Items tagged with Privacy

At this point, it sure seems like the folks at Cloudflare know how this whole "internet" thing works, as the company is trying very hard to keep the web fast and more secure. That includes websites that are cached using its services, helping to deliver faster page loads to the reader, or even routing your own internet connection through its servers for better privacy. Earlier this year, Cloudflare released its 1.1.1.1 service, which like Google's 8.8.8.8 DNS, routes all of your internet connections through the company's own servers, in effect obfuscating your true origin (except to Cloudflare).... 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... Read more...
Facebook has faced scrutiny for its lapses in privacy protections, such as the Cambridge Analytica scandal that prompted the US Congress to question Mark Zuckerberg about all aspects of the social network, along with Facebook's history of screwing up and later apologizing. So, some users may find it concerning that Facebook's new Portal and Portal+ smart camera devices can in fact be used to facilitate targeted ads. Portal and Portal+ represent Facebook's attempt to cash in on the smart device craze that was largely started by Amazon and its Echo line. Rather than go out completely on its own,... Read more...
Being security conscious has always been important, but in recent years, it's become downright imperative. Hacks and leaks are happening at an alarming rate, which means we all need to be more cognizant about our digital security every day. When an incident does end up taking place, we also need to be on top of things, enacting recovery plans and swift damage control efforts. At the very least, it means a password change for the affected service would be in order. However, there are other steps you'll want to consider for social networking services like Facebook that stores a massive amount of... Read more...
Social media trends are like underwear, they change often and sometimes smell foul. If you're on Facebook, you might have noticed that some of your friends and family have posted scripted messages about accounts being cloned, and not to trust duplicate friend requests if you receive one. It sounds like a valid warning with Facebook's recent security breach, but is it for real? Probably not. Facebook really did fess up to a "security issue" a couple of weeks ago, and noted that almost 50 million accounts may have been affected by it. The attackers exploited a vulnerability in Facebook's code that... Read more...
Apple and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been at odds over the tight security on iPhone and iPad devices, and in particular the Cupertino company's unwillingness to build a back door into iOS for law enforcement officials to use. Be that as it may, Apple does cooperate with law enforcement, and is said to be erecting a website that will make it easier for police and other officials to request and obtain information on iPhone users. This is not to say that if you are an iPhone user, suddenly your information will be up for grabs, at least not willy-nilly. In a letter sent by Apple... Read more...
One of the neat things about Google Maps and its Timeline feature is that you can bring up view of everywhere you have been within a specific time frame—you'll see little red dots scattered on the map. What some users are finding not so cool, however, is that Google still collects location data after turning off the "Location History" option. That revelation has led to a lawsuit against Google. The lawsuit was filed in San Francisco on Friday. In the lawsuit, Napoleon Patacsil and his attorneys allege that Google is running afoul of the California Invasion of Privacy Act. "As revealed in... Read more...
Does Google track your location? A study by the Associated Press and Princeton University discovered that some Google services store your location regardless of your privacy settings. It is believed that over 2 million Android users are affected by this issue. Google claims that if users turn off their “Location History”, it will no longer store the places the users have been. The AP and Princeton University insist that some Google apps store time-stamped locations, even if the user has disabled “Location History”. Some of these exceptions make sense, but others seem illogical.... Read more...
Usually when the government and Apple butt heads over a technology topic, it has to do with encryption, and specifically the lack of a built-in backdoor for lawmakers to bust through when investigating crimes. That is an ongoing topic, though it is not the only one. Concerned over the growing use of digital assistants like Siri, US lawmakers asked Apple if its devices invade user privacy by recording conversations. The question was posed to both Apple and Google in a letter by representatives Greg Walden, Marsha Blackburn, Gregg Harper, and Robert Latta. In the letter, the representatives pointed... Read more...
Data security and user privacy are hot topics following the high profile Cambridge Analytica scandal that resulted in Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying before Congress. However, Facebook is not the only major company facing scrutiny by our elected officials. Apple and Google have both received letters from members of the US House of Representatives with questions about each company's mobile phone privacy and location data policies. The letters follow a couple of recent and concerning privacy incidents that came to light. In May, it was reported that Apple had begun cracking down on apps that... Read more...
Are you concerned about who might be reading your emails? You should be, especially if you allow third-party app developers to access your Gmail account, as many of them request. A recent report highlighted the extent of which third-party app developers can access private information, prompting Google to respond with what amounts to a soothing message saying, 'There, there, everything will be okay'. Google is not necessarily wrong, either, provided you are tech savvy enough to understand the risks associated with giving a third-party app certain permissions, and know how to take control of your... Read more...
Privacy advocates are celebrating a Supreme Court ruling that bans law enforcement from tracking a user's cellphone location without first obtaining a warranty. In a majority 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court found that allowing police officers to access a cellphones location data without a warrant violated the Fourth Amendment, and that it is precisely the type of surveillance that the Constitution protects against. Chief Justice John Roberts, who wrote the majority decision, likened warrantless cellphone tracking to wearing an electronic ankle bracelet, such as those worn by criminals on house... Read more...
Instagram is no longer testing a feature that alerted users when someone else would take a screenshot of their story. The feature had been in place for several months and would plop a starry icon next to the username of anyone who snapped a screenshot, thereby letting the user know that someone saved a potentially embarrassing post. With the test concluded, users are free to grab screenies all they want without Instagram ratting them out. This is either a good thing or potentially bad thing, depending on your perspective. For users who like to save photos that others take, Instagram's alert system... Read more...
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently testified before Congress, one of the common criticisms by multiple elected officials is that the social network has a history of screwing up in various ways, and then later apologizing and promising to do better. That's also what happened with the Cambridge Analytica scandal that prompted the testimony. Now just weeks later, Facebook is apologizing once again, this time for a bug that changed the default settings for millions of users, causing them to publicly share posts that they may have thought were private. "We recently found a bug that automatically... Read more...
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