Chrome is the biggest snoop of all on your computer or cell phone – so switch browser before there is no alternative any more

You open your browser to look at the Web. Do you know who is looking back at you? Over a recent week of Web surfing, I peered under the hood of Google Chrome and found it brought along a few thousand friends. Shopping, news and even government sites quietly tagged my browser to let ad Read more about Chrome is the biggest snoop of all on your computer or cell phone – so switch browser before there is no alternative any more[…]

FYI: Your Venmo transfers with those edgy emojis aren’t private by default. And someone’s put 7m of them into a public DB

Graduate student Dan Salmon has released online seven million Venmo transfers, scraped from the social payment biz in recent months, to call attention to the privacy risks of public transaction data. Venmo, for the uninitiated, is an app that allows friends to pay each other money for stuff. El Reg‘s Bay Area vultures primarily use Read more about FYI: Your Venmo transfers with those edgy emojis aren’t private by default. And someone’s put 7m of them into a public DB[…]

Readability of privacy policies for big tech companies visualised

For The New York Times, Kevin Litman-Navarro plotted the length and readability of privacy policies for large companies: To see exactly how inscrutable they have become, I analyzed the length and readability of privacy policies from nearly 150 popular websites and apps. Facebook’s privacy policy, for example, takes around 18 minutes to read in its Read more about Readability of privacy policies for big tech companies visualised[…]

Popular Soccer App Spied on Fans Through Phone Microphone to Catch Bars Pirating Game Streams

Spain’s data protection agency has fined La Liga, the nation’s top professional soccer league, 250,000 euros ($283,000 USD) for using the league’s phone app to spy on its fans. With millions of downloads, the app was reportedly being used to surveil bars in an effort to catch establishments playing matches on television without a license. Read more about Popular Soccer App Spied on Fans Through Phone Microphone to Catch Bars Pirating Game Streams[…]

The Russian Government Now Requires Tinder to Hand Over People’s Sexts

Tinder users in Russia may now have to decide whether the perks of dating apps outweigh a disconcerting invasion of privacy. Russian authorities are now requiring that the dating app hand over a wealth of intimate user data, including private messages, if and when it asks for them. Tinder is the fourth dating app in Read more about The Russian Government Now Requires Tinder to Hand Over People’s Sexts[…]

EU countries and car manufacturers, navigation systems will share information between everyone

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) in cars such as automatic braking systems, systems that detect the state of the road, if there is anything in your blind spot and navigation systems will be sharing their data with European countries, car manufacturers and presumably insurers under the cloak of making driving safer. I’m sure it will, Read more about EU countries and car manufacturers, navigation systems will share information between everyone[…]

Apple’s privacy schtick is just an act, say folks suing the iGiant: iTunes ‘purchase histories sold’ to highest bidders

Apple has been hit with a class-action complaint in the US accusing the iGiant of playing fast and loose with the privacy of its customers. The lawsuit [PDF], filed this month in a northern California federal district court, claims the Cupertino music giant gathers data from iTunes – including people’s music purchase history and personal Read more about Apple’s privacy schtick is just an act, say folks suing the iGiant: iTunes ‘purchase histories sold’ to highest bidders[…]

Newly Released Amazon Patent Shows Just How Much Creepier Alexa Can Get

A newly revealed patent application filed by Amazon is raising privacy concerns over an envisaged upgrade to the company’s smart speaker systems. This change would mean that, by default, the devices end up listening to and recording everything you say in their presence. Alexa, Amazon’s virtual assistant system that runs on the company’s Echo series Read more about Newly Released Amazon Patent Shows Just How Much Creepier Alexa Can Get[…]

Bose headphones spy on listeners, sell that information on without consent or knowledge: lawsuit

Bose Corp spies on its wireless headphone customers by using an app that tracks the music, podcasts and other audio they listen to, and violates their privacy rights by selling the information without permission, a lawsuit charged. The complaint filed on Tuesday by Kyle Zak in federal court in Chicago seeks an injunction to stop Read more about Bose headphones spy on listeners, sell that information on without consent or knowledge: lawsuit[…]

Phone makers and carriers receive your location data, friends and more that Facebook pulls from your phone

A confidential Facebook document reviewed by The Intercept shows that the social network courts carriers, along with phone makers — some 100 different companies in 50 countries — by offering the use of even more surveillance data, pulled straight from your smartphone by Facebook itself. Offered to select Facebook partners, the data includes not just Read more about Phone makers and carriers receive your location data, friends and more that Facebook pulls from your phone[…]

Bits of Freedom cries to halt the shocking personal data sent out to everyone using Real Time Bidding advertising

During RTB, personal data such as what you read online, what you watch, your location, your sexual orientation, etc is sent to a whole slew of advertisers so they can select you as an object to show their adverts do. This, together with other profiling information sent, can be used to build up a long Read more about Bits of Freedom cries to halt the shocking personal data sent out to everyone using Real Time Bidding advertising[…]

Google Gmail tracks purchase history through gmail, puts them on https://myaccount.google.com/purchases

Google tracks a lot of what you buy, even if you purchased it elsewhere, like in a store or from Amazon. Last week, CEO Sundar Pichai wrote a New York Times op-ed that said “privacy cannot be a luxury good.” But behind the scenes, Google is still collecting a lot of personal information from the Read more about Google Gmail tracks purchase history through gmail, puts them on https://myaccount.google.com/purchases[…]

Your Kid’s Echo Dot May Be Storing Data Even After You ‘Delete’ It

When Amazon launched its kid’s version of the Echo Dot smart speaker a year ago, we hoped it would be a technological blessing, rather than a curse. But as further proof that private information is no longer sacred, a complaint filed yesterday with the Federal Trade Commission alleges that the devices are unlawfully storing kids’ Read more about Your Kid’s Echo Dot May Be Storing Data Even After You ‘Delete’ It[…]

China’s Mass Surveillance App Hacked; Code Reveals Specific Criteria For Illegal Oppression of specific minorities

Human Rights Watch got their hands on an app used by Chinese authorities in the western Xinjiang region to surveil, track and categorize the entire local population – particularly the 13 million or so Turkic Muslims subject to heightened scrutiny, of which around one million are thought to live in cultural ‘reeducation’ camps. By “reverse engineering” the Read more about China’s Mass Surveillance App Hacked; Code Reveals Specific Criteria For Illegal Oppression of specific minorities[…]

Google gives Chrome 3rd party cookie control – which allows it to track you better, but rivals to not be able to do so

Google I/O Google, the largest handler of web cookies, plans to change the way its Chrome browser deals with the tokens, ostensibly to promote greater privacy, following similar steps taken by rival browser makers Apple, Brave, and Mozilla. At Google I/O 2019 on Tuesday, Google’s web platform director Ben Galbraith announced the plan, which has Read more about Google gives Chrome 3rd party cookie control – which allows it to track you better, but rivals to not be able to do so[…]

EU Votes to Amass a Giant Centralised Database of Biometric Data with 350m people in it

The European Parliament has voted by a significant margin to streamline its systems for managing everything from travel to border security by amassing an enormous information database that will include biometric data and facial images—an issue that has raised significant alarm among privacy advocates. This system, called the Common Identity Repository (CIR), streamlines a number Read more about EU Votes to Amass a Giant Centralised Database of Biometric Data with 350m people in it[…]

Is Alexa Listening? Amazon Employees Can Access Home Addresses, telephone numbers, contacts

An Amazon.com Inc. team auditing Alexa users’ commands has access to location data and can, in some cases, easily find a customer’s home address, according to five employees familiar with the program. The team, spread across three continents, transcribes, annotates and analyzes a portion of the voice recordings picked up by Alexa. The program, whose Read more about Is Alexa Listening? Amazon Employees Can Access Home Addresses, telephone numbers, contacts[…]

‘They’re Basically Lying’ – (Mental) Health Apps Caught Secretly Sharing Data

“Free apps marketed to people with depression or who want to quit smoking are hemorrhaging user data to third parties like Facebook and Google — but often don’t admit it in their privacy policies, a new study reports…” writes The Verge. “You don’t have to be a user of Facebook’s or Google’s services for them Read more about ‘They’re Basically Lying’ – (Mental) Health Apps Caught Secretly Sharing Data[…]

Personal information on sites about faith, illness, sexual orientation, addiction, schools in NL is directly passed on to advertisers without GDPR consent.

Websites met informatie over gevoelige onderwerpen lappen de privacywet massaal aan hun laars. Dat zegt de Consumentenbond. Veel sites plaatsen zonder toestemming cookies van advertentienetwerken, waardoor die zeer persoonlijke informatie over de bezoekers in handen krijgen. Onderzoekers van de Consumentenbond zochten in maart en april op onderwerpen binnen de categorieën geloof, jeugd, medisch en geaardheid. Read more about Personal information on sites about faith, illness, sexual orientation, addiction, schools in NL is directly passed on to advertisers without GDPR consent.[…]

Security lapse exposed a Chinese smart city surveillance system

Smart cities are designed to make life easier for their residents: better traffic management by clearing routes, making sure the public transport is running on time and having cameras keeping a watchful eye from above. But what happens when that data leaks? One such database was open for weeks for anyone to look inside. Security Read more about Security lapse exposed a Chinese smart city surveillance system[…]

Facebook uploaded the contacts of 1.5m people without permission

On Thursday, at just about the same time as the most highly anticipated government document of the decade was released in Washington D.C., Facebook updated a month-old blog post to note that actually a security incident impacted “millions” of Instagram users and not “tens of thousands” as they said at first. Last month, Facebook announced Read more about Facebook uploaded the contacts of 1.5m people without permission[…]

Pregnancy and parenting club Bounty fined £400,000 for shady data sharing practices of more than 14 million people

The Information Commissioner’s Office has fined commercial pregnancy and parenting club Bounty some £400,000 for illegally sharing personal details of more than 14 million people. The organisation, which dishes out advice to expectant and inexperienced parents, has faced criticism over the tactics it uses to sign up new members and was the subject of a Read more about Pregnancy and parenting club Bounty fined £400,000 for shady data sharing practices of more than 14 million people[…]

Sonos finally blasted in complaint to UK privacy watchdog – lets hope they do something with it

Sonos stands accused of seeking to obtain “excessive” amounts of personal data without valid consent in a complaint filed with the UK’s data watchdog. The complaint, lodged by tech lawyer George Gardiner in a personal capacity, challenges the Sonos privacy policy’s compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation and the UK’s implementation of that law. Read more about Sonos finally blasted in complaint to UK privacy watchdog – lets hope they do something with it[…]

A Team At Amazon Is Listening To Recordings Captured By Alexa

Seven people, described as having worked in Amazon’s voice review program, told Bloomberg that they sometimes listen to as many as 1,000 recordings per shift, and that the recordings are associated with the customer’s first name, their device’s serial number, and an account number. Among other clips, these employees and contractors said they’ve reviewed recordings Read more about A Team At Amazon Is Listening To Recordings Captured By Alexa[…]

Does Google meet its users’ expectations around consumer privacy? This news industry research says no

While the ethics around data collection and consumer privacy have been questioned for years, it wasn’t until Facebook’s Cambridge Analytics scandal that people began to realize how frequently their personal data is shared, transferred, and monetized without their permission. Cambridge Analytica was by no means an isolated case. Last summer, an AP investigation found that Read more about Does Google meet its users’ expectations around consumer privacy? This news industry research says no[…]