Posts in category privacy


privacy

Oops… Some HP Laptops Shipped With Hidden Keylogger

Some HP laptops users came with a preinstalled program to capture the keystrokes of users, a security researcher recently discovered. The researcher, Michael Myng aka “ZwClose,” discovered the keylogger software while trying to solve a keyboard problem for a friend. The software is turned off by default. After Myng contacted HP about the program, it quickly released a patch to get rid of it.

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Artificial Intelligence vs. Echo’s Eavesdropping and Google’s Home Invasion

There’s a lot of excitement about all the new artificial intelligence technology hitting the market — like Amazon’s Echo and Google’s Home smart speakers, among many other products. However, there’s also growing concern over how these devices may invade our privacy. Despite the companies’ assurances to the contrary, some people worry that they could be listening to every word we utter.

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Vivaldi CEO Claims Google Retaliated for Privacy Criticism

Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner, the brains behind both the new Vivaldi browser and the early Opera browser, has accused Google of retaliating against his company after he questioned its customer privacy practices. Vivaldi’s Google Adwords campaigns mysteriously were suspended just two days after von Tetzchner’s criticisms of Google’s handling of customer data were published this spring, he said.

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privacy

Facebook Gets Tough on Spy Apps

Facebook has updated its Facebook and Instagram policies to prohibit developers from using data obtained from those platforms in surveillance tools, according to Rob Sherman, deputy chief privacy officer. Facebook already has taken enforcement actions against devs who created and marketed surveillance tools in violation of the company’s previous policy, he noted.

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privacy

Evernote Toes the Privacy Line

Caught off guard by a huge backlash, Evernote recently abandoned its plan to let staffers read customer notes under certain circumstances. The plan would have allowed staffers to review private customer notes as a means of assessing the accuracy of its new machine learning technology. The company made a mistake in judgment, Evernote CEO Chris O’Neil acknowledged.

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privacy

iPhone Call Logs Easy Pickings on iCloud, Says Russian Security Firm

Russian digital forensics firm ElcomSoft on Thursday reported that Apple automatically uploads iPhone call logs to iCloud remote servers, and that users have no official way to disable this feature other than to completely switch off the iCloud drive. The data uploaded could include a list of all calls made and received on an iOS device, as well as phone numbers, dates and times, and duration.

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privacy

Report: Apple Shares Unencrypted iMessage Metadata With Cops

Apple last week faced renewed scrutiny for its data-sharing practices, following news that it retains iMessage metadata and shares it with law enforcement when presented with a court order. The company has insisted that it would not share data that would jeopardize the privacy and trust of its millions of customers. Metadata includes contacts, IP addresses, and dates and times of conversations.

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privacy

Innocents Exposed as WikiLeaks Gushes Information

WikiLeaks reportedly has leaked sensitive personal information belonging to hundreds of innocent individuals worldwide, including some residing in several highly repressive countries.
The organization has revealed private credit card data, medical information, personal addresses and other data of various individuals, including the identification as gay of a Saudi Arabian who had been arrested.

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privacy

WhatsApp Shaves Off a Little More Privacy

WhatsApp on Thursday announced an update to its terms and privacy policy — the first in four years. Among other things, the changes will affect the ways users can communicate with businesses while continuing to avoid third-party banner ads or spam messages, according to the company. However, WhatsApp will begin to share some personal details about its 1 billion users with Facebook.

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privacy

KeySniffer Follows the Scent of Cheap Wireless Keyboards

A vulnerability in inexpensive wireless keyboards lets hackers steal private data, Bastille reported this week. The vulnerability lets hackers use a new attack the firm dubbed “KeySniffer” to eavesdrop on and capture every keystroke typed from up to 250 feet away. The stolen data is rendered in clear text. It lets hackers search for victims’ credit card information, passwords and more.

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privacy

Snowden Puts His Mind to Designing Spy-Proof Smartphone Cases

NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden and noted hacker Andrew “Bunnie” Huang on Thursday published a paper on their collaboration to design a smartphone case that will protect user privacy. The pair developed a prototype compatible with the 4.7-inch iPhone 6, as it’s “driven primarily by what we understand to be the current preferences and tastes of reporters,” the paper states.

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privacy

Facebook Lets Messenger Conversations Go Dark

Facebook last week said it would begin testing long anticipated end-to-end encryption capabilities in its Messenger app, enabling users to have secret conversations. The new level of security means that a message will be visible only to the sender and the recipient — Facebook won’t even be able to read it. Users can set a timer to limit the amount of time that a message remains visible.

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privacy

How Private Is iOS 10?

Almost lost among the deluge of new features in the upcoming version of iOS Apple touted last week was the company’s announcement about privacy. “All this great work in iOS 10 would be meaningless to us if it came at the expense of your privacy,” Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president for software engineering, told attendees at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco.

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privacy

Viber Goes the Encryption Route

Viber on Tuesday announced that it has begun rolling out end-to-end encryption across all devices for the 711 million users of its messaging app. Users have to download Viber version 6.0 or higher. The app offers stronger security in every voice or video call, message, video and photo, in both group and one-on-one messages, the company said. In addition, Viber launched Hidden Chats.

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EU adopts new data protection law that could mean bigger fines for Silicon Valley companies

After years of deliberation and study, the European Parliament has passed the most significant overhaul of the continent’s data rules in two decades. The sweeping package of reforms has been the source of intense debate in Europe, as well as in the United States, where tech giants will be grappling to understand and adapt to […]

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privacy

Oculus’ Controversial ToS a Stark Reminder of Its Facebook Parentage

Oculus last week updated its terms of service to accompany the release of the Oculus Rift virtual reality headset, raising privacy and content ownership concerns. Software will be installed to monitor how the device is used, and the usage data will be sent back to Oculus and its parent company, Facebook, according to the terms of service. Collected data could be shared with third parties.

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Reddit change raises alarm about possible U.S. government spying

(Reuters) – Digital privacy advocates and users of Reddit expressed their alarm on Friday over a change in the forum’s transparency report that suggested it may have been asked to give customer data to FBI investigators under a secretive government authority. The annual report lists a variety of requests the site has received for information […]

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