Facebook Ordered to Stop German WhatsApp Users’ Data Collection

Facebook Inc. was ordered to stop collecting German users’ data from its WhatsApp unit, after a regulator in the nation said the company’s attempt to make users agree to the practice in its updated terms isn’t legal. Johannes Caspar, who heads Hamburg’s privacy authority, issued a three-month emergency ban, prohibiting Facebook from continuing with the Read more about Facebook Ordered to Stop German WhatsApp Users’ Data Collection[…]

Justice Department Quietly Seized Washington Post Reporters’ Phone Records During Trump Era

The Department of Justice quietly seized phone records and tried to obtain email records for three Washington Post reporters, ostensibly over their coverage of then-U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election, according to officials and government letters reviewed by the Post. Justice Department regulations typically mandate that news organizations Read more about Justice Department Quietly Seized Washington Post Reporters’ Phone Records During Trump Era[…]

WhatsApp’s privacy policy – not accepting will slowly kill your functionality and then delete your history

After facing international backlash over impending updates to its privacy policy, WhatsApp has ever-so-slightly backtracked on the harsh consequences it initially planned for users who don’t accept them—but not entirely. In an update to the company’s FAQ page, WhatsApp clarifies that no users will have their accounts deleted or instantly lose app functionality if they Read more about WhatsApp’s privacy policy – not accepting will slowly kill your functionality and then delete your history[…]

TV maker Skyworth under fire for excessive data collection that users call spying whilst China clamps down on user tracking

Chinese television maker Skyworth has issued an apology after a consumer found that his set was quietly collecting a wide range of private data and sending it to a Beijing-based analytics company without his consent. A network traffic analysis revealed that a Skyworth smart TV scanned for other devices connected to the same local network Read more about TV maker Skyworth under fire for excessive data collection that users call spying whilst China clamps down on user tracking[…]

Court Chides F.B.I., but Re-Approves Warrantless Surveillance Program

For a second year, the nation’s surveillance court has pointed with concern to “widespread violations” by the F.B.I. of rules intended to protect Americans’ privacy when analysts search emails gathered without a warrant — but still signed off on another year of the program, a newly declassified ruling shows. In a 67-page ruling issued in Read more about Court Chides F.B.I., but Re-Approves Warrantless Surveillance Program[…]

Study finds GAEN Google Apple contact tracing apps allow user + contact location tracking. NL stops use of tracking app.

A study describes the data transmitted to backend servers by the Google/Apple based contact tracing (GAEN) apps in use in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, and Denmark and finds that the health authority client apps are generally well-behaved from a privacy point of view, although the Irish, Polish, Danish, and Latvian apps could be improved in Read more about Study finds GAEN Google Apple contact tracing apps allow user + contact location tracking. NL stops use of tracking app.[…]

WordPress may automatically disable Google FLoC on websites

WordPress announced today that they are treating Google’s new FLoC tracking technology as a security concern and may block it by default on WordPress sites. For some time, browsers have begun to increasingly block third-party browser cookies [1, 2, 3] used by advertisers for interest-based advertising. In response, Google introduced a new ad tracking technology Read more about WordPress may automatically disable Google FLoC on websites[…]

Snapchat suit defines free speech – US school decides they can hold an iron grip on their students comms any time any place

At the center of the case is Brandi Levy, who in ninth grade let loose on the platform after learning she didn’t make the varsity cheerleading squad. Compared to the sort of stuff teens get caught pulling on social media now, Levy’s Snap was relatively benign: just a photo of her and a friend flipping Read more about Snapchat suit defines free speech – US school decides they can hold an iron grip on their students comms any time any place[…]

The Postal Service is running a running a ‘covert operations program’ that monitors Americans’ social media posts

The law enforcement arm of the U.S. Postal Service has been quietly running a program that tracks and collects Americans’ social media posts, including those about planned protests, according to a document obtained by Yahoo News. The details of the surveillance effort, known as iCOP, or Internet Covert Operations Program, have not previously been made Read more about The Postal Service is running a running a ‘covert operations program’ that monitors Americans’ social media posts[…]

Internet Privacy in the Age of Surveillance – China, Russia, Nork vs USA + GB

Pew Research Center reports that “91% of adults agree or strongly agree that consumers have lost control of how personal information is collected.” That incredibly-high statistic must describe victims under authoritarian governments like China, Russia, or North Korea, right? Wrong. That study was about US citizens. You know, the land of the free. 91% That’s Read more about Internet Privacy in the Age of Surveillance – China, Russia, Nork vs USA + GB[…]

Microsoft removes 47% of right to be forgotten requests – some countries are trolling the requests heavily

Country / Region Requests received and processed URLs requested URLs accepted URLs rejected Percentage of URLs accepted Austria 45 103 67 36 65% Belgium 49 421 105 316 25% Bulgaria 4 10 8 2 80% Croatia 3 8 4 4 50% Cyprus 2 2 0 2 0% Czech Republic 12 20 13 7 65% Denmark Read more about Microsoft removes 47% of right to be forgotten requests – some countries are trolling the requests heavily[…]

Microsoft received almost 25,000 requests for consumer data from law enforcement over the last six months

Microsoft has had a busy six months if its latest biannual digital trust report is anything to go by as law enforcement agencies crept closer to making 25,000 legal requests. Requests for consumer data reached 24,798 during the second half of 2020, up from 24,093 during the previous six-month period, and quite a jump from Read more about Microsoft received almost 25,000 requests for consumer data from law enforcement over the last six months[…]

FLoC, The Ad-Targeting Tech Google Plans To Drop On Us All might be using you as a test subject to spy on closely in Chrome

About two weeks ago, millions of Google Chrome users were signed up for an experiment they never agreed to be a part of. Google had just launched a test run for Federated Learning of Cohorts—or FLoC–a new kind of ad-targeting tech meant to be less invasive than the average cookie. In a blog post announcing Read more about FLoC, The Ad-Targeting Tech Google Plans To Drop On Us All might be using you as a test subject to spy on closely in Chrome[…]

Facebook Says It’s Your Fault That Hackers Got Half a Billion User Phone Numbers

A database containing the phone numbers of more than half a billion Facebook users is being freely traded online, and Facebook is trying to pin the blame on everyone but themselves. A blog post titled “The Facts on News Reports About Facebook Data,” published Tuesday evening, is designed to silence the growing criticism the company Read more about Facebook Says It’s Your Fault That Hackers Got Half a Billion User Phone Numbers[…]

Google illegally tracking Android users, according to new complaint by Max Schrems

Austrian privacy activist Max Schrems has filed a complaint against Google in France alleging that the US tech giant is illegally tracking users on Android phones without their consent. Android phones generate unique advertising codes, similar to Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA), that allow Google and third parties to track users’ browsing behavior in order Read more about Google illegally tracking Android users, according to new complaint by Max Schrems[…]

Wi-Fi devices set to become object sensors by 2024 under planned 802.11bf standard – no, they haven’t thought of security and privacy

In three years or so, the Wi-Fi specification is scheduled to get an upgrade that will turn wireless devices into sensors capable of gathering data about the people and objects bathed in their signals. “When 802.11bf will be finalized and introduced as an IEEE standard in September 2024, Wi-Fi will cease to be a communication-only Read more about Wi-Fi devices set to become object sensors by 2024 under planned 802.11bf standard – no, they haven’t thought of security and privacy[…]

Android, iOS beam telemetry to Google, Apple even when you tell them not to

In a recent released research paper, titled “Mobile Handset Privacy: Measuring The Data iOS and Android Send to Apple And Google” [PDF], Douglas Leith, chairman of computer systems in the school of computer science and statistics at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, documents how iPhones and Android devices phone home regardless of the wishes of their Read more about Android, iOS beam telemetry to Google, Apple even when you tell them not to[…]

Privacy Laws Giving Big Internet Companies A Convenient Excuse To Avoid Academic Scrutiny – or not? A Balanced argument

For years we’ve talked about how the fact that no one really understands privacy, leads to very bad attempts at regulating privacy in ways that do more harm than good. They often don’t do anything that actually protects privacy — and instead screw up lots of other important things, from competition to free speech. In Read more about Privacy Laws Giving Big Internet Companies A Convenient Excuse To Avoid Academic Scrutiny – or not? A Balanced argument[…]

Data Broker Looking To Sell Global Real-Time Vehicle Location Data To Government Agencies, Including The Military

[…] utting a couple of middle men between the app data and the purchase of data helps agencies steer clear of Constitutional issues related to the Supreme Court’s Carpenter decision, which introduced a warrant mandate for engaging in proxy tracking of people via cell service providers. But phones aren’t the only objects that generate a Read more about Data Broker Looking To Sell Global Real-Time Vehicle Location Data To Government Agencies, Including The Military[…]

India’s New Cyber Law Goes Live: Subtracts Safe Harbor Protections, Adds Compelled Assistance Demands For Intermediaries, Massive surveillance infrastructure

New rules for social media companies and other hosts of third-party content have just gone into effect in India. The proposed changes to India’s 2018 Intermediary Guidelines are now live, allowing the government to insert itself into content moderation efforts and make demands of tech companies some simply won’t be able to comply with. Now, Read more about India’s New Cyber Law Goes Live: Subtracts Safe Harbor Protections, Adds Compelled Assistance Demands For Intermediaries, Massive surveillance infrastructure[…]

Extension shows the monopoly big tech has on your browsing – you always route your traffic through them

A new extension for Google Chrome has made explicit how most popular sites on the internet load resources from one or more of Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Amazon. The extension, Big Tech Detective, shows the extent to which websites exchange data with these four companies by reporting on them. It also optionally blocks sites that Read more about Extension shows the monopoly big tech has on your browsing – you always route your traffic through them[…]

1Password has none, KeePass has none… So why are there seven embedded trackers in the LastPass Android app?

A security researcher has recommended against using the LastPass password manager Android app after noting seven embedded trackers. The software’s maker says users can opt out if they want. […] The Exodus report on LastPass shows seven trackers in the Android app, including four from Google for the purpose of analytics and crash reporting, as Read more about 1Password has none, KeePass has none… So why are there seven embedded trackers in the LastPass Android app?[…]

Use AdNauseum to Block Ads and Confuse Google’s Advertising

In an online world in which countless systems are trying to figure out what exactly you enjoy so they can serve you up advertising about it, it really fucks up their profiling mechanisms when they think you like everything. And to help you out with this approach, I recommend checking out the Chrome/Firefox extension AdNauseum. Read more about Use AdNauseum to Block Ads and Confuse Google’s Advertising[…]

CNAME DNS-based tracking defies your browser privacy defenses

Boffins based in Belgium have found that a DNS-based technique for bypassing defenses against online tracking has become increasingly common and represents a growing threat to both privacy and security. In a research paper to be presented in July at the 21st Privacy Enhancing Technologies Symposium (PETS 2021), KU Leuven-affiliated researchers Yana Dimova, Gunes Acar, Read more about CNAME DNS-based tracking defies your browser privacy defenses[…]

FortressIQ just comes out and says it: To really understand business processes, feed your staff’s screen activity to an AI

In a sign that interest in process mining is heating up, vendor FortressIQ is launching an analytics platform with a novel approach to understanding how users really work – it “videos” their on-screen activity for later analysis. According to the San Francisco-based biz, its Process Intelligence platform will allow organisations to be better prepared for Read more about FortressIQ just comes out and says it: To really understand business processes, feed your staff’s screen activity to an AI[…]