privacy

Google tipped to give Android users finer privacy controls

Google tipped to give Android users finer privacy controls

Google I/O 2015 is shaping up to be one interesting conference, at least based on rumors and "accidental" leaks. We already have a redacted mention of Android M, a new hands-free "Voice Access" experience, and what may be a new wearable. Now Google is rumored to give Android users a new gift too, probably in the next Android version. Insider sources are claiming that the search giant is just about ready to give users more fine-grained control over what an app can and cannot access, strengthening the platform's privacy controls.

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Free Android apps found tracking personal data

Free Android apps found tracking personal data

The Google Play store is a veritable frontier for apps of varying degrees of quality, while Apple tends to rule its App Store with an iron fist, only allowing thoroughly vetted apps to make an appearance. Only apps that are visibly malicious are barred entry to the Google Play store, leaving room for apps that aren't completely honest with their intentions. Perhaps it's time that Google follow Apple's lead and tighten up on the reins a bit, especially considering that a security team found thousands of free Android apps that are sharing user data by connecting with advertising and tracking sites--all unbeknownst to users.

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Facebook massages privacy with anonymous login and more

Facebook massages privacy with anonymous login and more

Facebook may be the natural home of over-sharing, but new Facebook Login options mean users now have more granular control over what third-party apps can know about them. Announced at F8 2014, the amended "Log in with Facebook" option will now serve up an "Edit the info you provide" link, where tweaks to exactly what gets passed over from your profile can be made. However, while the new feature may have been a year in the making, it's not a complete fix for online privacy.

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Twitter abuse now requires your phone number

Twitter abuse now requires your phone number

As one of several new means of combating abuse on their social network, Twitter is bringing on phone number verification for users. This system will not require that every Twitter verify their account using a phone number, but would potentially have some users required to verify their account or risk having said account destroyed entirely. Twitter is also enacting a feature which hides abusive Tweets from those that abused users do not follow. Abuse, Twitter hopes, will soon be a thing of the past - or it'll be hidden from view, at least.

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Twitter tightens security after messaging snafu

Twitter tightens security after messaging snafu

Today Twitter is updating their Policy and Product outlines to further combat abuse on their social networking platform. This comes just one day after Twitter announced that they'd be opening the proverbial gates to more Personal Messaging between users, creating a feature update which needed to be turned on to be used. Today, Twitter updates their violent threats policy as well as expanding their coverage of suspected abusive Tweets. In short - Twitter isn't taking this whole "public abuse" thing sitting down - they want you to feel safe and comfortable in their social networking environment.

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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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