privacy

Apple speaks out against UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill

Apple speaks out against UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill

Apple, and many privacy advocates, might be facing a losing battle against governments pushing for a backdoor to encrypted devices and Internet services. The UK might be on the verge of passing a proposed Investigatory Powers Bill into law, which would require even non-UK companies like Apple to hand over keys to its otherwise well-protected products, even if such keys do not technically exist. If matters do take that turn, Apple will be forced to completely disable encryption on iPhones and iPads, iMessage, and FaceTime, which could have severe and adverse implications in more ways than one.

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Hello Kitty community breach leaves 3.3m users vulnerable

Hello Kitty community breach leaves 3.3m users vulnerable

The online community SanrioTown.com has suffered a data breach, and as a result 3.3 million user accounts have been left vulnerable. The website is a site for Hello Kitty fans, and as such many of the users are likely children. That didn’t stop someone from accessing the site’s user database and posting it online, though. Several other Hello Kitty websites were targeted, too.

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Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

A bill has been introduced that, should it become law, will force tech companies like Facebook to report ‘terrorist activity’ to law enforcement agencies. The bill was introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Chairman Richard Burr, who stress that such companies won’t have to “monitor customers or undertake any additional action” to hunt down suspected terrorists. The new bill was spurred by reports that the San Bernardino shooter had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook.

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The FTC just put an EFF board member in charge of explaining tech

The FTC just put an EFF board member in charge of explaining tech

Things at the US Federal Trade Commission could take a sharp turn toward pushing privacy, as the government agency makes a high-profile EFF member its Chief Technologist. Lorrie Cranor, who sits on the board of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), has been named the new Chief Technologist for the FTC, where she will be "primarily responsible for advising Chairwoman Ramirez and the Commission on developing technology and policy matters."

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Google refute’s EFF’s “spying on students” allegations

Google refute’s EFF’s “spying on students” allegations

This is quickly going to be a he/she said, he/she said case. Google has naturally responded to privacy watchdog EFF's accusations that the search company is semi-secretly tracking students' online comings and goings, despite promising not to do so and going against the law. Google even cites the support of some of the very people who penned the Student Privacy Pledge, saying it is confident that it isn't doing anything illegal or even morally long. And naturally, the EFF has also responded, saying its critics are missing some critical points.

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EFF claims Google spies on students with Chromebooks, Google Apps

EFF claims Google spies on students with Chromebooks, Google Apps

The FCC may have decided not to impose any standard Do Not Track rules on services like Google or Facebook, but that doesn't mean that their tracking activities will remain unfettered, especially from the sanctions of a different government agency. Privacy watchdog Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF has filed a formal complaint against Google with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). It's beef? That Google has been collecting students' private information through devices like Chromebooks and services like Google Apps for Education (GAFE), despite promising not to do so.

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VTech says 6.4 million kids affected by recent hack

VTech says 6.4 million kids affected by recent hack

In a statement issued today, VTech announced that 6.4 million kids were affected by the data breach disclosed last week. This is the latest update to the hack, which has grown in scope over the last few days. On Friday, VTech had stated that 4.9 million adults were affected by the breach, which targeted the maker’s Kid Connect messaging system and Learning Lodge app store.

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BlackBerry exits Pakistan amid demands for backdoor access

BlackBerry exits Pakistan amid demands for backdoor access

The folks at BlackBerry have announced that they're leaving Pakistan as soon as possible. Apparently the government in said country isn't too keen about BlackBerry keeping their cellular information to themselves, and want full, unfettered access to the information about and within BlackBerry's BES e-mail and BES BBM messaging systems - all BlackBerry Enterprise Service traffic. BlackBerry will be doing nothing of the sort. They won't hand over access to the systems to the Pakistani government, so they'll be leaving the country very, very soon.

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NSA has ended its bulk data collection

NSA has ended its bulk data collection

Privacy advocates have scored a major victory this Sunday as the National Security Agency of the United States finally shuts down its en masse surveillance program that has left many of its own citizens vulnerable to invasions of privacy. But though the new Freedom Act does curtail the NSA's powers, it of course does not completely nip it in the bud. Instead of bulk spying, the agency will have to target specific people or groups which they can then monitor for months, of course with a court order and the cooperation of involved telecommunications companies.

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No, Nest Cam isn’t secretly spying on you

No, Nest Cam isn’t secretly spying on you

Is your Nest Cam watching you when you thought it was turned off? The WiFi streaming camera has found itself at the center of a security maelstrom this week, after research questioned just what was happening when the indicator light shuts off. Turns out, as with the Internet of Things in general, it's complicated.

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Updated Windows 10 this month? Check your privacy settings

Updated Windows 10 this month? Check your privacy settings

Two weeks ago, Microsoft rolled out its so far biggest update to Windows 10, bringing in a couple of new customization features, improvements under the hood, and some rather important new features. But just a few days ago, that update, version 1511 to be exact, was suddenly pulled out and the Media Creation Tool also yanked from the Internet. Now both are back in business and Microsoft has some explanation ready. Apparently, the update reset at least four privacy settings to their defaults, which practically gave Microsoft some advertising advantage on users.

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Tech industry reaffirms stance against weakening encryption

Tech industry reaffirms stance against weakening encryption

The violent events that befell Beirut, Paris, and most recently Nigeria, has once again given rise to the US government's favorite debate topic with the technology sector: encryption. On the one hand, you have the government calling for a backdoor into all encrypted devices and services. On the other corner, you have tech companies insisting on how dangerous that would be for the very people the government claims to protect. The irony of the matter is that both sides are claiming to fight on the side of security, both personal and national.

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