Archive for the ‘Privacy’ Category

Top European Court Rules UK Mass Surveillance Regime Violates Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled this week that the United Kingdom government’s surveillance regime violated human rights laws. The matter first came to light in 2013 when NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed British surveillance practices—namely that the government intercepts social media, messages, and phone calls regardless of criminal record or suspicions of […]

How Location Tracking Actually Works on Your Smartphone (and how to manipulate it – kind of)

As the recent revelation over Google’s background tracking of your location shows, it’s not as easy as it should be to work out when apps, giant tech companies and pocket devices are tracking your location and when they’re not. Here’s what you need to know about how location tracking works on a phone—and how to […]

Google Reportedly Bought Your Mastercard Data in Secret, and That’s Not Even the Bad News

Bloomberg reports that, after four years of negotiations, Google purchases a trove of credit card transaction data from Mastercard, allegedly for “millions of dollars.” Google then reportedly used that data to provide select advertisers with a tool called “store sales measurement” that the company quietly announced in a blog post last year, though it failed […]

TSA says ‘Quiet Skies’ surveillance snared zero threats but put 5000 travellers under surveillance and on no fly lists

SA officials were summoned to Capitol Hill Wednesday and Thursday afternoon following Globe reports on the secret program, which sparked sharp criticism because it includes extensive surveillance of domestic fliers who are not suspected of a crime or listed on any terrorist watch list. “Quiet Skies is the very definition of Big Brother,” Senator Edward […]

Spyware Company Leaves ‘Terabytes’ of Selfies, Text Messages, and Location Data Exposed Online

A company that sells surveillance software to parents and employers left “terabytes of data” including photos, audio recordings, text messages and web history, exposed in a poorly-protected Amazon S3 bucket. Image: Shutterstock This story is part of When Spies Come Home, a Motherboard series about powerful surveillance software ordinary people use to spy on their […]

Android data slurping measured and monitored – scary amounts and loads of location tracking

Google’s passive collection of personal data from Android and iOS has been monitored and measured in a significant academic study. The report confirms that Google is no respecter of the Chrome browser’s “incognito mode” aka “porn mode”, collecting Chrome data to add to your personal profile, as we pointed out earlier this year. It also […]

UK snooping ‘unlawful for more than decade’ – but seemingly (and amazingly) responsible

The system that allowed spy agency GCHQ access to vast amounts of personal data from telecoms companies was unlawful for more than a decade, a surveillance watchdog has ruled. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal said that successive foreign secretaries had delegated powers without oversight. But it added there was no evidence GCHQ had misused the system. […]

Robocall Firm Exposes Hundreds of Thousands of US Voters’ Records

Personal details and political affiliations exposed The server that drew Diachenko’s attention, this time, contained 2,584 files, which the researcher later connected to RoboCent. The type of user data exposed via Robocent’s bucket included: ⬖  Full Name, suffix, prefix ⬖  Phone numbers (cell and landlines) ⬖  Address with house, street, city, state, zip, precinct ⬖  […]

Chinese mobile phone cameras are not-so-secretly recording users’ activities

It has been widely reported that software and web applications made in China are often built with a “backdoor” feature, allowing the manufacturer or the government to monitor and collect data from the user’s device. But how exactly does the backdoor feature work? Recent discussion among mobile phone users in mainland China has shed some […]

App Traps: How Cheap Smartphones Siphon User Data in Developing Countries

For millions of people buying inexpensive smartphones in developing countries where privacy protections are usually low, the convenience of on-the-go internet access could come with a hidden cost: preloaded apps that harvest users’ data without their knowledge. One such app, included on thousands of Chinese-made Singtech P10 smartphones sold in Myanmar and Cambodia, sends the […]

Mitsubishi Wants Your Driving Data, and It’s Willing to Throw in a Free Cup of Coffee to Get It

Automakers want in on the highly lucrative big data game and Mitsubishi is willing to pay for the privilege. In exchange for running the risk of jacking up its customers’ insurance premiums, the car manufacturer is offering drivers $10 off of an oil change and other rewards. Consumers will have to decide if a gift […]

‘Plane Hacker’ Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!

Cars are turning into computers on wheels and airplanes have become flying data centres, but this increase in power and connectivity has largely happened without designing in adequate security controls. Improving transportation security was a major strand of the recent Cyber Week security conference in Israel. A one-day event, Speed of Light, focused on transportation […]

Is My Phone Recording Everything I Say? It turns out it sends screenshots and videos of what you do

Some computer science academics at Northeastern University had heard enough people talking about this technological myth that they decided to do a rigorous study to tackle it. For the last year, Elleen Pan, Jingjing Ren, Martina Lindorfer, Christo Wilson, and David Choffnes ran an experiment involving more than 17,000 of the most popular apps on […]

Europe is reading smartphones and using the data as a weapon to deport refugees

Across the continent, migrants are being confronted by a booming mobile forensics industry that specialises in extracting a smartphone’s messages, location history, and even WhatsApp data. That information can potentially be turned against the phone owners themselves. In 2017 both Germany and Denmark expanded laws that enabled immigration officials to extract data from asylum seekers’ […]

Google allows outside app developers to read people’s Gmails

Google promised a year ago to provide more privacy to Gmail users, but The Wall Street Journal reports that hundreds of app makers have access to millions of inboxes belonging to Gmail users. The outside app companies receive access to messages from Gmail users who signed up for things like price-comparison services or automated travel-itinerary […]

Dear Samsung mobe owners: It may leak your private pics to randoms

Samsung’s Messages app bundled with the South Korean giant’s latest smartphones and tablets may silently send people’s private photos to random contacts, it is claimed. An unlucky bunch of Sammy phone fans – including owners of Galaxy S9, S9+ and Note 8 gadgets – have complained on Reddit and the official support forums that the […]

This popular Facebook app publicly exposed your data for years

Nametests.com, the website behind the quizzes, recently fixed a flaw that publicly exposed information of their more than 120 million monthly users — even after they deleted the app. At my request, Facebook donated $8,000 to the Freedom of the Press Foundation as part of their Data Abuse Bounty Program. […] While loading a test, the website […]

Facebook Patent Imagines Triggering Your Phone’s Mic When a Hidden Signal Plays on TV

You may have seen the ads that Facebook has been running on TV in a full-court press to apologize for abusing users privacy. They’re embarrassing. And, it turns out, they may be a sign of things to come. Based on a recently published patent application, Facebook could one day use ads on television to further […]

Facebook, Google, Microsoft scolded for tricking people into spilling their private info

Five consumer privacy groups have asked the European Data Protection Board to investigate how Facebook, Google, and Microsoft design their software to see whether it complies with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Essentially, the tech giants are accused of crafting their user interfaces so that netizens are fooled into clicking away their privacy, and […]

Red Shell packaged games (Civ VI, Total War, ESO, KSP and more) contain a spyware which tracks your Internet activity outside of the game

Red shell is a Spyware that tracks data of your PC and shares it with 3rd parties. On their website they formulate it all in very harmless language, but the fact is that this is software from someone i don’t trust and whom i never invited, which is looking at my data and running on […]

Customer Rewards get a lot weirder if you think of them as seperate transactions

Source: xkcd: Customer Rewards

Facebook gave some companies special access to data on users’ friends

Facebook granted a select group of companies special access to its users’ records even after the point in 2015 that the company has claimed it stopped sharing such data with app developers. According to the Wall Street Journal, which cited court documents, unnamed Facebook officials and other unnamed sources, Facebook made special agreements with certain companies called “whitelists,” […]

The hits keep coming for Facebook: Web giant made 14m people’s private posts public

about 14 million people were affected by a bug that, for a nine-day span between May 18 and 27, caused profile posts to be set as public by default, allowing any Tom, Dick or Harriet to view the material. “We recently found a bug that automatically suggested posting publicly when some people were creating their […]

You know that silly fear about Alexa recording everything and leaking it online? It just happened

It’s time to break out your “Alexa, I Told You So” banners – because a Portland, Oregon, couple received a phone call from one of the husband’s employees earlier this month, telling them she had just received a recording of them talking privately in their home. “Unplug your Alexa devices right now,” the staffer told […]

Google sued for ‘clandestine tracking’ of 4.4m UK iPhone users’ browsing data

Google is being sued in the high court for as much as £3.2bn for the alleged “clandestine tracking and collation” of personal information from 4.4 million iPhone users in the UK. The collective action is being led by former Which? director Richard Lloyd over claims Google bypassed the privacy settings of Apple’s Safari browser on […]

 
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