with unlocking the device, only there's a pretty major roadblock that stands in the way. There are safeguards in place that require a passcode if a fingerprint scanner hasn't been used in quite some time. For example, as of iOS 9, Apple added... Read more...
We reported earlier on France's demands to Microsoft with regards to bolstering its Windows 10 OS to better protect user data, and ultimately, their privacy. The fact that a watchdog would target Microsoft for collecting too much data probably strikes no one as a surprise, as that very complaint has been one shared by many users since the launch of Microsoft's latest OS. In the complaint, France's Chair of the National Data Protection Commission noted a couple of big issues, from the fact that the PIN code can be entered as many times as an attacker needs it to be and also that certain mechanisms... Read more...
France's data privacy and protection watchdog has ordered Microsoft to put the brakes on what it deems is excessive user data collection in Windows 10. It also took issue with certain elements of Windows 10 that need to be more secure, such as entering the four-character PIN to log into the operating system, and privacy breaches stemming from the browser. The Chair of the National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) notified Microsoft of its decision following an investigation by a special contact group created by various authorities in the European Union. CNIL says the investigation "revealed many... Read more...
It seems impossible for the world to go a single week without a major security breach, so to fill the inevitable void this week is a hacker that goes by the name "thedarkoverlord," who claims to be in possession of a staggering 655,000 healthcare records. Of course, he is looking to sell them off. This latest records leak was first reported by Deep Dot Web, which has exclusive images to prove that the leak is real (one can be seen below). These images were not sourced by the website; rather, thedarkoverlord himself provided the images, probably as a way to build up some notoriety, and to flaunt... Read more...
Every so often, Facebook does something that sets off the alarm of privacy advocates—perhaps it's inevitable when you're the largest social network on the planet with over 1.65 billion users. Right now that something is tapping into your smartphone's location data to suggest friends based on where you're at or where you've been. Why is this unsettling? Getting past the theoretical situations and jumping straight into a real-world example that's a bit creepy on Facebook's part, Kashmir Hill at Fusion writes an anecdotal account of a man on Facebook who suspected it had tracked his location to figure... Read more...
Apple Inc. announced at last week’s developer conference that it will start collecting user data with iOS 10. The company wants to make Siri and iPhones better at predicting and suggesting information a user may need, but this will strictly be an opt-in feature. The company stated that it will use “differential privacy” in order to collect the necessary data. Differential privacy is a concept that aims to make queries more accurate in statistical databases while still maintaining the privacy of those who provide the data. In order to maintain user’s privacy, Apple will inject a small amount... Read more...
You know a story is going to be good when it involves Facebook, its creator Mark Zuckerberg, and the word "privacy". It used to be that Google was considered the biggest, baddest people data-fetcher, but over time, that crown has been passed to Facebook, a service that doesn't even need to try to get information from people, as those people willingly cough it up themselves. For a multitude of reasons, the lack of privacy on Facebook should be concerning to many, especially when you consider that Mark Zuckerberg can't seem to get enough privacy for himself. As we reported just the other day, Facebook-owned... Read more...
It's been said time and again that if you're not paying for something, then you're the product. That's an oversimplification of how things work, but there's also some truth to the statement, especially in the social media world where services like Twitter and Facebook are free to use. Be that as it may, Facebook insists that it hasn't crossed the line by tapping into people's microphones to deliver targeted ads. "Facebook does not use your phone’s microphone to inform ads or to change what you see in News Feed. Some recent articles have suggested that we must be listening to people’s conversations... Read more...
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