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Category Archives: E-Mail

The Employer Surveillance State

The Atlantic – The more bosses try to keep track of their workers, the more precious time employees waste trying to evade them.

“…In fact, electronic surveillance of employees, through technologies including not just video cameras but also monitoring software, has grown rapidly across all industries. Randolph Lewis, a professor of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Under Surveillance, Being Watched in Modern America, pointed to software that makes it possible for employers to monitor employee facial expressions and tone of voice to gauge their emotional states, such as rage or frustration. Among more conventional surveillance methods, employers can track employees’ website visits, and keep tabs on their employees’ keystrokes. Employers can also monitor employees’ personal blogs, and read their social-networking profiles. In one case in California, a sales executive at a money-transfer firm sued her employer, claiming she had been fired for disabling an app that used employer-issued cell phones to track workers via GPS, even when they were off the clock. (The suit was later settled out of court.) The proliferation of surveillance is due, at least in part, to the rising sophistication and declining cost of spy technology: Employers monitor workers because they can. Michel Anteby, a Boston University sociologist and business scholar who has watched how monitoring impacts employees at the TSA and other workplaces, has also noticed that the more employees are surveyed, the harder they try to avoid being watched, and the harder management tries to watch them. “Most TSA workers we observed do everything possible to stay under the radar, to essentially disappear,” he said. “They try to never speak up, never stick out, do nothing that might get noticed by management,” he said. “This leads to a vicious cycle, whereby management grows more suspicious and feels justified in ratcheting up the surveillance.”

Perhaps the most common argument for surveillance—one often deployed by firms that make employee-monitoring products—is that it can make workers more productive. Purveyors of monitoring software claim they can help managers reduce the number of wasted hours and ensure that employees make better use of their time…The proposition that job performance improves when employees are monitored, and thereby theoretically deprived of the opportunity to steal, is not a hopeful one…”

How to Disable Gmail’s Annoying New “Smart Compose” Predictive Typing Feature

Lauren Weinstein’s Blog: “It appears that at least some Gmail users are now getting an (apparently one-time) pop-up box giving the option to turn off “Smart Compose” when it first becomes active for them. This is definitely an improvement. However, if someone accepts that default (“Got it”) to try it out, there’s no clue provided… Continue Reading

Facebook Is Giving Advertisers Access to Your Shadow Contact Information

Gizmodo: “…One of the many ways that ads get in front of your eyeballs on Facebook and Instagram is that the social networking giant lets an advertiser upload a list of phone numbers or email addresses it has on file; it will then put an ad in front of accounts associated with that contact information.… Continue Reading

Firefox Monitor arms you with tools to keep your personal information safe

“Your right to be safe from hackers starts here. Firefox Monitor arms you with tools to keep your personal information safe. Find out what hackers already know about you and learn how to stay a step ahead of them… Stay safe with Firefox Monitor protection. Sign up for Firefox Monitor. You’ll get a full report… Continue Reading

Google Says It Continues to Allow Apps to Scan Data From Gmail Accounts

WSJ [paywall] via MarketScreener [no paywall]: “Google Inc. told lawmakers it continues to allow other companies to scan and share data from Gmail accounts, responding to questions raised on Capitol Hill about privacy and potential misuse of the information contained in users’ emails.” “In a letter to senators, a top Google official said the company… Continue Reading

Imagining lost books in the age of Cambridge Analytica

Oxford University Press Blog: “Last spring, I—along with a substantial portion of my friends and acquaintances—followed some instructions I’d read online and successfully downloaded a copy of my Facebook data. Amongst other things, I was reminded of the fact that I had joined the social network on 21 February 2007 at 06:02 UTC and that… Continue Reading

Security Risks of Government Hacking

Schneider on Security: “Some of us — myself included — have proposed lawful government hacking as an alternative to backdoors. A new report from the Center of Internet and Society looks at the security risks of allowing government hacking. They include: Disincentive for vulnerability disclosure Cultivation of a market for surveillance tools Attackers co-opt hacking… Continue Reading

New on LLRX – Three TextExpander Snippets You Should Be Using to Save Time Immediately

Via LLRX.com – Three TextExpander Snippets You Should Be Using to Save Time Immediately: Brett Burney recommends and demonstrates an application from which we can all benefit: Text Expander – its saves you time immediately because it can type for you. And not only does TextExpander save you time, but it’ll also make you a… Continue Reading

FTC – How to avoid a Bitcoin blackmail scam

“Threats, intimidation and high-pressure tactics are classic signs of a scam. Learn how to stay ahead of clever crooks with these practical tips, and check out the ways you can keep your personal information secure…” Continue Reading

Spyware Company Leaves ‘Terabytes’ of Selfies, Text Messages, and Location Data Exposed Online

“This story is part of When Spies Come Home, a Motherboard series about powerful surveillance software ordinary people use to spy on their loved ones. A company that markets cell phone spyware to parents and employers left the data of thousands of its customers—and the information of the people they were monitoring—unprotected online. The data… Continue Reading

How encrypted communications apps failed to protect Michael Cohen

FastCompany: “Within the detailed federal allegations against former Trump lawyer Michael Cohen, who pleaded guilty yesterday to eight charges including campaign finance violations, are multiple references to texts sent by Cohen and even a call made “through an encrypted telephone application.” Cohen was apparently a fan of encrypted communications apps like WhatsApp and Signal, but… Continue Reading

How to Trace Emails Back to Their Source IP Address

MakeUseOf.com: “The first thing you do when you hear that email notification is check the sender, right? It is the quickest way to figure out who the email is from, as well as the likely content. But did you know each email comes with a lot more information than what appears in most email clients?… Continue Reading