Articles about privacy

Internet of snitches: anyone who can sniff 'Thing' traffic knows what you're doing

Princeton boffins reckon the Internet of woefully insecure things yields sensitive information about connected homes with nothing more than a bit of network traffic analysis. The problem is that single devices have very individualistic traffic profiles – a thermostat behaves differently from a lighting controller, both of …
Clock gears, photo via: Shutterstock

Network Time Protocol updated to spook-harden user comms

The Internet Engineering Task Force has taken another small step in protecting everybody's privacy – this time, in making the Network Time Protocol a bit less spaffy. This Internet Draft, published last week, calls for changes in Network Time Protocol (NTP) clients – and devs will be pleased to hear it won't be that difficult …
Cloud storage

Microsoft court victory prompts call for data-grabbing regime

The Senate Judiciary Committee Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism on Wednesday held a hearing to explore the government's inability to have its cake and eat it too. In July last year, three judges from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the Stored Communications Act does not require Microsoft to reveal …
Thomas Claburn, 25 May 2017

Google now mingles everything you've bought with everywhere you've been

In a move with echoes of the fictional internet giant described in Dave Eggers' The Circle, Google's has begun trawling through billions of personal credit card records, matching them to your browser, location and advertising histories. In The Circle, the eponymous company achieves birth-to-death information dominance, or " …
Andrew Orlowski, 24 May 2017
Eye of Sauron with Mount Doom in the background. Still from the film version of JRR Tolkien's Lord of the Rings. Copyright New Line Cinema

Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace

Google wants stores to gather purchase data on its behalf, to bolster its case that advertising on the platform works. Lest you fret about the gross invasion of privacy involved, rest assured that the Chocolate Factory promises the info will be anonymised. (Stop laughing, anonymity researchers. We're sure Google means what it …

House GOP takes crack at ISP privacy bill

The US Representatives who just weeks ago repealed privacy rules for ISPs now want to enact a new set of restrictions. Tennessee Republican rep Marsha Blackburn is sponsoring the bill [PDF], known cheekily as the "Balancing the Rights of Web Surfers Equally and Responsibly (or BROWSER) Act of 2017." The bill would explicitly …
Shaun Nichols, 22 May 2017
Shocked couple scream and clutch their hair

Netgear 'fixes' router by adding phone-home features that record your IP and MAC address

Netgear NightHawk R7000 users who ran last week's firmware upgrade need to check their settings, because the company added a remote data collection feature to the units. A sharp-eyed user posted the T&Cs change to Slashdot. Netgear lumps the slurp as routine diagnostic data. “Such data may include information regarding the …

Australian privacy commissioner flags new data mining rules for government agencies

Australia's Department of Human Services (DHS) might have given itself a clean bill of health over its notorious “Robodebt” data-matching program, but Privacy Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim wants to check it out for himself. Speaking to a Senate inquiry into the program today, Pilgrim said the inquiry will take place after the …

Bell Canada hacked: 2m account details swiped by mystery miscreants

Bell Canada said Tuesday 1.9 million customer account details were swiped by hackers – although stressed no payment card numbers or passwords were slurped. The nation's largest telco said it is working with Canadian police to figure out who was responsible for the disclosure of the customer email addresses, and phone numbers …
Shaun Nichols, 16 May 2017
Delta automated bag drop machines

What could go wrong? Delta to use facial recog to automate bag drop-off

Delta Air Lines plans to deploy four self-service bag drop machines at Minneapolis–St Paul International Airport this summer, one of which will include a facial recognition system to match those depositing bags with their passport photos. Delta senior veep of airport customer service and cargo Garth Joyce, in a canned remark, …
Thomas Claburn, 16 May 2017
 Moe answers a prank call from Bart and Lisa. (c) The Simpsons TM & Fox Pictures

German court set to rule on legality of IP address harvesting

Germany's federal court is set to hand down a ruling about the legality of storing IP addresses. It'll be the culmination of a long-running suit brought by Patrick Beyer, who wants to prevent German government Websites from storing his IP addresses. The government's argument is that storing visitors' IPs, along with a …
Woman smiling on phone/. photo by shutterstock

Amazon's Alexa is worst receptionist ever: Crazy exes, stalkers' calls put through automatically

Amazon's voice-controlled assistant Alexa and its Echo devices now sport the ability to take your phone calls – so long as you don't ever plan on ignoring calls from anyone. The Alexa Calling feature, announced by Amazon earlier this week, allows Amazon Echo devices and the Alexa app to place and accept phone calls to and from …
Shaun Nichols, 12 May 2017
Call centre worker looks frustrated and unhappy. Photo by Shutterstock

Just 99.5 million nuisance calls... and KeurBOOM! A £400K megafine

A UK firm found responsible for orchestrating 99.5 million nuisance calls has been fined a record £400,000 (US$517,550) by the Information Commissioner’s Office. Keurboom Communications – which has been placed in liquidation in a move that means it’s unlikely that the fine will be paid – was issued with the ICO’s highest-ever …
John Leyden, 11 May 2017

Mozilla wants EU to slow down its ePrivacy Directive process

Mozilla wants the EU to tap the brake on a privacy process slated to deliver a new ePrivacy Directive by May 2018, calling the timeline “overly aggressive”. While saying it supports the main features of the proposal currently in front of the European Commission, in this post by legal advisor Sherrie Quinn, Mozilla hopes Europe …

Productivity Commish changes mind on control over personal info

Updated Australians won't get an opt-out from broad data collection, if the government adopts recommendations made by the Productivity Commission. Apparently, a campaign of submission-writing nobbled the idea that people need to know or control what's done with their data, because the commission's report makes a full U-turn from its …

Guardian Soulmates users spammed with smut following breach

Updated Lonely hearts on the dating website Guardian Soulmates have been targeted with sexually explicit spam emails after trolls abused leaked contact information. Guardian News & Media, which runs the site, blamed a third-party tech supplier for the issue, which has since being resolved, the BBC reports. Only email addresses and …
John Leyden, 8 May 2017
Boxer suit flowers photo via Shutterstock

Debenhams Flowers shoppers stung by bank card-stealing tech pest

Malware has infected backend systems used by Brit high street chain Debenhams – and swiped 26,000 people's personal information in the process. The cyber-break-in targeted the online portal for the retailer's florist arm, Debenhams Flowers. Miscreants had access to the internal systems at Ecomnova, the biz that runs the …
John Leyden, 5 May 2017
Couple in snorkelling gear at the travel agents... Comedy snap. Photo by Shutterstock

Reservation biz Sabre books into the hacked hotel of shame

Travel industry giant Sabre’s hotel reservation system has sprung a leak: its software was compromised, potentially exposing people's payment card details to crooks. Sabre's hacked technology is used at more than 32,000 hotels and guest houses. The biz, which is headquartered in Southlake, Texas, admitted the security breach …
John Leyden, 4 May 2017

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