Items tagged with Data

In 2020 we are all too familiar with incidents in which private companies sell user data. Many of us are less familiar with the ways that public entities can also sell and circulate data. It was recently revealed that the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) frequently sells drivers’ data to private investigators, bail bondsmen, and other companies. Motherboard recently obtained a document through the California Public Records Act that lists 98,000 businesses and institutions that have accessed DMV data. This information can include driver's name, home address, email address, ZIP code, date of birth, phone number, etc. These entities ranged from trucking companies to private investigators... Read more...
At this point in time it is no secret that the United States National Security Agency (NSA) is able to access citizen’s phone calls and text messages. But has the NSA’s various surveillance programs yielded any results? It was recently revealed that the USA Freedom Act of 2015 has cost taxpayers over $100 million USD but has only led to one noteworthy investigation. The USA Freedom Act of 2015 was originally passed to modify the controversial Patriot Act. One of the purposes of the act was to limit the amount of data that the NSA received from telecommunication companies like AT&T and Verizon. However, these telecommunication companies continued to share mass amounts of data,... Read more...
With the new EU laws in place regarding personal data use, more and more major tech firms are giving users outside Europe the ability to see what personal data is being collected about them and what that data is used for. Apple recently made changes to its privacy page giving users in the U.S. access to the same tools that users in the EU have access to for seeing what data is used. Google has now announced that it is making it easier for users to understand and control their data from directly within its products. Google rolled out the first step for privacy and security earlier this year when it says it put that information front and center; now the search giant is making easier for users to... Read more...
Privacy is a very big deal for millions of people around the world who use mobile devices and social media. The challenge for many people is knowing exactly what data social networks and devices are collecting from you. Apple is trying to make it easier for users of its devices to see what is being gathered and stored, and to facilitate that sharing of information the privacy page has been revamped in the U.S. The verbiage on the page hasn’t changed from what was there before; Apple still says that it sees privacy as a "fundamental human right." The big change comes in the expansion of the data portal to let users of Apple devices in the U.S. download a copy of the data that is gathered... Read more...
The world is up in arms its seems of late, over the amount of data that social media websites like Facebook track and accumulate on their users. This came to the forefront with the Cambridge Analytica fiasco that Facebook has been in hot water over for months. With so much focus on Facebook, many have begun to wonder what other websites and services millions of internet users visit every day are collecting hordes of data on us. Google, however, with its far-reaching web data harvesting powers may be even more responsible for hoarding information on its users. British web tabloid The Sun has an interesting report that looks at how much data Google collects on users each year. According to that... Read more...
A new study has found something very disturbing on some of the top websites in the world. Researchers from the Princeton Center for Information Technology Policy have conducted research that found that over 400 of the top 50,000 websites in the world are using "session replay scripts" to track user behavior. This practice is common and the real problem with these websites according to the researchers is that the sites are often not stripping out personally identifiable user information from the data the scripts glean. The researchers are concerned that this sort of session data is a potential treasure trove for hackers because that data sometimes includes information like passwords. Researchers... Read more...
One of the things that helped T-Mobile to grow so fast was the reintroduction of unlimited data plans. We all know that "unlimited" really isn't unlimited though and when the T-Mobile One plan debuted it had a cap of 32GB of use per month before data prioritization.  That cap was raised to 50GB in September. Customers on that unlimited plan and many of T-Mobile's other plans had access to data in other countries baked in if they needed it.That roaming data was specifically for Mexico and Canada. T-Mobile has now stepped in and is limiting the amount of roaming data available to people in those countries starting on November 12. T-Mobile wrote, "Starting November 12, 2017 customers... Read more...
Late last year a hack was perpetrated on what is called a "partner organization" that worked with the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD). The unnamed organization notified the ASD that it was hacked in November of 2016, and that outside parties gained access to its network. The small organization has only 50 employees and is a subcontractor to the Department of Defense, providing aerospace engineering assistance. The data that was stolen in the hack contained information that is protected under the International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) and included details on the F-35 Lightning II fighter, P-8 Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft, C-130 transport aircraft, Joint Direct Attack Munition... Read more...
Do you need to move a lot of data? To be clear: we're talking lots of data. Sure, that 64 TB NAS box might seem meaty, but that's paltry compared to the kind of data we're talking about. Think 100,000 TB, aka 100 PB. It's almost hard to wrap our heads around that kind of storage, but that's the amount Amazon says it can move with ease via its new Snowmobile service. In essence, Snowmobile comes to us in the form of a pure-white 18-wheeler that's used to bring your data from point A to point B. Amazon says that Snowmobile will show up at your door after a quick assessment and then work with you to connect the truck's internal storage to yours, and then begin milking it until everything is transferred.... Read more...
Bottle rockets and Black Cats won't be the only fireworks going off next week, apparently Verizon Wireless is planning to light things up in a big way, too. According to an image that was posted on reddit, Big Red is getting ready to introduce several new features, the biggest of which is the ability to roll unused data over to the next month.Verizon's calling that feature Carryover Data, which is exactly what it sounds like—Verizon will automatically roll unused data to the end of the following month. Assuming the screenshot is accurate (it was supposedly taken from Verizon's Testman site), the Carryover Data feature will be available with plans of any size. What isn't known is whether it will... Read more...
In a perfect world, wireless carriers would do away with data caps altogether and there would be much rejoicing. Unfortunately that's not the way the wireless world works -- barring a pricey unlimited plan, we all pay for a set amount of data per month and adjust our usage accordingly. But what if it's not enough? You can upgrade your plan, go over your data allotment and pay any applicable penalties, or take surveys for more headroom.Say what now? The survey thing is new, at least in exchange for data. AT&T is the one playing around with the idea through a new program called Data Perks, which allows you to "earn extra data from your favorite brands." You do that by participating in surveys,... Read more...
At this point, the resetting of a mobile phone to a from-the-factory state is something we have all done, perhaps simply to get a fresh start with a device that has become sluggish and over-burdened with years of downloaded flotsam. But more likely, we do it for the purpose of selling the phone or passing it along to a friend or family member. We rely on such a reset to completely wipe the phone of any trace of our having used it, all settings and sensitive data. The results of a study performed in the UK by University of Cambridge researchers entitled Security Analysis of Android Factory Resets, however, now show that emails, text messages, Google access tokens and other... Read more...
With less than two work days remaining until the start of the long Memorial Day weekend, many minds are turning to thoughts having nothing at all to do with work... loved ones lost to service or currently serving, barbecue, baseball, hanging at the beach or pool, that first donning of white pants and shoes after a long winter in storage... and traffic.  One of the most road-traveled weekends of this or any year in the USA, many of those who will be behind the wheel over Memorial Day weekend will go so far as to work out time lost to traffic in their planning. All of which serves to make Google's latest update to Google Maps quite compelling.  Yesterday, Google announced... Read more...
Sprint's free International Value Roaming service that was introduced last month is expanding to six new territories, bringing the total number of countries to 22. As the plan dictates, when a Sprint customer is in one of those nearly two dozen countries, he or she can roam with up to 2G speeds and catch up on emails and surf the web at no additional cost. They can also send text messages from the 22 included countries for no extra charge, and if they want to make phone calls, the rate is 20 cents per minute. All a qualified customer has to do is add International Value Roaming to any Sprint domestic phone plan -- they can do this online by going here or by visiting a local Sprint store. The... Read more...
The RadioShack bankruptcy took a harder turn into ugly territory yesterday with Apple's filing of a complaint in a Delaware court. The move is intended to keep the once-prevalent hardware giant from selling their customer data, joining the states of Texas and Tennessee in their efforts to prevent the company from opening their customer information coffers to the highest bidder. The Apple complaint states that as a condition of the arrangement by which RadioShack was allowed to sell iPhones and iPads in its stores, the retailer would protect the personal data of customers choosing to buy Apple products. Specifically, Apple's complaint states, “The Reseller Agreement between Apple and RadioShack... Read more...
Wireless carriers continue to up the ante in an effort to claim the most subscribers, but which has the best plan? Well, that depends on your needs and situation. For low-end data users, Sprint just ducked under the competition by rolling out a Family Share Pack that offers 1GB of shared data for just $20 per month. That's double the amount Verizon offers and a three-fold increase compared to AT&T at the same price point. "This entry-level sharable data allowance reinforces Sprint’s commitment to offering customers the best value in wireless," said Marcelo Claure, Sprint CEO. "We’re offering customers a choice – whether they need a small amount of data or are a high-end data user." Verizon's... Read more...
Microsoft isn't exactly short on cash to throw around, and it is reportedly throwing a bit of it in order to acquire a text analysis startup out of Israel. While the plans have yet to be made official, people familiar with inner talks have made clear that Equivio will soon be a part of Microsoft. The move does make sense on paper; Equivio is grounded in analyzing complex data, and Microsoft certainly needs to be an expert in that field as it aims to stake its claim in the cloud and enterprise segments. There's still an off chance that other bidders may swoop in and snag Equivio from Microsoft's grasps, but it would take a seriously large offer to sway the accounts in Redmond. While largely unknown... Read more...
For those who just can't seem to get enough data on a monthly basis, AT&T is upping the ante for select customers. For those who are willing to dive into the carrier's Mobile Share Value plans of 15GB and up, you'll get double the data for no extra charge for the life of the plan. The only catch? You need to sign up by October 31st, and unfortunately, those on the basic plan (which has 10GB per month to share) aren't eligible. The move seems to be catered towards data-heavy families and small businesses, where tethering and downloading are a daily happening. If you pony up for a Mobile Share Value plan with a monthly data bucket between 15GB and 50GB, you'll see that bucket doubled. There's... Read more...
One day, we'll think back on the concept of a 8TB hard drive and scoff at how puny it sounds. But that day is not today. Today, shipping a 8TB hard drive is an impressive feat, and it is one that has been accomplished by HGST. The storage outfit has just commenced shipments of its 8TB and 6TB HelioSeal platform HDDs, with a path already defined to get these to 10TB very soon. The announcement came as a part of five other introductions, including the release of HGST Virident Space, which allows clustering of up to 128 servers and 16 PCIe storage devices to deliver one or more shared volumes of high performance Flash storage with a total usable capacity of more than 38TB. There's also its NVMe-compliant... Read more...
With wireless carriers now engaged in a price war of sorts -- it's more a data war, really -- it's getting a bit difficult to keep track of things. For example, just a couple of weeks ago T-Mobile was advertising is Framily plan. And now? After offering to quadruple data for Simple Starter customers for $5 per month yesterday, T-Mobile today announced two more plan changes. The first is an expansion of its Family Plan. Starting August 27, T-Mobile is expanding the number of lines you can add for $10 a pop (starting with lines after the second subscriber). The previous limit was five per account, and effective tomorrow, that number will double to 10 lines per account. "I’ve always maintained... Read more...
The wireless price wars have begun. Sprint fired off the first shot when it rolled out new Family and Individual plans last week, and now T-Mobile, the nation's fourth largest wireless carrier and former acquisition target of Sprint, is firing back with a deal of its own -- for $5 extra per month, Simple Starter customers can quadruple their 4G LTE data cap to 2GB. "People who use loads of data use T-Mobile," said John Legere, president and CEO of T-Mobile. "And it’s no wonder. The old guard telecoms punish people for using more data on their networks with crazy overage charges and fees. Get Verizon’s $50 plan and use just one gig more data, and the price jumps to $65. It’s... Read more...
At some point, you have to wonder if any database that can be hacked will be hacked. With so much of the world's precious information stored on drives in the forms of 1s and 0s, what's to stop ill-willed individuals from doing to every other company what they did last year to Target, for example? Clearly, not much, as UPS has fallen victim to a data breach of its own. The logistics outfit said that "a breach of computer systems at UPS Store retail outlets may have exposed customers’ personal and payment data at some locations this year." Malware was pinpointed at 51 locations across 24 states. Sure, that's only 1 percent of its nearly 5,000 franchise stores, but a whopping 105,000 transactions... Read more...
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