privacy

ZTE is still a security threat according to FCC decision

ZTE is still a security threat according to FCC decision

Some might presume that recent political changes in the US government might weaken the campaign against certain US companies but it is far too early to count those eggs. The current government still holds the power and, as far as the Trump administration is concerned, nothing has really changed. Huawei is still on its entity list and TikTok still risks getting banned next month. And according to a recent FCC order, ZTE remains a national security threat because of its potential to be used for state-sanctioned espionage.

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Amazon Sidewalk is coming – and not everyone will be happy

Amazon Sidewalk is coming – and not everyone will be happy

Amazon is preparing to launch Amazon Sidewalk, its localized networks for Echo, Ring, and other devices, and it looks likely to be one of the most controversial products from retail behemoth so far. Echo owners have begun being notified by Amazon that Sidewalk shared networks are launching later in the year, along with apparent confirmation that it will be turned on by default.

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Facebook Messenger bug let attacker listen through your phone

Facebook Messenger bug let attacker listen through your phone

A Facebook Messenger bug discovered earlier this year was revealed this week by a security researcher. This bug worked with the Facebook Messenger call system, taking advantage of a loophole that let an attacker make a phone call and auto-answer said call on the receiver's end. With this bug, an attacker could effectively listen to you through your phone without your knowledge.

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Zoom now scans social media to spot ZoomBombing before it happens

Zoom now scans social media to spot ZoomBombing before it happens

Zoom has released a new scanning tool that hunts down publicly-shared meeting IDs, aiming to warn of potential "Zoombombing" incidents before they take place. The attacks - where uninvited participants join video calls, often sharing obscene content to disrupt meetings - have proliferated over the course of 2020, as online conferences take the place of in-person meetings.

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Apple Gatekeeper getting some big changes following privacy concerns

Apple Gatekeeper getting some big changes following privacy concerns

Last week, Apple had a bit of an issue on its hands among the flood of people attempting to update to macOS Big Sur. As Apple's servers were overwhelmed, a number of Mac users discovered that they couldn't launch apps. This turned out to be an issue with Apple Gatekeeper, which verifies that developer certificates are still valid before you run an app on your Mac, in an attempt to make sure that you're about to run a legitimate application.

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Gmail wants permission to make your email more useful

Gmail wants permission to make your email more useful

Prompted by the droves of people working from home, Google has spent much of 2020 rolling out some new features for Gmail. We've seen things like a new quick settings menu and even a unifying redesign for Gmail and Google's other apps, but today, users are getting a rather important new feature that allows them to quickly determine whether or not they want smart settings and personalization within Gmail turned on.

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Facebook Messenger, Instagram Vanish Mode makes messages disappear

Facebook Messenger, Instagram Vanish Mode makes messages disappear

Once upon a time, Snapchat's unique feature was its ephemeral posts that helped protect user's privacy, especially for more compromising content. Since then, however, almost all social networks and instant messaging platforms have implemented a similar feature or at least tried to. It definitely took a while but Facebook is finally catching up and has announced a new Vanish Mode that's coming to its own Messenger app and Instagram in the coming days.

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Oculus VRCs aim for greater VR access for all – but Facebook concerns remain

Oculus VRCs aim for greater VR access for all – but Facebook concerns remain

Oculus Virtual Reality Checks (VRCs) is a set of technical recommendations "designed to help developers create more accessible VR software." The company suggested today that this set of recommendations will allow developers to make their VR apps more compelling to more people. Areas of focus include audio, visuals, interactions, locomotion/movement, and "other aspects of accessible design."

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Apple now accepting details for future App Store privacy ‘labels’

Apple now accepting details for future App Store privacy ‘labels’

Apple has informed developers that it is now accepting app privacy information for an upcoming App Store change involving what many refer to as privacy 'nutrition labels.' Put simply, Apple will enable its users to quickly see privacy information about apps before they download them, helping users make informed choices about what they use.

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Google One adds a VPN service to higher subscription tiers

Google One adds a VPN service to higher subscription tiers

Google has a ton of apps and services, some of them not free, many of them relatively unknown. One recent service that checks those two boxes is Google One, which has practically replaced its old Google Drive and Photos paid subscriptions. Separating its cloud storage offering into a product of its own gives Google the freedom to expand the service beyond just cloud storage. Case in point is the new VPN by Google One that offers privacy and security to those on the service's highest tiers.

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Google Nest Hub may use proximity to save you from saying “Hey Google”

Google Nest Hub may use proximity to save you from saying “Hey Google”

Smart, AI-powered, virtual assistants are undoubtedly helpful, at least to those who have actually found uses for them. For better or worse, however, all of them have to be manually "woken up", usually by a trigger phrase. It's a bit of a hassle, especially when you're already standing in front of your smart speaker or smart display. It seems that Google is playing around with a feature that lets a Nest Hub detect your presence and automatically wake up Google Assistant, a convenience that may come at the expense of some privacy.

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Windows 10 update failure issues today

Windows 10 update failure issues today

A set of relatively major issues appeared with the latest Windows 10 update this week. Over the past several days, Windows 10 users reported issues with the latest set of updates, ranging from failure to download all the way to the Blue Screen of Death. Update release codes included KB4579311 and KB4577671, and you might want to go ahead and pause updates until it's all sorted out.

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