Articles about privacy

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UK.gov told: Your frantic farming of pupils' data is getting a little creepy

Plans to expand the vast National Pupil Database to include information on why kids leave mainstream education have been slammed by privacy campaigners. The government's stated aim is to better understand how and why pupils end up with alternative provision (AP) by adding more detail to the information collected in the annual …
Rebecca Hill, 13 Dec 2017

Netflix silent about ridicule as it discusses punters' viewing habits

A tweet sent in jest from Netflix's official Twitter account on Sunday evening has called the company's data practices into question. "To the 53 people who've watched A Christmas Prince every day for the past 18 days: Who hurt you?" a company representative said, via the social media and election-swaying service. To the …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Dec 2017
Canada datacenter

Canuck privacy commissioner to dig into Uber data breach

Canada's privacy commissioner has launched a formal investigation into the massive data breach concealed by the ride-hailing app company Uber. Last month, Uber's new CEO revealed that a year previously the details of 57 million customer and driver accounts had been stolen, but the company had decided not to divulge the breach …
Kieren McCarthy, 11 Dec 2017
A tortoise catches an orange frisbee. Photo by Shutterstock

European Parliament's ePrivacy rep bemoans members' slow progress

Interview European Union nations are holding up discussions on the hotly debated new ePrivacy law, risking unnecessary regulatory confusion, the MEP leading the wrangling through the European Parliament has said. Initially, the EU intended to implement the ePrivacy Regulation – which sets out privacy rules for electronic communications …
Rebecca Hill, 11 Dec 2017

Rogue PIs found guilty of illegally snagging personal financial info

Staff at a firm of loss adjusters and two rogue private investigators the biz hired have been found guilty of data protection offences. A jury at Maidstone Crown Court returned 15 guilty verdicts in a case brought by the Information Commissioner's Office as part of a wider investigation into corporate use of dodgy gumshoes. …
Rebecca Hill, 8 Dec 2017
My Friend Cayla and i-Que robot

Creepy Cayla doll violates liberté publique, screams French data protection agency

The French data protection agency has issued a formal notice to a biz peddling allegedly insecure toys, just in time for Christmas. The mass-marketed toys in question – Genesis Toys' My Friend Cayla doll and i-Que robot – are Bluetooth-enabled so they can capture and analyse children's speech through an app on – ideally – …
Rebecca Hill, 4 Dec 2017
danger

Google to crack down on apps that snoop

Google has warned Android developers to give users better warnings about their apps' data collection behaviours, or it will flag their failings. Last Friday, the company announced revisions to Safe Browsing rules and "expanded enforcement of Google's Unwanted Software Policy". If developers don't comply within 60 days, Google …
web snoop

UK.gov admits Investigatory Powers Act illegal under EU law

Police forces will no longer be able to grant themselves access to surveillance data if new government proposals to the Snooper's Charter are accepted. The move is one of a number of proposed changes (PDF) to the data retention rules in the controversial Investigatory Powers Act, which the government has been forced to admit …
Rebecca Hill, 30 Nov 2017

Used iPhone Safari in 2011-12? You might qualify for Google bucks

Consumer rights advocates have launched a class action lawsuit against Google, claiming the biz took millions of iPhone users' personal information illegally. The campaign, dubbed Google You Owe Us, is led by former Which? executive director Richard Lloyd. It focuses on the revelation that, in 2011 and 2012, Google bypassed …
Rebecca Hill, 30 Nov 2017
A 'connected' TV watches over its owner. Pic via shutterstock

Surveillance Capitalism thinks it won, but there's still time to unplug it

On a walk across the show floor at January's Consumer Electronics Show, a friend working in technology for nearly thirty years expressed unease at where it all seemed to be headed. As I pulled my head away from a consumer door lock containing an embedded retinal scanner, I replied. “I don’t know what you’re talking about." …
Mark Pesce, 28 Nov 2017

Permissionless data slurping: Why Google's latest bombshell matters

Comment According to an old Chinese proverb: "When a wise man points at the Moon, an idiot looks at his finger." Google may have been hoping that you were examining a finger, not reading a Quartz story yesterday, which reveals how Android phones send location data to Google without you even knowing it. Google received the data even if …
Andrew Orlowski, 22 Nov 2017
Android 6 Marshmallow Logo

Wait, did Oracle tip off world to Google's creepy always-on location tracking in Android?

Analysis Having evidently forgotten about that Street View Wi-Fi-harvesting debacle, Google has admitted constantly collecting the whereabouts of Android devices regardless of whether or not they have location tracking enabled. Between 2007 and 2010, during the debut of its Street View service, Google gathered all the Wi-Fi network …
Thomas Claburn, 22 Nov 2017
Police officers in bodu armour mill around in field

Cops jam a warrant into Apple to make it cough up Texas mass killer's iPhone, iCloud files

Texas Rangers have obtained a search warrant for the contents of a blood-splattered iPhone SE belonging to gunman Devin Kelley who killed 26 people in a murder-suicide at a church. Over the weekend, the US state's cops served the Cupertino phone-flinger a warrant demanding photos, messages and other potential evidence on …
Shaun Nichols, 20 Nov 2017
kids in classroom with raised hands

Germany slaps ban on kids' smartwatches for being 'secret spyware'

The German telecoms regulator has banned the sale of children's smartwatches that allow users to secretly listen in on nearby conversations. The move is the latest in a string of actions taken by the Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, against devices that allow people to snoop on each other. The agency said the …
Rebecca Hill, 20 Nov 2017
Privacy

User experience test tools: A privacy accident waiting to happen

Researchers working on browser fingerprinting found themselves distracted by a much more serious privacy breach: analytical scripts siphoning off masses of user interactions. Steven Englehardt (a PhD student at Princeton), Arvind Narayanan (a Princeton assistant professor) and Gunes Acar (postdoctoral researcher at Princeton …

Anonymized location-tracking data proves anything but: Apps squeal on you like crazy

Anonymized location data won't necessarily preserve your anonymity. M. Keith Chen, associate professor of economics at UCLA's Anderson School of Management, and Ryne Rohla, a doctoral student at Washington State University, accomplished this minor miracle of data science by assuming that the GPS coordinates transmitted by …
Thomas Claburn, 17 Nov 2017
Stingray

Hey, cop! You need a warrant to stalk a phone with a Stingray – judge

Analysis A New York judge has this month told cops that they need to get a warrant before they can use a controversial Stingray phone-tracking gadget to hunt down suspects. Justice Martin Murphy of the Kings County Supreme Court said the New York Police Department (NYPD) could not use crucial evidence it gathered while trying to locate …
Kieren McCarthy, 17 Nov 2017
Image by beccarra http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-1124891p1.html

Privacy Pass protocol promises private perusing

Boffins have harnessed privacy-preserving crypto to create a browser extension that allows users to authenticate to services without being tracked. The extension, Privacy Pass, offers people another way to authenticate themselves without having to repeatedly solve internet challenge-response tests like CAPTCHAs. Alex Davidson …
Rebecca Hill, 14 Nov 2017

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