privacy

Uber taps privacy experts to conduct internal review

Uber taps privacy experts to conduct internal review

Uber announced today that it has brought aboard privacy experts, among them being former IBM Chief Privacy Officer Harriet Pearson, to conduct an "in-depth review" of its privacy practices. This move comes after executive Emil Michael's comments about digging up dirt on journalists became public, Senator Al Franken's inquiry about the service's handling of the situation, and news about the company's so-called "God View" being abused as reported by BuzzFeed. The review seems like an attempt at damage control as customers and non-customers alike express concerns about the company and its respect for privacy.

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US DOJ: Encryption could get a child killed

US DOJ: Encryption could get a child killed

The US Justice Department may have tried to hit below the belt and appeal to emotion rather than reason by painting a gruesome future. Because while tech companies are working towards strengthening a user's privacy, the government is getting worried that they will be shut off from gathering personal information that could potentially save lives. In particular, the new encryption schemes being implemented by Apple in iOS and Google in Android could prevent law enforcers from getting their hands on a user's information in a timely manner.

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Delete your Tweets: Twitter Search is here

Delete your Tweets: Twitter Search is here

This week Twitter enabled the search of every Tweet in the history of the Twitterverse. This means that everything you've ever Tweeted is searchable. They weren't before now, not in their extreme entirety, now they are, for the first time ever. For most people this won't be an issue - they've never said anything embarrassing on Twitter, ever. But you - oh my goodness. You need to delete more than your fair share of Tweets, and you need to do it right now.

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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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