Facebook Ordered to Stop German WhatsApp Users’ Data Collection

Facebook Inc. was ordered to stop collecting German users’ data from its WhatsApp unit, after a regulator in the nation said the company’s attempt to make users agree to the practice in its updated terms isn’t legal. Johannes Caspar, who heads Hamburg’s privacy authority, issued a three-month emergency ban, prohibiting Facebook from continuing with the Read more about Facebook Ordered to Stop German WhatsApp Users’ Data Collection[…]

Justice Department Quietly Seized Washington Post Reporters’ Phone Records During Trump Era

The Department of Justice quietly seized phone records and tried to obtain email records for three Washington Post reporters, ostensibly over their coverage of then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, according to officials and government letters reviewed by the Post. Justice Department regulations typically mandate that news organizations Read more about Justice Department Quietly Seized Washington Post Reporters’ Phone Records During Trump Era[…]

WhatsApp’s privacy policy – not accepting will slowly kill your functionality and then delete your history

After facing international backlash over impending updates to its privacy policy, WhatsApp has ever-so-slightly backtracked on the harsh consequences it initially planned for users who don’t accept them—but not entirely. In an update to the company’s FAQ page, WhatsApp clarifies that no users will have their accounts deleted or instantly lose app functionality if they Read more about WhatsApp’s privacy policy – not accepting will slowly kill your functionality and then delete your history[…]

Lone Developer Stands Up To Grand Theft Auto DMCA Claim, Wins – reverse engineered  code the original code

Earlier this year fans reversed engineered the source code to Grand Theft Auto III and Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. They released it to the web, but Grand Theft Auto copyright holder Take-Two pulled it offline via a DMCA claim. But one fan stood up to the publisher and has now succeeded in getting the Read more about Lone Developer Stands Up To Grand Theft Auto DMCA Claim, Wins – reverse engineered  code the original code[…]

What3Words sent a legal threat to a security researcher for sharing a better open-source alternative, turns into a Striesand

A U.K. company behind digital addressing system What3Words has sent a legal threat to a security researcher for offering to share an open-source software project with other researchers, which What3Words claims violate its copyright. Aaron Toponce, a systems administrator at XMission, received a letter on Thursday from London-based law firm JA Kemp representing What3Words, requesting Read more about What3Words sent a legal threat to a security researcher for sharing a better open-source alternative, turns into a Striesand[…]

TV maker Skyworth under fire for excessive data collection that users call spying whilst China clamps down on user tracking

Chinese television maker Skyworth has issued an apology after a consumer found that his set was quietly collecting a wide range of private data and sending it to a Beijing-based analytics company without his consent. A network traffic analysis revealed that a Skyworth smart TV scanned for other devices connected to the same local network Read more about TV maker Skyworth under fire for excessive data collection that users call spying whilst China clamps down on user tracking[…]

People rebel against WiFi Tracking in Maassluis with Robin Hood action

A resident of Maassluis registered the Mac addresses of 54,000 smartphones and passed them on to an opt-out register. The action of the “Robin 2.4Ghz Hood” keeps all these phone owners out of the municipality’s Wi-Fi tracking. The promotion is intended to protect the privacy of the residents of Maassluis. The man behind the initiative, Read more about People rebel against WiFi Tracking in Maassluis with Robin Hood action[…]

Covid-19 Vaccine Crisis Shows Intellectual Property Dangers

Virologist and medical researcher Jonas Salk developed a successful polio vaccine that was approved in 1955, helping the world all but eradicate the disease. When the late journalist Edward Murrow asked Salk who owned that vaccine’s patent, he famously responded, “Could you patent the sun?” It was in large part his commitment to keeping the Read more about Covid-19 Vaccine Crisis Shows Intellectual Property Dangers[…]

Court Chides F.B.I., but Re-Approves Warrantless Surveillance Program

For a second year, the nation’s surveillance court has pointed with concern to “widespread violations” by the F.B.I. of rules intended to protect Americans’ privacy when analysts search emails gathered without a warrant — but still signed off on another year of the program, a newly declassified ruling shows. In a 67-page ruling issued in Read more about Court Chides F.B.I., but Re-Approves Warrantless Surveillance Program[…]

Study finds GAEN Google Apple contact tracing apps allow user + contact location tracking. NL stops use of tracking app.

A study describes the data transmitted to backend servers by the Google/Apple based contact tracing (GAEN) apps in use in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Denmark and finds that the health authority client apps are generally well-behaved from a privacy point of view, although the Irish, Polish, Danish, and Latvian apps could be improved in Read more about Study finds GAEN Google Apple contact tracing apps allow user + contact location tracking. NL stops use of tracking app.[…]

WordPress may automatically disable Google FLoC on websites

WordPress announced today that they are treating Google’s new FLoC tracking technology as a security concern and may block it by default on WordPress sites. For some time, browsers have begun to increasingly block third-party browser cookies [1, 2, 3] used by advertisers for interest-based advertising. In response, Google introduced a new ad tracking technology Read more about WordPress may automatically disable Google FLoC on websites[…]

Snapchat suit defines free speech – US school decides they can hold an iron grip on their students comms any time any place

At the center of the case is Brandi Levy, who in ninth grade let loose on the platform after learning she didn’t make the varsity cheerleading squad. Compared to the sort of stuff teens get caught pulling on social media now, Levy’s Snap was relatively benign: just a photo of her and a friend flipping Read more about Snapchat suit defines free speech – US school decides they can hold an iron grip on their students comms any time any place[…]

The Postal Service is running a running a ‘covert operations program’ that monitors Americans’ social media posts

The law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service has been quietly running a program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, including those about planned protests, according to a document obtained by Yahoo News. The details of the surveillance effort, known as iCOP, or Internet Covert Operations Program, have not previously been made Read more about The Postal Service is running a running a ‘covert operations program’ that monitors Americans’ social media posts[…]

Internet Privacy in the Age of Surveillance – China, Russia, Nork vs USA + GB

Pew Research Center reports that “91% of adults agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected.” That incredibly-high statistic must describe victims under authoritarian governments like China, Russia, or North Korea, right? Wrong. That study was about US citizens. You know, the land of the free. 91% That’s Read more about Internet Privacy in the Age of Surveillance – China, Russia, Nork vs USA + GB[…]

Microsoft removes 47% of right to be forgotten requests – some countries are trolling the requests heavily

Country / Region Requests received and processed URLs requested URLs accepted URLs rejected Percentage of URLs accepted Austria 45 103 67 36 65% Belgium 49 421 105 316 25% Bulgaria 4 10 8 2 80% Croatia 3 8 4 4 50% Cyprus 2 2 0 2 0% Czech Republic 12 20 13 7 65% Denmark Read more about Microsoft removes 47% of right to be forgotten requests – some countries are trolling the requests heavily[…]

Microsoft honored 99.57% of 17m copyright removal requests last Q 2020

As an intellectual property company itself, Microsoft encourages respect for intellectual property, including copyrights. We also are committed to freedom of expression and the rights of users to engage in uses that may be permissible under applicable copyright laws. Links to webpages containing material that infringes on the rights of copyright owners may be removed Read more about Microsoft honored 99.57% of 17m copyright removal requests last Q 2020[…]

Microsoft received almost 25,000 requests for consumer data from law enforcement over the last six months

Microsoft has had a busy six months if its latest biannual digital trust report is anything to go by as law enforcement agencies crept closer to making 25,000 legal requests. Requests for consumer data reached 24,798 during the second half of 2020, up from 24,093 during the previous six-month period, and quite a jump from Read more about Microsoft received almost 25,000 requests for consumer data from law enforcement over the last six months[…]

$291 Adobe Cancelation Fee Sees Twitter Users Argue it’s ‘Morally Correct’ to Pirate Software

A $291 Adobe cancelation fee has provoked fierce criticism of the creative software company. A post from a customer has gone viral on Twitter, after he discovered that he would have to pay nearly $300 to bring his Creative Cloud subscription to an end. It has sparked a discussion about Adobe’s practices, with many others Read more about $291 Adobe Cancelation Fee Sees Twitter Users Argue it’s ‘Morally Correct’ to Pirate Software[…]

FLoC, The Ad-Targeting Tech Google Plans To Drop On Us All might be using you as a test subject to spy on closely in Chrome

About two weeks ago, millions of Google Chrome users were signed up for an experiment they never agreed to be a part of. Google had just launched a test run for Federated Learning of Cohorts—or FLoC–a new kind of ad-targeting tech meant to be less invasive than the average cookie. In a blog post announcing Read more about FLoC, The Ad-Targeting Tech Google Plans To Drop On Us All might be using you as a test subject to spy on closely in Chrome[…]

Apple Never Made iMessage for Android to Lock Users In: Epic v Apple

As part of the ongoing legal battle between Fortnite maker Epic and Apple, some new information has come to light confirming the most annoying thing about Apple’s iMessage app: that Apple could make a cross-platform version of iMessage for Android phones, but it won’t because it would be bad for business. This info comes from Read more about Apple Never Made iMessage for Android to Lock Users In: Epic v Apple[…]

Facebook Says It’s Your Fault That Hackers Got Half a Billion User Phone Numbers

A database containing the phone numbers of more than half a billion Facebook users is being freely traded online, and Facebook is trying to pin the blame on everyone but themselves. A blog post titled “The Facts on News Reports About Facebook Data,” published Tuesday evening, is designed to silence the growing criticism the company Read more about Facebook Says It’s Your Fault That Hackers Got Half a Billion User Phone Numbers[…]

Google illegally tracking Android users, according to new complaint by Max Schrems

Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems has filed a complaint against Google in France alleging that the US tech giant is illegally tracking users on Android phones without their consent. Android phones generate unique advertising codes, similar to Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), that allow Google and third parties to track users’ browsing behavior in order Read more about Google illegally tracking Android users, according to new complaint by Max Schrems[…]

Google Asked to Hide TorrentFreak Article Reporting that ‘The Mandalorian’ Was Widely Pirated

Google was asked to remove a TorrentFreak article from its search results this week. The article in question reported that “The Mandalorian” was the most pirated TV show of 2020. This notice claims to identify several problematic URLs that allegedly infringe the copyrights of Disney’s hit series The Mandalorian. This is not unexpected, as The Read more about Google Asked to Hide TorrentFreak Article Reporting that ‘The Mandalorian’ Was Widely Pirated[…]

Wi-Fi devices set to become object sensors by 2024 under planned 802.11bf standard – no, they haven’t thought of security and privacy

In three years or so, the Wi-Fi specification is scheduled to get an upgrade that will turn wireless devices into sensors capable of gathering data about the people and objects bathed in their signals. “When 802.11bf will be finalized and introduced as an IEEE standard in September 2024, Wi-Fi will cease to be a communication-only Read more about Wi-Fi devices set to become object sensors by 2024 under planned 802.11bf standard – no, they haven’t thought of security and privacy[…]