privacy

Microsoft swats Russia’s Fancy Bear with ingenious legal takedown

Microsoft swats Russia’s Fancy Bear with ingenious legal takedown

It's time for Putin's hackers to be on the receiving end of the beatdown stick of digital attacks this week. The folks behind the attack come from Microsoft, and the Russian hacker team goes by the name Fancy Bear. Yes, Fancy Bear, a name that's brought relative shame to the Democratic National Convention's game, also known as the Kremlin's cyber spy team. But Microsoft isn't attacking with "the cyber" - they're attacking with... the law!

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Google weeds out intrusive apps by looking at its peers

Google weeds out intrusive apps by looking at its peers

Tell me who your friends are and I'll tell you who you are, as the saying goes. Google has apparently taken that age-old adage to heart in trying to protect users from less than conscientious Android apps. Such apps might use permissions and data more than they should, at least compared to other similar apps that behave properly. And while the reasoning behind such peer grouping, Google unsurprisingly injects a pinch of machine learning to make it a less overwhelming task.

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Facebook isn’t responsible for your privacy, judge rules

Facebook isn’t responsible for your privacy, judge rules

Facebook users can't expect the social network to protect their privacy when they're browsing online, a US judge has ruled, throwing out a lawsuit against the social networking behemoth. The case had seen Facebook accused of violating both US federal and Californian laws around privacy and wiretapping, in its use of tracking cookies. However the judge, in a decision made on Friday last week, disagreed.

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Microsoft is getting in-your-face about Windows 10 privacy

Microsoft is getting in-your-face about Windows 10 privacy

Microsoft is pretty darn keen for you to be on the latest version of Windows, to the point that it now plans to pester users to install Windows 10 Creators Update. The strong-arm tactics will kick off this week, with Microsoft pinging PC owners who are yet to upgrade to the most recent version with a privacy settings review. For a while you'll be able to avoid it, Microsoft says, but not forever.

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Amazon’s “creepy” Echo Show feature is being overhyped

Amazon’s “creepy” Echo Show feature is being overhyped

Listen to the critics, and Amazon's Echo Show represents be a honeypot of privacy intrusion and creepy surveillance. Though Alexa, the retailer's virtual assistant, isn't new, the addition of a camera to the Echo Show smart speaker gives her eyes in your home for the first time. It's the circumstances around when those eyes are open - and who can turn on that camera remotely - that is triggering privacy fears.

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You won’t have to wait too long for a Purism Librem Laptop anymore

You won’t have to wait too long for a Purism Librem Laptop anymore

Although the chatter, whistleblowing, and mudslinging revolving around data privacy and security have somewhat died down, it hasn't completely vanished and is perhaps more critical than ever before. That is perhaps why Purism, the folks behind the privacy-focused Librem Laptops, have decided to take a more mainstream approach to their sales, shipping the laptops in just weeks after paying for one instead of the months-long waiting period before.

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You can now ask Google to delete medical records from search: here’s how

You can now ask Google to delete medical records from search: here’s how

Personal medical records showing up in search results is a big problem, and now Google is addressing it. The Internet giant will start pulling these records from results when someone asks them to, helping individuals maintain privacy in a world where hackers are increasingly breaching medical facilities' networks. This marks a change in policy for the company, which recently updated its policy page to reflect the new removal category.

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Facebook update adds new user protections for profile pictures

Facebook update adds new user protections for profile pictures

As part of an effort to focus on what people in individual countries expect of Facebook, today the company announced new controls for users in India. These controls almost entirely concern profile pictures, allowing users to control who can download them, tag themselves in them, or even screenshot them. The hope is that more people will feel comfortable uploading profile pictures, thus helping grow that aspect of community.

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Firefox Focus brings its single-minded privacy to Android

Firefox Focus brings its single-minded privacy to Android

Late last year, Mozilla launched Firefox Focus, basically the closest you could get to a "burner" browser that kept your online dealings private and erased your footprints after you close the app. Back then, it was made available only for iOS, which was a bit ironic considering it was the last platform Firefox was officially and natively available on. Half a year later, Mozilla has finally decided to grace the Android platform with its single-tabbed focus on privacy.

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US gov OKs social media background checks for visa applicants

US gov OKs social media background checks for visa applicants

The US government has approved social media background checks applied to individuals applying for a visa, it has been announced. The controversial move will require visa applicants to provide a list of their social media handles from the past half-decade, as well as 'biographical information' from the past 15 years. The decision to approve this new vetting method was made by the Office of Management and Budget.

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OneLogin attacker may have gotten ability to decrypt data

OneLogin attacker may have gotten ability to decrypt data

The implicit promise of password management and single sign-on services like OneLogin is that they keep your credentials safe and private so you won't have to worry about remembering them or writing them down somewhere insecure. As such, it isn't uncommon for these services themselves to be become the target of malicious attacks in order to pilfer their customers' data. It is somewhat rare, however, for such services fall victim to a very serious breach of security, like just what happened to OneLogin at the end of last month.

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Chipotle on payment system breach: ‘most’ stores affected

Chipotle on payment system breach: ‘most’ stores affected

Late last month, restaurant franchise Chipotle Mexican Grill revealed that it had suffered a security breach affecting its POS system. The company has released an update on that revelation, saying that 'most' of its stores in the US were affected by the malware. Chipotle says the investigation into the breach, which involved both law enforcement and security firms, has been completed.

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