privacy

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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Spies at 33,000 feet! NSA listens to phone calls in flight

Spies at 33,000 feet! NSA listens to phone calls in flight

Aircraft carrying GSM phone-using passengers are revealed to have been targeted by the NSA for at least the past 5 years. This information comes from a newly revealed document from the National Security Agency's former contractor and infamous leaker Edward Snowden. In this document, a riddle starts off the reveal of technology which allowed and allows the NSA to listen in on phone calls and intercept messages posted to social networks - texts too, of course.

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Uber now monitors where you go after a ride, but you can stop it

Uber now monitors where you go after a ride, but you can stop it

Uber now keeps track of where you go after your ride ends. The tracking spans the first five minutes after you reach your destination. The data gathered from this monitoring is used to improve Uber's service, including pickups and drop-offs. If you, like many users, aren't happy about being surveilled by the Uber app, you can disable the feature before your next trip.

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Impending Trump has Internet Archive mirror to Canada

Impending Trump has Internet Archive mirror to Canada

As the presidency of Trump seems to loom ever larger, The Internet Archive has taken precautions. Precautions against a presidency that, if Trump's previous actions dictate future behavior, will attempt to control free flow of information on the internet. The Internet Archive is a nonprofit charity organization that does not want its many archived moments in internet history to be destroyed - as such, it's moved to Canada.

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Instagram sends alert when you screenshot ‘disappearing’ content

Instagram sends alert when you screenshot ‘disappearing’ content

Instagram recently introduced 'disappearing photos and videos' messaging, a Snapchat-'inspired' feature that allows you to send temporary content to someone directly, after which point it'll disappear. As with anything sent to someone else, though, the possibility exists that they'll save it, and the easiest way to do that is with a screenshot. Assuming someone does take a screenshot of your disappearing content, Instagram will send an alert letting you know.

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Trump’s CIA chief pick makes encrypted chat popular again

Trump’s CIA chief pick makes encrypted chat popular again

Donald Trump's impending presidency and Pompeo pick for CIA has sent downloads of secure encryption chat apps skyrocketing. According to the makers of the encrypted messaging app Signal, they've had a 400 percent growth increase since election day this month. Moxie Marlinspike, co-founder of OWS, makers of Signal, they've "never really seen any single event that's resulted in this kind of sustained, day-over-day interest." According to Marlinspike, this may be because of fears that Trump's impending control of "the least accountable surveillance apparatus in the history of the world."

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Firefox Focus is a super simple private browser for iOS

Firefox Focus is a super simple private browser for iOS

Almost all respectable modern web browsers these days, be they on desktop or mobile, offer a way out of obnoxious ads, activity tracking, and potential invasions of privacy. But more often than not, these features come at the cost of a bit of complexity, which can be intimidating for an already anxious user. Mozilla, who only last year was finally able to bring its Firefox browser in full to iOS, might have a solution. For iOS only as well. It is called Firefox Focus, and not only is it already private by default, it is also dead simple to use.

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AdultFriendFinder hacked, 412 million accounts in jeopardy

AdultFriendFinder hacked, 412 million accounts in jeopardy

Let’s face it. Adult sites are just begging to be hacked, seen as treasure troves not just of sensitive data but also of details that most people would prefer to keep secret. Of course, that hasn’t stopped said people from flocking to these kinds of networks anyway. Case in point is a recent hack that target the Friend Finder Network, which includes AdultFriendFinder, Cams, and Penthouse, among other sites, which has yielded more than 400 million customer accounts representing 20 years worth of data.

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Opera Max adds privacy modes to data-saving app

Opera Max adds privacy modes to data-saving app

While browsers are still its main product, Opera’s business on mobile has diverted slightly away from rendering web pages and more towards how that data travels over the Internet. On Android, for example, it has Opera Max which aims to save users money by compressing data en route to smartphones. Now that Android app is getting an upgrade, bringing in some features from Opera’s other are of focus. In addition to saving data, Opera Max now also tries to save your identity and privacy as well.

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Revealing iMessage metadata reignites Apple privacy debate

Revealing iMessage metadata reignites Apple privacy debate

The privacy promised by Apple's Messages system is again under the microscope, after leaked documents detailing records of potentially attempted messages emerged from law enforcement. The Cupertino company has previously insisted that, even if it was pressed by investigators, it would not and could not reveal the contents of conversations held via Messages (also known as iMessage); however, other metadata could still reveal more than users expected.

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