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Privacy News

Data scientists, doctors learning to seek consent

People don’t mind sharing data when they can be partners in its management and application. That is the major takeaway from a recent study conducted by the Society for Participatory Medicine.

Report finds Microsoft Edge 'InPrivate' mode isn't private at all

An investigation into the internals of Microsoft's new Edge web browser has found its InPrivate mode is flawed and continues to store browsing data as normal. Outsiders could work out which sites were viewed with InPrivate, making it insecure.

Electronic Health Records: a gold rush for data thieves

The United States continues to present the largest market of “soft targets” for identity thieves. As security upgrades continue to roll out among America’s millions credit cards, identity thieves are taking the path of least resistance to stay busy

Windows 10 Update mystery solved: Microsoft forgot your privacy

Over the weekend, Microsoft abruptly pulled the Windows 10 November update and gave a minimal explanation that did nothing to curb the ensuing confusion. The update is now back with a full explanation: it could delete your privacy settings.

Google can remotely reset the password of most Android phones

A report prepared by the New York District Attorney's Office has found Google is capable of remotely resetting the password on the majority of Android devices if ordered to by a court. The findings are the latest development in the war on encryption.

Study exposes the secret activities of Android apps

A study has found many popular Android apps waste data by communicating with servers that do nothing to enhance their functionality. It proves it isn't just malicious apps to be wary of as even mainstream titles are sending data in the background.

WhatsApp accessed a user's contacts 23,000 times in one week

Popular instant messaging app WhatsApp has been caught accessing one user's contacts list over 23,000 times in one week. It remains unclear why the app made so many requests as it looked at the list over 3,300 times a day.

$99 dongle 'fixes' your computer's security by killing USB ports

A $99 dongle is seeking to improve PC security by making it impossible to use the USB ports so attackers can't easily steal data. The bizarre device is seeking crowd-funding now and appears to be derived from the recent motherboard-frying Killer USB.

Hacker claims 'less personal control' of our devices is coming

An interview with a security expert who is paid to hack into computer systems has revealed his thoughts on the state of online security. He names Windows Phone as the most secure mobile OS and warns we'll soon see "less personal control" of our devices.

TalkTalk warns of 'significant and sustained' major cyber-attack

UK broadband provider TalkTalk has said its website has been targeted by hackers in a "significant and sustained" cyber-attack. The company's four million customers may have had personal details and card data stolen as an investigation begins.

Apple tells the government it's 'impossible' to decrypt iPhones

Apple has told a federal judge that it would be "impossible" to fulfill any request to decrypt the data on iPhones or add a "back door" to let the authorities in without compromising user privacy.

Apple blacklists hundreds of apps that stole personal user data

Apple has pulled hundreds of iOS apps from the store after a third party report found they were accessing users' personal details including their email address. The issue has thrown Apple's usually stringent app review process into doubt.

Facebook to issue warnings if it detects government spying

Facebook has announced it is rolling out a new feature that will alert users if it detects they may be spied on by state-sponsored attackers. The warnings will be shown after login and are designed to combat unauthorized government surveillance.

Op-Ed: ECJ safeguards EU citizens’ rights with Safe Harbor ruling

Luxembourg - The European Court of Justice (ECJ) has taken another step towards strengthening the European Union and helping to ensure the European integration will leave a lasting legacy, with its recent ruling that invalidates the transatlantic Safe Harbor clause.

Report: Websites can identify you just by analysing how you type

A recent report has found that websites can track their users by doing nothing more than analysing keystrokes made during typing. It follows previous similar discoveries such as tracking using no other factor than the remaining battery on a device.

Facebook hit by another viral copy-and-paste privacy scam

Another Facebook privacy hoax is currently going viral on the social network, asking users to copy and paste a "privacy notice" to their profile if they want to avoid the social network charging $5.99 to retain access to private posts.

'Creepy' Windows 10 may inform parents of LGBT kids seeking help

As the Internet takes fire at Microsoft for its various data collection policies in Windows 10, a recent report highlighted another issue that could affect LGBT teens. The OS could inform parents of child visits to gay help sites, flagging them as porn.

Windows 10: 6GB download found on 7 and 8.1 systems that said no

In yet another instance of suspicious behaviour by Microsoft, many Windows 7 and 8 users have today been outraged to find the company using up-to 6GB of their computer's storage to download Windows 10 files — even when the upgrade has not been reserved.

Apps and websites caught collecting personal data from children

A group of privacy advocates has found many apps and websites aimed specifically at children collect personal information and then share it with third parties. Others run marketing campaigns or prompt children to sign-up to mailing lists.

Not just 10: Microsoft caught spying on Windows 7 and 8 users too

Microsoft has been caught installing updates onto Windows 7 and 8 computers that effectively introduce the same diagnostic telemetry technology used in Windows 10. It indiscriminately uploads data to Microsoft's servers, a major privacy concern for many.

Google tells app developers to bypass Apple's secure new ad tech

Apple is making some changes with iOS 9 that could make it harder to display some types of advert and may break existing ones. Google, one of the largest ad providers, isn't happy and has issued guidance to help developers get around the system.

Cops to delete LPR data as 80GB hard drive 'keeps crashing'

The Oakland Police Department has decided to delete license plate data after six months instead of retaining it indefinitely. The reason isn't really to give residents more privacy but rather because a Windows XP computer's 80GB hard drive is full.

Torrent sites ban Windows 10 users amid privacy fears

Key torrent sites are banning Windows 10 users in fear that the operating system may be sending data back to Microsoft that could identify piracy and land websites in trouble. The sites have claimed that Microsoft is monitoring searches for pirated media.

Toronto police: Two unconfirmed suicides over Ashley Madison hack

Toronto - At least two people may have committed suicide, and a number of "hate crimes" have been reported because of the hacking of the Ashley Madison website, Toronto police said on Monday.

Spotify to users: 'We have heard your concerns loud and clear'

Spotify's updated privacy policy has had a lot of people up in arms this week owing to its requests to track nearly everything that a user does on their phone. Now, the company has apologised and explained - after debating with Minecraft maker Notch.

Ashley Madison hackers dump details of 32m users to the Internet

The hacking group who stole user data from cheating website Ashley Madison last month have now uploaded the details of 32 million users to an address on the dark web. It follows a refusal from the site's owners after the hackers requested it shut down.

Turning on Windows 10's privacy controls may not actually do much

Windows 10 has been found to send and request data from Microsoft's servers even when the user enables privacy controls designed to disable this behaviour. Details transmitted include a unique machine ID that has the potential to link computer and owner.

Pakistan shutting down encrypted BlackBerry messages for security

Pakistan's communications authority has asked the major phone networks in the country to stop delivering encrypted messages between BlackBerry smartphones within the next 90 days, due to "serious" security concerns.

Facebook's facial recognition can recognise you without your face

Facebook's facial recognition has become so accurate that it is now able to identify you in a photo even if you have your back to the camera. The system is not available on Facebook's public site but should be coming soon for any photo that you upload.

Microsoft to encrypt all Bing search data by default

Microsoft has announced that it is going to begin encrypting all search data through Bing by default from this summer. The change is intended to help protect the personal data of its users but could impact websites reliant on analytics tools.
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Representative Edward J. Markey
Representative Edward J. Markey
Congressman Markey
Lady author JK Rowling testifies to the Leveson Inquiry  November 24  2011.
Lady author JK Rowling testifies to the Leveson Inquiry, November 24, 2011.
A woman with the  flying pastie  scanner shield.
A woman with the "flying pastie" scanner shield.
www.flyingpasties.com
Author JK Rowling testifies to the Leveson Inquiry  November 24  2011.
Author JK Rowling testifies to the Leveson Inquiry, November 24, 2011.
Untitled
Viktor Hanacek
Facebook s new  targeted attack  warning
Facebook's new "targeted attack" warning
Alex Stamos, Facebook
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Untitled
Google Street View
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.
A cartoon poking fun at the CISPA bill
A cartoon poking fun at the CISPA bill
Donkey Hotey
Privacy expert and author Frank M. Ahearn has written a new book called   How to Disappear From Big ...
Privacy expert and author Frank M. Ahearn has written a new book called, "How to Disappear From Big Brother."
courtesy of Frank M. Ahearn
 Flying pasties
'Flying pasties'
www.flyingpasties.com
Lady author JK Rowling being sworn in at the Leveson Inquiry  November 24  2011.
Lady author JK Rowling being sworn in at the Leveson Inquiry, November 24, 2011.
Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden
AFP
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Persistent Surveillance Systems Sample Camera Image.
Persistent Surveillance Systems Sample Camera Image.
Persistent Surveillance Systems
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.