This New Tech Makes It Harder For ISPs To Spy On You

from Fast Company With the exception–perhaps–of your therapist or significant other, no one has more power to learn your secrets than your internet service provider. An ISP can see every website that you choose to access. And with the scrapping of Obama-era privacy regulations last year, the U.S. federal government has no rules against ISPs collecting and selling your information to marketers. But new tech fixes are plugging the privacy holes that the government won’t. The effort began in April, when Firefox browser maker Mozilla and content delivery network Cloudflare rolled out measures to block one of the easiest ways […]

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Apple’s Use of Face Recognition in the New iPhone: Implications

from ACLU Apple unveiled its new iPhone X Tuesday, and it will include extensive face recognition capabilities. Face recognition (as I have discussed) is one of the more dangerous biometrics from a privacy standpoint, because it can be leveraged for mass tracking across society. But Apple has a proven record of achieving widespread acceptance for technologies that it incorporates into its phones. So what are we to think of this new deployment? The first question is whether the technology will be successful. Face and iris recognition technology incorporated into some other phones (such as Samsung’s) has widely been seen as […]

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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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Microsoft’s Top Lawyer Becomes a Civil Rights Crusader

from MIT Technology Review When Apple CEO Tim Cook refused to help the FBI get into a mass murderer’s iPhone last winter, he was hailed for his boldness in fighting the government on a matter of principle. In fact, Cook was borrowing from the playbook of a top executive at Apple’s dowdier rival Microsoft—a genial, sandy-haired man named Brad Smith. Smith has taken the government to court four times in the past three years, each time accusing it of breaching the Constitution in its efforts to get its hands on Microsoft customers’ data. He believes computers and the Internet have weakened […]

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Tim Cook Says Apple Will Fight Us Gov’t Over Court-Ordered Iphone Backdoor

from ars technica Apple chief Tim Cook has attacked the recent court order that compels Apple to unlock and decrypt the San Bernardino gunman’s iPhone. “Opposing this order is not something we take lightly. We feel we must speak up in the face of what we see as an overreach by the US government,” says an open letter published by Cook early this morning. Late yesterday, a federal judge in California ordered Apple to help the US government (the FBI) unlock and decrypt the iPhone 5C belonging to Syed Rizwan Farook, who shot up an office party in San Bernardino in December 2015. In the past, […]

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IoT Opens New Privacy, Surveillance Issues, Says Harvard Study

from MediaPost Data wants to be free. Not as in there not being a financial cost, but more in terms of being accessible to many. But not all entities want data to be free, for a host of reasons. The U.S. government has since the early Snowden days a few years back suggested that their ability to track suspects using technology is under threat because of encryption by tech companies. But a new study just out from the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University says that is not the case. The study, Don’t Panic; Making Progress on […]

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Obama Administration Won’t Seek Encryption-Backdoor Legislation

from ars technica FBI Director James Comey told a congressional panel that the Obama administration won’t ask Congress for legislation requiring the tech sector to install backdoors into their products so the authorities can access encrypted data. Comey said the administration for now will continue lobbying private industry to create backdoors to allow the authorities to open up locked devices to investigate criminal cases and terrorism. “The administration has decided not to seek a legislative remedy now, but it makes sense to continue the conversations with industry,” Comey told a Senate panel of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Thursday. Comey’s […]

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Verizon’s Mobile ‘Supercookies’ Seen as Threat to Privacy

from NYTs For the last several months, cybersecurity experts have been warning Verizon Wireless that it was putting the privacy of its customers at risk. The computer codes the company uses to tag and follow its mobile subscribers around the web, they said, could make those consumers vulnerable to covert tracking and profiling. It looks as if there was reason to worry. This month Jonathan Mayer, a lawyer and computer science graduate student at Stanford University, reported on his blog that Turn, an advertising software company, was using Verizon’s unique customer codes to regenerate its own tracking tags after consumers […]

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On Privacy, Free Speech, & Related Matters – Richard Posner vs David Cole & Others

from Concurring Opinions I’m exaggerating a little, but I think privacy is primarily wanted by people because they want to conceal information to fool others. – Richard Posner Privacy is overrated – Richard Posner (2013)  Much of what passes for the name of privacy is really just trying to conceal the disreputable parts of your conduct. Privacy is mainly about trying to improve your social and business opportunities by concealing the sorts of bad activities that would cause other people not to want to deal with you. – Richard Posner (2014) More here.

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