privacy

I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

I’ve given smart speakers as gifts before – I won’t do it again

Black Friday is coming but the holiday shopping season isn't waiting for its traditional kick-off, though while tech deals may be everywhere you look, there are some gadgets I won't be putting into my cart. Smart speakers and, more recently, smart displays have become a go-to gift for many over the past few years, but in 2019 they may not be quite so warmly received.

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Apple privacy page redesigned to answer the big questions

Apple privacy page redesigned to answer the big questions

Apple has redesigned its privacy pages, aiming to better explain what personal data your iOS and macOS devices might be sharing and what they'll keep secret, as discussions around user information protection in the digital age become more mainstream. The revamped site pulls together what has become a mainstay topic at Apple events over the past couple of years, as the Cupertino firm tries to emphasize the differences between its services and those of rivals like Google and Amazon.

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Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant hacked with laser in major security flaw

Amazon Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant hacked with laser in major security flaw

Ever since smart speakers started hitting shelves, there's been no lack of people bringing up certain security concerns, whether those have to do with flaws in hardware and software or just general privacy issues. Today, a team of researchers are detailing a new vulnerability that exists in many smart speakers - along with some phones and tablets - that could potentially allow hackers to issue voice commands from far away.

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Google Maps Incognito Mode is finally rolling out now on Android

Google Maps Incognito Mode is finally rolling out now on Android

Google Maps has become an almost indispensable tool in navigating the world and it has become the go-to solution when trying to locating unfamiliar places. More often than not, however, people probably don't like it if it happens the other way around, with Maps and, therefore, Google, being able to locate and track your activities. Just like in web browsers, Google promised at I/O 2019 back in May that it will be providing an Incognito Mode for Google Maps. Five months later, it's finally happening, at least for Android users.

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Facebook AI alters faces in videos to thwart face recognition AI

Facebook AI alters faces in videos to thwart face recognition AI

Facebook, along with Amazon and, of course, Google, is facing no small amount of opposition and inquiry into its use of face recognition systems. Primarily applied for things like tagging family and friends in photos, the social media giant is often accused of misusing that technology for less savory uses. Now the company's own researchers are developing AI to combat other AI, perhaps including Facebook's, that try to identify and tag faces in videos.

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Countries are building facial recognition systems – Understanding reasons behind it

Countries are building facial recognition systems – Understanding reasons behind it

A future of surveillance and cameras draws even closer to our reality. This month, the world’s second-largest country, India, joined the list of governments that have announced plans to build a country-wide facial recognition system. This follows China’s commitment to similarly build a facial recognition database that can identify any citizen within seconds.

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Alexa and Google Assistant hacks let eavesdropping smart speakers do voice phishing

Alexa and Google Assistant hacks let eavesdropping smart speakers do voice phishing

Smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home can certainly be useful tools, but along with that usefulness also comes a number of security concerns. These concerns have been well stated since these smart speakers first hit the market, and today, a team of security researchers are sounding the alarm on exploits affecting Google Home and Amazon Echo devices that developers can use to either eavesdrop on users or phish for personal information.

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Mind Your Own Business Act could drop a bomb on US privacy laws

Mind Your Own Business Act could drop a bomb on US privacy laws

Amid all the privacy debates we've seen in recent years, one consistent complaint is that companies don't face harsh enough punishments to discourage the misuse of user data. Today, US Senator Ron Wyden from Oregon introduced new legislation that could change that. Dubbed the "Mind Your Own Business Act," this bill would empower the FTC to levy harsher punishments for privacy violations and give end users more power when it comes to determining what happens with their data.

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Harry Potter: Wizards Unite fantasy game turns into a privacy nightmare

Harry Potter: Wizards Unite fantasy game turns into a privacy nightmare

Although not as big as Pokemon GO, Niantic Labs third AR game is still raking in millions of downloads, not to mention concurrent users. The game has had its rough patches while trying to distance itself from its more popular sibling. It may be facing its most difficult challenge yet, and not from the usual culprits like cheating or lackluster. The problem comes from within Niantic itself, from the vaults containing players' location data collected even when they weren't playing the game at all.

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Instagram finally lets you manage third-party app access

Instagram finally lets you manage third-party app access

Instagram remains one of the most popular image-centric social network today and perhaps the only Facebook property (aside from Oculus) that has remained largely untouched by privacy scandals. Its association to Facebook and its popularity, however, also makes it a prime target for less conscientious people who'd love to pilfer users' private information at every opportunity. Despite that imminent danger, it is only today that Instagram is rolling out a very basic switch to let users disconnect their app from any app they may have authorized in the past.

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Society 5.0: Japan’s plan to take civilization to the next level

Society 5.0: Japan’s plan to take civilization to the next level

You've heard of Web 2.0 and perhaps even the Web 3.0 that browser maker Opera loves talking about. But have you ever heard of Society 5.0, much less the previous versions that came before it? No, it's not a hot new piece of software but Japan's trendy label for what historians often refer to as "ages". With Society 5.0, the Japanese government and companies are working together to put developments in technology, especially in AI and automation, at the service of improving human society and evolving civilization as a whole.

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iOS 13 Safari’s Safe Browsing reportedly sending some data to Tencent

iOS 13 Safari’s Safe Browsing reportedly sending some data to Tencent

The Web has become a bigger place and, at the same time, has also become more dangerous. Seeing that most users are unlikely to change bad habits, browser makers are taking up the cause to implement secure and private features that are eventually enabled by default. One such feature is called Safe Browsing and has become enabled by default in iOS 13 with every little warning beforehand. Now it turns out that this feature is sending some information, particularly IP addresses to Google and to Chinese Internet giant Tencent.

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