Turkey launches antitrust probe into WhatsApp and Facebook over the new privacy policy. Still can’t export Whatsapp chats.

WhatsApp updated its privacy policy at the turn of the new year. Users were notified via a popup message upon opening the app that their data would now be shared with Facebook and other companies come February 8. Due to Facebook’s notorious history with user data and privacy, the new update has since then garnered Read more about Turkey launches antitrust probe into WhatsApp and Facebook over the new privacy policy. Still can’t export Whatsapp chats.[…]

Every Deleted Parler Post, Many With Users’ Location Data, Has Been Archived. Parler goes down. Still can’t export your Whatsapp history.

In the wake of the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol by scores of President Trump’s supporters, a lone researcher began an effort to catalogue the posts of social media users across Parler, a platform founded to provide conservative users a safe haven for uninhibited “free speech” — but which ultimately devolved into a hotbed Read more about Every Deleted Parler Post, Many With Users’ Location Data, Has Been Archived. Parler goes down. Still can’t export your Whatsapp history.[…]

ODoH: Cloudflare and Apple design a new privacy-friendly internet protocol for DNS

Engineers at Cloudflare and Apple say they’ve developed a new internet protocol that will shore up one of the biggest holes in internet privacy that many don’t know even exists. Dubbed Oblivious DNS-over-HTTPS, or ODoH for short, the new protocol makes it far more difficult for internet providers to know which websites you visit. But Read more about ODoH: Cloudflare and Apple design a new privacy-friendly internet protocol for DNS[…]

WhatsApp Has Shared Your Data With Facebook since 2016, actually.

Since Facebook acquired WhatsApp in 2014, users have wondered and worried about how much data would flow between the two platforms. Many of them experienced a rude awakening this week, as a new in-app notification raises awareness about a step WhatsApp actually took to share more with Facebook back in 2016. On Monday, WhatsApp updated Read more about WhatsApp Has Shared Your Data With Facebook since 2016, actually.[…]

If you’re a WhatsApp user, you’ll have to share your personal data with Facebook from next month – and no, you can’t opt out this time

WhatsApp users must agree to share their personal information with Facebook if they want to continue using the messaging service from next month, according to new terms and conditions. “As part of the Facebook Companies, WhatsApp receives information from, and shares information with, the other Facebook Companies,” its privacy policy, updated this week, stated. “We Read more about If you’re a WhatsApp user, you’ll have to share your personal data with Facebook from next month – and no, you can’t opt out this time[…]

Singapore police can access now data from the country’s contract tracing app

With a nearly 80 percent uptake among the country’s population, Singapore’s TraceTogether app is one of the best examples of what a successful centralized contact tracing effort can look like as countries across the world struggle to contain the coronavirus pandemic. To date, more than 4.2 million people in Singapore have download the app or Read more about Singapore police can access now data from the country’s contract tracing app[…]

Access To Big Data Turns Farm Machine Makers Into Tech Firms

The combine harvester, a staple of farmers’ fields since the late 1800s, does much more these days than just vacuum up corn, soybeans and other crops. It also beams back reams of data to its manufacturer. GPS records the combine’s precise path through the field. Sensors tally the number of crops gathered per acre and Read more about Access To Big Data Turns Farm Machine Makers Into Tech Firms[…]

Firefox to ship ‘network partitioning’ as a new anti-tracking defense

Firefox 85, scheduled to be released next month, in January 2021, will ship with a feature named Network Partitioning as a new form of anti-tracking protection. The feature is based on “Client-Side Storage Partitioning,” a new standard currently being developed by the World Wide Web Consortium’s Privacy Community Group. “Network Partitioning is highly technical, but Read more about Firefox to ship ‘network partitioning’ as a new anti-tracking defense[…]

Should We Use Search History for Credit Scores? IMF Says Yes

With more services than ever collecting your data, it’s easy to start asking why anyone should care about most of it. This is why. Because people start having ideas like this. In a new blog post for the International Monetary Fund, four researchers presented their findings from a working paper that examines the current relationship Read more about Should We Use Search History for Credit Scores? IMF Says Yes[…]

France fines Google $120M and Amazon $42M for dropping tracking cookies without consent

France’s data protection agency, the CNIL, has slapped Google and Amazon with fines for dropping tracking cookies without consent. Google has been hit with a total of €100 million ($120 million) for dropping cookies on Google.fr and Amazon €35 million (~$42 million) for doing so on the Amazon .fr domain under the penalty notices issued Read more about France fines Google $120M and Amazon $42M for dropping tracking cookies without consent[…]

As if Productivity Score wasn’t creepy enough, Microsoft has patented tech for ‘meeting quality monitoring devices’ – PS is being defanged though

The slightly creepy “Productivity Score” may not be all that’s in store for Microsoft 365 users, judging by a trawl of Redmond’s patents. One that has popped up recently concerns a “Meeting Insight Computing System“, spotted first by GeekWire, created to give meetings a quality score with a view to improving upcoming get-togethers. It all Read more about As if Productivity Score wasn’t creepy enough, Microsoft has patented tech for ‘meeting quality monitoring devices’ – PS is being defanged though[…]

Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft’s creepy Productivity Score now in 365

Microsoft’s Productivity Score has put in a public appearance in Microsoft 365 and attracted the ire of privacy campaigners and activists. The Register had already noted the vaguely creepy-sounding technology back in May. The goal of it is to use telemetry captured by the Windows behemoth to track the productivity of an organisation through metrics Read more about Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft’s creepy Productivity Score now in 365[…]

IRS contracted to Search Warrantless Location Database Over 10,000 Times

The IRS was able to query a database of location data quietly harvested from ordinary smartphone apps over 10,000 times, according to a copy of the contract between IRS and the data provider obtained by Motherboard. The document provides more insight into what exactly the IRS wanted to do with a tool purchased from Venntel, Read more about IRS contracted to Search Warrantless Location Database Over 10,000 Times[…]

GM launches OnStar Insurance Services – uses your driving data to calculate insurance rate

Andrew Rose, president of OnStar Insurance Services commented: “OnStar Insurance will promote safety, security and peace of mind. We aim to be an industry leader, offering insurance in an innovative way. “GM customers who have subscribed to OnStar and connected services will be eligible to receive discounts, while also receiving fully-integrated services from OnStar Insurance Read more about GM launches OnStar Insurance Services – uses your driving data to calculate insurance rate[…]

Australia’s spy agencies caught collecting COVID-19 app data

Australia’s intelligence agencies have been caught “incidentally” collecting data from the country’s COVIDSafe contact-tracing app during the first six months of its launch, a government watchdog has found. The report, published Monday by the Australian government’s inspector general for the intelligence community, which oversees the government’s spy and eavesdropping agencies, said the app data was Read more about Australia’s spy agencies caught collecting COVID-19 app data[…]

Amazon’s ad-hoc Ring, Echo mesh network can mooch off your neighbors’ Wi-Fi if needed – and it’s opt-out

Amazon is close to launching Sidewalk – its ad-hoc wireless network for smart-home devices that taps into people’s Wi-Fi – and it is pretty much an opt-out affair. The gist of Sidewalk is this: nearby Amazon gadgets, regardless of who owns them, can automatically organize themselves into their own private wireless network mesh, communicating primarily Read more about Amazon’s ad-hoc Ring, Echo mesh network can mooch off your neighbors’ Wi-Fi if needed – and it’s opt-out[…]

The ones who brought you Let’s Encrypt, bring you: Tools for gathering anonymized app usage metrics from netizens

The Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) has a plan to allow companies to collect information about how people are using their products while protecting the privacy of those generating the data. Today, the California-based non-profit, which operates Let’s Encrypt, introduced Prio Services, a way to gather online product metrics without compromising the personal information of Read more about The ones who brought you Let’s Encrypt, bring you: Tools for gathering anonymized app usage metrics from netizens[…]

Google Will Make It a bit Easier to Turn Off Smart Features which track you, Slightly Harder for Regulators to Break Up Google

Soon, Google will present you with a clear choice to disable smart features, like Google assistant reminders to pay your bills and predictive text in Gmail. Whether you like the Gmail mindreader function that autofills “all the best” and “reaching out,” or have long dreaded the arrival of the machine staring back from the void,: Read more about Google Will Make It a bit Easier to Turn Off Smart Features which track you, Slightly Harder for Regulators to Break Up Google[…]

Apple hits back at European activist lawsuit against unauthorised tracking installs – says it doesn’t use it… but 3rd parties do

The group, led by campaigner Max Schrems, filed complaints with data protection watchdogs in Germany and Spain alleging that the tracking tool illegally enabled the $2 trillion U.S. tech giant to store users’ data without their consent. Apple directly rebutted the claims filed by Noyb, the digital rights group founded by Schrems, saying they were Read more about Apple hits back at European activist lawsuit against unauthorised tracking installs – says it doesn’t use it… but 3rd parties do[…]

How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps

The U.S. military is buying the granular movement data of people around the world, harvested from innocuous-seeming apps, Motherboard has learned. The most popular app among a group Motherboard analyzed connected to this sort of data sale is a Muslim prayer and Quran app that has more than 98 million downloads worldwide. Others include a Read more about How the U.S. Military Buys Location Data from Ordinary Apps[…]

Your Computer isn’t Yours – Apple edition – how is it snooping on you, why can’t you start apps when their server is down

It’s here. It happened. Did you notice? I’m speaking, of course, of the world that Richard Stallman predicted in 1997. The one Cory Doctorow also warned us about. On modern versions of macOS, you simply can’t power on your computer, launch a text editor or eBook reader, and write or read, without a log of Read more about Your Computer isn’t Yours – Apple edition – how is it snooping on you, why can’t you start apps when their server is down[…]

Mozilla *privacy not included tech buyers guide rated on creepy scale

This is a list of 130 Smart home gadgets, fitness trackers, toys and more, rated for their privacy & security. It’s a large list and shows you how basically anything by big tech is pretty creepy – anything by Amazon and Facebook is super creepy, Google pretty creepy, Apple only creepy. There are a few Read more about Mozilla *privacy not included tech buyers guide rated on creepy scale[…]

Six Reasons Why Google Maps Is the Creepiest App On Your Phone

VICE has highlighted six reasons why Google Maps is the creepiest app on your phone. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the report: 1. Google Maps Wants Your Search History: Google’s “Web & App Activity” settings describe how the company collects data, such as user location, to create a faster and “more personalized” experience. Read more about Six Reasons Why Google Maps Is the Creepiest App On Your Phone[…]

It Took Just 5 Minutes Of Movement Data To Identify ‘Anonymous’ VR Users

As companies and governments increasingly hoover up our personal data, a common refrain to keep people from worrying is the claim that nothing can go wrong because the data itself is “anonymized” — or stripped of personal identifiers like social security numbers. But time and time again, studies have shown how this really is cold Read more about It Took Just 5 Minutes Of Movement Data To Identify ‘Anonymous’ VR Users[…]

Police Will Pilot a Program to Live-Stream Amazon Ring Cameras

This is not a drill. Red alert: The police surveillance center in Jackson, Mississippi, will be conducting a 45-day pilot program to live stream the Amazon Ring cameras of participating residents. Since Ring first made a splash in the private security camera market, we’ve been warning of its potential to undermine the civil liberties of its Read more about Police Will Pilot a Program to Live-Stream Amazon Ring Cameras[…]