privacy

AirDrop leaks users numbers and emails says researchers

AirDrop leaks users numbers and emails says researchers

Apple has a few enviable features that other platforms, especially Android, still try to implement. The simple convenience and presumed security of AirDrop is one of those and it wasn't until last year that Android's Nearby Share finally caught up. Unfortunately, it seems that AirDrop isn't really that secure after all and the simple act of opening the share sheet in macOS or iOS is enough to have the user's phone number and email address leak to any hacker within range.

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SmartThings Find will warn you if a Galaxy SmartTag is following you

SmartThings Find will warn you if a Galaxy SmartTag is following you

Beating Apple AirTags to the punch, Samsung launched its Galaxy SmartTags last year to offer an alternative to the popular Tile trackers. The Bluetooth-enabled accessories worked in tandem with Samsung's improved SmartThings Find in order to create what is practically a crowdsourced network of users that can help locate any lost item, even if they're outside of Bluetooth range. That said, that system may have also raised some questions about privacy that Samsung will be addressing next week with an important update to SmartThings.

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Facebook posts can now be exported to Google Docs, WordPress

Facebook posts can now be exported to Google Docs, WordPress

Depending on how you look at it, Facebook may have surpassed Google in being the poster child for harvesting personal data on the Internet. Considering how much of people's online lives and information it has in its possession, the social media giant regularly gets pushed, mostly through laws and regulations, to take certain steps to secure and unlock users' information. Part of that is allowing users to move their data outside of Facebook and a new export tool will let them do just that to transfer their posts to other online services.

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Brave, Vivaldi web browsers call out and block Google FLoC tracking

Brave, Vivaldi web browsers call out and block Google FLoC tracking

Whatever goodwill Google earned in the past few years that it has been fighting off advertising and user tracking abuses may have gone down the train in an instant thanks to its proposed solution. The Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC is promoted to be a better strategy that protects people's privacy while still giving advertisers something they can profit from. Privacy advocates, however, are raising alarms over what they deem to be an even worse technology and Chromium-based browser makers like Brave and Vivaldi are committing to fighting off FLoC in all its forms.

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Exposed Clubhouse user data raises privacy questions

Exposed Clubhouse user data raises privacy questions

There seems to be a spate of incidents in the recent weeks where large social networks had their database simply scraped, not hacked, to expose user records that were then distributed in hacker forums. At first, it seemed that Clubhouse, the budding audio-centric network, was the victim of such activity but the company denied that was the case. Unfortunately, its explanation for what really happened raised more questions than it answered, causing concerns about the way it is handling the security and integrity of its own official access points.

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DuckDuckGo moves to block Google FLoC tracking cookie replacement

DuckDuckGo moves to block Google FLoC tracking cookie replacement

Google made a bold, unexpected, and curious promise of not creating new technology to replace the third-party tracking cookies it would soon be banning from Chrome and, consequently, the Web. That said, some have labeled Google's new experiment precisely like that. While it advertises its Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC as a more privacy-respecting way for advertisers to gather data, some, like DuckDuckGo, are calling shenanigans and taking steps to block FLoC activity even while you're using Google Chrome.

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Spotify can listen to you for ads: Do you care?

Spotify can listen to you for ads: Do you care?

Voice on Spotify is the newest in voice activated smart audio control, active now with the latest update to the app. If you want to use the service, you can do so for no additional cost - or you can choose to have this "Hey Spotify" system turned off entirely. It's up to you.

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Apple App Tracking Transparency might be bypassed by Chinese ad tech

Apple App Tracking Transparency might be bypassed by Chinese ad tech

Apple's upcoming strict privacy measures are proving to be quite effective even before it's fully implemented. Designed to prevent the potential violation of users' privacy by asking permission before apps and services are allowed to track their activity. It is ruffling no small amount of advertisers' feathers but some companies seem to be taking more drastic and questionable measures to circumvent that App Tracking Transparency with help from a state-backed Chinese advertising technology developer.

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Apple privacy report explains the coming flood of data tracking pop-ups

Apple privacy report explains the coming flood of data tracking pop-ups

Apple has released an updated version of its privacy report, "A Day in the Life of Your Data," ahead of enforcing App Tracking Transparency rules for iPhone and iPad apps in iOS 14.5. The new policy will demand third-party apps request permission from users before they can share individual data for ad-targeting, something which is likely to mean an uptick in dialog boxes for a while.

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Google Play will limit apps that can see what apps are installed

Google Play will limit apps that can see what apps are installed

Every Android release has seen a refinement of what was once an overly broad app permissions system. Today, users can grant or deny permissions on a case-to-case basis and developers are required to be more upfront about the permissions they need and why they need them. There are still some cases, however, where even the fine-grained permissions can be abused, forcing Google to tighten the noose. One such case is the ability to see what apps are installed on a phone, and starting next month, Google will start culling apps that don't have any business doing that.

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If it feels like Facebook is hiding your friends’ posts, this might help

If it feels like Facebook is hiding your friends’ posts, this might help

Facebook is finally making it easier to bypass the algorithm and just see what your friends and family have posted most recently, with a new Feed Filter Bar arriving alongside new curation tools for news. The feature - which will appear at the top of your Facebook News Feed - will also be the home to Favorites, the recently-added VIP grouping option which allows posts by up to 30 friends and pages to get pushed to the top of the app.

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Google FLoC third-party cookie replacement goes into testing

Google FLoC third-party cookie replacement goes into testing

Google recently made the almost-shocking announcement that not only would it be phasing out support for third-party cookies in Chrome, it would also not build something to replace those cookies. That's a rather big promise considering how these cookies are used for advertising purposes, Google's biggest business. Naturally, Google does have a solution to that predicament that it is calling Federated Learning of Cohorts or FLoC, now available for a few Chrome users to test and verify if it really works as advertised.

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