Apple Does Right By Users And Advertisers Are Displeased

from EFF With the new Safari 11 update, Apple takes an important step to protect your privacy, specifically how your browsing habits are tracked and shared with parties other than the sites you visit. In response, Apple is getting criticized by the advertising industry for “destroying the Internet’s economic model.” While the advertising industry is trying to shift the conversation to what they call the economic model of the Internet, the conversation must instead focus on the indiscriminate tracking of users and the violation of their privacy. When you browse the web, you might think that your information only lives […]

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Why You Should Be Using a Password Manager

from iThemes Every few weeks, we hear the news that another major website has been hacked. Often these hacks mean your personal information has also been compromised. In this post, we cover the important reasons for why you should use a password manager to protect your online identity, and how to get started with LastPass, a free password manager. More here.

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Security News This Week: Taser Bets Big on the Surveillance State

from Wired Well, we sent 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles smack into a Syrian airbase this week. But other stuff happened too! The week started off with some clever hack revelations, including a backdoor that Russians have used for two decades, and an ATM hack that just takes a drill hole and $15 worth of gear. And some particularly industrious hackers took over a Brazilian bank’s entire online footprint for a few hours. Spies got their own cool new app that you can’t play with. Top-secret iOS spyware popped up on Android too. And drones are behaving badly again. Then there’s the […]

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Elon Musk Is Setting Up A Company That Will Link Brains And Computers

from ars technica Billionaire futurist space explorer Elon Musk has a new project: a “medical research company” called Neuralink that will make brain-computer interfaces. Musk’s projects are frequently inspired by science fiction, and this one is a direct reference to a device called a “neural lace,” invented by the late British novelist Iain M. Banks for his Culture series. In those books, characters grow a semi-organic mesh on their cerebral cortexes, which allows them to interface wirelessly with AIs and create backups of their minds. Having a neural lace, in Banks’ fiction, makes people essentially immortal—if they die, they’re revived from […]

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Wanna Protect Your Online Privacy? Open a Tab and Make Some Noise

from Wired I JUST GOOGLED “alarm dust,” “alibi sweatshirt,” and “sleuth intelligence.” Then I shopped for industrial dehydrators, scanned a Pinterest page for concrete decks, and read something about nuclear war. The thing is, I’m not in the market for a new dehydrator. Concrete decks aren’t really my style, and I still have no idea what “alarm dust” is. I didn’t visit any of these web sites of my own volition—a website called Internet Noise did, all to obscure my real browsing habits in a fog of fake search history. Yesterday, the House of Representatives voted to let internet service […]

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How To Set Up A VPN In 10 Minutes For Free (And Why You Urgently Need One)

from freeCodeCamp Soon every mistake you’ve ever made online will not only be available to your internet service provider (ISP) — it will be available to any corporation or foreign government who wants to see those mistakes. Thanks to last week’s US Senate decision (update March 28: and today’s House decision), ISPs can sell your entire web browsing history to literally anyone without your permission. The only rules that prevented this are all being repealed, and won’t be reinstated any time soon (it would take an act of congress). ISPs can also sell any information they want from your online […]

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Republicans Voted To Roll Back Landmark FCC Privacy Rules. Here’s What You Need To Know.

from WaPo House Republicans voted Tuesday to repeal a set of landmark privacy protections for Web users, in a sharp pivot away from the Internet policies of the Obama administration. President Trump is expected to sign the measure. Tuesday’s vote is likely to lend momentum to a broader rollback of Obama-era policies, particularly in the technology sector. And it empowers Internet providers to enter the $83 billion market for online advertising, where the ability to collect, store, share and sell consumers’ behavioral information is directly linked to companies’ bottom line. Proponents of the repeal argue the regulations stifle innovation by forcing Internet providers to abide by unreasonably strict guidelines. But defenders […]

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The 265 Members Of Congress Who Sold You Out To ISPs, And How Much It Cost To Buy Them

from The Verge Republicans in Congress just voted to reverse a landmark FCC privacy rule that opens the door for ISPs to sell customer data. Lawmakers provided no credible reason for this being in the interest of Americans, except for vague platitudes about “consumer choice” and “free markets,” as if consumers at the mercy of their local internet monopoly are craving to have their web history quietly sold to marketers and any other third party willing to pay. The only people who seem to want this are the people who are going to make lots of money from it. (Hint: […]

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For Marketers, TV Sets Are an Invaluable Pair of Eyes

from NYTs While Ellen Milz and her family were watching the Olympics last summer, their TV was watching them. Ms. Milz, 48, who lives with her husband and three children in Chicago, had agreed to be a panelist for a company called TVision Insights, which monitored her viewing habits — and whether her eyes flicked down to her phone during the commercials, whether she was smiling or frowning — through a device on top of her TV. “The marketing company said, ‘We’re going to ask you to put this device in your home, connect it to your TV and they’re […]

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Spyware’s Odd Targets: Backers of Mexico’s Soda Tax

from NYTs Last summer, Dr. Simón Barquera’s phone started buzzing with a series of disturbing text messages from unknown numbers. One said his daughter had been in a serious accident. Another claimed to be from a friend whose father had died — with a link to funeral details. Yet another message informed Dr. Barquera, the director of nutrition policy at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, that a Mexican news outlet had accused him of negligence, again with a link. And in more menacing messages, someone claimed to be sleeping with Dr. Barquera’s wife. That included a link to what […]

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Vizio Smart TVs Tracked Viewers Around The Clock Without Consent

from ars technica Vizio, one of the world’s biggest makers of Smart TVs, is paying $2.2 million to settle charges that it collected viewing habits from 11 million devices without the knowledge or consent of the people watching them. According to a complaint filed Monday by the US Federal Trade Commission, Internet-connected TVs from Vizio contained ACR—short for automated content recognition—software. Without asking for permission, the ACR code captured second-by-second information about the video the TVs displayed. The software collected other personal information and transmitted it, along with the viewing data, to servers controlled by the manufacturer. Vizio then sold the data […]

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Android Gives Apps Full Access To Your Network Activity

from Hackernoon I have been a longtime iPhone user and decided recently to break out of the wallet garden and explore Android. I am specifically interested in the privacy and security aspect of this operating system. Along my investigations, I came across Net Monitor, an app which allows to monitor the network activity on the smartphone: Privacy Friendly Net Monitor monitors active network activity and provides information on the scanned connections and apps. The Connection’s local and remote socket information is displayed along with a resolved hostname information and protocol evaluation based on well-known ports. Known un-/encrypted protocols are automatically marked. This app belongs […]

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Here Is How to Fend Off a Hijacking of Home Devices

from NYTs MODERN homes today are getting internet-connected light bulbs, thermostats, TVs and speakers. So with a simple voice command or the touch of a button on our smartphones, we can set the temperature, turn on a light or prepare the TV to record a program. What could go wrong? A lot more than most people are prepared for, it turns out. If one of these devices gets hijacked, hackers could potentially snoop around for sensitive data like financial or health information. Or they could use a network of compromised devices to perform a widespread attack that takes down major websites, […]

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Court Ruling Stands: US Has No Right To Seize Data From World’s Servers

from ars technica An evenly split federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that it won’t revisit its July decision that allowed Microsoft to squash a US court warrant for e-mail stored on its servers in Dublin, Ireland. The 4-4 vote by the 2nd US Circuit Court of Appeals sets the stage for a potential Supreme Court showdown over the US government’s demands that it be able to reach into the world’s servers with the assistance of the tech sector. A three-judge panel of the 2nd Circuit had ruled that federal law, notably the Stored Communications Act, allows US authorities to seize content on US-based […]

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Your Smartphone Is A Civil Rights Issue

from TED The smartphone you use reflects more than just personal taste … it could determine how closely you can be tracked, too. Privacy expert and TED Fellow Christopher Soghoian details a glaring difference between the encryption used on Apple and Android devices and urges us to pay attention to a growing digital security divide. “If the only people who can protect themselves from the gaze of the government are the rich and powerful, that’s a problem,” he says. “It’s not just a cybersecurity problem — it’s a civil rights problem.” More here.

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Think Your Email’s Private? Think Again

from TED Sending an email message is like sending a postcard, says scientist Andy Yen in this thought-provoking talk: Anyone can read it. Yet encryption, the technology that protects the privacy of email communication, does exist. It’s just that until now it has been difficult to install and a hassle to use. Showing a demo of an email program he designed with colleagues at CERN, Yen argues that encryption can be made simple to the point of becoming the default option, providing true email privacy to all. More here.

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Don’t Connect to a Public Wi-Fi Network Anywhere You Wouldn’t Go Barefoot

from New America Weekly We’ve all done it. Maybe because of work pressures—you need to catch a plane but are also pushing toward a deadline. Maybe out of sheer boredom—your flight is delayed yet another hour and there is really only so much time you can spend at the airport bar before noon. Whatever the reason, we’ve all been there—stuck in the airport, looking at a list of little Wi-Fi signals, some without the lock next to them, wondering … it couldn’t hurt, could it? Just this once? Of course, airports aren’t the only place with skeezy Wi-Fi. Coffee shops, […]

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Telecoms’ Ambitions on Targeted Ads Seen Curbed by F.C.C.’s New Privacy Rules

from NYTimes In recent years, companies like Verizon and AT&T have made no secret of their ambitions to build online advertising businesses that can take on the behemoths of Silicon Valley. But those plans, and the billions of dollars that have been invested in them, are in peril after federal officials approved broad new privacy rules that will limit the extent to which companies can collect and use digital information about individuals. The Federal Communications Commission’s ruling on Thursday that internet service providers must get permission to gather and share consumers’ private data, including web browsing, app use and location, threw a wrench in the plans of several telecommunications […]

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Why You Should Care About Yahoo Secretly Scanning Emails Even If You Use Gmail

from NewStatesman Yahoo reportedly built secret software to allow intelligence agencies to scan its users’ emails last year. Here’s why this affects everyone – even those without a Yahoo account.  If someone guessed, around, let’s say, 1948, that one day 280 million people’s personal correspondence would be systematically sifted, scrutinised and spied on by government agencies, it would have made a great dystopian novel. The news broken by Reuters yesterday, however, that Yahoo secretly built a software programme in 2015 to scan all of its users’ incoming emails on behalf of US intelligence services has barely caused a ripple in the general population. Who […]

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Facebook Is Watching And Tracking You More Than You Probably Realize

from USAToday Whenever you’re on Facebook, do you ever get the feeling that you’re being watched? An ad pops up that’s right up your alley, or three new articles show up in your feed that are similar to something you’ve just clicked on. Sometimes it seems like Facebook knows you personally, and that’s because it does. It has algorithms that track what you like, watch and click on. Facebook uses this information to target ads to users on behalf of advertisers. Facebook itself isn’t the only culprit. Tons of companies use Facebook’s platform as a way to track you. In fact, […]

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