privacy

Congress votes away Internet privacy regulations in favor of ISPs

Congress votes away Internet privacy regulations in favor of ISPs

Following the Senate's lead, the House has just voted to end Internet privacy regulations that would have required Internet service providers to get permission before selling a customer's Internet data. The resolution will go into effect if Trump signs it; following the vote, the White House issued a statement saying the president's advisors will recommend doing so.

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Microsoft Docs.com sharing site “accidentally” exposed files

Microsoft Docs.com sharing site “accidentally” exposed files

Uploading files and documents to cloud services is so common these days that users don't give a second thought about the process. They presume a level of security and privacy that these services offer. Sometimes, however, those presumptions can be proven terribly wrong, as what users of Microsoft's document sharing service, Docs.com, found out the hard way. Apparently, it was possible to use Docs.com's own search feature to get access to users' presumed private files. And Microsoft's response? Temporarily disable the search function.

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The Senate just voted away your Internet privacy

The Senate just voted away your Internet privacy

The Senate just voted in favor of a resolution that, if likewise approved by the House and then signed by Trump, will block FCC privacy rules designed to protect consumers’ sensitive Internet data. The resolution was passed with a 50-48 vote split along party lines; if it receives ultimate approval, ISPs will be able to share and/or sell their customers’ private data, such as their Web browsing history, to private companies without the customers' consent.

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Beijing deploys facial recognition to foil toilet paper thieves

Beijing deploys facial recognition to foil toilet paper thieves

Talk of facial recognition tends to settle around either concerns about privacy or the security systems used at events to spot potential terrorists. China, though, has deployed the technology in Beijing for a different reason: to catch toilet paper thieves. The thieves are (were?) stealing toilet paper from public toilets, something made much harder thanks to modern dispensers with facial recognition abilities.

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Three Android phone screen privacy apps to foil snoops

Three Android phone screen privacy apps to foil snoops

Ever feel paranoid when using your phone in public? Perhaps you have a super-secret Instagram account you don't want your coworkers to know about, or maybe you worry someone will spy your Reddit username on incoming notifications. Whatever the reason, privacy is important to most people and doubly so when it comes to phones, perhaps our most intimate of personal gadgets. Here to help is a litany of screen privacy apps for Android, all of them designed to obscure your phone's display so others have a hard time snooping over your shoulder.

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Facebook policy update forbids using platform for surveillance tools

Facebook policy update forbids using platform for surveillance tools

Facebook has announced a policy update that more clearly forbids developers from using the social network as a way to get data for surveillance tools. The policy update applies to both Facebook and Instagram, with the company saying its goal ‘is to make our policy explicit.’ That's not to say that such use of Facebook data was acceptable before; rather, Facebook is updating the language of its policies to make sure 'everyone understands.'

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Signal encrypted chat app adds video calls, iOS users beware

Signal encrypted chat app adds video calls, iOS users beware

At the height of the great Snowden whistleblowing phase of history, highly secure and encrypted messaging services became en vogue. While some of that has died down, a notable few like Signal remain. Developed by Open Whisper Systems, which also developers the Signal protocol now used by Whatsapp for encryption, the Signal app started out as a simple, text-based chat app. Now it is on the cusp of its next evolution, adding that oh so popular video chatting capability, though still in beta format.

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Even old email will need search warrants if US law is passed

Even old email will need search warrants if US law is passed

While recent events are still fresh in the memory and lives of those in the US, a new but related matter might rock the boat even more. Especially for those in the tech who are still in the middle of a tussle with the government. The House of Representatives has just voted to pass a bill that will require search warrants even for old emails. But while considered a win for privacy advocates, the bill could still be blocked in the Senate, just as it was last year.

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Vizio settles huge TV privacy case after spying on viewers [Updated]

Vizio settles huge TV privacy case after spying on viewers [Updated]

Vizio will pay $2.2m in penalties to settle a huge privacy lawsuit, that alleged its smart TVs tracked millions of viewers and then sold that personal data without permission. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), in a joint-complaint filed with the New Jersey Attorney General, Vizio automatically tracked what owners of its connected TV sets were watching, despite not warning viewers that the monitoring was taking place. That information was then sold to advertisers and others for a profit.

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US judge orders Google to turn over foreign emails in FBI case

US judge orders Google to turn over foreign emails in FBI case

Google has been ordered by a US court to turn over emails stored on servers outside the country to the FBI, in turn complying with a search warrant related to fraud investigation. The order came from Philadelphia's US Magistrate Judge Thomas Rueter, who ruled that transferring the emails to the US for FBI review did not technically count as seizure of foreign information.

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Lavabit, the encrypted email once used by Snowden, returns to operation

Lavabit, the encrypted email once used by Snowden, returns to operation

Back in 2013, when Edward Snowden blew the whistle on the US government's mass surveillance programs, it was discovered that his preferred email provider was the encrypted service called Lavabit. As the government then tried to get its hands on the former NSA contractor, the federal authorities demanded Lavabit turn over its SSL encryption key. Instead, founder Ladar Levison shut the entire service down, as cooperating meant giving the government access to the private data of all of its 410,000 users.

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Gmail PSA: This phishing scam is all too easy to fall for

Gmail PSA: This phishing scam is all too easy to fall for

A simple but astonishingly effective Gmail scam continues to compromise even adept internet users, with phishers taking advantage of how browsers present URLs to steal emails and other information. The exploit presents users with what looks like a regular login page but, rather than being hosted by Google, is in fact running on a different server waiting to steal account details. What sets it apart in phishing terms is how well that server is hidden.

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