Poland’s Bid To Get Upload Filters Taken Out Of The EU Copyright Directive Suddenly Looks Much More Hopeful

one of the biggest defeats for users of the Internet — and for online freedom of expression — was the passage of the EU Copyright Directive last year. The law was passed using a fundamentally dishonest argument that it did not require upload filters, because they weren’t explicitly mentioned in the text. As a result, Read more about Poland’s Bid To Get Upload Filters Taken Out Of The EU Copyright Directive Suddenly Looks Much More Hopeful[…]

Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft’s creepy Productivity Score now in 365

Microsoft’s Productivity Score has put in a public appearance in Microsoft 365 and attracted the ire of privacy campaigners and activists. The Register had already noted the vaguely creepy-sounding technology back in May. The goal of it is to use telemetry captured by the Windows behemoth to track the productivity of an organisation through metrics Read more about Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft’s creepy Productivity Score now in 365[…]

IRS contracted to Search Warrantless Location Database Over 10,000 Times

The IRS was able to query a database of location data quietly harvested from ordinary smartphone apps over 10,000 times, according to a copy of the contract between IRS and the data provider obtained by Motherboard. The document provides more insight into what exactly the IRS wanted to do with a tool purchased from Venntel, Read more about IRS contracted to Search Warrantless Location Database Over 10,000 Times[…]

GM launches OnStar Insurance Services – uses your driving data to calculate insurance rate

Andrew Rose, president of OnStar Insurance Services commented: “OnStar Insurance will promote safety, security and peace of mind. We aim to be an industry leader, offering insurance in an innovative way. “GM customers who have subscribed to OnStar and connected services will be eligible to receive discounts, while also receiving fully-integrated services from OnStar Insurance Read more about GM launches OnStar Insurance Services – uses your driving data to calculate insurance rate[…]

Australia’s spy agencies caught collecting COVID-19 app data

Australia’s intelligence agencies have been caught “incidentally” collecting data from the country’s COVIDSafe contact-tracing app during the first six months of its launch, a government watchdog has found. The report, published Monday by the Australian government’s inspector general for the intelligence community, which oversees the government’s spy and eavesdropping agencies, said the app data was Read more about Australia’s spy agencies caught collecting COVID-19 app data[…]

Amazon’s ad-hoc Ring, Echo mesh network can mooch off your neighbors’ Wi-Fi if needed – and it’s opt-out

Amazon is close to launching Sidewalk – its ad-hoc wireless network for smart-home devices that taps into people’s Wi-Fi – and it is pretty much an opt-out affair. The gist of Sidewalk is this: nearby Amazon gadgets, regardless of who owns them, can automatically organize themselves into their own private wireless network mesh, communicating primarily Read more about Amazon’s ad-hoc Ring, Echo mesh network can mooch off your neighbors’ Wi-Fi if needed – and it’s opt-out[…]

Disney (Disney!) Accused Of Trying To Lawyer Its Way Out Of Paying Royalties To Alan Dean Foster, Star Wars and Alien book writer

Disney, of course, has quite the reputation as a copyright maximalist. It has been accused of being the leading company in always pushing for more draconian copyright laws. And then, of course, there’s the infamous Mickey Mouse curve, first designated a decade ago by Tom Bell, highlighting how copyright term extensions seemed to always happen Read more about Disney (Disney!) Accused Of Trying To Lawyer Its Way Out Of Paying Royalties To Alan Dean Foster, Star Wars and Alien book writer[…]

Nintendo Continues Cracking Down On People Selling Switch Hacks: jailbraking w RCM = piracy in their minds

Nintendo filed a lawsuit Wednesday against an Amazon Marketplace user who was allegedly selling devices called RCM loaders. Used to help people jailbreak their Switch, shutting these down is the latest in the company’s efforts to stop players from pirating its games. As first reported by Polygon, the lawsuit against reseller Le Hoang Minh seeks Read more about Nintendo Continues Cracking Down On People Selling Switch Hacks: jailbraking w RCM = piracy in their minds[…]

The ones who brought you Let’s Encrypt, bring you: Tools for gathering anonymized app usage metrics from netizens

The Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) has a plan to allow companies to collect information about how people are using their products while protecting the privacy of those generating the data. Today, the California-based non-profit, which operates Let’s Encrypt, introduced Prio Services, a way to gather online product metrics without compromising the personal information of Read more about The ones who brought you Let’s Encrypt, bring you: Tools for gathering anonymized app usage metrics from netizens[…]

Apple’s ‘Batterygate’ Saga Wraps Up With $113 Million Settlement

Younger readers might not know, but there was once an annual tradition in which Apple would release a new iPhone, old iPhones would suddenly start performing poorly, and users would speculate about a conspiracy to get them to buy the shiny new thing. It turned out that a conspiracy, of sorts, did exist, and Apple Read more about Apple’s ‘Batterygate’ Saga Wraps Up With $113 Million Settlement[…]

Google Will Make It a bit Easier to Turn Off Smart Features which track you, Slightly Harder for Regulators to Break Up Google

Soon, Google will present you with a clear choice to disable smart features, like Google assistant reminders to pay your bills and predictive text in Gmail. Whether you like the Gmail mindreader function that autofills “all the best” and “reaching out,” or have long dreaded the arrival of the machine staring back from the void,: Read more about Google Will Make It a bit Easier to Turn Off Smart Features which track you, Slightly Harder for Regulators to Break Up Google[…]

Apple hits back at European activist lawsuit against unauthorised tracking installs – says it doesn’t use it… but 3rd parties do

The group, led by campaigner Max Schrems, filed complaints with data protection watchdogs in Germany and Spain alleging that the tracking tool illegally enabled the $2 trillion U.S. tech giant to store users’ data without their consent. Apple directly rebutted the claims filed by Noyb, the digital rights group founded by Schrems, saying they were Read more about Apple hits back at European activist lawsuit against unauthorised tracking installs – says it doesn’t use it… but 3rd parties do[…]

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps

The U.S. military is buying the granular movement data of people around the world, harvested from innocuous-seeming apps, Motherboard has learned. The most popular app among a group Motherboard analyzed connected to this sort of data sale is a Muslim prayer and Quran app that has more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others include a Read more about How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps[…]

GitHub Restores YouTube Downloader Following DMCA Takedown, starts to protect developers from DMCA misuse

Last month, GitHub removed a popular tool that is used to download videos from websites like YouTube after it received a DMCA takedown notice from the Recording Industry Association of America. For a moment, it seemed that GitHub might throw developers under the bus in the same fashion that Twitch has recently treated its streamers. Read more about GitHub Restores YouTube Downloader Following DMCA Takedown, starts to protect developers from DMCA misuse[…]

Your Computer isn’t Yours – Apple edition – how is it snooping on you, why can’t you start apps when their server is down

It’s here. It happened. Did you notice? I’m speaking, of course, of the world that Richard Stallman predicted in 1997. The one Cory Doctorow also warned us about. On modern versions of macOS, you simply can’t power on your computer, launch a text editor or eBook reader, and write or read, without a log of Read more about Your Computer isn’t Yours – Apple edition – how is it snooping on you, why can’t you start apps when their server is down[…]

Google CEO apologises for document outlining how to counter new EU rules by attacking rulemaker, EU’s Breton warns internet is not Wild West

Alphabet GOOGL.O CEO Sundar Pichai has apologised to Europe’s industry chief Thierry Breton over a leaked internal document proposing tactics to counter the EU’s tough new rules on internet companies and lobby against the EU commissioner. […] The call came after a Google internal document outlined a 60-day strategy to attack the European Union’s push Read more about Google CEO apologises for document outlining how to counter new EU rules by attacking rulemaker, EU’s Breton warns internet is not Wild West[…]

Mozilla *privacy not included tech buyers guide rated on creepy scale

This is a list of 130 Smart home gadgets, fitness trackers, toys and more, rated for their privacy & security. It’s a large list and shows you how basically anything by big tech is pretty creepy – anything by Amazon and Facebook is super creepy, Google pretty creepy, Apple only creepy. There are a few Read more about Mozilla *privacy not included tech buyers guide rated on creepy scale[…]

New lawsuit: Why do Android phones mysteriously exchange 260MB a month with Google via cellular data when they’re not even in use? Also Apple + ad fraud

Google on Thursday was sued for allegedly stealing Android users’ cellular data allowances though unapproved, undisclosed transmissions to the web giant’s servers. The lawsuit, Taylor et al v. Google [PDF], was filed in a US federal district court in San Jose on behalf of four plaintiffs based in Illinois, Iowa, and Wisconsin in the hope Read more about New lawsuit: Why do Android phones mysteriously exchange 260MB a month with Google via cellular data when they’re not even in use? Also Apple + ad fraud[…]

Six Reasons Why Google Maps Is the Creepiest App On Your Phone

VICE has highlighted six reasons why Google Maps is the creepiest app on your phone. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the report: 1. Google Maps Wants Your Search History: Google’s “Web & App Activity” settings describe how the company collects data, such as user location, to create a faster and “more personalized” experience. Read more about Six Reasons Why Google Maps Is the Creepiest App On Your Phone[…]

It Took Just 5 Minutes Of Movement Data To Identify ‘Anonymous’ VR Users

As companies and governments increasingly hoover up our personal data, a common refrain to keep people from worrying is the claim that nothing can go wrong because the data itself is “anonymized” — or stripped of personal identifiers like social security numbers. But time and time again, studies have shown how this really is cold Read more about It Took Just 5 Minutes Of Movement Data To Identify ‘Anonymous’ VR Users[…]

Analysis of Trump’s tweets reveals systematic diversion of the media

President Donald Trump’s controversial use of social media is widely known and theories abound about its ulterior motives. New research published today in Nature Communications claims to provide the first evidence-based analysis demonstrating the US President’s Twitter account has been routinely deployed to divert attention away from a topic potentially harmful to his reputation, in Read more about Analysis of Trump’s tweets reveals systematic diversion of the media[…]

To Prevent Free, Frictionless Access To Human Knowledge, Publishers Want Librarians To Be Afraid, Very Afraid

After many years of fierce resistance to open access, academic publishers have largely embraced — and extended — the idea, ensuring that their 35-40% profit margins live on. In the light of this subversion of the original hopes for open access, people have come up with other ways to provide free and frictionless access to Read more about To Prevent Free, Frictionless Access To Human Knowledge, Publishers Want Librarians To Be Afraid, Very Afraid[…]

Police Will Pilot a Program to Live-Stream Amazon Ring Cameras

This is not a drill. Red alert: The police surveillance center in Jackson, Mississippi, will be conducting a 45-day pilot program to live stream the Amazon Ring cameras of participating residents. Since Ring first made a splash in the private security camera market, we’ve been warning of its potential to undermine the civil liberties of its Read more about Police Will Pilot a Program to Live-Stream Amazon Ring Cameras[…]

Brave browser first to nix CNAME deception, the sneaky DNS trick used by marketers to duck privacy controls

The Brave web browser will soon block CNAME cloaking, a technique used by online marketers to defy privacy controls designed to prevent the use of third-party cookies. The browser security model makes a distinction between first-party domains – those being visited – and third-party domains – from the suppliers of things like image assets or Read more about Brave browser first to nix CNAME deception, the sneaky DNS trick used by marketers to duck privacy controls[…]

Another eBay exec pleads guilty after couple stalked, harassed for daring to criticize the internet tat bazaar – pig corpese involved

Philip Cooke, 55, oversaw eBay’s security operations in Europe and Asia and was a former police captain in Santa Clara, California. He pleaded guilty this week to conspiracy to commit cyberstalking and conspiracy to tamper with witnesses. Cooke, based in San Jose, was just one of seven employees, including one manager, accused of targeting a Read more about Another eBay exec pleads guilty after couple stalked, harassed for daring to criticize the internet tat bazaar – pig corpese involved[…]