privacy

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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GitHub still experiencing ‘evolving’ DDoS attack

GitHub still experiencing ‘evolving’ DDoS attack

GitHub, the go-to online repository for projects created in code, is suffering an online DDoS attack. Though the team reports service interruptions are quieting, there’s reason to believe the attack is ongoing. GitHub has been able to “mitigate” the effects of the attack, but also say it’s “evolving”, and whoever may be responsible is morphing their strategy and methodology to continue the disruption. Though not exactly confirmed — and GitHub hasn’t said as much — the attack is believed to have originated in China.

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UK Safari users now able to sue Google over cookies

UK Safari users now able to sue Google over cookies

Safari users in the UK have won the right to sue Google. The judgement, which potentially paves the way for a series of lawsuits, comes about as the result of the Court of Appeals, where Google was fighting the case being heard at all. a group of users claim Google was bypassing Apple’s privacy settings for Safari and installing ‘cookies’ meant to track their Internet activity. While plaintiffs applaud the ruling, Google is “disappointed with the court's decision.”

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RadioShack to sell 117 million customers’ data in bankruptcy auction

RadioShack to sell 117 million customers’ data in bankruptcy auction

RadioShack might not be worth much as a company, but it is about to sell a goldmine of customer information to the highest bidder. Discounting its own longstanding privacy policies, RadioShack is serving up customers' personal information as part of a court-supervised auction as it try to pay off its $1.3 billion debt. RadioShack filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which means it is reorganizing the company in the process. There is no word how much RadioShack claims the data is worth, but it is a marketable asset up for grabs as they madly sell assets and restructure the company.

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