Uninstall AVAST and AVG free anti-virus: they are massively slurping your data! Mozilla and Opera have removed them from their stores

Two browsers have yanked Avast and AVG online security extensions from their web stores after a report revealed that they were unnecessarily sucking up a ton of data about users’ browsing history. Wladimir Palant, the creator behind Adblock Plus, initially surfaced the issue—which extends to Avast Online Security and Avast SafePrice as well as Avast-owned Read more about Uninstall AVAST and AVG free anti-virus: they are massively slurping your data! Mozilla and Opera have removed them from their stores[…]

All new cell phone users in China must now have their face scanned, as do all US citizens entering or leaving the US (as well as all non-US citizens)

Customers in China who buy SIM cards or register new mobile-phone services must have their faces scanned under a new law that came into effect yesterday. China’s government says the new rule, which was passed into law back in September, will “protect the legitimate rights and interest of citizens in cyberspace.” A controversial step: It Read more about All new cell phone users in China must now have their face scanned, as do all US citizens entering or leaving the US (as well as all non-US citizens)[…]

Bad news: ‘Unblockable’ web trackers emerge. Good news: Firefox with uBlock Origin can stop it. Chrome, not so much

Developers working on open-source ad-blocker uBlock Origin have uncovered a mechanism for tracking web browsers around the internet that defies today’s blocking techniques. A method to block this so-called unblockable tracker has been developed by the team, though it only works in Firefox, leaving Chrome and possibly other browsers susceptible. This fix is now available Read more about Bad news: ‘Unblockable’ web trackers emerge. Good news: Firefox with uBlock Origin can stop it. Chrome, not so much[…]

Police can keep Amazon Ring camera video forever, and share with whomever they’d like, company tells senator

More than 600 police forces across the country have entered into partnerships with the camera giant allowing them to quickly request and download video captured by Ring’s motion-detecting, internet-connected cameras inside and around Americans’ homes. The company says the videos can be a critical tool in helping law enforcement investigate crimes such as trespassing, burglary Read more about Police can keep Amazon Ring camera video forever, and share with whomever they’d like, company tells senator[…]

Windows will go DNS over HTTPS – Take over your DNS queries, grab more of your browsing behaviour

we are making plans to adopt DNS over HTTPS (or DoH) in the Windows DNS client. As a platform, Windows Core Networking seeks to enable users to use whatever protocols they need, so we’re open to having other options such as DNS over TLS (DoT) in the future. For now, we’re prioritizing DoH support as Read more about Windows will go DNS over HTTPS – Take over your DNS queries, grab more of your browsing behaviour[…]

Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control Over Their Personal Information

A majority of Americans believe their online and offline activities are being tracked and monitored by companies and the government with some regularity. It is such a common condition of modern life that roughly six-in-ten U.S. adults say they do not think it is possible to go through daily life without having data collected about Read more about Americans and Privacy: Concerned, Confused and Feeling Lack of Control Over Their Personal Information[…]

Health websites are sharing sensitive medical data with Google, Facebook, and Amazon

Popular health websites are sharing private, personal medical data with big tech companies, according to an investigation by the Financial Times. The data, including medical diagnoses, symptoms, prescriptions, and menstrual and fertility information, are being sold to companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Oracle and smaller data brokers and advertising technology firms, like Scorecard and Read more about Health websites are sharing sensitive medical data with Google, Facebook, and Amazon[…]

Facebook says government demands for user data are at a record high, most by US govt

The social media giant said the number of government demands for user data increased by 16% to 128,617 demands during the first half of this year compared to the second half of last year. That’s the highest number of government demands it has received in any reporting period since it published its first transparency report Read more about Facebook says government demands for user data are at a record high, most by US govt[…]

Facebook bug shows camera activated in background during app use – the bug being that you could see the camera being activated

When you’re scrolling through Facebook’s app, the social network could be watching you back, concerned users have found. Multiple people have found and reported that their iPhone cameras were turned on in the background while they were looking at their feed. The issue came to light through several posts on Twitter. Users noted that their Read more about Facebook bug shows camera activated in background during app use – the bug being that you could see the camera being activated[…]

Google Reportedly Amassed Private Health Data on Millions of People Without Their Knowledge – a repeat of October 2019 and 2017 in the UK

The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the tech giant partnered with Ascension, a non-profit and Catholic health systems company, on the program code-named “Project Nightingale.” According to the Journal, Google began its initiative with Ascension last year, and it involves everything from diagnoses, lab results, birth dates, patient names, and other personal health data—all Read more about Google Reportedly Amassed Private Health Data on Millions of People Without Their Knowledge – a repeat of October 2019 and 2017 in the UK[…]

DHS expects to have detailed biometrics on 260 million people by 2022 – and will keep them in the cloud, where they will never be stolen or hacked *cough*

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expects to have face, fingerprint, and iris scans of at least 259 million people in its biometrics database by 2022, according to a recent presentation from the agency’s Office of Procurement Operations reviewed by Quartz. That’s about 40 million more than the agency’s 2017 projections, which estimated 220 Read more about DHS expects to have detailed biometrics on 260 million people by 2022 – and will keep them in the cloud, where they will never be stolen or hacked *cough*[…]

Facebook says 100 developers may have improperly accessed user data, like Cambridge Analytica did

Facebook on Tuesday disclosed that as many as 100 software developers may have improperly accessed user data, including the names and profile pictures of people in specific groups on the social network. The company recently discovered that some apps retained access to this type of user data despite making changes to its service in April Read more about Facebook says 100 developers may have improperly accessed user data, like Cambridge Analytica did[…]

How to Automatically Delete some of Your Google Data

How to auto-delete your Google data This process is almost identical on both mobile and web. We’ll focus on the latter, but the former is easy to figure out, too: Go to your Google activity dashboard (you’ll need to sign in to your Google account first). Click “Activity controls” from the left-hand sidebar. Scroll down Read more about How to Automatically Delete some of Your Google Data[…]

Tech and mobile companies want to monetise your data … but are scared of GDPR  – good, that means GDPR works!

The vast majority of technology, media and telecom (TMT) companies want to monetise customer data, but are concerned about regulations such as Europe’s GDPR, according to research from law firm Simmons & Simmons. The outfit surveyed 350 global business leaders in the TMT sector to understand their approach to data commercialisation. It found that 78 Read more about Tech and mobile companies want to monetise your data … but are scared of GDPR  – good, that means GDPR works![…]

Google Sidewalk Labs document reveals company’s early vision for big brother city in city with private tax powers, criminal justice and huge personal data slurp based on a social credit system

A confidential Sidewalk Labs document from 2016 lays out the founding vision of the Google-affiliated development company, which included having the power to levy its own property taxes, track and predict people’s movements and control some public services. The document, which The Globe and Mail has seen, also describes how people living in a Sidewalk Read more about Google Sidewalk Labs document reveals company’s early vision for big brother city in city with private tax powers, criminal justice and huge personal data slurp based on a social credit system[…]

Facebook ends appeal against ICO Cambridge Analytica micro-fine: Doesn’t admit liability, gives away £500k

Facebook has ended its appeal against the UK Information Commissioner’s Office and will pay the outstanding £500,000 fine for breaches of data protection law relating to the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Prior to today’s announcement, the social network had been appealing against the fine, alleging bias and requesting access to ICO documents related to the regulator’s Read more about Facebook ends appeal against ICO Cambridge Analytica micro-fine: Doesn’t admit liability, gives away £500k[…]

GitLab pulls U-turn on plan to crank up usage telemetry after both staff and customers cry foul

VP of product Scott Williamson announced on 10 October that “to make GitLab better faster, we need more data on how users are using GitLab”. GitLab is a web application that runs on Linux, with options for self-hosting or using the company’s cloud service. It is open source, with both free and licensed editions. Williamson Read more about GitLab pulls U-turn on plan to crank up usage telemetry after both staff and customers cry foul[…]

Google has officially purchased Fitbit for $2.1 billion. Now has your fitness data and a wearable OS that’s actually quite good.

Google’s Senior Vice President of Devices & Services, Rick Osterloh, broke the news on the official Google blog, saying: Over the years, Google has made progress with partners in this space with Wear OS and Google Fit, but we see an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Read more about Google has officially purchased Fitbit for $2.1 billion. Now has your fitness data and a wearable OS that’s actually quite good.[…]

Junior minister says gov.UK considering facial recognition to verify age of p0rn-watchers

The UK government could use facial recognition to verify the age of Brits online “so long as there is an appropriate concern for privacy,” junior minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Warman said. The minister was responding to an urgent Parliamentary question directed to Culture Secretary Nicky Morgan about the future of Blighty’s Read more about Junior minister says gov.UK considering facial recognition to verify age of p0rn-watchers[…]

Google And Facebook Are Reading Your License Plates and making them searchable

For years I’ve gone back and forth over the practice of obscuring license plates on photos on the internet. License plates are already publicly-viewable things, so what’s the point in obscuring them, right? Well, now I think there actually is a good reason to obscure your license plates in photos because it appears that Google Read more about Google And Facebook Are Reading Your License Plates and making them searchable[…]

The Creators Of Pokémon Go Mapped The World. Now They’re Mapping You – how companies are monetising your location data

Today, when you use Wizards Unite or Pokémon Go or any of Niantic’s other apps, your every move is getting documented and stored—up to 13 times a minute, according to the results of a Kotaku investigation. Even players who know that the apps record their location data are usually astonished once they look at just Read more about The Creators Of Pokémon Go Mapped The World. Now They’re Mapping You – how companies are monetising your location data[…]

Apple Safari browser sends some user IP addresses to Chinese conglomerate Tencent by default

Apple admits that it sends some user IP addresses to Tencent in the “About Safari & Privacy” section of its Safari settings which can be accessed on an iOS device by opening the Settings app and then selecting “Safari > About Privacy & Security.” Under the title “Fraudulent Website Warning,” Apple says: “Before visiting a Read more about Apple Safari browser sends some user IP addresses to Chinese conglomerate Tencent by default[…]

Human Employees Are Viewing Clips from Amazon’s Home Surveillance Service

Citing sources familiar with the program, Bloomberg reported Thursday that “dozens” of workers for the e-commerce giant who are based in Romania and India are tasked with reviewing footage collected by Cloud Cams—Amazon’s app-controlled, Alexa-compatible indoor security devices—to help improve AI functionality and better determine potential threats. Bloomberg reported that at one point, these human Read more about Human Employees Are Viewing Clips from Amazon’s Home Surveillance Service[…]

Twitter: No, really, we’re very sorry we sold your security info for a boatload of cash

Twitter says it was just an accident that caused the microblogging giant to let advertisers use private information to better target their marketing materials at users. The social networking giant on Tuesday admitted to an “error” that let advertisers have access to the private information customers had given Twitter in order to place additional security Read more about Twitter: No, really, we’re very sorry we sold your security info for a boatload of cash[…]

Remember the FBI’s promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US citizens? Well, guess what… It was worse than the privacy advocates dreamt

The FBI routinely misused a database, gathered by the NSA with the specific purpose of searching for foreign intelligence threats, by searching it for everything from vetting to spying on relatives. In doing so, it not only violated the law and the US constitution but knowingly lied to the faces of congressmen who were asking Read more about Remember the FBI’s promise it wasn’t abusing the NSA’s data on US citizens? Well, guess what… It was worse than the privacy advocates dreamt[…]