privacy

Forget spying, now the NSA wants your password list

Forget spying, now the NSA wants your password list

The NSA isn't interested in a sneaky back door into your smartphone or computer any more, it just wants you to leave the front door wide open. While arguments continue around just what the National Security Agency can and can't get access to - dragging more than one big tech name into the controversy - the spy organization's chief is suggesting a far more blunt approach: in effect, handing over the keys to encryption upfront.

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Facebook on tracking accusations: report gets it “wrong multiple times”

Facebook on tracking accusations: report gets it “wrong multiple times”

Late last month, Facebook was accused of tracking users and non-users alike, and as such was said to be in violation of European law. The information came from a study commissioned by the Belgian Privacy Commission, and earlier this week Facebook fired back at the accusations, saying the report was wrong in more than one way. The social network posted a long statement by the company’s Vice President of Policy in Europe, Richard Allan, who tackled each claim individually.

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AT&T and FCC settle after call center workers sold customer data

AT&T and FCC settle after call center workers sold customer data

AT&T has paid $25 million to settle a case with the Federal Communications Commission, it has been announced. The reason revolves around a privacy breach concerning the service provider, which is said to have had confidential customer data leaked via its call center workers to third-party resellers. The reason was so that the resellers could unlock the used phones they acquired, according to the FCC. This is said to have included some pretty serious data disclosures, including giving away subscribers' Social Security numbers.

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People care about privacy when John Oliver sells it to them

People care about privacy when John Oliver sells it to them

Last Week Tonight with John Oliver just did a bang-up job showing off the newest in government surveillance law in the United States. Such a bang-up job, in fact, that the YouTube release of the 33-minute segment has garnered nearly 3-million views in less than two days. As Oliver explains, no one cared about the government surveillance program known as the Patriot Act for the first decade it was active, authorized, and re-authorized after it was enacted following September 11, 2001. Fast forward to June of 2013 and Edward Snowden infamously revealed the goings-on of the NSA - fast forward to 2015 and John Oliver is interviewing Edward Snowden.

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Department of Homeland Security seeking national license plate database

Department of Homeland Security seeking national license plate database

Early last year, it was revealed the Department of Homeland Security was seeking a Federal License Plate Reader Database, something that was later abandoned in light of privacy concerns. Now the DHS has changed its mind and is again pursuing such a national database, soliciting bids from those who could provide it with such a product. The reason for its return is the department's belief it can now mitigate those aforementioned privacy worries. To prove it, DHS has published a report detailing the info.

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Snapchat releases its first transparency report

Snapchat releases its first transparency report

Snapchat has joined the roster of tech companies that are releasing information on government data requests. Today on its blog, the service announced the arrival of its first Transparency Report, which lays out numbers on the data requests it has received from governments located around the globe, as well as the types of requests these numbers represent. In addition, Snapchat has said it will be releasing new transparency reports bi-annually. As with other companies, there are some limitations on what it is allowed to report and when it can release certain info.

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You can finally opt out and remove Verizon’s “supercookie”

You can finally opt out and remove Verizon’s “supercookie”

Verizon Wireless is finally letting users completely opt out of its tracking program which uses undeletable tracking codes called "supercookies". Prior to this, customers no longer received targeted advertizing after opting out from Verizon's data collection program. Still, customers' browsing history and metadata was being stored by Verizon. Under its data collection program, Verizon tracks personal data by tagging customers with a unique customer identifier code. This "supercookie" code was un-removable under Verizon's previous opt-out policy wherein users could halt the gathering of their browsing habits, but they would still be tagged with a customer identifier code. Now, users can ask Verizon to remove their customer ID code supercookie.

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Facebook said to be violating European law by tracking users

Facebook said to be violating European law by tracking users

Facebook has been found running afoul of the law in Europe, at least according to researchers commissioned to look into the matter. Last month a draft report pegged the social network as being in violation of European law, and so a further look into the matter concluded that Facebook is tracking all of its users...even if they are opting out of being tracked, or if they have visited a Facebook page but don't have an account with the company.

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Infinit brings their file transfer software to iOS & Android

Infinit brings their file transfer software to iOS & Android

Email, cloud storage links, AirDrop, NFC — file storage transfer is a pain. Though effective most of the time, those methods aren’t effective all the time. There’s a better way (I promise). Already available for OS X and Windows, the Infinit file transfer service is also going to be available for iOS and Android, starting today. With a few taps, you can take your files — any size or type — and shuffle them to other devices. The transfer doesn’t compress file sizes, and once initiated, can’t be killed by loss of signal.

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1Password for iOS update rolls in impressive new Safari extension

1Password for iOS update rolls in impressive new Safari extension

AgileBits’ 1Password is, far and away, the best password tool around. It can help create secure passwords, lock them away in a vault, and is typically a few clicks or long-presses away. Available for Android, Windows, OS X and iOS, the team recently updated their iOS app to take advantage of Safari extensions in a big way. Rather than hopping between apps on your phone to enter the correct log-in credentials for a site, 1Password has made their offering a bit more like the desktop offering.

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