privacy

Twitter’s new policy: no to nonconsensual adult content

Twitter’s new policy: no to nonconsensual adult content

Twitter is making it clear: there is no room for revenge porn or similar content on its network. While it might sound like a no-brainer, given that Twitter already disallows graphic content anyway, it sometimes pays to be perfectly explicit, especially when it comes down to legalities. So as not to give any smart crack room to wiggle, the social networking giant has updated its Twitter Rules to lay out in no ambiguous terms, but without mentioning specifics, that revealing photos or videos are not allowed, especially if the subject doesn't consent to its distribution.

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Mattel under fire in Hello Barbie privacy fight

Mattel under fire in Hello Barbie privacy fight

Mattel's high-tech Barbie upgrade, giving the classic doll an injection of Siri-style smarts, has come under fire from privacy advocates concerned the listening doll is more creep than companion. Announced back in February, Hello Barbie looks outwardly like a regular doll, but has a microphone and WiFi connectivity hidden inside. By making conversation with kids, the doll can learn what they enjoy doing, ask them questions about their favorite things, and generally become more personalized.

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NSA sued over surveillance by Wikimedia & more

NSA sued over surveillance by Wikimedia & more

The NSA may be used to lurking in the shadows and quietly reading our emails, but the ACLU and Wikimedia Foundation aren't willing to let them stay that way, filing a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the government agency's actions. The suit, filed today in the US District Court for the District of Maryland, takes issue with NSA "upstream" surveillance which, it's argued, needlessly and intrusively gathers huge quantities of text-based messages sent and received by innocent people. That, the ACLU insists, is an infringement of both First and Fourth Amendment rights, among other things.

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Canadian arrested after refusing to give phone passcode to border agent

Canadian arrested after refusing to give phone passcode to border agent

Earlier this week, a Canadian man was taken into custody by border agents after entering the country on an international flight from the Dominican Republic. Was he carrying prohibited items in his baggage, or maybe didn't have his travel documents in order? No, he merely refused to give up the passcode to his smartphone when stopped by agents for a search, on the grounds that the information was "personal." In what may set a legal precedent, this is Canada's first case in charging a citizen for refusing to provide their phone's passcode.

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Twitter adds phone number requirement for Tor users

Twitter adds phone number requirement for Tor users

Twitter has made it a personal mission to stomp the trolls and abusive users that are giving its service a bad name (and causing some legitimate users to jump ship). The anonymous corner of the Internet offers a much-needed service for many, but it is likewise often abused by trolls who use it so that they're harder to trace. Tor is one such tool, and now Twitter is requiring those who are using it to verify their phone number straight away when making a new account, a requirement that isn't in place for those who aren't using Tor.

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AVG creates facial recognition blocking glasses

AVG creates facial recognition blocking glasses

Facial recognition software is ubiquitous. From being auto-tagged by facebook to being added to a database of images, we can't control what happens to our likeness once it gets online. These days more data is being extracted from each of our online interactions. Tracking cookies and search history give companies a clear view of your Internet footprint. Most precious of all is your own face. Enter AVG's new concept invisibility glasses which were presented at in Barcelona for the MWC 2015. Once you put them on, you're rendered instantly invisible to facial recognition software.

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Siri, Cortana saves voice commands, passes to 3rd parties

Siri, Cortana saves voice commands, passes to 3rd parties

The recent privacy scandal that Samsung's Smart TVs have brought the issue of privacy and security with such voice-controlled features into the spotlight. But if you thought that Samsung was alone in this behavior, you'd be dead wrong. Perhaps it isn't common knowledge yet that smart assistants like Siri, Google Now, or even Cortana do keep your commands for some time for the purpose of improving services. But the duration of that storage as well as its reach is probably not so known. Until now.

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Ad company’s drones are tracking mobile locations in LA

Ad company’s drones are tracking mobile locations in LA

Personal drones are once again a hot topic in the media, but this time in a not so favorable light. Recent events, like the drone that landed at the White House and the FAA's proposed rules, have cast drones in a negative light. This latest news might very well sour the taste buds of the public even more. Several drones flying over San Fernando Valley in Los Angeles have been reported to be tracking smartphone and tablet locations. Their purpose? To eventually serve ads to mobile device owners.

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Snapchat’s Safety Center wants to educate parents

Snapchat’s Safety Center wants to educate parents

Snapchat is one of those big ironies of Internet history. It was originally designed to be safe and private due to the "ephemeral" nature of shared content. That, however, was used as a license to share revealing photos, which would eventually get leaked circulated to the public. Add to that more recent complaints about the company's security practices, or lack of it, and you would understand why Snapchat is now trying to save its reputation with a Safety Center that informs parents and teachers what Snapchat is all about.

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Your phone’s power usage can reveal where you’ve been

Your phone’s power usage can reveal where you’ve been

When you think of smartphone location tracking, both legitimate or otherwise, and you will most likely think of technologies that directly relate to locations, like GPS, WiFi, or even Bluetooth. But a group of researchers from Standford University and Israeli defense group Rafael are proving even something so innocent sounding like your phone's battery consumption can be used to track your movements. The good news is that it's not exactly as easy or as informational as those more dedicated sensors. At least not yet.

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