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Category Archives: Privacy

The laws protecting our data are too weak

engadget – “The latest in a long line of privacy scandals happened last week, after Google was found to have been pulling unredacted data from one of America’s largest healthcare providers to use in one of its projects. Despite assurances that it won’t use this information to supplant its ad business, that’s not the issue here. How was Google able to acquire this knowledge in the first place? Professor Sandra Wachter is an expert in law, data and AI at the University of Oxford’s Internet Institute. She says that every time your data is collected, “you leave something of yourself behind.” She added that anyone can use your online behavior to “infer very sensitive things about you,” like your ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation and health status. It’s bad enough when the companies use those inferences for targeted ads. But it gets a lot worse when they gain access to very private data. For instance, would you feel comfortable if Google started displaying ads for fertility treatments in your emails after a trip to the doctor? Or if your healthcare provider could access your browser history without your knowledge to determine how suitable you are for insurance…”

50 countries ranked by how they’re collecting biometric data and what they’re doing with it

comparitech: “From passport photos to accessing bank accounts with fingerprints, the use of biometrics is growing at an exponential rate. And while using your fingerprint may be easier than typing in a password, just how far is too far when it comes to biometric use, and what’s happening to your biometric data once it’s collected,… Continue Reading

A Billion Surveillance Cameras Forecast to Be Watching Within Two Years

WSJ.com – Global numbers to grow almost 30% as higher image quality allows better facial recognition – “As governments and companies invest more in security networks, hundreds of millions more surveillance cameras will be watching the world in 2021, mostly in China, according to a new report…” Source: Video Surveillance Installed Base Report – 2019… Continue Reading

CBP Starts Process to Include U.S. Citizens in Facial Recognition Program

NextGov: “U.S. citizens wary of facial biometric technology can opt-out of Customs and Border Protection’s face-scanning programs, though that would change under a proposed rule. CBP has been pushing the use of facial recognition technologies at land, sea and air ports as a means of meeting a longstanding congressional mandate to use biometrics in the… Continue Reading

Firefox 71 arrives with better Lockwise and tracker blocking

VentureBeat: “Mozilla today launched Firefox 71 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Firefox 71 includes Lockwise password manager improvements, Enhanced Tracking Protection tweaks, and Picture-in-Picture video on Windows. There isn’t too much else new, possibly because Mozilla is getting ready to speed up Firefox releases to a four-week cadence (from six to eight weeks)… Continue Reading

Mozilla removes Avast and AVG extensions

ZDNet – “Mozilla removed today four Firefox extensions made by Avast and its subsidiary AVG after receiving credible reports that the extensions were harvesting user data and browsing histories. The four extensions are Avast Online Security, AVG Online Security, Avast SafePrice, and AVG SafePrice. The first two are extensions that show warnings when navigating to… Continue Reading

Mobile apps developed in Russia are potential counterintelligence threats

One more time – “For all of you that used the FaceApp to see what you would look like in old age, the FBI just told @SenSchumer that “the FBI considers any mobile application or similar product developed in Russia, such as FaceApp, to be a potential counterintelligence threat…” [via Frank Thorpe – producer and off-air… Continue Reading

Facebook Gives Workers a Chatbot to Appease That Prying Uncle

The New York Times – “Some Facebook employees recently told their managers that they were concerned about answering difficult questions about their workplace from friends and family over the holidays. What if Mom or Dad accused the social network of destroying democracy? Or what if they said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, was collecting their… Continue Reading

Alternative search engine provides google results but with privacy

FastCompany – “Picture for a moment a version of Google Search that barely evolved from its early years. Instead of a results page cluttered by informational widgets, this one would primarily link out to other sites. And instead of tracking your search history for ad targeting purposes, this search engine would be decidedly impersonal. It… Continue Reading