Just keep slurping: HMRC adds two million taxpayers’ voices to biometric database – but people are starting to opt-out, now that they can

HMRC’s database of Brits’ voiceprints has grown by 2 million since June – but campaign group Big Brother Watch has claimed success as 160,000 people turned the taxman’s requests down. The Voice ID scheme, which requires taxpayers to say a key phrase that is recorded to create a digital signature, was introduced in January 2017. Read more about Just keep slurping: HMRC adds two million taxpayers’ voices to biometric database – but people are starting to opt-out, now that they can[…]

Google fined $57 million by French data privacy body for hiding terms and forcing users to accept intrusion or lose access

Google has been hit by a €50 million ($57 million) fine by French data privacy body CNIL (National Data Protection Commission) for failure to comply with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulations. The CNIL said that it was fining Google for “lack of transparency, inadequate information and lack of valid consent regarding the ads Read more about Google fined $57 million by French data privacy body for hiding terms and forcing users to accept intrusion or lose access[…]

NL judge says doc’s official warning needs removing from Google

An official warning by the Dutch Doctors guild to a serving doctor needs to be removed from Google’s search result, as the judge says that the privacy of the doctor is more important than the public good that arises from people being warned that this doctor has in some way misbehaved. As a result of Read more about NL judge says doc’s official warning needs removing from Google[…]

Project Alias is a DIY project that deafens your home voice assistant until you want it to listen to you

Alias is a teachable “parasite” that is designed to give users more control over their smart assistants, both when it comes to customisation and privacy. Through a simple app the user can train Alias to react on a custom wake-word/sound, and once trained, Alias can take control over your home assistant by activating it for Read more about Project Alias is a DIY project that deafens your home voice assistant until you want it to listen to you[…]

Amazon’s Ring Security Cameras Allow Anyone to Watch Easily – And They Do!

But for some who’ve welcomed in Amazon’s Ring security cameras, there have been more than just algorithms watching through the lens, according to sources alarmed by Ring’s dismal privacy practices. Ring has a history of lax, sloppy oversight when it comes to deciding who has access to some of the most precious, intimate data belonging Read more about Amazon’s Ring Security Cameras Allow Anyone to Watch Easily – And They Do![…]

T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T Are Selling Customers’ Real-Time Location Data, And It’s Falling Into the Wrong Hands

Nervously, I gave a bounty hunter a phone number. He had offered to geolocate a phone for me, using a shady, overlooked service intended not for the cops, but for private individuals and businesses. Armed with just the number and a few hundred dollars, he said he could find the current location of most phones Read more about T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T Are Selling Customers’ Real-Time Location Data, And It’s Falling Into the Wrong Hands[…]

German Politicians Hit With Unprecedented Leak of Private Information

On Thursday, authorities in Germany were made aware of an enormous leak of personal information belonging to artists, media figures, and politicians—including Chancellor Angela Merkel. The hack is being called the “biggest data dump” in German history and appears to contain a treasure trove of information that could be used for identity theft. Early reports Read more about German Politicians Hit With Unprecedented Leak of Private Information[…]

Lawsuit Accuses Weather Channel App of Misleading Users and Profiting From Their Location Data – anyone surprised much?

More than a couple weather apps have recently come under fire for their handling of user data, either by collecting too much or allegedly tracking users without their permission. Now, the maker of yet another popular weather app is being accused by the city attorney of Los Angeles of deceiving millions of users and profiting Read more about Lawsuit Accuses Weather Channel App of Misleading Users and Profiting From Their Location Data – anyone surprised much?[…]

The Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Nightmare Came True: Creepy Recordings sent to random stranger

An Amazon user in Germany recently requested data about his personal activities and inadvertently gained access to 1,700 audio recordings of someone he didn’t know. Germany’s c’t magazine reports that in August the Amazon user—exercising his rights under the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation—requested his own data that Amazon has stored. Two months later, Amazon Read more about The Amazon Alexa Eavesdropping Nightmare Came True: Creepy Recordings sent to random stranger[…]

At Blind – a whistleblower site -, a security lapse revealed private complaints from Silicon Valley employees. Turns out it’s not very safe to blow your whistle there after all.

Thousands of people trusted Blind, an app-based “anonymous social network,” as a safe way to reveal malfeasance, wrongdoing and improper conduct at their companies.But Blind left one of its database servers exposed without a password, making it possible (for anyone who knew where to look) to access each user’s account information and identify would-be whistleblowers. Read more about At Blind – a whistleblower site -, a security lapse revealed private complaints from Silicon Valley employees. Turns out it’s not very safe to blow your whistle there after all.[…]

Turning Off Facebook Location Services Doesn’t Stop Tracking – you have to hide your IP address

Aleksandra Korolova has turned off Facebook’s access to her location in every way that she can. She has turned off location history in the Facebook app and told her iPhone that she “Never” wants the app to get her location. She doesn’t “check-in” to places and doesn’t list her current city on her profile. Despite Read more about Turning Off Facebook Location Services Doesn’t Stop Tracking – you have to hide your IP address[…]

Facebook Allowed Netflix, Spotify and A Bank To Read And Delete Users’ Private Messages. And around 150 other companies got to see other private information without user consent.

Facebook gave more than 150 companies, including Microsoft, Netflix, Spotify, Amazon, and Yahoo, unprecedented access to users’ personal data, according to a New York Times report published Tuesday. The Times obtained hundreds of pages of Facebook documents, generated in 2017, that show that the social network considered these companies business partners and effectively exempted them Read more about Facebook Allowed Netflix, Spotify and A Bank To Read And Delete Users’ Private Messages. And around 150 other companies got to see other private information without user consent.[…]

Amazon and Facebook Reportedly Had a Secret Data-Sharing Agreement, and It Explains So Much

Back in 2015, a woman named Imy Santiago wrote an Amazon review of a novel that she had read and liked. Amazon immediately took the review down and told Santiago she had “violated its policies.” Santiago re-read her review, didn’t see anything objectionable about it, so she tried to post it again. “You’re not eligible Read more about Amazon and Facebook Reportedly Had a Secret Data-Sharing Agreement, and It Explains So Much[…]

How to Stop Windows 10 From Collecting Activity Data on You – after disabling activity tracking option

Another day, another tech company being disingenuous about its privacy practices. This time it’s Microsoft, after it was discovered that Windows 10 continues to track users’ activity even after they’ve disabled the activity-tracking option in their Windows 10 settings. You can try it yourself. Pull up Windows 10’s Settings, go to the Privacy section, and Read more about How to Stop Windows 10 From Collecting Activity Data on You – after disabling activity tracking option[…]

Taylor Swift Show Used to Stalk Visitors with Hidden Face Recognition in Kiosk Displays

At a Taylor Swift concert earlier this year, fans were reportedly treated to something they might not expect: a kiosk displaying clips of the pop star that served as a covert surveillance system. It’s a tale of creeping 21st-century surveillance as unnerving as it is predictable. But the whole ordeal has left us wondering what Read more about Taylor Swift Show Used to Stalk Visitors with Hidden Face Recognition in Kiosk Displays[…]

It’s Time to Check Which Apps Are Tracking Your Location

Guess what? A bunch of apps like knowing where you are, so that their developers can then take that data, package it up for various advertising companies, and make a quick buck off of your precise whereabouts—including where you go and how long you spend there. Source: It’s Time to Check Which Apps Are Tracking Read more about It’s Time to Check Which Apps Are Tracking Your Location[…]

Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret

The millions of dots on the map trace highways, side streets and bike trails — each one following the path of an anonymous cellphone user. One path tracks someone from a home outside Newark to a nearby Planned Parenthood, remaining there for more than an hour. Another represents a person who travels with the mayor Read more about Your Apps Know Where You Were Last Night, and They’re Not Keeping It Secret[…]

US Border Agents Keep Personal Data of 29000 Travelers on USBs, fail to delete them.

Last year, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) searched through the electronic devices of more than 29,000 travelers coming into the country. CBP officers sometimes upload personal data from those devices to Homeland Security servers by first transferring that data onto USB drives—drives that are supposed to be deleted after every use. But a new Read more about US Border Agents Keep Personal Data of 29000 Travelers on USBs, fail to delete them.[…]

UK Intelligence Agencies Are Planning a Major Increase in ‘Large-Scale Data Hacking’

Intelligence agencies in the UK are preparing to “significantly increase their use of large-scale data hacking,” the Guardian reported on Saturday, in a move that is already alarming privacy advocates. According to the Guardian, UK intelligence officials plan to increase their use of the “bulk equipment interference (EI) regime”—the process by which the Government Communications Read more about UK Intelligence Agencies Are Planning a Major Increase in ‘Large-Scale Data Hacking’[…]

Australia now has encryption-busting laws as Labor capitulates

Labor has backed down completely on its opposition to the Assistance and Access Bill, and in the process has been totally outfoxed by a government that can barely control the floor of Parliament. After proposing a number of amendments to the Bill, which Labor party members widely called out as inappropriate in the House of Read more about Australia now has encryption-busting laws as Labor capitulates[…]

Facebook Well Aware That Tracking Contacts Is Creepy: Emails

Back in 2015, Facebook had a pickle of a problem. It was time to update the Android version of the Facebook app, and two different groups within Facebook were at odds over what the data grab should be. The business team wanted to get Bluetooth permissions so it could push ads to people’s phones when Read more about Facebook Well Aware That Tracking Contacts Is Creepy: Emails[…]

Your phone indeed has ears that you may not know about – the companies that listen to noise in the background while apps that contain their software are open

: No, your phone is not “listening” to you in the strictest sense of the word. But, yes, all your likes, dislikes and preferences are clearly being heard by apps in your phone which you oh-so-easily clicked “agree” to the terms of which while installing. How so? If you are in India, the answer to Read more about Your phone indeed has ears that you may not know about – the companies that listen to noise in the background while apps that contain their software are open[…]

Be Warned: Customer Service Agents Can See What You’re Typing in Real Time on their website forms

Next time you’re chatting with a customer service agent online, be warned that the person on the other side of your conversation might see what you’re typing in real time. A reader sent us the following transcript from a conversation he had with a mattress company after the agent responded to a message he hadn’t Read more about Be Warned: Customer Service Agents Can See What You’re Typing in Real Time on their website forms[…]

US told to quit sharing data with human rights-violating surveillance regime. Which one, you ask? That’d be the UK

UK authorities should not be granted access to data held by American companies because British laws don’t meet human rights obligations, nine nonprofits have said. In a letter to the US Department of Justice, organisations including Human Rights Watch and the Electronic Frontier Foundation set out their concerns about the UK’s surveillance and data retention Read more about US told to quit sharing data with human rights-violating surveillance regime. Which one, you ask? That’d be the UK[…]

In China, your car could be talking to the government

When Shan Junhua bought his white Tesla Model X, he knew it was a fast, beautiful car. What he didn’t know is that Tesla constantly sends information about the precise location of his car to the Chinese government. Tesla is not alone. China has called upon all electric vehicle manufacturers in China to make the Read more about In China, your car could be talking to the government[…]