Items tagged with Privacy

Google's Chrome browser has for a long time incorporated an Incognito Mode that aims to deliver web surfers more privacy when they are cruising the internet. The problem is that the feature doesn't prevent sites from detecting people who are using Incognito Mode. Google is now saying that later this month, Chrome will plug a loophole that has allowed sites to identify people in Incognito Mode. Google notes that this change will affect some publishers who have used the loophole to deter metered paywall circumvention. Google says that it wants users to be able to access the web privately no matter their reasons for doing so. There are a myriad of reasons why people might want to keep their... Read more...
I can no longer scroll through my Facebook or Twitter feed without seeing an image of someone I know who has been digitally aged, or altered in some other way. That's because FaceApp has gone viral again. In case you missed it (impossible at this point), this mobile application lets you apply various filters to your selfies and photos, and the in-thing to do right now is to use the Age filter and post the result. While hugely popular, there are some privacy implications that come with it. It is not just your Facebook friends and family members who are goofing around with FaceApp—celebrity actors, athletes, and musicians are also partaking in the fun. And yes, it is fun (and funny). One... Read more...
Facebook is no stranger to privacy and security issues; it seems at every turn, a new report is surfacing that claims that some new mishandling of user data has taken place. The most significant privacy outcry Facebook has taken on, happened last year with the Cambridge Analytica fiasco that landed CEO Mark Zuckerberg in front of Congress to talk about how the company handles user data. Facebook admitted that Cambridge Analytica improperly accessed data of 87 million Facebook users and now the FTC has approved a settlement with Facebook on its Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. The FTC has approved a settlement with Facebook that amounts to about a $5 billion in fine, according to a person... Read more...
A shocking report by a news agency in Belgium claims that contractors paid by Google to transcribe audio recordings uploaded by Google Home smart speakers have also been able to hear private conversations that should have never been recorded in the first place. The recordings run the gamut from bedroom conversations to professional phone calls containing private information. We already know that Google thrives on data collection. That is how the company is able to tailor its services to users, including obviously its search engine, but also its AI assistant. In a related FAQ, Google explains that it "collects data that's meant to make our services faster, smarter, and more relevant, and more... Read more...
How much data are Android apps gathering from your device? A recent study concluded that over 1,000 Android apps are able to take a user’s data even if that user has denied permissions. These apps are able to harvest geolocation data and other identifiers. Researchers at the International Computer Science Institute studied 88,000 apps from the Google Play store and discovered that 1,325 of these apps are able to gather data even if they have been denied permissions. Their research was presented at the Federal Trade Commission's PrivacyCon this past June. Serge Egelman, director of usable security and privacy research at ICSI, remarked at the conference that, "If app developers can just... Read more...
Do you think Facebook is listening to your conversations, through your smartphone or any other gadget? There is an easy solution—stop using Facebook. That is the advice Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says is appropriate for "most people," himself included (he actually did quit Facebook last year, due to the amount of data collection). There is a growing concern over privacy and how big tech firms, Facebook included, handle our collective data. The Cambridge Analytica scandal is one of the more prominent examples of how things can go sideways. However, it is by far not the only one. Wozniak made his latest comments about Facebook to TMZ while strolling through Reagan National Airport in... Read more...
Is your VPN truly private? A recent study revealed that many VPN services are owned by companies that are based in China and Pakistan. User data could potentially be shared or sold to governments with notoriously poor privacy laws. VPN Pro recently investigated the VPN market and uncovered quite a bit of hidden information. At least 97 VPN services are owned or operated by only 23 companies. Their findings are concerning for a variety of legal, personal, privacy and security reasons. First, 29 or roughly 30% of the world’s top VPN services are owned by companies based in China. Another 7 VPN services are owned by Gaditek, a Pakistani company. Many national governments could potentially... Read more...
Comedy sometimes ensues when rival companies try to sway consumers through advertising, like the old back-and-forth referee commercials between Anheuser-Busch and Miller (anyone remember those?), or the Mac and PC ads. As such, Apple is having some fun at the expense of Google—the Cupertino company has strategically placed another billboard trolling its competitor, just like it did at CES earlier this year. Image Source: CTV News Toronto The new billboard reads, "We're in the business of staying out of yours. Privacy. That's iPhone." The giant text sits next to an outline of an iPhone XS (or iPhone XS Max), and is clearly visible from outside a Sidewalk Labs building. Sidewalk Labs, if... Read more...
The OpenID Foundation has penned an open letter to Apple imploring the company to make changes to its 'Sign-In with Apple' technology that is infused in iOS 13. According to the letter, there are concerning "gaps" between Apple's implementation and OpenID Connect, and those gaps expose users to "greater security and privacy risks." "The current set of differences between OpenID Connect and Sign In with Apple reduces the places where users can use Sign In with Apple and exposes them to greater security and privacy risks. It also places an unnecessary burden on developers of both OpenID Connect and Sign In with Apple. By closing the current gaps, Apple would be interoperable with widely-available... Read more...
The developer of the rather disturbing and depraved 'DeepNude' application, that is programmed to "undress" women using machine learning and AI technology, has shut down the operation following a backlash on social media. In a message posted to Twitter, the developer acknowledged that "the probability that people will misuse [the application] is too high." Ya think?  How or why the developer may have ever thought otherwise is a mystery. In a lame attempt to justify the app's existence, the developer further stated that the software was created "for user's entertainment" and is "not that great, it only works with particular photos." Here is the full statement on why the app is no longer... Read more...
You may not realize it, but your heart is unique. Not only that, but what makes it unique to you is something the Pentagon can now detect from over 200 yards away with a frickin' laser beam. It's not attached to a shark (sorry, Dr. Evil), but the prototype laser, called Jetson, is impressive nonetheless. Why develop something like this? Your cardiac signature is unique to you, just like your fingerprint. There already exists ways for US intelligence and security agencies to identify people through various biometric techniques, from iris scanning to even analyzing someone's gait, but a cardiac signature is different because it can not be altered. According to MIT Technology Review, the Jetson... Read more...
Facebook is definitely tracking us in ways that allow it to deliver targeted advertising, and in some instances, it feels like the social network is granting itself a frighteningly large amount of access to our daily lives. Be that as it may, Facebook is not listening to our conversations and then hitting us with related ads. Instead, there are alternate explanations as to why it seems as thought Facebook listens to our verbal communications. Don't believe it? Just ask Facebook, which swears it is not listening to you (scout's honor and all that jazz). "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... Read more...
It is common knowledge that websites like to track your activity through cookies, but might we be giving up a bit too much privacy when surfing the web? The answer may depend on the specific browser you are using. In a recent examination of Google Chrome, a tech expert said he uncovered some startling differences in how Chrome and Mozilla's Firefox browsers treat user privacy. Geoffrey A. Fowler is a technology journalist for The Washington Post. It was there that he posted an opinion piece on why he feels that "Chrome has become surveillance software," and why he made the switch to Firefox. The article sits behind a paywall, but has been reprinted at a few other places (hit the link in the Via... Read more...
Did you buy a used Nest Indoor Cam to save a few bucks over purchasing one that is brand new? Normally that would not be a problem, provided you perform a factory reset when setting it up. However, a bug was discovered that could allow the previous owner to tap into the camera's feed, even after the new owner performed a full wipe. Fortunately, Google scrambled to issue a patch to fix the problem. Even though the issue is now fixed, this was a pretty big blunder on Google's part. So, what happened? One of the members of the Wink Users Group on Facebook found that after he sold his Nest camera, he was still able to access images from it, through his Wink account. This was not by means of malicious... Read more...
1 2 3 4 5 Next ... Last