privacy

Wed
01
Dec
John Lister's picture

Android 12 Brings Incredibly Useful Privacy Tools

The latest version of Android adds several new privacy features. However, users may need to make some manual tweaks to take full advantage. The changes come in Android 12 which is rolling out to newer phones at the moment. Older models will either ... get it later on or will never be able to get it, depending on the manufacturer. The biggest change is more information about the permissions system. That's the set-up by which users don't have to give an app complete access to the hardware and software on their system. Instead they can individually grant or restrict individual permissions, each of ... (view more)

Thu
28
Oct
John Lister's picture

Brave 'Privacy Browser' Ditches Google

A browser that promotes privacy as its key feature is ditching Google as its default search engine. Brave will instead use its own search service, though users are free to change back. Although Brave is based on the same Chromium code as Google ... Chrome, it's marketed towards users worried about privacy. By default it blocks all third-party ads and tracking tools. Until now, the browser has used well-known search engines as the default search tool. These include Google in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom and DuckDuckGo in Germany. However, Brave has been developing its own ... (view more)

Tue
09
Feb
John Lister's picture

3 Billion Online Pics Scraped for Face-Match Database

Canadian privacy regulators say a company that used online photos to train artificial intelligence tools breached privacy rules. They said Clearview had used "the mass collection of biometric information from billions of people, without express ... consent." US company Clearview offers services to law enforcement agencies and private businesses trying to identify people from a photo. It maintains a database of more than three billion images which it uses to try to find a match using artificial intelligence. Clearview gathered most of these pictures by "scraping" online sites such as Flickr. That ... (view more)

Tue
10
Mar
John Lister's picture

Microsoft Revamps Win10 Data Collection Options

Microsoft is changing the options for how Windows 10 computers share data for diagnostic purposes. It's ditching one option and renaming the others, though no PC will start reporting data without the user's permission. The diagnostic data program is ... where computers send information to Microsoft about their activity and any problems. The idea is to help Microsoft spot any bugs as well as assess how widely features are used and thus which are most worthy of further maintenance and development. Some User Control Because there's an obvious tension between improving Windows 10 and addressing ... (view more)

Tue
27
Aug
Dennis Faas's picture

Explained: Do I need a VPN on a Public Network?

Infopackets Reader Neil W. writes: " Dear Dennis, Thanks for your interesting article on whether a VPN is safe for online banking . However, one question I can't seem to find the answer to is: do I need VPN on a public network? Do I need a VPN on a ... private network? What about a VPN on a shared network? An example might include a student doing banking at a university shared network. What do you think? " My response: Short answer: A VPN, or virtual private network is useful in a few cases - for example: hiding your tracks online (to some extent, but with major limitations) or accessing geo- ... (view more)

Thu
08
Aug
John Lister's picture

'Contractors' Listen to Live Skype Calls

Microsoft contractors listen to some Skype calls to check the accuracy of translations, a whistleblower has revealed. Although Microsoft says it meets privacy laws, critics say its terms and conditions don't clearly warn users about this. The human ... listening takes place on some calls that use Skype's "automatic" real-time translation service. Until now, most users have assumed that the translation is done entirely by a combination of speech recognition and artificial intelligence to work out the context of a sentence and find the correct translations. While that's largely the case, a ... (view more)

Wed
07
Aug
John Lister's picture

Tech Giants Could Face Massive Fines

A proposed law would dramatically increase maximum fines that can be imposed on companies that break monopoly rules. Tech firms would be among the most likely to be affected in the admittedly unlikely event the law was enacted. The proposed bill ... would be known as the Monopolization Deterrence Act of 2019. It's designed to change the current system by which the maximum penalty for violating the main US antitrust law, the Sherman Act, is $10 million. That applies regardless of the size of the company or companies involved. Critics say such penalties are little deterrent to major companies, ... (view more)

Tue
06
Aug
John Lister's picture

Site Opens 100 Tabs to Fool Web Trackers

Mozilla has designed a site that will open 100 tabs at once, quite likely crashing a web browser. It's meant as a creative way to show how web tracking works. The stunt is based around cookies: small text files put onto a computer via the browser to ... customize an online session to a website. Third-party tracking cookies are then generated, which keep a record of the sites a user visits. This information is then used by ad servers to deliver targeted ads based on website history. "Track THIS" works by opening 100 tabs selected to represent a particular type of web user. The idea is that there ... (view more)

Wed
24
Jul
John Lister's picture

Google Cracks Down on Rogue Browser Extensions

Google is cracking down on Chrome browser extensions that risk user privacy. The new policies err on the side of caution and follow a Washington Post investigation that claimed millions of users had data stolen by rogue browser extensions. A browser ... extension, also called an "add-on" in some browsers, is a third-party tool that users can incorporate into their web browser. It's designed to add extended functions to the browser, which then make using the browser and web much easier. Examples of extensions include: a password manager, which can remember user passwords and ... (view more)

Tue
01
Jan
John Lister's picture

Apps Share Data With Facebook, Even if No FB Account

20 popular Android apps are sharing user data with Facebook without permission, according to a new report. Privacy International says the data sharing happens even if the user doesn't have a Facebook account. The organization tested 34 apps, each of ... which have been installed at least 10 million times on Android devices. It looked at data that was transmitted through the Facebook Software Development Kit (SDK). The kit is a set of tools that are designed to help app developers coordinate their apps with the Facebook system. This is more commonly associated with retrieving data from ... (view more)

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - privacy