privacy

Uber emphasizes privacy stance following exec’s comments

Uber emphasizes privacy stance following exec’s comments

In case you managed to miss it, one of Uber's top executives recently made comments about how the company could dox reporters that have been critical of the service, something that quickly spawned harsh comments and ample backlash. Though an apology and clarification were made soon after, users are still raising privacy concerns, and in an apparent effort to quiet the noise comes a new blog post from Uber. It has emphasized its privacy policy, pointing out the bits it feels are relevant, though it seems like a case of too little, too late.

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Researchers claim 81% of Tor users can be identified by router information

Researchers claim 81% of Tor users can be identified by router information

Internet users who don’t want to be tracked have many tools at their disposal. One of the most commonly used tools is Tor. Tor is a free software platform and open network that is designed to allow users to defend against traffic analysis as they surf the web. Users of Tor want to keep their business activities, relationships, and privacy secret. It appears that Tor may have a significant flaw.

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Is Facebook’s privacy update welcome or whitewash?

Is Facebook’s privacy update welcome or whitewash?

Listen to Mark Zuckerberg & Co., and Facebook's privacy changes this week are not only benign but in your very best interest. A pared down explanation on data protection that's ostensibly clearer than before, as well as a guide to exactly what the privacy settings can do, were the sweetener to the side news that Facebook would actually be doing more information sharing, at least between its recent acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp. Problem is, we've heard those same explanations before, and they've already got at least one big company into very hot water.

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US cellphone spy program turned prison jammers against us

US cellphone spy program turned prison jammers against us

Flying overhead in a Cessna aircraft, the Justice Department may very well be sending a cellphone dragnet over your city right now. This plane will use an amplified cell signal that'll override the next-most powerful signal in your area, tapping in to your phone's automatic aim to connect to the best signal in range. With this connection, the U.S. Marshals Service will summon registration data for the lot of the phones it's located, aiming to ping a single phone in the process. All other phone data is said to be dropped. But there's more to this equation than simple information gathering.

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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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