privacy

Instagram may soon let public accounts remove followers

Instagram may soon let public accounts remove followers

As it stands, those of us with public Instagram profiles don't really have a way to quietly rid ourselves of annoying followers. They can be blocked, of course, but when you do this, they aren't able to access your profile at all, leading them to quickly find out they've been blocked and potentially confront you about it. You can also set your profile to private, but plenty of users would prefer to avoid doing that just to stop harassment from a few unsavory people.

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YouTube Incognito mode on Android: what it is and how to get it

YouTube Incognito mode on Android: what it is and how to get it

It is an unfortunate and maybe unnecessary fact of digital life that you are being tracked no matter what you do. While there may be legit reasons for doing so and benefits offered in exchange, some would prefer not to be tracked at all, even if only for a moment. That’s what incognito, a.k.a. private, modes are for and now YouTube users on will be able to enjoy a moment of privacy for their viewing activities.

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Polar fitness tracker might be a bigger national security risk

Polar fitness tracker might be a bigger national security risk

Fitness trackers have become so common that people strap them on with no worry or concern. After all, they’re not like smartphones or even smartwatches with tons of features and apps that could be harvesting your data. Unfortunately, fitness trackers themselves and their official apps can actually be gold mines of information. Worse, they can actually pose security risks not just for individuals but for countries as well as services like Polar expose secret places and the people that go to and fro those bases.

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Is my phone recording me? Watching me?

Is my phone recording me? Watching me?

A study was published this week that surveyed the potential for unwanted multimedia recordings in phones by Android apps. Having worked with 17,260 apps in all, this study group's results might at first seem exceedingly thorough. In reality, though, given the number of apps the average person uses regularly (very few, that is), the results of this research show something disturbing, but not particularly common.

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Google promises it doesn’t read your email without your consent

Google promises it doesn’t read your email without your consent

Your email might not be safe from prying eyes, whether you’re using Gmail, Yahoo! Mail, or Outlook. And especially if you’re using third-party email clients. A recent report revealed how some developers have no qualms about letting their employees read emails that pass through their apps. Google has responded with a blog post that explains how it has mechanisms in place to prevent such abuse. Except said mechanism doesn’t seem to protect users from such third-parties and, maybe, even from Google itself.

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Facebook federal probe tipped to include FBI, SEC, FTC and DOJ

Facebook federal probe tipped to include FBI, SEC, FTC and DOJ

A federal probe into Facebook's handling of user data is said to have grown, adding another three government agencies alongside the Department of Justice. According to sources that have surfaced, the FBI, FTC, and SEC have joined a probe into Facebook's Cambridge Analytica controversy, marking an expansion of the government's focus on the company.

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Google might not be scanning your emails but third-parties are

Google might not be scanning your emails but third-parties are

Email is one of the oldest and most sacred Internet services still in use. Despite attempts to kill it, it remains the backbone of communication over the Internet and, as such, is a treasure trove of personal data. Exactly because of that, and the threat of lawsuits and fines, Google has stopped its practice of letting its employees read emails. But while the search giant has promised to be good, it doesn’t seem to enforce that same standard on third-party apps and developers who surprisingly admit letting their employees read those precious emails.

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Facebook unblocking bug broke privacy settings for 800k people

Facebook unblocking bug broke privacy settings for 800k people

Bugs are just part of the development process, and today, Facebook has the distinct displeasure of detailing one that could have affected as many as 800,000 users. As it turns out, Facebook has discovered a bug that potentially unblocked some of the people you've decided you never want to hear from again. Considering how many people are on Facebook these days, the block option pretty much becomes a necessity, so having a bug that negates it is definitely not a good thing.

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Facebook’s new eavesdropping tech is creepy, but might not be as bad as it sounds

Facebook’s new eavesdropping tech is creepy, but might not be as bad as it sounds

If you're a Facebook user, you've likely heard stories of people becoming convinced that the company uses the microphones that are everywhere these days (such as ones on a smartphone or laptop) to spy on its users. While those fears might just be the result of an overactive imagination, a new patent filing is fueling concerns that Facebook might actually be equipped to do just that someday soon.

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Orlando drops Amazon Rekognition amid privacy outcry

Orlando drops Amazon Rekognition amid privacy outcry

It might be a small and probably temporary win for privacy advocates, but it’s a significant win nonetheless. The City of Orlando, Florida has announced that they will be ending the use of Amazon’s facial recognition software in response to protests staged by the ACLU and dozens of advocacy groups. While the government is still keeping the door open to using the technology again in the future, Orlando residents can rest assured that the frighteningly accurate Amazon Rekognition won’t scanning their faces again any time soon.

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Facebook admits it leaked developer reports to app testers

Facebook admits it leaked developer reports to app testers

As Facebook tries to recover its damaged reputation following controversies over how it handles users' personal data, it seems the social media giant still has a few other privacy issues to work on. It was discovered this week that the company had accidentally emailed analytic reports intended for developers to outside testers.

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Google Assistant Continued Conversations: protect your privacy

Google Assistant Continued Conversations: protect your privacy

Talking with smart assistants doesn’t always feel like you talking to someone smart, which probably can be a bit forgiven considering we’re really talking with bots. The experience of dealing with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri, among others, almost feels like talking to someone over a walkie-talkie. Google’s new Continued Conversations feature does make it feel more natural now but beware: you now have to be more careful what you after Google has answered you back.

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