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Category: privacy (page 1 of 9)

Apple says the iPhone doesn’t listen to your conversations

iphone-ed.jpgLast month, members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee fired off a letter to Apple following reports that phones and other devices, such as smart speakers, can listen in on conversations. Now, the tech giant has sent the Representatives its r…


No Google Employee Has Fallen Prey To Phishing Since They Started Using These $20 Devices

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTctsOjyYVnzpxwAXeJRR2 No Google Employee Has Fallen Prey To Phishing Since They Started Using These $20 Devices  Tech TimesHow Google has kept 85K employees from getting phished since 2017  TechRepublicMandatory keys cut successful phishing attacks on Google to zero  EngadgetGoogle: Security Keys Neutralized Employee Phishing  Krebs on SecurityFull coverage


Uber, Lyft driver creepily livestreams videos of his passengers on Twitch


If you’re in the St. Louis area, you may be getting filmed by this guy who drives for Uber and Lyft.

Hundreds of Uber and Lyft rides have been broadcast live on Twitch by driver Jason Gargac this year, St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Saturday, all of them without the passengers’ permission.

Gargac, who goes by the name JustSmurf on Twitch, regularly records the interior of his car while working for Uber and Lyft with a camera in the front of the car, allowing viewers to see the faces of his passengers, illuminated by his (usually) purple lights, and hear everything they say. At no point does Gargac make passengers aware that they are being filmed or livestreamed. Read more…

More about Uber, Lyft, Twitch, Livestreaming, and Entertainment


Microsoft Calls For Federal Regulation of Facial Recognition


“Facial recognition will require the public and private sectors alike to step up – and to act,” says Brad Smith, the company’s president.


Trump’s Supreme Court nominee opposes net neutrality, supports NSA bulk collection


President Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee will face more scrutiny for his ideological leanings around issues like abortion than his thoughts on tech, but we do know a bit about the latter.

On Monday, Trump nominated Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat that opened when Justice Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement in late June. A list of Trump’s potential picks circulated previously and Kavanaugh was believed to be a frontrunner. Kavanaugh, who previously clerked for Kennedy, was appointed to the Washington D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2003 by former president George W. Bush and eventually confirmed in 2006.

As future digital privacy cases wend their way toward the Supreme Court, Kavanaugh’s stated views on the NSA’s spying program could prove relevant. In 2015, Kavanaugh sided in favor of the NSA’s warrantless bulk collection of phone metadata, issuing strong support for the controversial practice and categorizing its collection as a “special need” that eclipses personal privacy concerns.

In his own words:

“The Government’s collection of telephony metadata from a third party such as a telecommunications service provider is not considered a search under the Fourth Amendment, at least under the Supreme Court’s decision in Smith v. Maryland, 442 U.S. 735 (1979).

… Even if the bulk collection of telephony metadata constitutes a search, cf. United States v. Jones, 132 S. Ct. 945, 954-57 (2012) (Sotomayor, J., concurring), the Fourth Amendment does not bar all searches and seizures. It bars only unreasonable searches and seizures. And the Government’s metadata collection program readily qualifies as reasonable under the Supreme Court’s case law. The Fourth Amendment allows governmental searches and seizures without individualized suspicion when the Government demonstrates a sufficient “special need” – that is, a need beyond the normal need for law enforcement – that outweighs the intrusion on individual liberty. In short, the Government’s program fits comfortably within the Supreme Court precedents applying the special needs doctrine.”

Kavanaugh is also an opponent of net neutrality. In a 2017 dissent, he argued that rules supporting net neutrality impinges on an internet service provider’s “editorial discretion” and therefore violates its First Amendment rights.

“In short, although the briefs and commentary about the net neutrality issue are voluminous, the legal analysis is straightforward: If the Supreme Court’s major rules doctrine means what it says, then the net neutrality rule is unlawful because Congress has not clearly authorized the FCC to issue this major rule. And if the Supreme Court’s Turner Broadcasting decisions mean what they say, then the net neutrality rule is unlawful because the rule impermissibly infringes on the Internet service providers’ editorial discretion. To state the obvious, the Supreme Court could always refine or reconsider the major rules doctrine or its decisions in the Turner Broadcasting cases. But as a lower court, we do not possess that power. Our job is to apply Supreme Court precedent as it stands. For those two alternative and independent reasons, the FCC’s net neutrality regulation is unlawful and must be vacated.”

Kavanaugh, a reliable conservative, also opposes the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and argued in 2018 that the bureau’s existence is an unconstitutional threat to executive power. In theory, the CFPB advocates for consumer interests in incidents like the Equifax hack, but CFPB supporters argue that the agency has been gutted during the Trump administration at the hands of its acting director, Trump appointee Mick Mulvaney.

Broadly, Kavanaugh looks like a friend to big business and an enemy to digital privacy advocates, though we’ll likely learn more of his record as he moves forward in the sure to be controversial confirmation process.

Let’s block ads! (Why?)


Samsung phones are dangerously sending random photos to random contacts


Samsung phones are no stranger to quirky problems, but this time the problem may actually be more serious than a phone exploding in your pocket. Apparently, several devices, including but not limited to the Galaxy S9, are spontaneously sending random photos to contacts in a user’s phone. It could be any photo sent to any […]

Come comment on this article: Samsung phones are dangerously sending random photos to random contacts


Gmail app developers have been reading your emails


Gmail app developers have been reading your emails  The VergeGoogle Says It Doesn’t Go Through Your Inbox Anymore, But It Lets Other Apps Do It  GizmodoGoogle reportedly allows outside app developers to read people’s Gmails  Business InsiderFull coverage


California Passes Sweeping Law to Protect Online Privacy

images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSNcMCA-R4toAl4OcmPi_g California Passes Sweeping Law to Protect Online Privacy  New York TimesBig Tech Worried as California Law Signals US Privacy Push  BloombergSweeping Data Privacy Bill Approved in California  U.S. News & World ReportWith the federal government missing in action, California should set its own rules for internet privacy  Los Angeles TimesFull coverage


California Has 48 Hours to Pass this Privacy Bill or Else


Recent headlines have suggested that California lawmakers are considering a bill that would give Californians “unprecedented control over their data.” This is true but that is not the whole story.

Read more…


Android users receive creepy ‘Superuser’ Facebook request for full access to their devices


Facebook wants all your data, and, when it comes to Android users, it’s not afraid to ask for it. 

Several users of the social media service posted on Twitter early Friday morning to report that their Android Facebook apps were requesting “superuser access” to their devices. That’s right, Facebook apparently wants “full access” to the phones, for that little period of time known as “forever.”

As Bleeping Computer reported, it’s not exactly clear what is going on here, but a possible coding error could be to blame. We reached out to Facebook for comment but received no response as of press time.  Read more…

More about Facebook, Android, Android Apps, Facebook App, and Tech


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