privacy

Behold: This North Korean tablet is the worst tablet of all time

Behold: This North Korean tablet is the worst tablet of all time

Let me introduce you to the worst tablet ever made - a new tablet by the name of "Woolim" made for citizens of North Korea. This isn't the sort of device you'd be able to pick up at a local Electronics Department Store - nor is it available to every citizen of the country's totalitarian dictatorship. Instead, made for what would appear to be "someone with money," according to researcher Florian Grunow, suggesting that this tablet is not meant for "the normal working class."

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Alexa a hostile witness in murder investigation

Alexa a hostile witness in murder investigation

How reliable a witness is Amazon's Alexa? The voice-controlled assistant, star of the Echo smart speaker but increasingly spreading to other connected devices, has become the unexpected informant in an Arkansas murder investigation set to go to trial come 2017. According to police, and freshly-unearthed warrants filed by investigators, the always-listening Echo could hold crucial evidence in the case.

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Signal’s private chat app uses Google to stay uncensored

Signal’s private chat app uses Google to stay uncensored

Signal, the encrypted messaging app endorsed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, just received rather significant update. No, we’re not referring to the new stickers and doodling functionality. Those are just a front for the real meat of the update. In almost a similar fashion, Signal now uses a “front”, specifically a domain front utilizing Google.com, in order to circumvent current and future government censorship that would block an app that is reported to be in popular use among activists, advocates, and even dissidents.

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Senator urges Uber to add in-app location tracking controls

Senator urges Uber to add in-app location tracking controls

US Senator Al Franken has fired off a letter to Uber CEO Travis Kalanick urging the company to update its privacy policy and add in-app controls regarding its recently announced background location tracking. Though Franken says it seems the update is “well-intentioned,” he expresses concern about the change and urges Uber to ‘amend [its] privacy statement to reflect the company’s public assurances and justifications related to the most recent app update.”

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The EU just smacked down the UK’s “Snooper’s Charter”

The EU just smacked down the UK’s “Snooper’s Charter”

A new ruling from the European Union's Court of Justice in Luxembourg is opening up the potential to challenge the UK's Investigatory Powers Act, which was passed earlier this year. Otherwise known as the Snooper's Charter, the Investigatory Powers Act has proven to be quite controversial as it requires ISPs within the UK to keep records of the websites their users visit for a full year. Today, the EU's judgement is saying that's illegal.

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Apple, Google, Uber join tech giants in refusing to create Muslim registry for Trump

Apple, Google, Uber join tech giants in refusing to create Muslim registry for Trump

Apple, Google, and Uber went on record on Friday stating that they would have no part in building or contributing to a "Muslim registry" that was proposed by President-elect Donald Trump during his election campaign. Buzzfeed received statements from spokespeople for all three tech giants, each iterating that they were against the idea of, and would in no way participate in creating such a registry for the Trump Administration.

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Evernote backtracks, makes employee peeking opt-in

Evernote backtracks, makes employee peeking opt-in

Well that was quick. Just as Evernote's privacy mess escalated rather quickly, its resolution came quickly as well. Whether forgiveness and redemption will also quickly follow remains to be seen. Sensing that a inconsequential apology from CEO Chris O'Neill wasn't enough to quell flaring tempers, Evernote has quickly followed with a statement that they are revising their stance. Sort of. They will still offer users the "privilege" of enhancing their experience by letting employees read snippets of notes. This time, however, they're making it optional by default rather than the other way around.

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Why Yahoo’s latest hack doesn’t matter

Why Yahoo’s latest hack doesn’t matter

It's my opinion that Yahoo's biggest account breach ever does not matter in the grand scheme of things. Yahoo Mail users don't seem to care - they're still searching for "yahoo mail" about 10x as much as any other term according to today's Google Trends. After the query Yahoo Mail, the most popular search term related to Yahoo is Yahoo Finance. This hack is not a big deal to Yahoo users, and I don't expect that it will be any time soon.

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Evernote’s apology changes nothing

Evernote’s apology changes nothing

This morning Evernote CEO Chris O'Neill sent an email to apologize for and clarify this week's Privacy Update blunder. This apology suggests that two factors make what they're doing OK in their eyes. One of these factors is the user's ability to opt-out. The other is the idea that "select" Evernote employees may see "random content" from Evernote users. This is not good enough.

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Privacy should never be sacrificed for the sake of free

Privacy should never be sacrificed for the sake of free

Yesterday was not a very good day for privacy. First was the revelation that Evernote’s new privacy policy will basically allow its engineers to take a peek at any of your notes. Then there’s Google’s lawsuit settlement, which involves still scanning your (and non-Gmail users’) e-mails. And to top it all off, Yahoo has admitted that an even more massive breach happened in 2013, affecting no less than 1 billion accounts. All this should send chills down your spine, and yet most people will probably react to the news with a shrug. Have we become accustomed, even numb, to intrusions of privacy in exchange for service? Common sense tells us we shouldn’t, and yet that might not be the case.

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Senate report on smart toys raises privacy concerns

Senate report on smart toys raises privacy concerns

A new Senate report has detailed privacy and security concerns related to so-called ‘smart toys’ — that is, Internet-connected toys for children. These toys may gather information related to children, possibly including things like their names and other details, which could then be vulnerable to data thieves. The primary concern highlighted in the report tends to be identity theft, with some worrying that vulnerable personal data on children can be used to open financial accounts and other damaging things.

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Evernote will “look at your data” (how to opt out)

Evernote will “look at your data” (how to opt out)

Privacy in saved information in Evernote might not be what it used to be come January 2017. According to the company itself, they'll be updating their service to "process and take action on [your thoughts] - to think." If that weren't creepy enough, they're also updating their privacy policy which now includes an opt-out provision which says Evernote Engineers wont "look at your data to improve the service."

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