privacy

Uber hid massive data breach by paying hackers $100k

Uber hid massive data breach by paying hackers $100k

Uber paid hackers $100,000 to hide a major data breach, according to new reports. This breach affected 57 million accounts in 2016, the company stated, exposing phone numbers, rider names, and email addresses. In addition, more than half a million driver license numbers were accessed by the hackers, leaving all of the data -- and the individuals it belonged to -- at risk.

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This Android power feature gave Google a privacy headache

This Android power feature gave Google a privacy headache

A Google experiment to extend battery life has landed Android in privacy hot water, with concerns that devices running the OS have been sending details of nearby cell towers to the company's servers. Although Google insists that the data not only was handled entirely separately from any of the location services visible to third-party apps, and indeed its own advertising activities, it has confirmed it will nonetheless be ending the trial. The hiccup once again highlights the at-times difficult balance between maximizing device performance while ensuring essential services act as users expect them to.

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Germany issues ban on children’s smartwatches, urges parents to destroy them

Germany issues ban on children’s smartwatches, urges parents to destroy them

The sale of kids' smartwatches have just been banned in Germany, as the country's telecommunications regulator has labelled them as essentially "spying devices." While the wearables, designed for kids aged 5 to 12, often look like toys, they're designed to allow parents to remotely listen in on the child's environment via the watches' microphone, all without notice, in turn offering the same functionality as a wiretap.

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OnePlus backdoor update: This was no secret

OnePlus backdoor update: This was no secret

There's an update on the latest nonsense within OnePlus smartphones with regard to end-user personal privacy. This week OnePlus devices were discovered to have a relatively simple way to root and gain access with a simple APK. This APK was called EngineerMode, and it in itself is not all that uncommon. In fact, there's a distinct possibility that your device - regardless of brand - has an EngineerMode within it. The difference with the OnePlus app - in at least the OnePlus 3, 3T, and 5 - is that this app can relatively easily root the device - which, as we know, offers the user any access they like.

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Facebook has a surprisingly good reason to see your naked photos

Facebook has a surprisingly good reason to see your naked photos

A couple of days back, Facebook launched a limited-scale pilot program in Australia to combat the particularly troubling problem of revenge porn. Revenge porn has become a major issue on a lot of social media sites, and this new pilot is meant to put an end to it. In reality, though, the way Facebook is going about combating revenge porn left a lot of people scratching their heads.

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Nest Secure cellular backup taps T-Mobile for coverage [UPDATE on pricing]

Nest Secure cellular backup taps T-Mobile for coverage [UPDATE on pricing]

This week the folks at Nest announced that their exclusive cellular backup provider for Nest Secure will be T-Mobile USA. At the same time, the folks at T-Mobile USA announced their plans to sell a Nest security package. With one and the other, Nest will have a backup for when users' power is out or their Wi-fi becomes disconnected - riding on T-Mobile's carrier coverage across the USA.

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Facebook anti-revenge porn system: send yourself nude photos

Facebook anti-revenge porn system: send yourself nude photos

The fake news problem that has plagued social networking services like Facebook and Twitter definitely has severe impact on a global scale. But the social media problem christened “revenge porn” is perhaps even more devastating as it happens on a deeply personal level. Tech companies, as well as authorities, have been thinking of ways to curb the problem, because simply telling teens, or even grownups, not to do something is totally ineffective. Facebook has come up with perhaps the most curious technology-based solution of all, which involves sending yourself your own nude photos on Facebook Messenger.

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Apple says this is the most popular emoji in the US

Apple says this is the most popular emoji in the US

Quick, what do you think is the most popular smiley in the world? Too hard? How about in the US. If trying to look for a scientific survey of such data is too difficult, you can relax knowing that Apple has done the job for all of us. It has just released what its own data collection has determined to be the most popular smiley in the country, which turned out to be “face with tears of joy”. It even beat out the heart, which you’d think comes up more naturally in conversations.

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Cyber Shield Act IoT security labeling proposed by Dems

Cyber Shield Act IoT security labeling proposed by Dems

A scheme to label Internet of Things devices that meet more stringent security standards has been proposed by the US Democrats, responding to mounting concerns about the safety of connected gadgets. The idea, dubbed the Cyber Shield Act of 2017, was put forward by Congressman Ted W. Lieu (D | Los Angeles County) and Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) today. In addition to a labeling scheme that compliant IoT devices would bear, if passed it would also be responsible for establishing a best-practices advisory committee.

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DNS over TLS coming to Android for some level of privacy

DNS over TLS coming to Android for some level of privacy

Apple has gotten into hot water because of its stance on privacy and encryption and while Google is, on paper, on the same boat, Android hasn’t exactly been widely regarded as a very privacy-focused OS. Especially with Google behind it. A new feature coming to a future version of Android could give users a new tool to keep some prying eyes away, specifically those of ISPs. Called “DNS over TLS”, it’s really a very simple layer of encryption that masks what websites you go to.

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This is KRACK – 5 steps to safeguard your devices

This is KRACK – 5 steps to safeguard your devices

This is KRACK - it isn't glamorous, or cool, or kid's stuff. It's a serious Wi-fi vulnerability, and it can kill your devices and steal your data. KRACK affects everybody - and only you can prevent forest fires. I mean only you can take the steps necessary to guard your devices against the KRACK attack.

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OnePlus will begin limiting data collection, offer opt-out following privacy outcry

OnePlus will begin limiting data collection, offer opt-out following privacy outcry

Earlier this month it was revealed that Android handset-maker OnePlus was collecting large amounts of users' data, both without explicit permission and without making it clear it was doing so. While the data is said to be used for analytical purposes, it included plenty of personally identifiable information. Understandably, OnePlus users have been more than a little upset about this, but the company has now come forward to address concerns and reveal changes to their collection policy.

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