privacy

Tue
01
Nov
John Lister's picture

Remote Worker Fired For Switching Off Webcam

A court says an employee who refused to keep a webcam switched on was wrongly fired. He was awarded around $72,000 USD in compensation. The man, whose name was not revealed in the case, worked remotely in the Netherlands for a Florida-based IT ... company called Chetu. After working in the role for almost three years, he was told to take part in a "Corrective Action Program - Virtual Classroom." This involved keeping a webcam switched on throughout his nine-hour working day. (Source: bbc.co.uk ) The employee refused to do so, arguing that he was already sharing his screen with ... (view more)

Mon
09
May
John Lister's picture

Google Play Store Adds Privacy Info

Google has started including detailed privacy information about the Android apps in the official Play Store. It's up to developers to fill out the details and Google won't be checking them in advance. The listings page for each app will now have a ... summary box listing key data privacy and security details. Users can then click or tap through to see more detailed information. The box will note how many types of data the app collects, whether it is stored in encrypted form, and whether user can easily delete it. It will also list if the developer has put the app through an independent privacy ... (view more)

Mon
27
Dec
John Lister's picture

DuckDuckGo Launches Desktop Browser

The developers behind a "privacy focused" search engine are working on their own desktop web browser. DuckDuckGo is already available in mobile form with a reported 150 million downloads. The DuckDuckGo search engine is based around user privacy, ... with minimal data collected. It's funded through ads that relate solely to the search term a user looks for, rather than any data about their browsing history. The reduced reliance on personal data does arguably mean the search results aren't as relevant as with other search tools, though the developers claim this is better because users don't get a ... (view more)

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)

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