Inside the Industry That Unmasks People at Scale: yup your mobile advertising ID isn’t anonymous either

Tech companies have repeatedly reassured the public that trackers used to follow smartphone users through apps are anonymous or at least pseudonymous, not directly identifying the person using the phone. But what they don’t mention is that an entire overlooked industry exists to purposefully and explicitly shatter that anonymity. They do this by linking mobile Read more about Inside the Industry That Unmasks People at Scale: yup your mobile advertising ID isn’t anonymous either[…]

Sam Altman’s New Startup Wants to Give You Crypto for Eyeball Scans – yes this is a terrible dr evil plan idea

hould probably sit down for this one. Sam Altman, the former CEO of famed startup incubator Y Combinator, is reportedly working on a new cryptocurrency that’ll be distributed to everyone on Earth. Once you agree to scan your eyeballs. Yes, you read correctly. You can thank Bloomberg for inflicting this cursed news on the rest Read more about Sam Altman’s New Startup Wants to Give You Crypto for Eyeball Scans – yes this is a terrible dr evil plan idea[…]

Advertisers Are Selling Americans’ Data to Hundreds of Shady Foreign Businesses

Senator Ron Wyden has released a list of hundreds of secretive, foreign-owned companies that are buying up Americans’ data. Some of the customers include companies based in states that are ostensibly “unfriendly” to the U.S., like Russia and China. First reported by Motherboard, the news comes after recent information requests made by a bipartisan coalition Read more about Advertisers Are Selling Americans’ Data to Hundreds of Shady Foreign Businesses[…]

Windows Users Surprised by Windows 11’s Short List of Supported CPUs – and front facing camera requirements

While a lot of focus has been on the TPM requirements for Windows 11, Microsoft has since updated its documentation to provide a complete list of supported processors. At present the list includes only Intel 8th Generation Core processors or newer, and AMD Ryzen Zen+ processors or newer, effectively limiting Windows 11 to PC less Read more about Windows Users Surprised by Windows 11’s Short List of Supported CPUs – and front facing camera requirements[…]

Amazon is blocking Google’s FLoC

Most of Amazon’s properties including Amazon.com, WholeFoods.com and Zappos.com are preventing Google’s tracking system FLoC — or Federated Learning of Cohorts — from gathering valuable data reflecting the products people research in Amazon’s vast e-commerce universe, according to website code analyzed by Digiday and three technology experts who helped Digiday review the code. Amazon declined to comment on this story. As Google’s system Read more about Amazon is blocking Google’s FLoC[…]

Apple settles with student after authorized repair workers leaked her naked pics to her Facebook page. Apple blocks Right to repair for danger by unauthorised parties. Hmm.

Apple has paid a multimillion-dollar settlement to an unnamed Oregon college student after one of its outsourced repair facilities posted explicit pictures and videos of her to her Facebook page. According to legal documents obtained by The Telegraph, the incident occurred in 2016 at a Pegatron-owned repair centre in Sacramento, California. The student had mailed Read more about Apple settles with student after authorized repair workers leaked her naked pics to her Facebook page. Apple blocks Right to repair for danger by unauthorised parties. Hmm.[…]

Google, Facebook, Chaos Computer Club join forces to oppose German state spyware

Plans by the German government to allow the police to deploy malware on any target’s devices, and force the tech world to help them, has run into some opposition, funnily enough. In an open letter this month, the Chaos Computer Club – along with Google, Facebook, and others – said they are against proposals to Read more about Google, Facebook, Chaos Computer Club join forces to oppose German state spyware[…]

Google reportedly made it harder to find Android privacy settings

Google’s approach to Android privacy is coming under fire following revelations from Arizona’s antitrust lawsuit over phone tracking. As Insider reports, freshly unredacted documents in the case suggest Google made Android privacy settings harder to find. When Google tested OS releases that surfaced privacy features, the company reportedly saw greater use of those features as Read more about Google reportedly made it harder to find Android privacy settings[…]

WhatsApp Won’t Limit Functionality if You Refuse Privacy Policy – for now. But it will pester you about it.

WhatsApp initially threatened to revoke core functions for users that refused to accept its controversial new privacy policy, only to walk back the severity of those consequences earlier this month amid international backlash, and now, it’s doing away with them altogether (for the time being, at least). In a reversal, the company clarified on Friday Read more about WhatsApp Won’t Limit Functionality if You Refuse Privacy Policy – for now. But it will pester you about it.[…]

Creepy Social Media Face Stealing firm Clearview hit with complaints in France, Austria, Italy, Greece and the UK

Data rights groups have filed complaints in the UK, France, Austria, Greece and Italy against Clearview AI, claiming its scraped and searchable database of biometric profiles breaches both the EU and UK General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The facial recognition company, which is based in the US, claims to have “the largest known database of Read more about Creepy Social Media Face Stealing firm Clearview hit with complaints in France, Austria, Italy, Greece and the UK[…]

The New Sonos One SL Reminds Us That Smart Devices Have a Shelf Life, forces you to spying S2 update

[…] if you’re thinking of buying a new One SL, you ought to keep in mind that it’ll only work with the newer Sonos S2 app. This won’t be a problem for every Sonos owner, especially if you bought all your Sonos devices in the past year or two. It might be an issue, however, Read more about The New Sonos One SL Reminds Us That Smart Devices Have a Shelf Life, forces you to spying S2 update[…]

Pentagon Surveilling Americans Without a Warrant, Senator Reveals

Senator Wyden’s office asked the Department of Defense (DoD), which includes various military and intelligence agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), for detailed information about its data purchasing practices after Motherboard revealed special forces were buying location data. The responses also touched on military or intelligence use Read more about Pentagon Surveilling Americans Without a Warrant, Senator Reveals[…]

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[…]