privacy

Facebook tackles privacy with policy overhaul

Facebook tackles privacy with policy overhaul

Facebook is taking another try at streamlining its privacy features, paring back its privacy policy, giving more control over ads, and throwing open the whole thing for user feedback. The social site has launched Privacy Basics, a set of interactive guides to show users exactly what controls they have about who sees their posts, whose posts they see, what information is gathered about them from the links they click, and how they can manage their friends list with more granularity. Since everything is better with a set of animated characters, meanwhile, there's a purple dinosaur among others to help guide people through.

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How private is Amazon Echo?

How private is Amazon Echo?

Put a microphone in your product, and someone is going to assume you're listening to them. That's one of the challenges Amazon Echo - the online retailer's "Siri in a totem pole" - faces, with suspicion about just how much Jeff Bezos & Co. (or his algorithms, at least) are actually eavesdropping on. Given the power of Amazon's recommendation engines and the amount of data it gathers just from casual browsing, you can certainly see where some of the paranoia might come from, too. A microphone-mute button takes pride of place on top of Echo, but will it be enough to persuade potential users that the virtual assistant is working for them and not for Amazon itself? I went hunting for some answers on just what Echo shares and how you can tame it.

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Introducing Neals: one Nerd Rapper’s aim for a multimedia retrofuture

Introducing Neals: one Nerd Rapper’s aim for a multimedia retrofuture

Introducing Neals - an hour-long musical animated movie based on a Nerd Rap musical experience. It launches today. It's the 5th of November, and this date hasn't been chosen randomly. Just like the real Guy Fawkes Day, and previous celebrations, today was chosen by YT Cracker to exemplify the outline of the story he's attempting to tell. Introducing Neals is a "retrofuture," says Bryce Case JR, aka YT Cracker, a place where you'll hear the story of "the open source movement, hacktivism, government surveillance, and net neutrality with familiar 1980s tropes and familiar 1980s corniness."

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Facebook details big uptick in government data requests

Facebook details big uptick in government data requests

Facebook has released its third report on government data requests, and in it we see a substantial uptick in requests during the first half of this year in comparison to the last six months of 2013. According to the report, government requests for both content restriction and for user data jumped 24-percent, with content restriction due to local laws rising by 19-percent. The report includes data about national security requests, as well, though they're again restricted to only a general range rather than a precise number.

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Whisper staff suspended amid investigations into Guardian report

Whisper staff suspended amid investigations into Guardian report

Whisper, the social network/app built on the premise of allowing users to post brief statements and images in complete anonymity, has put its editorial staff on suspension, a decision made by CEO Michael Heyward. The decision comes as Whisper continues to defend itself in response to a newspaper report from The Guardian that said the company did in fact track its users even if they opted out of location-based features.

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Xiaomi global expansion: moving data centers out of China

Xiaomi global expansion: moving data centers out of China

Xiaomi is growing out of its shell. It has already started making some of its devices, unfortunately not always the latest ones, available in other countries, hoping to replicate the same wild success it enjoys in China. But in order to scale better to an international audience, especially as far as its services are concerned, the company is now also relocating some of its data away from Beijing and into other territories, some of them in the US. But is that really the only reason for this move?

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iCloud attacks were real: Apple comments

iCloud attacks were real: Apple comments

This week it was reported that Apple’s iCloud servers were under attack by China - as it turns out that’s not entirely true. Apple has made clear in a statement that there were indeed "intermittent organized network attacks" this week, but that they were done on people attempting to access the iCloud webpage. There weren’t any attacks on the iCloud servers themselves, nor were there any drops of user information. Apple does, however, suggest that you pay attention to "certificate warnings."

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Google teams with FIDO’s U2F USB Security Key

Google teams with FIDO’s U2F USB Security Key

The Security Key is not something you probably have in your pocket right this minute. It’s a newer sort of verification system made in partnership with the FIDO Alliance, now working with Google and Google Chrome for an added layer of security for Google websites. With this system you’ll never need worry about being scammed by a website pretending to be Google - not even once. You will need an official U2F Security Key to make it all work to Google's satisfaction.

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China allegedly using iCloud to spy on its own citizens

China allegedly using iCloud to spy on its own citizens

While Apple fans, both around the globe and in China, might be celebrating the availability of the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus smartphones in the country, they should probably start rethinking their merry thoughts, depending on their beliefs on how much the government should be able to access about their personal lives. A report is now surfacing that the Chinese regime is using its famous (or infamous) "Great Firewall of China" to compromise the security and privacy of iCloud users using an age-old man-in -the-middle attack.

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