privacy

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)

Thu
30
Aug
John Lister's picture

'ShutUp10' Simplifies Windows 10 Privacy Settings

Users frustrated with Windows 10's complicated privacy settings have an alternative option. A third-party tool called ' ShutUp10 ' offers a one-stop dashboard to control exactly what data is shared. The free tool can be downloaded directly from the ... developers O&O Software . It's a standalone application meaning you can run it without having to install it first, in turn meaning there's none of the bundled 'crapware' that comes with some free applications. Once opened, the tool lists just over 100 settings in 13 categories: Privacy App Privacy Security Web ... (view more)

Tue
22
May
John Lister's picture

Google Sued $4B for 'Secretly Tracking Users'

Google is being sued for a potential $4 billion over claims it intentionally bypassed security settings on iPhones. It's likely to succeed following similar cases in the past. The case has been filed in the UK by a group called 'Google You Owe Us'. ... They are seeking "representative action" status, which is similar to class action status in the United States. If that's granted, any settlement or damages in the case could apply to as many as 4.4 million people. (Source: theguardian.com ) Claims May Sound Familiar On the face of it, the case looks bad for Google as it covers the same issue ... (view more)

Wed
02
May
John Lister's picture

Firefox Browser To Carry Ads

The Firefox browser will soon incorporate paid advertising on its new tab page. It will be personalized to a degree, though developers Mozilla say it won't compromise privacy. The ads will appear in the form of links to pages. These links will ... appear whenever a user opens a new tab in the browser, before they type in an address. They won't appear on the home page that shows up when users first open Firefox itself. The new tab page will contain a list of recommended links to pages the user might find interesting. Some of these will be "sponsored" results while others will be included without ... (view more)

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