Signal, MEPs urge EU Council to drop law that puts a spy on everyone’s devices

On Thursday, the EU Council is scheduled to vote on a legislative proposal that would attempt to protect children online by disallowing confidential communication. The vote had been set for Wednesday but got pushed back [PDF]. Known to detractors as Chat Control, the proposal seeks to prevent the online dissemination of child sexual abuse material Read more about Signal, MEPs urge EU Council to drop law that puts a spy on everyone’s devices[…]

Sonos draws more customer anger — this time for its privacy policy. Now they will sell your customer data, apparently

It’s been a rocky couple of months for Sonos — so much so that CEO Patrick Spence now has a canned autoreply for customers emailing him to vent about the redesigned app. But as the company works to right the ship, restore trust, and get the new Sonos Ace headphones off to a strong start, Read more about Sonos draws more customer anger — this time for its privacy policy. Now they will sell your customer data, apparently[…]

documents scattered

Google Leak Reveals Thousands of Privacy Incidents

Google has accidentally collected childrens’ voice data, leaked the trips and home addresses of car pool users, and made YouTube recommendations based on users’ deleted watch history, among thousands of other employee-reported privacy incidents, according to a copy of an internal Google database which tracks six years worth of potential privacy and security issues obtained Read more about Google Leak Reveals Thousands of Privacy Incidents[…]

Top EU court says there is no right to online anonymity, because copyright is more important

A year ago, Walled Culture wrote about an extremely important case that was being considered by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU), the EU’s top court. The central question was whether the judges considered that copyright was more important than privacy. The bad news is that the CJEU has just decided that Read more about Top EU court says there is no right to online anonymity, because copyright is more important[…]

FCC fines America’s largest wireless carriers $200 million for selling customer location data without permission

The Federal Communications Commission has slapped the largest mobile carriers in the US with a collective fine worth $200 million for selling access to their customers’ location information without consent. AT&T was ordered to pay $57 million, while Verizon has to pay $47 million. Meanwhile, Sprint and T-Mobile are facing a penalty with a total Read more about FCC fines America’s largest wireless carriers $200 million for selling customer location data without permission[…]

Helldivers 2 PC players suddenly have to link to a PSN account and they’re not being chill about it

Nintendo sent a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice for over 8,000 GitHub repositories hosting code from the Yuzu Switch emulator, which the Zelda maker previously described as enabling “piracy at a colossal scale.” The sweeping takedown comes two months after Yuzu’s creators quickly settled a lawsuit with Nintendo and its notoriously trigger-happy legal team Read more about Helldivers 2 PC players suddenly have to link to a PSN account and they’re not being chill about it[…]

People Are Slowly Realizing Their Auto Insurance Rates Are Skyrocketing Because Their Car Is Covertly Spying On Them

Last month the New York Times’ Kashmir Hill published a major story on how GM collects driver behavior data then sells access (through LexisNexis) to insurance companies, which will then jack up your rates. The absolute bare minimum you could could expect from the auto industry here is that they’re doing this in a way that’s clear to car Read more about People Are Slowly Realizing Their Auto Insurance Rates Are Skyrocketing Because Their Car Is Covertly Spying On Them[…]

Ring Spy Doorbell customers get measly $5.6 million in refunds in privacy settlement

In a 2023 complaint, the FTC accused the doorbell camera and home security provider of allowing its employees and contractors to access customers’ private videos. Ring allegedly used such footage to train algorithms without consent, among other purposes. Ring was also charged with failing to implement key security protections, which enabled hackers to take control Read more about Ring Spy Doorbell customers get measly $5.6 million in refunds in privacy settlement[…]

Europol asks tech firms, governments to unencrypt your private messages

In a joint declaration of European police chiefs published over the weekend, Europol said it needs lawful access to private messages, and said tech companies need to be able to scan them (ostensibly impossible with E2EE implemented) to protect users. Without such access, cops fear they won’t be able to prevent “the most heinous of Read more about Europol asks tech firms, governments to unencrypt your private messages[…]

EDPS warns of EU plans to spy on personal chat messages

This week, during the presentation of the 2023 annual review ( pdf ) , the European privacy supervisor EDPS again warned about European plans to monitor chat messages from European citizens. According to the watchdog, this leads to ‘irreversible surveillance’. At the beginning of 2022, the European Commission came up with a proposal to inspect Read more about EDPS warns of EU plans to spy on personal chat messages[…]

US Hospital Websites Almost All Give your Data to 3rd parties, but Many just don’t tell you about it

 In this cross-sectional analysis of a nationally representative sample of 100 nonfederal acute care hospitals, 96.0% of hospital websites transmitted user information to third parties, whereas 71.0% of websites included a publicly accessible privacy policy. Of 71 privacy policies, 40 (56.3%) disclosed specific third-party companies receiving user information. […] Of 100 hospital websites, 96 […] Read more about US Hospital Websites Almost All Give your Data to 3rd parties, but Many just don’t tell you about it[…]

Dutch investigation into Android smartphones leads to new lawsuit against Google Play Services Constant Surveillance

The Mass Damage & Consumer Foundation today announced that it has initiated a class action lawsuit against Google over its Android operating system. The reason is a new study that shows how Dutch Android smartphones systematically transfer large amounts of information about device use to Google. Even with the most privacy-friendly options enabled, user data Read more about Dutch investigation into Android smartphones leads to new lawsuit against Google Play Services Constant Surveillance[…]

Academics Try to Figure Out Apple’s default apps Privacy Settings and Fail

A study has concluded that Apple’s privacy practices aren’t particularly effective, because default apps on the iPhone and Mac have limited privacy settings and confusing configuration options. The research was conducted by Amel Bourdoucen and Janne Lindqvist of Aalto University in Finland. The pair noted that while many studies had examined privacy issues with third-party Read more about Academics Try to Figure Out Apple’s default apps Privacy Settings and Fail[…]

Roku’s New Idea to Show You Ads When You Pause Your Video Game and spy on the content on your hdmi cable Is Horrifying

[…] Roku describes its idea in a patent application, which largely flew under the radar when it was filed in November, and was recently spotted by the streaming newsletter Lowpass. In the application, Roku describes a system that’s able to detect when users pause third-party hardware and software and show them ads during that time. Read more about Roku’s New Idea to Show You Ads When You Pause Your Video Game and spy on the content on your hdmi cable Is Horrifying[…]

Google will delete data collected from private browsing

In hopes of settling a lawsuit challenging its data collection practices, Google has agreed to destroy web browsing data it collected from users browsing in Chrome’s private modes – which weren’t as private as you might have thought. The lawsuit [PDF], filed in June, 2020, on behalf of plaintiffs Chasom Brown, Maria Nguyen, and William Read more about Google will delete data collected from private browsing[…]

The Digital Identity Wallet approved by parliament and council

On the 28th February, The European Parliament gave its final approval to the Digital Identity Regulation, with 335 votes to 190, with 31 abstentions. It was adopted by the EU Council of Ministers on 26th of March. The next step will be its publication in the Official Journal and its entry into force 20 days Read more about The Digital Identity Wallet approved by parliament and council[…]

Soofa Digital Kiosks Snatch Your Phone’s Data When You Walk By, sell it on

Digital kiosks from Soofa seem harmless, giving you bits of information alongside some ads. However, these kiosks popping up throughout the United States take your phone’s information and location data whenever you walk near them, and sell them to local governments and advertisers, first reported by NBC Boston Monday. “At Soofa, we developed the first Read more about Soofa Digital Kiosks Snatch Your Phone’s Data When You Walk By, sell it on[…]

Mass claim CUIC against virus scanner (but really tracking sypware) Avast

Privacy First has teamed up with Austrian NOYB (the organisation of privacy activist Max Schrems) to form the new mass claim organisation CUIC founded. CUIC stands for Consumers United in Court, also pronounceable as ‘CU in Court’ (see you in court). […] Millions spied on by virus scanner CUIC today filed subpoenas against software company Read more about Mass claim CUIC against virus scanner (but really tracking sypware) Avast[…]

Age Verification Laws Drag Us Back to the Dark Ages of the Internet

The fundamental flaw with the age verification bills and laws passing rapidly across the country is the delusional, unfounded belief that putting hurdles between people and pornography is going to actually prevent them from viewing porn. What will happen, and is already happening, is that people–including minors–will go to unmoderated, actively harmful alternatives that don’t Read more about Age Verification Laws Drag Us Back to the Dark Ages of the Internet[…]

Project Ghostbusters: Facebook Accused of Using Your Phone to Wiretap Snapchat, Youtube, Amazon through Onavo VPN

Court filings unsealed last week allege Meta created an internal effort to spy on Snapchat in a secret initiative called “Project Ghostbusters.” Meta did so through Onavo, a Virtual Private Network (VPN) service the company offered between 2016 and 2019 that, ultimately, wasn’t private at all. “Whenever someone asks a question about Snapchat, the answer Read more about Project Ghostbusters: Facebook Accused of Using Your Phone to Wiretap Snapchat, Youtube, Amazon through Onavo VPN[…]

General Motors Quits Sharing Driving Behavior With Data Brokers – Now sells it directly to insurance companies?

General Motors said Friday that it had stopped sharing details about how people drove its cars with two data brokers that created risk profiles for the insurance industry. The decision followed a New York Times report this month that G.M. had, for years, been sharing data about drivers’ mileage, braking, acceleration and speed with the Read more about General Motors Quits Sharing Driving Behavior With Data Brokers – Now sells it directly to insurance companies?[…]

VPN Demand Surges 234.8% After Adult Site Restriction on Texas-Based Users

VPN demand in Texas skyrocketed by 234.8% on March 15, 2024, after state authorities enacted a law requiring adult sites to verify users’ ages before granting them access to the websites’ content. Texas’ age verification law was passed in June 2023 and was set to take effect in September of the same year. However, a Read more about VPN Demand Surges 234.8% After Adult Site Restriction on Texas-Based Users[…]

Pornhub disables website in Texas after AG sues for not verifying users’ ages

Pornhub has disabled its site in Texas to object to a state law that requires the company to verify the age of users to prevent minors from accessing the site. Texas residents who visit the site are met with a message from the company that criticizes the state’s elected officials who are requiring them to Read more about Pornhub disables website in Texas after AG sues for not verifying users’ ages[…]

car with eye in sky

Automakers Are Sharing Consumers’ Driving Behavior With Insurance Companies

Kenn Dahl says he has always been a careful driver. The owner of a software company near Seattle, he drives a leased Chevrolet Bolt. He’s never been responsible for an accident. So Mr. Dahl, 65, was surprised in 2022 when the cost of his car insurance jumped by 21 percent. Quotes from other insurance companies Read more about Automakers Are Sharing Consumers’ Driving Behavior With Insurance Companies[…]

European Commission broke data protection law with Microsoft Office 365 – duh

The European Commission has been reprimanded for infringing data protection regulations when using Microsoft 365. The rebuke came from the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) and is the culmination of an investigation that kicked off in May 2021, following the Schrems II judgement. According to the EDPS, the EC infringed several data protection regulations, including Read more about European Commission broke data protection law with Microsoft Office 365 – duh[…]