Samsung adds ‘repair mode’ to smartphone

When activated, repair mode prevents a range of behaviors – from casual snooping to outright lifting of personal data – by blocking access to photos, messages, and account information. The mode provides technicians with the access they require to make a fix, including the apps a user employs. But repairers won’t see user data in Read more about Samsung adds ‘repair mode’ to smartphone[…]

Twitter warns of ‘record highs’ in account data requests

Twitter has published its 20th transparency report, and the details still aren’t reassuring to those concerned about abuses of personal info. The social network saw “record highs” in the number of account data requests during the July-December 2021 reporting period, with 47,572 legal demands on 198,931 accounts. The media in particular faced much more pressure. Read more about Twitter warns of ‘record highs’ in account data requests[…]

Records reveal the scale of Homeland Security’s phone location data purchases

Investigators raised alarm bells when they learned Homeland Security bureaus were buying phone location data to effectively bypass the Fourth Amendment requirement for a search warrant, and now it’s clearer just how extensive those purchases were. TechCrunch notes the American Civil Liberties Union has obtained records linking Customs and Border Protection, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Read more about Records reveal the scale of Homeland Security’s phone location data purchases[…]

Amazon Ring Tells Sen. Markey It Won’t Enhance Doorbell Privacy, will listen in to long range conversations

Ring is rejecting the request of a U.S. senator to introduce privacy-enhancing changes to its flagship doorbell video camera after product testing showed the device capable of recording conversations well beyond the doorsteps of its many millions of customers. Security and privacy experts expressed alarm at the quality of the distant recordings, raising concerns about Read more about Amazon Ring Tells Sen. Markey It Won’t Enhance Doorbell Privacy, will listen in to long range conversations[…]

Amazon’s Ring gave a record amount of doorbell footage to the US government in 2021

Ring, the maker of internet-connected video doorbells and security cameras, said in its latest transparency report that it turned over a record amount of doorbell footage and other information to U.S. authorities last year. The Amazon-owned company said in two biannual reports covering 2021 that it received 3,147 legal demands, an increase of about 65% Read more about Amazon’s Ring gave a record amount of doorbell footage to the US government in 2021[…]

China’s cyberspace regulator details data export rules

[…] The Cyberspace Administration of China’s (CAC) policy was first floated in October 2021 and requires businesses that transfer data offshore to conduct a security review. The requirements kick in when an organization transfers data describing more than 100,000 individuals, or information about critical infrastructure – including that related to communications, finance and transportation. Sensitive Read more about China’s cyberspace regulator details data export rules[…]

UK + 3 EU countries sign US border deal to share police biometric database

[…] LIBE committee member and Pirate Party MEP Patrick Breyer said that during the meeting last week, the committee discovered that the UK – and three EU member states, though their identities were not revealed – had already signed up to reintroduce US visa requirements which grant access to police biometric databases. In the UK, Read more about UK + 3 EU countries sign US border deal to share police biometric database[…]

T-Mobile Is Selling Your App and Web History to Advertisers allowing extremely fine personal targetting (they say)

In yet another example of T-Mobile being The Worst with its customer’s data, the company announced a new money-making scheme this week: selling its customers’ app download data and web browsing history to advertisers. The package of data is part of the company’s new “App Insights” adtech product that was in beta for the last Read more about T-Mobile Is Selling Your App and Web History to Advertisers allowing extremely fine personal targetting (they say)[…]

Valorant will start listening in to and recording your voice chat in July

Riot Games will begin background evaluation of recorded in-game voice communications on July 13th in North America, in English. In a brief statement (opens in new tab) Riot said that the purpose of the recording is ultimately to “collect clear evidence that could verify any violations of behavioral policies.” For now, however, recordings will be Read more about Valorant will start listening in to and recording your voice chat in July[…]

Coinbase Is Selling Data on Crypto and ‘Geotracking’ to ICE

Coinbase Tracer, the analytics arm of the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase, has signed a contract with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement that would allow the agency access to a variety of features and data caches, including “historical geo tracking data.” Coinbase Tracer, according to the website, is for governments, crypto businesses, and financial institutions. It allows Read more about Coinbase Is Selling Data on Crypto and ‘Geotracking’ to ICE[…]

New Firefox privacy feature strips URLs of tracking parameters

Numerous companies, including Facebook, Marketo, Olytics, and HubSpot, utilize custom URL query parameters to track clicks on links. For example, Facebook appends a fbclid query parameter to outbound links to track clicks, with an example of one of these URLs shown below. https://www.example.com/?fbclid=IwAR4HesRZLT-fxhhh3nZ7WKsOpaiFzsg4nH0K4WLRHw1h467GdRjaLilWbLs With the release of Firefox 102, Mozilla has added the new ‘Query Read more about New Firefox privacy feature strips URLs of tracking parameters[…]

Spain, Austria not convinced location data is personal

[…] EU privacy group NOYB (None of your business), set up by privacy warrior Max “Angry Austrian” Schrems, said on Tuesday it appealed a decision of the Spanish Data Protection Authority (AEPD) to support Virgin Telco’s refusal to provide the location data it has stored about a customer. In Spain, according to NOYB, the government Read more about Spain, Austria not convinced location data is personal[…]

Facebook and Anti-Abortion Clinics Are Collecting Highly Sensitive Info on Would-Be Patients

Facebook is collecting ultra-sensitive personal data about abortion seekers and enabling anti-abortion organizations to use that data as a tool to target and influence people online, in violation of its own policies and promises. In the wake of a leaked Supreme Court opinion signaling the likely end of nationwide abortion protections, privacy experts are sounding Read more about Facebook and Anti-Abortion Clinics Are Collecting Highly Sensitive Info on Would-Be Patients[…]

Testing firm Cignpost can profit from sale of Covid swabs with customer DNA

A large Covid-19 testing provider is being investigated by the UK’s data privacy watchdog over its plans to sell swabs containing customers’ DNA for medical research. Cignpost Diagnostics, a government-approved supplier trading as ExpressTest, said it intended to analyse the samples to “learn more about human health”, to develop drugs and products or to sell Read more about Testing firm Cignpost can profit from sale of Covid swabs with customer DNA[…]

Find you: an airtag which Apple can’t find in unwanted tracking

[…] In one exemplary stalking case, a fashion and fitness model discovered an AirTag in her coat pocket after having received a tracking warning notification from her iPhone. Other times, AirTags were placed in expensive cars or motorbikes to track them from parking spots to their owner’s home, where they were then stolen. On February Read more about Find you: an airtag which Apple can’t find in unwanted tracking[…]

Now Amazon to put creepy AI cameras in UK delivery vans

Amazon is installing AI-powered cameras in delivery vans to keep tabs on its drivers in the UK. The technology was first deployed, with numerous errors that reportedly denied drivers’ bonuses after malfunctions, in the US. Last year, the internet giant produced a corporate video detailing how the cameras monitor drivers’ driving behavior for safety reasons. Read more about Now Amazon to put creepy AI cameras in UK delivery vans[…]

Twitter fined $150 million after selling 2FA phone numbers + email addresses to targeting advertisers

Twitter has agreed to pay a $150 million fine after federal law enforcement officials accused the social media company of illegally using peoples’ personal data over six years to help sell targeted advertisements. In court documents made public on Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice say Twitter violated a 2011 agreement Read more about Twitter fined $150 million after selling 2FA phone numbers + email addresses to targeting advertisers[…]

Clearview AI Ordered to Purge U.K. Face Scans, Pay GBP 7.5m Fine

The United Kingdom has had it with creepy facial recognition firm Clearview AI. Under a new enforcement rule from the U.K.’s Information Commissioner’s office, Clearview must cease the collection and use of publicly available U.K. data and delete all data of U.K. residents from their database. The order, which will also require the company to pay Read more about Clearview AI Ordered to Purge U.K. Face Scans, Pay GBP 7.5m Fine[…]

Your data’s auctioned off up to 987 times a day, NGO reports

The average American has their personal information shared in an online ad bidding war 747 times a day. For the average EU citizen, that number is 376 times a day. In one year, 178 trillion instances of the same bidding war happen online in the US and EU. That’s according to data shared by the Read more about Your data’s auctioned off up to 987 times a day, NGO reports[…]

New EU rules would require chat apps to scan private messages for child abuse

The European Commission has proposed controversial new regulation that would require chat apps like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger to selectively scan users’ private messages for child sexual abuse material (CSAM) and “grooming” behavior. The proposal is similar to plans mooted by Apple last year but, say critics, much more invasive. After a draft of the Read more about New EU rules would require chat apps to scan private messages for child abuse[…]

Web ad firms scrape email addresses before you press the submit button

Tracking, marketing, and analytics firms have been exfiltrating the email addresses of internet users from web forms prior to submission and without user consent, according to security researchers. Some of these firms are said to have also inadvertently grabbed passwords from these forms. In a research paper scheduled to appear at the Usenix ’22 security Read more about Web ad firms scrape email addresses before you press the submit button[…]

Indian Government Now Wants VPNs To Collect And Turn Over Personal Data On Users

The government of India still claims to be a democracy, but its decade-long assault on the internet and the rights of its citizens suggests it would rather be an autocracy. The country is already host to one of the largest biometric databases in the world, housing information collected from nearly every one of its 1.2 Read more about Indian Government Now Wants VPNs To Collect And Turn Over Personal Data On Users[…]

Hackers are reportedly using emergency data requests to extort women and minors

In response to fraudulent legal requests, companies like Apple, Google, Meta and Twitter have been tricked into sharing sensitive personal information about some of their customers. We knew that was happening as recently as last month when Bloomberg published a report on hackers using fake emergency data requests to carry out financial fraud. But according Read more about Hackers are reportedly using emergency data requests to extort women and minors[…]

Brave’s De-AMP feature bypasses harmful Google AMP pages

Brave announced a new feature for its browser on Tuesday: De-AMP, which automatically jumps past any page rendered with Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages framework and instead takes users straight to the original website. “Where possible, De-AMP will rewrite links and URLs to prevent users from visiting AMP pages altogether,” Brave said in a blog post. Read more about Brave’s De-AMP feature bypasses harmful Google AMP pages[…]

Cisco’s Webex phoned home audio telemetry even when muted

Boffins at two US universities have found that muting popular native video-conferencing apps fails to disable device microphones – and that these apps have the ability to access audio data when muted, or actually do so. The research is described in a paper titled, “Are You Really Muted?: A Privacy Analysis of Mute Buttons in Read more about Cisco’s Webex phoned home audio telemetry even when muted[…]