privacy

Thu
23
Nov
John Lister's picture

Google Tracked User Location even when GPS Turned Off

Google has admitted it tracked the location of cellphone users even when they had location services switched off. It says it's now stopped an 11-month program designed to improve "message delivery." Having location services switched on allows an ... Android phone to collect information about a user's location, commonly combining GPS data, details of nearby WiFi networks, and the location of nearby cellphone towers - all of which can be detected by a phone. Google - and third party app makers - use this data for tools such as mapping, navigation and finding nearby outlets of a particular chain of ... (view more)

Thu
14
Sep
John Lister's picture

Windows 10 Gets Privacy Boost

Microsoft is to give Windows 10 users more details about exactly what an app is able to do on their computer. It's a similar security measure to that available on some mobile device apps. Until now, apps only usually have to get a Windows user's ... permission when they want to access location data, for example in a mapping tool. That's changing with the 2017 Fall Creators Update, the next major twice-yearly feature update for Windows 10. Microphone and Webcam Access Need Permission The change means apps will need the user's permission to access key hardware components on the computer such as a ... (view more)

Wed
19
Jul
John Lister's picture

FBI Warns: Smart Toys are a Security Risk

The FBI has warned parents about privacy risks with 'smart' toys. It's more of a general warning rather than covering a specific product. The agency says the warning covers a wide range of toys which "incorporate technologies that learn and tailor ... their behaviors based on user interactions." The key risk is when the toy has an Internet connection, meaning data can be passed on to a third party. According to the FBI, the risks are particularly great given such toys may contain "sensors, microphones, cameras, data storage components, and other multimedia capabilities ... (view more)

Wed
05
Jul
John Lister's picture

Judge Says Facebook Cookie 'Tracking' was Legal

A judge has thrown out a lawsuit which accused Facebook of tracking web users after they logged out of the site. Judge Edward Davila said the people bringing the case hadn't proven any financial loss or a breach of reasonable privacy expectations. ... The case involves website cookies, which are small text files created by a browser and stored on a user's computer. The cookies are readable by websites and can be used to identify the user and customize the content they see when visiting a page. In this case, the cookies were being read by third party websites that included a "Facebook ... (view more)

Fri
30
Jun
Dennis Faas's picture

How to Fix: 3 Ways to Keep Emails Private When You're Away from the PC

Infopackets Reader "Sundeep" writes: " Dear Dennis, I am using Windows 10 and my email is always open and accessible. I want to be able to log out of my emails so no one else can see them. How can I make it so that my email is kept private, so no ... one else can see it on my computer when I'm away from the machine? " My response: If you don't want your emails accessible whenever you are signed in, there are a few options. Lock the machine or sign out when it is not being used. If you lock the machine, everything on the desktop will remain where it is until you sign back in. If you log out, ... (view more)

Wed
24
Aug
John Lister's picture

Report: Windows Privacy vs Security a 'False Choice'

A consumer rights group has slammed Windows 10's privacy settings. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) says Microsoft is unfairly linking privacy to security in its update system. The attack comes in a lengthy blog post by the EFF's Amul Kalia, ... published just after Microsoft released its Windows 10 Anniversary Update. It starts by recapping the numerous complaints about Microsoft using unfair measures to try to maximize the number of people upgrading to the system, including closing an on-screen window as consent for the installation. (Source: eff.org ) Data Transfer Is " ... (view more)

Fri
27
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

How to: Safely Disable Windows 10 Tracking

Infopackets Reader Tom H. writes: " Dear Dennis, I'm currently running Windows 7 and would like to upgrade to Windows 10. However, the one thing I'm greatly concerned about is how Windows 10 will track and share my information online. In your ... opinion is Windows 10 worth it or should I stick with Windows 7? " My response: That's a good question, and there a number of things to consider. Updates for the Life of the Machine In my opinion, it's definitely worth the upgrade to go from Windows 7 or 8 to Windows 10 simply for the fact that you will be running the latest operating system from ... (view more)

Thu
26
Nov
John Lister's picture

FCC to Tighten Online Privacy and Security Oversight

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has hired a noted privacy campaigner to investigate Internet providers. It's part of a joint move with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to strengthen security and privacy measures in the communications ... industry. Jonathan Mayer has been hired as the FCC chief technologist in its enforcement division. In effect, he'll deal with the practical issues involved in deciding whether or not a company is following the law. It's a strong sign the commission intends to get tougher on company violations. New Appointee Exposed Google Trickery Mayer ... (view more)

Wed
30
Sep
John Lister's picture

Microsoft: Win10 Data Collection 'Benefits Users'

Microsoft has insisted that all Windows 10 data collection is for the benefit of users. Representatives also stress that any data collected is encrypted before transmitted to Microsoft servers. The company has been under attack ever since Windows ... 10's release, and as it became increasingly clear regarding information the system collects and transmits back to Microsoft. While users have control over much of this data collection, it's often switched on by default and finding the relevant settings to switch it off can be confusing. At one stage Microsoft had to defend itself against ... (view more)

Tue
10
Feb
John Lister's picture

Samsung Smart TV Listens; Data Shared 'Third Party'

Samsung has caused outrage after careful examination of its Smart TV terms and conditions suggest it might listen in on conversations and then pass on details to a data collection agency. The company insists any chat that the television does ... overhear would be treated with the utmost confidence. The controversy involves Samsung's range of televisions that include an Internet connection for features, such as online video access. Some models also include the ability for users to control the television using voice commands, rather than by remote control. Samsung says it may transmit the audio ... (view more)

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