Items tagged with Privacy

A potential trial between Royal Mail, the postal service company in the United Kingdom, and what's being described as a "big retailer" underscores why it's important to take online privacy seriously. Should the two sides move forward with the trial, online users living in the U.K. will receive market materials via snail mail based on their online shopping habits. Let's say a shopper named Joe visits this so-called big retailer and adds an item to his virtual shopping cart. If Joe doesn't complete the transaction for any reason, he would receive a physical letter or product pamphlet in the mail... Read more...
If the state of the US government's security wasn't appalling before, it sure should be now. Earlier this month, we reported on a breach of government systems that saw the information of four million current and prior government employees get taken by a third-party -- a third-party that was highly believed to be China. Well, now it seems certain. As we learned before, that breach was discovered in April, but we now know that it began in December. That means that the attackers -- the Chinese -- had a free-for-all with this personal data for four months. According to... Read more...
If you didn't know what HTTPS was two-years-ago, chances are you're familiar with it now. Ever since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on NSA spying, the world has gradually been improving its efforts to to protect its data - either at the user or government level. Last fall, Google said that it was going to begin preferring websites that use HTTPS, and if there was any doubt that HTTPS was important, even the US government has made it clear that its own websites need to have secure connections across the board. It looks like social site reddit is... Read more...
Microsoft this week announced that web searches made using the company's Bing search engine will soon be encrypted by default. In actuality, users have been able to encrypt searches made via Bing for around a year and a half now, though sometime before summer comes to an end, it will be a standard option for all users. The move will level the playing field with Google and Yahoo, both of which already offer encrypted searches by default. Of course, the bodies at Microsoft still need to eat and so the company will conintue to pass along referrer strings to marketers and webmasters that identify traffic... Read more...
It's been a full two years since Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the massive spying efforts of the NSA, and despite the sheer amount of information and revelations that have come out since then, there still seems to be a lot more to come. The latest reveal involves the NSA running an intrusion detection system on the Internet's backbone, something it was granted permission for behind-the-scenes. It's reported that in 2012, the Justice Department wrote secret memos to grant the agency the ability to monitor addresses that exhibited security risk behavior. It's important to note that this permission... Read more...
Edward Snowden, a former contractor for the National Security Agency who leaked confidential documents and information to the press regarding the U.S. government's PRISM program, says he has never been "so wrong," and for that he's "grateful." Let's add some context, shall we? Snowden says he was wrong to worry that his efforts and the risk he and the journalists who broke the story over the NSA's bulk collection of phone records would have been for nothing, "that the public would react with indifference, or practiced cynicism, to the revelations." "Never have I been so grateful... Read more...
Apple chief Tim Cook came out swinging during EPIC's Champions of Freedom event in Washington where he was being honored for corporate leadership. His remotely beamed acceptance speech talked about privacy and security, and without calling out other big tech firms by name, he took shots at companies and competitors like Facebook and Google. "I’m speaking to you from Silicon Valley, where some of the most prominent and successful companies have built their businesses by lulling their customers into complacency about their personal information," said Cook. "They’re gobbling up everything they can... Read more...
Senator Rand Paul, a presidential hopeful for the Republican party, was ultimately successful in his ongoing effort to prevent the U.S. Senate from voting on extensions to key provisions of the Patriot Act. As a result, the National Security Agency's legal authority to collect telephone records in bulk expired at the stroke of midnight Monday."Tonight we stopped the illegal NSA bulk data collection. This is a victory no matter how you look at it," Rand said in a statement. "It might be short lived, but I hope that it provides a road for a robust debate, which will strengthen our intelligence community,... Read more...
As more and more of our daily lives shift online, there's an increased need to take control of privacy and security settings. That's not always easy to do, depending on the service. With that in mind, Google today unveiled a new hub for managing your Google settings called My Account, which gives you quick access to the settings and tools needed to safeguard your data. It's also the place to go to tweak your privacy settings and decide what information Google should have access to for its services to work better. So that you're not overwhelmed by it all, you'll find a Privacy Checkup tool and a... Read more...
Surfing the murkier regions of the Internet is hardly anonymous these days, but Britain’s government appears poised to require Britons to identify themselves before entering porn sites. The U.K. government is trying to find a way to verify user’s ages to prevent underage viewers from accessing adult content.The process used by many video game publishers (in which the user inputs his age and is expected to be honest) isn’t going to cut it for the expected new rules in Britain. Some of the age verification methods being considered would involve contacting a user’s bank or the postal service. This... Read more...
Russia has sent warnings to the world's largest social platforms for disobeying a law put into place last year. As per this new law, Russia requires companies such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter, to automatically disclose certain information on bloggers who have more than 3,000 readers per day, and thus far, the Kremlin is displeased with the results. The reason behind this recent law is to shut down websites or specific blogs that are critical of Russia's government, Vladimir Putin in particular, and anything that could incite a riot or protest. Clearly, the goal here is to control what information... Read more...
The fate of the National Security Agency's ability to collect phone records on a mass scale has yet to be determined as the Senate continues to shoot down measures passed by the House of Representatives. One of those measures was the USA Freedom Act, a bill that would effectively put an end to bulk telephone data collection.It's a bill that President Barack Obama and his administration adamantly supported. The House of Representatives also was favor of the USA Freedom Act, as both Republicans and Democrats came together to approve the measure with a majority 338-to-88 vote. However, the bill stalled... Read more...
What better way is there to start off a weekend than to hear about a massive data breach? I can't think of one, and thanks to AdultFriendFinder, we don't have to go without. According to UK news agency Channel 4, which traveled to the darkest depths of the Web to discover the issue, it found that the data of at least 4 million AdultFriendFinder members was leaked. Information includes sexual preference, marital status, date of birth, email address, and even home address. AdultFriendFinder isn't taking this issue lightly, as it's contacted local law enforcement and also hired the high-profile security... Read more...
Sen. Rand Paul spoke for nearly 10 and a half hours yesterday protesting the Patriot Act, which is soon to expire and is up for renewal. His attempted filibuster began at 1:18 PM and ended at 11:49 PM, though it wasn't quite as long as a 13-hour speech he gave two years ago on the topic of drones and to delay voting on the nomination of John O. Brennan as the Director of the CIA. This time around, the presidential candidate spoke out against the bulk collection of phone records that the National Security Agency (NSA) has been allowed to do as part of the Patriot Act. The apparent strategy is to... Read more...
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