There’s Another Big Reason Why You Should Ditch Chrome For Firefox

from Fast Company It’s not paranoia: You are being followed. Marketers are embedding dozens of trackers per website to follow your online wanderings and build up ad-targeting profiles. While the dominant browser, Google Chrome, takes a timid approach to these trackers, Apple and now Mozilla are attacking them head on. Firefox first started blocking all trackers by default in its experimental browsers in July and in a wide release in September. Since then, Firefox has blocked 450 billion tracking attempts, says Selena Deckelmann, the senior director of Firefox browser engineering at Mozilla. That comes out to 175 trackers per Firefox […]

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China’s New Cybersecurity Program: NO Place to Hide

from China Law Blog The Chinese government has been working for several years on a comprehensive Internet security/surveillance program.  This program is based on the Cybersecurity Law adopted on 2016. The plan is vast and includes a number of subsidiary laws and regulations. On December 1, 2018, the Chinese Ministry of Public Security announced it will finally roll-out the full plan. The core of the plan is for China’s Ministry of Security to fully access the massive amounts of raw data transmitted across Chinese networks and housed on servers in China. Since raw data has little value, the key to […]

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The Ringification of Suburban Life

from Wired Across the US, consumers are canvassing their communities with a new type of device that’s changing civic life. Camera-equipped doorbells and other home surveillance devices, made by companies like Ring, are documenting facets of suburban existence that once went unnoticed. For years, citizens have used smartphones to monitor their neighborhoods, especially instances of police misconduct or abuse. But pointing a smartphone at authorities is an active choice. Homeowners use cameras and their ilk to passively monitor their neighborhoods and each other. Instead of capturing the moments citizens intentionally choose to record, Ring cameras log whatever may happen in […]

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Tiktok Is China’s Next Big Weapon

from Axios Chinese social media is largely impenetrable for most in the West — just check out their memes — but Sino tech giants have their eye on owning the U.S. market, evidenced by the rise of TikTok. Why it matters: While the video-based app simply seems like a benign platform for Gen Zers to make and share funny memes, it’s could become a Chinese vacuum for coveted American data. It has made its top creators into bona fide celebrities, as evidenced by a look at YouTube’s annual VidCon by The Atlantic’s Taylor Lorenz. Between the lines: TikTok’s “parent company, ByteDance, recently […]

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A Simple Way to Make It Harder for Mobile Ads to Track You

from Wired If you’re not careful, most of what you do online and in mobile apps will wind up fueling targeted advertising, all that data feeding into a composite profile of your likes, dislikes, and demographic information. But increasingly, even careful web users can’t avoid being swept up in the digital marketing dragnet. While it’s ridiculously difficult to get a handle on all this tracking, there is a simple step you can take right now to throw a tiny wrench in those industry-wide gears. Both Android and iOS force apps to use a special “ad ID” for tracking smartphones, which […]

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How Big Data Could Help Make It Easier For Landlords To Evict You

from Fast Company It’s easy to track prices of some things: Drive down any major street and you’ll only have to pass a few gas stations to know roughly how much gasoline costs in your area. Turn on the news during the workday, and you’ll quickly learn how the big stock market indexes are faring. Go shopping every week, and you’ll soon know how much bananas or eggs cost at your local supermarket. Real estate is more complicated, partly because so many uncertain factors go into determining prices. Buying or selling a house always involves a bit of gambling on […]

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The Windows 10 Privacy Settings You Should Check Right Now

from Wired If you’re at all concerned about the privacy of your data, you don’t want to leave the default settings in place on your devices—and that includes anything that runs Windows 10. Microsoft’s operating system comes with a variety of controls and options you can modify to lock down the use of your data, from the information you share with Microsoft to the access that individual apps have to your location, camera, and microphone. Check these privacy-related settings as soon as you’ve got your Windows 10 computer set up—or now, in case you’re a longtime user who hasn’t gotten […]

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Why You Need a Password Manager. Yes, You.

from NYTs You probably know that it’s not a good idea to use “password” as a password, or your pet’s name, or your birthday. But the worst thing you can do with your passwords — and something that more than 50 percent of people are doing, according to a recent Virginia Tech study — is to reuse the same ones across multiple sites. If even one of those accounts is compromised in a data breach, it doesn’t matter how strong your password is — hackers can easily use it to get into your other accounts. But even though I should […]

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Google Knows Everywhere You Go — Here’s How To Stop It From Tracking You And Delete The Logs

from CNBC Google knows a lot about you and, if you use Google Maps or other Google apps, it stores a copy of everywhere you go. I recently performed Google’s “Privacy Checkup” to learn a bit more about what it knows about me, and was pretty surprised at the level of detail it had on my exact locations. I picked a random date: April 16, 2019. It knew everywhere I went, including that I took Interstate 95 to our office in northern New Jersey and that I arrived at 7:58 a.m. It knew that at 1:02 p.m. I drove to […]

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How to Scan Your Airbnb for Hidden Cameras

from Slate Over the weekend, news outlets reported that a New Zealand man named Andrew Barker had found a camera, hidden in a smoke detector, in his Airbnb that was livestreaming a feed of the living room. Barker was in Cork, Ireland, on a 14-month trip around Europe with his family when they checked into the rental house. Once they unpacked, Barker, who works in IT security, conducted a scan of the Wi-Fi network and found a camera the owner had not mentioned. He was then able to connect to the camera and view the live feed. The next day, […]

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The Privacy Project

from NYTs Companies and governments are gaining new powers to follow people across the internet and around the world, and even to peer into their genomes. The benefits of such advances have been apparent for years; the costs — in anonymity, even autonomy — are now becoming clearer. The boundaries of privacy are in dispute, and its future is in doubt. Citizens, politicians and business leaders are asking if societies are making the wisest tradeoffs. The Times is embarking on this monthslong project to explore the technology and where it’s taking us, and to convene debate about how it can […]

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How Cambridge Analytica Sparked The Great Privacy Awakening

from Wired ON OCTOBER 27, 2012, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote an email to his then-director of product development. For years, Facebook had allowed third-party apps to access data on their users’ unwitting friends, and Zuckerberg was considering whether giving away all that information was risky. In his email, he suggested it was not: “I’m generally skeptical that there is as much data leak strategic risk as you think,” he wrote at the time. “I just can’t think of any instances where that data has leaked from developer to developer and caused a real issue for us.” If Zuckerberg had […]

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What Every VPN Provider Is Missing

from Fast Company I don’t know a lot about security, but I do know that when I use public Wi-Fi—whether on my phone, tablet, or laptop—I should be protecting my traffic with a virtual private network. For those unfamiliar with VPNs, the concept is basically that you use a simple piece of software to open up a private channel to a trusted server, through which you route all your browsing, email, uploading, and downloading, etc. A good VPN keeps your identity private, your data secure and helps mask your location, even from the provider of the internet connection you’re using […]

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Utah Just Became A Leader In Digital Privacy

from Wired With so much of our lives lived online, people have often assumed that the pictures, financial documents, and other sensitive information we store on our password-protected phones and computers are kept private. But every day, it seems there’s a new data breach, or another story about our information being passed around in ways we couldn’t imagine. As a result, there’s been an emerging public distrust in the platforms that hold so much of this information, and increased interest by federal and state legislators on how to protect the public’s privacy. So far, government focus has primarily been on […]

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Apple To Developers: Disclose Screen Recording Or Get Booted From App Store

from ars technica Apple has begun notifying developers who use screen-recording code in their apps to either properly disclose it to users or remove it entirely if they want to keep their apps in the App Store. The move comes after a TechCrunch report showed that many apps do not disclose such activity to users at all, and some sensitive user data has been compromised through screen recordings.”Protecting user privacy is paramount in the Apple ecosystem,” an Apple spokesperson told TechCrunch. “Our App Store Review Guidelines require that apps request explicit user consent and provide a clear visual indication when recording, logging, or […]

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‘The Goal Is To Automate Us’: Welcome To The Age Of Surveillance Capitalism

From The Guardian We’re living through the most profound transformation in our information environment since Johannes Gutenberg’s invention of printing in circa 1439. And the problem with living through a revolution is that it’s impossible to take the long view of what’s happening. Hindsight is the only exact science in this business, and in that long run we’re all dead. Printing shaped and transformed societies over the next four centuries, but nobody in Mainz (Gutenberg’s home town) in, say, 1495 could have known that his technology would (among other things): fuel the Reformation and undermine the authority of the mighty Catholic […]

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Newly Public Documents Paint Picture Of Facebook’s Ruthlessness

from Axios Facebook documents released Wednesday portray the social giant as considering aggressive routes to squeeze more revenue out of user data, giving major companies extra access to data and undermining competitors. Why it matters: While much of what’s in the documents was already reported, together they provide a rare window into one of the world’s most influential companies and reveal how Facebook’s executives were ruthlessly focused on growing their service — while downplaying risks to user privacy. More here.

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The Privacy Battle To Save Google From Itself

From Wired OVER TWO DAYS during the summer of 2009, experts from inside and outside Google met to forge a roadmap for how the company would approach user privacy. At the time, Google was under fire for its data collection practices and user tracking. The summit was designed to codify ways that users could feel more in control. Engineer Amanda Walker, then in her third year at Google and now the company’s software engineering manager of privacy infrastructure, jotted down notes on a paper worksheet during one of the summit’s sessions. “HMW: Mitigate Impact of bad Gov’t + 3rd party […]

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The Amazon Selling Machine

from The Atlantic The e-commerce company has so much information about us that it’s become expert at shilling us things we didn’t even know we needed. No wonder its advertising business is booming. What if there were a company that knew what you wanted to buy before you did? What if it made shopping recommendations that tapped into your deepest desires? Better yet, what if it then made buying completely seamless? Would you ever stop shopping? Amazon shareholders may like the answers to those questions. The company that revolutionized the way we buy has now gotten serious about selling the […]

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