Radio gaga: Techies fear EU directive to stop RF device tinkering will do more harm than good

EU plans to ban the sale of user-moddable radio frequency devices – like phones and routers – have provoked widespread condemnation from across the political bloc. The controversy centres on Article 3(3)(i) of the EU Radio Equipment Directive, which was passed into law back in 2014. However, an EU working group is now about to Read more about Radio gaga: Techies fear EU directive to stop RF device tinkering will do more harm than good[…]

Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database, having them detained at borders

One photojournalist said she was pulled into secondary inspections three times and asked questions about who she saw and photographed in Tijuana shelters. Another photojournalist said she spent 13 hours detained by Mexican authorities when she tried to cross the border into Mexico City. Eventually, she was denied entry into Mexico and sent back to Read more about Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database, having them detained at borders[…]

When 2FA means sweet FA privacy: Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security

This time, the Silicon Valley giant has been caught red-handed using people’s cellphone numbers, provided exclusively for two-factor authentication, for targeted advertising and search – after it previously insinuated it wouldn’t do that. Folks handing over their mobile numbers to protect their accounts from takeovers and hijackings thought the contact detail would be used for Read more about When 2FA means sweet FA privacy: Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security[…]

Apples’ Shazam for iOS Sheds 3rd Party SDKs. Keeps pumping your data through on Android.

Shazam, the song identification app Apple bought for $400M, recently released an update to its iOS app that got rid of all 3rd party SDKs the app was using except for one. The SDKs that were removed include ad networks, analytics trackers, and even open-source utilities. Why, you ask? Because all of those SDKs leak Read more about Apples’ Shazam for iOS Sheds 3rd Party SDKs. Keeps pumping your data through on Android.[…]

Facebook receives personal health data from apps, even if you don’t have a FB account

Facebook receives highly personal information from apps that track your health and help you find a new home, testing by The Wall Street Journal found. Facebook can receive this data from certain apps even if the user does not have a Facebook account, according to the Journal. Facebook has already been in hot water concerning Read more about Facebook receives personal health data from apps, even if you don’t have a FB account[…]

Massive Database Leak Gives Us a Window into China’s Digital Surveillance State

Earlier this month, security researcher Victor Gevers found and disclosed an exposed database live-tracking the locations of about 2.6 million residents of Xinjiang, China, offering a window into what a digital surveillance state looks like in the 21st century. Xinjiang is China’s largest province, and home to China’s Uighurs, a Turkic minority group. Here, the Read more about Massive Database Leak Gives Us a Window into China’s Digital Surveillance State[…]

Samsung is loading McAfee antivirus software on smart TVs – which may be impossible to uninstall

Samsung is adding bloatware to its 2019 TVs because McAfee is paying them to do so. There is arguably no reason for Samsung to offer third-party antivirus software for an operating system that is developed in-house. Partnering with software vendors is fairly common practice for large hardware manufacturers. Laptop makers frequently pre-install bloatware in return Read more about Samsung is loading McAfee antivirus software on smart TVs – which may be impossible to uninstall[…]

China bans 23m from buying travel tickets as part of ‘social credit’ system.

China has blocked millions of “discredited” travellers from buying plane or train tickets as part of the country’s controversial “social credit” system aimed at improving the behaviour of citizens. According to the National Public Credit Information Centre, Chinese courts banned would-be travellers from buying flights 17.5 million times by the end of 2018. Citizens placed Read more about China bans 23m from buying travel tickets as part of ‘social credit’ system.[…]

Surprise! Facebook Low-Balled the Percentage of young teens It Paid to Install Spyware – by a factor of 4!

In January, when news first broke that Facebook had been paying teens in gift cards to let it install what is, by definition, essentially spyware on their phones, it seemed like just another Tuesday. Had it been virtually any other company, the outrage would have been tenfold. After all, paying 13-year-olds to gain access to Read more about Surprise! Facebook Low-Balled the Percentage of young teens It Paid to Install Spyware – by a factor of 4![…]

As China frightens Europe’s data protectors, America does too with Cloud Act

A foreign power with possible unbridled access to Europe’s data is causing alarm in the region. No, it’s not China. It’s the United States. As the US pushes ahead with the “Cloud Act” it enacted about a year ago, Europe is scrambling to curb its reach. Under the act, all US cloud service providers, from Read more about As China frightens Europe’s data protectors, America does too with Cloud Act[…]

Some American Airlines In-Flight TVs Have Cameras In Them watching you, just like Singapore Airlines and Google Nest

A viral photo showing a camera in a Singapore Airlines in-flight TV display recently caused an uproar online. The image was retweeted hundreds of times, with many people expressing concern about the privacy implications. As it turns out, some seat-back screens in American Airlines’ premium economy class have them, too. Sri Ray was aboard an Read more about Some American Airlines In-Flight TVs Have Cameras In Them watching you, just like Singapore Airlines and Google Nest[…]

why does Singapore Airlines have an embedded camera looking at you on the inflight entertainment system? Just like the Google Nest spy, they say it’s ummm all ok, nothing to see here.

Given Singapore’s reputation for being an unabashed surveillance state, a passenger on a Singapore Airlines (SIA) flight could be forgiven for being a little paranoid. Vitaly Kamluk, an information security expert and a high-ranking executive of cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, went on Twitter with concerns about an embedded camera in SIA’s inflight entertainment systems. He Read more about why does Singapore Airlines have an embedded camera looking at you on the inflight entertainment system? Just like the Google Nest spy, they say it’s ummm all ok, nothing to see here.[…]

The EU Just Finalized Copyright Legislation That breaks the Web, despite EU country opposition

The last time the EU tweaked its copyright laws was in 2001, so the idea of updating regulations in the information age made a lot of sense. But critics became alarmed by two sections of the bill: Article 11 (aka the “link tax”) and Article 13 (aka the “upload filters”). In 2018, critics like Tim Read more about The EU Just Finalized Copyright Legislation That breaks the Web, despite EU country opposition[…]

One click and you’re out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once

It will be an offence to view terrorist material online just once – and could incur a prison sentence of up to 15 years – under new UK laws. The Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill was granted Royal Assent yesterday, updating a previous Act and bringing new powers to law enforcement to tackle terrorism. But Read more about One click and you’re out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once[…]

Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking

Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps. In most cases you won’t even realize it. And they don’t need to ask for permission. You can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some even monetize your data without your knowledge. Read more about Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking[…]

The “Do Not Track” Setting Doesn’t Stop You from Being Tracked – by Google, Facebook and Twitter, among many more

Most browsers have a “Do Not Track” (DNT) setting that sends “a special signal to websites, analytics companies, ad networks, plug in providers, and other web services you encounter while browsing, to stop tracking your activity.” Sounds good, right? Sadly, it’s not effective. That’s because this Do Not Track setting is only a voluntary signal Read more about The “Do Not Track” Setting Doesn’t Stop You from Being Tracked – by Google, Facebook and Twitter, among many more[…]

I’m a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks’ DNA data to FBI

Some would argue he has broken every ethical and moral rule of his in his profession, but genealogist Bennett Greenspan prefers to see himself as a crime-fighter. “I spent many, many nights and many, many weekends thinking of what privacy and confidentiality would mean to a genealogist such as me,” the founder and president of Read more about I’m a crime-fighter, says FamilyTreeDNA boss after being caught giving folks’ DNA data to FBI[…]

Officer jailed for using police database to access personal details of dozens of Tinder dates

A former long-serving police officer has been jailed for six months for illegally accessing the personal details of almost 100 women to determine if they were “suitable” dates. Adrian Trevor Moore was a 28-year veteran of WA Police and was nominated as police officer of the year in 2011. The former senior constable pleaded guilty Read more about Officer jailed for using police database to access personal details of dozens of Tinder dates[…]

Nest Secure has an unlisted disabled microphone (Edit: Google statement agrees!)

We received a statement from Google regarding the implication that the Nest Secure alarm system has had an unlisted microphone this whole time. It turns out that yes, the Nest Guard base system (the circular device with a keypad above) does have a built-in microphone that is not listed on the official spec sheet at Read more about Nest Secure has an unlisted disabled microphone (Edit: Google statement agrees!)[…]

Furious Apple revokes Facebook’s enty app cert after Zuck’s crew abused it to slurp private data

Facebook has yet again vowed to “do better” after it was caught secretly bypassing Apple’s privacy rules to pay adults and teenagers to install a data-slurping iOS app on their phones. The increasingly worthless promises of the social media giant have fallen on deaf ears however: on Wednesday, Apple revoked the company’s enterprise certificate for Read more about Furious Apple revokes Facebook’s enty app cert after Zuck’s crew abused it to slurp private data[…]

Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them

Desperate for data on its competitors, Facebook has been secretly paying people to install a “Facebook Research” VPN that lets the company suck in all of a user’s phone and web activity, similar to Facebook’s Onavo Protect app that Apple banned in June and that was removed in August. Facebook sidesteps the App Store and Read more about Facebook pays teens to install VPN that spies on them[…]

Apple: You can’t sue us for slowing down your iPhones because we’re like a contractor in your house

Apple is like a building contractor you hire to redo your kitchen, the tech giant has argued in an attempt to explain why it shouldn’t have to pay customers for slowing down their iPhones. Addressing a bunch of people trying to sue it for damages, the iGiant’s lawyers told [PDF] a California court this month: Read more about Apple: You can’t sue us for slowing down your iPhones because we’re like a contractor in your house[…]

Google’s Sidewalk Labs Plans to Package and Sell Location Data on Millions of Cellphones

Most of the data collected by urban planners is messy, complex, and difficult to represent. It looks nothing like the smooth graphs and clean charts of city life in urban simulator games like “SimCity.” A new initiative from Sidewalk Labs, the city-building subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet, has set out to change that. The Read more about Google’s Sidewalk Labs Plans to Package and Sell Location Data on Millions of Cellphones[…]

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[…]