Firefox cracks down on creepy web trackers, holds supercookies over fire whilst Chrome kills ad blockers

The Mozilla Foundation has announced its intent to reduce the ability of websites and other online services to track users of its Firefox browser around the internet. At this stage, Moz’s actions are baby steps. In support of its decision in late 2018 to reduce the amount of tracking it permits, the organisation has now Read more about Firefox cracks down on creepy web trackers, holds supercookies over fire whilst Chrome kills ad blockers[…]

Just keep slurping: HMRC adds two million taxpayers’ voices to biometric database – but people are starting to opt-out, now that they can

HMRC’s database of Brits’ voiceprints has grown by 2 million since June – but campaign group Big Brother Watch has claimed success as 160,000 people turned the taxman’s requests down. The Voice ID scheme, which requires taxpayers to say a key phrase that is recorded to create a digital signature, was introduced in January 2017. Read more about Just keep slurping: HMRC adds two million taxpayers’ voices to biometric database – but people are starting to opt-out, now that they can[…]

Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently

Google engineers have proposed changes to the open-source Chromium browser that will break content-blocking extensions, including various ad blockers. Adblock Plus will most likely not be affected, though similar third-party plugins will, for reasons we will explain. The drafted changes will also limit the capabilities available to extension developers, ostensibly for the sake of speed Read more about Wow, fancy that. Web ad giant Google to block ad-blockers in Chrome. For safety, apparently[…]

Google fined $57 million by French data privacy body for hiding terms and forcing users to accept intrusion or lose access

Google has been hit by a €50 million ($57 million) fine by French data privacy body CNIL (National Data Protection Commission) for failure to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations. The CNIL said that it was fining Google for “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding the ads Read more about Google fined $57 million by French data privacy body for hiding terms and forcing users to accept intrusion or lose access[…]

Torrent Paradise Creates Decentralized ‘Pirate Bay’ With IPFS

The BitTorrent protocol has a decentralized nature but the ecosystem surrounding it has some weak spots. Torrent sites, for example, use centralized search engines which are prone to outages and takedowns. Torrent-Paradise tackles this problem with IPFS, a searchable torrent indexer that’s shared by the people. IPFS, short for InterPlanetary File System, has been around Read more about Torrent Paradise Creates Decentralized ‘Pirate Bay’ With IPFS[…]

Europe’s controversial ‘link tax’ sent back after member states rebel – The Verge

Copyright activists just scored a major victory in the ongoing fight over the European Union’s new copyright rules. An upcoming summit to advance the EU’s copyright directive has been canceled, as member states objected to the incoming rules as too restrictive to online creators. The EU’s forthcoming copyright rules had drawn attention from activists for Read more about Europe’s controversial ‘link tax’ sent back after member states rebel – The Verge[…]

NL judge says doc’s official warning needs removing from Google

An official warning by the Dutch Doctors guild to a serving doctor needs to be removed from Google’s search result, as the judge says that the privacy of the doctor is more important than the public good that arises from people being warned that this doctor has in some way misbehaved. As a result of Read more about NL judge says doc’s official warning needs removing from Google[…]

Project Alias is a DIY project that deafens your home voice assistant until you want it to listen to you

Alias is a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, both when it comes to customisation and privacy. Through a simple app the user can train Alias to react on a custom wake-word/sound, and once trained, Alias can take control over your home assistant by activating it for Read more about Project Alias is a DIY project that deafens your home voice assistant until you want it to listen to you[…]

Amazon’s Ring Security Cameras Allow Anyone to Watch Easily – And They Do!

But for some who’ve welcomed in Amazon’s Ring security cameras, there have been more than just algorithms watching through the lens, according to sources alarmed by Ring’s dismal privacy practices. Ring has a history of lax, sloppy oversight when it comes to deciding who has access to some of the most precious, intimate data belonging Read more about Amazon’s Ring Security Cameras Allow Anyone to Watch Easily – And They Do![…]

Netflix password sharing may soon be impossible due to new AI tracking

A video software firm has come up with a way to prevent people from sharing their account details for Netflix and other streaming services with friends and family members. UK-based Synamedia unveiled the artificial intelligence software at the CES 2019 technology trade show in Las Vegas, claiming it could save the streaming industry billions of dollars over the next Read more about Netflix password sharing may soon be impossible due to new AI tracking[…]

Professor exposing unethical academic publishing is being sued by university in childish discrediting counterclaims of being unethical for showing unethical behaviour

The three authors, who describe themselves as leftists, spent 10 months writing 20 hoax papers they submitted to reputable journals in gender, race, sexuality, and related fields. Seven were accepted, four were published online, and three were in the process of being published when questions raised in October by a skeptical Wall Street Journal editorial writer Read more about Professor exposing unethical academic publishing is being sued by university in childish discrediting counterclaims of being unethical for showing unethical behaviour[…]

T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T Are Selling Customers’ Real-Time Location Data, And It’s Falling Into the Wrong Hands

Nervously, I gave a bounty hunter a phone number. He had offered to geolocate a phone for me, using a shady, overlooked service intended not for the cops, but for private individuals and businesses. Armed with just the number and a few hundred dollars, he said he could find the current location of most phones Read more about T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T Are Selling Customers’ Real-Time Location Data, And It’s Falling Into the Wrong Hands[…]

Sony appears to be blocking Kodi on its recent Android TVs

For the unfamiliar, Kodi is an open source, cross-platform streaming and media player solution that allows you to access and play local, network, and remote content. The UI has been extensively optimized over the last 15 years since the XBMC days to provide one of the best big-screen experiences out there, and it’s been one Read more about Sony appears to be blocking Kodi on its recent Android TVs[…]

German Politicians Hit With Unprecedented Leak of Private Information

On Thursday, authorities in Germany were made aware of an enormous leak of personal information belonging to artists, media figures, and politicians—including Chancellor Angela Merkel. The hack is being called the “biggest data dump” in German history and appears to contain a treasure trove of information that could be used for identity theft. Early reports Read more about German Politicians Hit With Unprecedented Leak of Private Information[…]

Lawsuit Accuses Weather Channel App of Misleading Users and Profiting From Their Location Data – anyone surprised much?

More than a couple weather apps have recently come under fire for their handling of user data, either by collecting too much or allegedly tracking users without their permission. Now, the maker of yet another popular weather app is being accused by the city attorney of Los Angeles of deceiving millions of users and profiting Read more about Lawsuit Accuses Weather Channel App of Misleading Users and Profiting From Their Location Data – anyone surprised much?[…]

The Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Nightmare Came True: Creepy Recordings sent to random stranger

An Amazon user in Germany recently requested data about his personal activities and inadvertently gained access to 1,700 audio recordings of someone he didn’t know. Germany’s c’t magazine reports that in August the Amazon user—exercising his rights under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation—requested his own data that Amazon has stored. Two months later, Amazon Read more about The Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Nightmare Came True: Creepy Recordings sent to random stranger[…]

At Blind – a whistleblower site -, a security lapse revealed private complaints from Silicon Valley employees. Turns out it’s not very safe to blow your whistle there after all.

Thousands of people trusted Blind, an app-based “anonymous social network,” as a safe way to reveal malfeasance, wrongdoing and improper conduct at their companies.But Blind left one of its database servers exposed without a password, making it possible (for anyone who knew where to look) to access each user’s account information and identify would-be whistleblowers. Read more about At Blind – a whistleblower site -, a security lapse revealed private complaints from Silicon Valley employees. Turns out it’s not very safe to blow your whistle there after all.[…]

Turning Off Facebook Location Services Doesn’t Stop Tracking – you have to hide your IP address

Aleksandra Korolova has turned off Facebook’s access to her location in every way that she can. She has turned off location history in the Facebook app and told her iPhone that she “Never” wants the app to get her location. She doesn’t “check-in” to places and doesn’t list her current city on her profile. Despite Read more about Turning Off Facebook Location Services Doesn’t Stop Tracking – you have to hide your IP address[…]

Facebook Allowed Netflix, Spotify and A Bank To Read And Delete Users’ Private Messages. And around 150 other companies got to see other private information without user consent.

Facebook gave more than 150 companies, including Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Yahoo, unprecedented access to users’ personal data, according to a New York Times report published Tuesday. The Times obtained hundreds of pages of Facebook documents, generated in 2017, that show that the social network considered these companies business partners and effectively exempted them Read more about Facebook Allowed Netflix, Spotify and A Bank To Read And Delete Users’ Private Messages. And around 150 other companies got to see other private information without user consent.[…]

Amazon and Facebook Reportedly Had a Secret Data-Sharing Agreement, and It Explains So Much

Back in 2015, a woman named Imy Santiago wrote an Amazon review of a novel that she had read and liked. Amazon immediately took the review down and told Santiago she had “violated its policies.” Santiago re-read her review, didn’t see anything objectionable about it, so she tried to post it again. “You’re not eligible Read more about Amazon and Facebook Reportedly Had a Secret Data-Sharing Agreement, and It Explains So Much[…]

Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to: why MS switching to Chromium is a bad idea

With Microsoft’s decision to end development of its own Web rendering engine and switch to Chromium, control over the Web has functionally been ceded to Google. That’s a worrying turn of events, given the company’s past behavior. […] Google is already a company that exercises considerable influence over the direction of the Web’s development. By Read more about Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to: why MS switching to Chromium is a bad idea[…]

How to Stop Windows 10 From Collecting Activity Data on You – after disabling activity tracking option

Another day, another tech company being disingenuous about its privacy practices. This time it’s Microsoft, after it was discovered that Windows 10 continues to track users’ activity even after they’ve disabled the activity-tracking option in their Windows 10 settings. You can try it yourself. Pull up Windows 10’s Settings, go to the Privacy section, and Read more about How to Stop Windows 10 From Collecting Activity Data on You – after disabling activity tracking option[…]

Taylor Swift Show Used to Stalk Visitors with Hidden Face Recognition in Kiosk Displays

At a Taylor Swift concert earlier this year, fans were reportedly treated to something they might not expect: a kiosk displaying clips of the pop star that served as a covert surveillance system. It’s a tale of creeping 21st-century surveillance as unnerving as it is predictable. But the whole ordeal has left us wondering what Read more about Taylor Swift Show Used to Stalk Visitors with Hidden Face Recognition in Kiosk Displays[…]

It’s Time to Check Which Apps Are Tracking Your Location

Guess what? A bunch of apps like knowing where you are, so that their developers can then take that data, package it up for various advertising companies, and make a quick buck off of your precise whereabouts—including where you go and how long you spend there. Source: It’s Time to Check Which Apps Are Tracking Read more about It’s Time to Check Which Apps Are Tracking Your Location[…]