privacy

Firefox tracking and cryptomining protection now enabled by default

Firefox tracking and cryptomining protection now enabled by default

Mozilla previously put third-party and cross-site tracking on notice and now it is finally flipping the switch. Starting with today's release, Firefox will have its Enhanced Tracking Protection turned on by default. Additionally, it will also be blocking cryptominers by default so that hackers won't be able to make money off your CPU cycles and battery life. Ironically, it won't yet do the same for sites that try to track your computer based on certain "fingerprints".

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Facebook adds face recognition opt-out: Here’s how to disable it

Facebook adds face recognition opt-out: Here’s how to disable it

Today Facebook released an off switch for facial recognition in their social media system. Today, a Facebook representative by the name of Srinivas Narayanan, Applied Research Lead, Facebook AI said that Facebook has "only used face recognition technology to automatically suggest tags for your friends in photos."

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ZAO deepfake face swapping app raises privacy concerns in China

ZAO deepfake face swapping app raises privacy concerns in China

AI and machine learning have crept into almost every part of modern technology and products but one of its most whimsical applications is face-swapping. Dubbed "deepfakes", these programs can almost convincingly stitch your face on someone else's. One such app named ZAO became an overnight sensation in China because of how impressively convincing its end results were. That, however, quickly gave way to fear and concern once it became evident how the technology could be misused for criminal acts.

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Siri privacy upheaval: Apple apologizes with new audio policy

Siri privacy upheaval: Apple apologizes with new audio policy

Apple is overhauling how it deals with Siri recordings, pledging to do away with human assessment of Siri requests after users voiced privacy concerns that their conversations with the assistant could be overheard for quality testing. The iOS and macOS assistant has been caught up in ongoing controversies around all of the major virtual assistants the past few weeks, with privacy advocates warning that human assessment and intervention is far more prevalent than many users might assume.

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Xbox One owners are not safe from contractors listening on them

Xbox One owners are not safe from contractors listening on them

The past weeks have been filled with news about smart assistants not just accidentally listening to conversations but those utterances being heard by complete strangers. That, however, it turns out wasn't just limited to the likes of Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa. Even the likes of Microsoft Skype has been subjected to the same treatment so it's no surprise that even the Xbox One console is now reported to have been accidentally recording conversations for human ears to hear without the owner's knowledge.

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Apple Safari to have tracking protection that could break some sites

Apple Safari to have tracking protection that could break some sites

Web browsers, particularly Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox, have lately taken stronger actions against unscrupulous, not to mention potentially illegal, tracking by websites and third parties. Curiously silent is one browser maker who has painted itself as the champion of privacy in the modern digital and tech world. Apple, however, was simply waiting for the right moment to announce its own new policy against the misuse of tracking and cookies. But while it might be the harshest and strictest policy among web browsers, it could also be one of those that breaks the Internet the most for users.

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Facebook pop-up cafes will offer free coffee and privacy checks

Facebook pop-up cafes will offer free coffee and privacy checks

Facebook plans to open five pop-up cafes that will lure in visitors using free coffee and then offer them privacy checks while they're at the temporary destination. The free coffee will be offered to visitors who have a Facebook account and undergo the simple privacy checkups, ensuring their accounts are secure and set up the way the user prefers.

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Facebook Privacy settings change names

Facebook Privacy settings change names

Today an update from Facebook changes the way Facebook Groups are labeled. No longer will there be a choice between public, closed, or secret settings. Instead, there'll be a choice between "public" or "private." Given the *most recent Facebook privacy flubs and government action regarding Facebook's failings in keeping user data protected, increased use of the word PRIVACY in Facebook PR should come as no surprise. Today we get an example of a place where Facebook is literally placing the word "Private" so users can be sure to feel like they're in a Private place.

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Smart assistants may have made us more lax about privacy

Smart assistants may have made us more lax about privacy

There's probably little debate that AI-powered smart assistants have become very useful. They started out as good fun but without much utility and have sometimes even become the butt of jokes thanks to misheard commands. These days however, the likes of Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri have become a normal part of modern tech life, with or without smart speakers involved. But for all their usefulness and help, these services may have made people less vigilant about what they say and do and, it turns out, those secret utterances might not be so secret at all.

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Nest cameras status lights will always be on when in use

Nest cameras status lights will always be on when in use

Smart thermostat maker Nest has gotten a lot of criticism after it was acquired by Google. Users and fans expressed even more fears and disappointment when Google practically signed its death sentence when it put all its smart home products under the Nest brand. Most worried about the privacy implications of devices that constantly monitor people's presence and activities being under Google's great eye. Nest is now making a change to its line of cameras to address those concerns but has ended up infuriating users instead.

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Humans will continue listening to some Cortana and Skype recordings

Humans will continue listening to some Cortana and Skype recordings

Last week, word surfaced that Microsoft, as with Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook before it, was using human contractors to listen to some Skype and Cortana audio clips. Though other big tech companies have paused these practices in light of consumer concerns, Microsoft has taken a different route, updating its privacy policy to explicitly state that people are listening.

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Frost for Facebook users banned: The 3rd-party may be over

Frost for Facebook users banned: The 3rd-party may be over

Today we're taking a look at a developing situation surrounding the 3rd-party Facebook app called "Frost for Facebook." This app was the subject of some controversy back in March of 2018 when it was banned from the Google Play app store for "violations of forwarding traffic to a particular site (m.facebook.com)" Generally when this sort of thing happens, an app doesn't last long in the wild - but Frost seems to have persisted! Now it's Facebook that's taking a swipe at the app.

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