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Category Archives: Privacy

The Best VPNs to Protect Yourself Online

Wired: It won’t solve all of your privacy problems, but a virtual private network can make you a less tempting target for hackers. “A virtual private network (VPN) is like a protective tunnel you can use to pass through a public network, protecting your data from outside eyes. Whether you’re worried about hiding your browsing activity from your internet service provider so it doesn’t sell your data to advertisers, or you want to stay safe on a public Wi-Fi hot spot to keep nearby digital snoops from capturing your passwords, a VPN can help protect you. However, while a VPN will keep you safe at your local coffee shop, it comes with a cost. Using a VPN means your VPN provider will know everything about your browsing habits. This makes VPN providers a target for hackers. Be sure you even need one before you read on. Picking the right VPN service is serious business. Most VPN providers say they keep no logs of their users’ activity, but this is rarely verified. You’re stuck taking companies at their word. For this reason, we’ve limited our testing to VPN providers that have been independently audited by security firms and have published the results. To help you sort out when and why you might want a VPN, as well as why you might not, be sure to read through our complete guide to VPNs below. If you’re sure you want to use a VPN, here are our top picks among commercial VPN providers…”

FCC Targeting and Eliminating Unlawful Text Messages

“The Federal Communications Commission today proposed new rules to fight back against malicious robotext campaigns. The agency will take public comment on ideas to apply caller ID authentication standards to text messaging and require providers to find and actively block illegal texts before they get to consumers…The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking released today proposes and… Continue Reading

GAO – Federal Agencies Lack Senior Leadership to Effectively Implement Privacy Programs

EPIC: “A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, prepared in consultation with privacy experts including EPIC Senior Counsel John Davisson, canvassed 24 federal government agencies and found that most have failed to fully implement statutory privacy requirements. The GAO found that despite the massive amount of personally identifiable information (PII) collected by these agencies and the… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, September 24, 2022

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, September 24, 2022 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading

Lawless Surveillance

Friedman, Barry, Lawless Surveillance (February 1, 2022). 97 N.Y.U. L. Rev. (2022), NYU School of Law, Public Law Research Paper No. 22-28, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4111547 “Here in the United States, policing agencies are engaging in mass collection of personal data, building a vast architecture of surveillance. License plate readers collect our location information. Mobile… Continue Reading

This site tells you if photos of you were used to train the AI

Tech Crunch: “Deepfakes, AI-generated porn and a thousand more innocent uses — there’s been a lot of news about neural network-generated images. It makes sense that people started getting curious; were my photos used to train the robots? Are photos of me in the image-generating training sets? A brand new site tries to give you… Continue Reading

U.S. Agencies Are Buying Access to Bulk Internet Records

Gizmodo – “Sen. Ron Wyden urged inspectors general at three departments to investigate the military’s purchases of large swaths of data: “Multiple military intelligence offices have paid a data broker for access to internet traffic logs, which could reveal the online browsing histories of U.S. citizens, Sen. Ron Wyden said in a letter Wednesday, citing… Continue Reading

Tracked: How colleges use AI to monitor student protests

The Dallas Morning News, Arijit (Ari) D. Sen [subscription or online database access. Note – they are also making public nearly 3,000 documents, covering more than 56,000 pages from these schools]: “The pitch was attractive and simple. For a few thousand dollars a year, Social Sentinel offered schools across the country sophisticated technology to scan… Continue Reading

How to Ditch Facebook Without Losing Your Friends (Or Family, Customers or Communities)

EFF: “Today, we launch “How to Ditch Facebook Without Losing Your Friends” – a narrated slideshow and essay explaining how Facebook locks in its users, how interoperability can free them, and what it would feel like to use an “interoperable Facebook” of the future, such as the one contemplated by the US ACCESS Act…You can… Continue Reading

Privacy Rights Under the Constitution: Procreation, Child Rearing, Contraception, Marriage, and Sexual Activity

CRS Legal Sidebar – Privacy Rights Under the Constitution: Procreation, Child Rearing, Contraception, Marriage, and Sexual Activity, September 14, 2022: “A line of Supreme Court cases establishes that the U.S. Constitution guaranteesa person’s ability to make certain decisions in matters related to procreation, child rearing, contraception, marriage (including interracial marriage and same-sex marriage), and consensual… Continue Reading

Privacy-Focused Technology Companies Call for a Floor Vote on Antitrust Legislation

Spread Privacy: “On Tuesday September 13th, 13 privacy-focused technology companies representing more than 100 million users in the United States published a letter to U.S. Congressional Leadership imploring them to support the American Innovation and Choice Online Act (AICOA) and bring it to a floor vote as soon as possible. Incessant data collection and tech… Continue Reading

GAO: Congress Should Enact Comprehensive Privacy Legislation

EPIC.org: “The Government Accountability Office yesterday released a snapshot of its recent work on consumer data. The GAO’s work shows that (1) consumer scores pose risks; (2) facial recognition technology raises consumer privacy and accuracy concerns; and (3) additional federal authority over internet privacy could enhance consumer protection. The GAO recommended that Congress implement consumer… Continue Reading