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Privacy News

Phone surveillance in 2017: Are you being watched?

Phone tracking is now easier than ever using off-the-shelf software that anyone can buy. As Congress introduces a bill to require a warrant for the mobile tracking of Americans, over 80 percent of the population say they are concerned about being watched.

Microsoft postpones release of critical Windows bug fix to March

Microsoft has announced it's delaying its regular Patch Tuesday Windows security updates by an entire month. The unprecedented decision will leave customers at risk of attack for longer. The update includes a fix for a critical zero-day file sharing flaw.

Signal gets encrypted video calls in new beta update

Signal, the Edward Snowden-approved messaging app famed for its security, has added beta support for video calls to its apps. The calls are fully encrypted to keep communication private. There is a potentially weakness which could leak some data though.

Apple secretly stores your deleted browsing history online

Apple stores browser history data in its iCloud online storage for months after you delete it, according to a report from a security research company. The issue affects the Safari browser across devices and is a significant privacy concern.

TV brand Vizio pays $2.2m after being caught tracking users

Vizio has been ordered to pay $2.2 million after being found guilty of unlawfully monitoring customers' browsing habits. The smart TV manufacturer secretly tracked what users watched, storing up to 100 billion data points every day.

New crowdfunded device lets you protect your children online

A new device launching in the U.K. today aims to tackle children's online safety by giving parents full control over how the internet is used. iKydz, funded on Kickstarter, creates a special Wi-Fi network for children that limits how they use the web.

Americans distrustful after hacking epidemic: survey

Washington - AFP is removing this story because it moved in error ahead of the embargo time. A new version will be filed after the embargo is lifted.

CIA cites new rules on protecting privacy

Washington - The CIA said Wednesday it would implement new rules to better respect the private information of Americans swept up incidentally during its investigations.

WhatsApp denies existence of deliberate security backdoor

A backdoor has been found in encrypted messaging platform WhatsApp, according to a report today. Privacy campaigners have described the hole as "a huge threat to freedom of speech" but WhatsApp has denied there are security concerns.

EU proposes new rules that could put an end to the cookie banner

The European Commission has drafted plans to overhaul the way in which websites warn users about their use of cookies. Under current regulation, sites must display warnings if cookies are placed on the user's computer, even though they're usually ignored.

Researchers warn hackers could turn off medical implants

Security researchers have warned that some medical implants contain flaws that could prove fatal if exploited by attackers. The implants can communicate data to devices outside the body and accept commands in return, letting hackers turn them off.

Privacy warning over caller ID apps that upload your contacts

Concerns have been raised over the privacy afforded by caller ID apps such as Truecaller and CM Security. The apps are storing the details of billions of people in publicly searchable databases. People who have never used an app are also affected.

Microsoft now sharing Windows 10 telemetry data with third party

Microsoft has begun to share telemetry data collected from computers running Windows 10 with a third-party company, according to reports today. Security firm FireEye will have access to data from "every" Windows 10 device as part of a new partnership.

Hackers could turn your headphones into a mic that spies on you

Security researchers have demonstrated how a pair of headphones could be turned into a microphone and used to snoop on conversations. In testing, the system proved to be as effective as a regular unpowered microphone connected to a PC.

Google hands Pixel phone resellers a 'digital death sentence'

Google has handed some of its users a "digital death sentence" for attempting to resell their Pixel phones and create a profit. Individuals have been exploiting a tax loophole to make money. Google has responded by blocking access to all its services.

Budget Android phones caught sending texts back to China

Security contractors have discovered that some popular budget smartphones contain a backdoor that sends data to China. The weakness was added deliberately but it is not known why the data is being sent. The back door is present on U.S. handsets.

Shazam forced to backtrack over always-on Mac mic concerns

Shazam's Mac app never turns the microphone off, according to a security researcher who studied the program. While Shazam doesn't process audio while in the background, its lack of warning to users has caused a privacy scare. The app will be updated.

Google goes after Safe Browsing 'repeat offenders'

Google has announced it is rolling out an update to its Safe Browsing technology that will filter out "repeat offender" sites. The company said it had observed webpages using flaws in Safe Browsing's implementation to continue displaying harmful material.

U.K. schools break data protection laws by using spyware on PCs

Schools across the U.K. are failing to comply with data protection laws by installing specialist "classroom management" software on their computers. The findings were made after civil liberties group Big Brother Watch contacted 1,000 secondary schools.

Online criminals steal money from 20,000 Tesco Bank accounts

U.K. banking provider Tesco Bank has announced it has suspended all online transactions for its current account customers. The bank's chief executive confirmed criminals stole money from over 20,000 accounts over the weekend. It is currently unknown how.

Facebook bans car insurer from using data to calculate premiums

Facebook has blocked a U.K. car insurer's plans to use data from profiles on the social network to calculate premiums. The company pulled the app, created by insurer Admiral, with just hours before it was set to launch in a highly public campaign.

Big tech-media mergers raise fresh privacy concerns

Washington - They know how you browse the internet, your favorite TV shows and where you shop and travel.

Microsoft Windows could soon track everything you do on your PC

Microsoft has patented a technology that would see it almost continually spying on Windows users. The company's software would be constantly listening for "triggers" and sending data home. Microsoft thinks it would be beneficial to customers.

Microsoft told to compensate Windows 10 users with ruined PCs

Consumer rights group Which? has announced a public challenge to Microsoft over the launch of Windows 10. It called on the company to "take action" over a myriad of issues on the platform, suggesting it pay compensation to users.

Google causes controversy by removing encryption from Allo

Google has launched Allo, a new messaging app that's designed to allow you to express more emotions in text chats. Allo can integrate with Google Assistant to suggest message replies and take immediate action to messages like "sushi places nearby."

WhatsApp breaks its promise, starts sharing data with Facebook

WhatsApp is facing a huge backlash after breaking a promise it made two years ago. When it was bought by Facebook, it pledged not to share user data with its new parent. Now, it's reversed that policy and will soon share data to power ads.

Metropolitan Police told it must stop using Windows XP

London - London's Metropolitan Police has been warned to stop using Windows XP or risk citizens' security. The force still has over 27,000 PCs running the outdated operating system and is using taxpayers' money to pay Microsoft for important updates and patches.

Hulk Hogan verdict forces Gawker founder Denton into bankruptcy

New York - Gawker founder Nick Denton declared bankruptcy on Monday after a federal judge allowed collection efforts to begin on $140 million in damages the news website was found liable for in a lawsuit filed by professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Riffle is an online network that's more secure than Tor

Researchers at MIT have created a new online communications protocol that provides anonymity to users in the same way as Tor. Riffle could usurp Tor as the de facto solution for anonymous online communication as it's as much as 10 times faster.

EU and US launch controversial internet privacy deal

Brussels - The European Union on Tuesday launched a controversial deal with the United States aimed at curbing government spying on European citizens' personal internet data.
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Author JK Rowling testifies to the Leveson Inquiry  November 24  2011.
Author JK Rowling testifies to the Leveson Inquiry, November 24, 2011.
Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden
AFP
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
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Viktor Hanacek
A woman with the  flying pastie  scanner shield.
A woman with the "flying pastie" scanner shield.
www.flyingpasties.com
Representative Edward J. Markey
Representative Edward J. Markey
Congressman Markey
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.
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Photographs from the Leveson Inquiry at the Royal Courts of Justice.
Lady author JK Rowling testifies to the Leveson Inquiry  November 24  2011.
Lady author JK Rowling testifies to the Leveson Inquiry, November 24, 2011.
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.
Facebook s new  targeted attack  warning
Facebook's new "targeted attack" warning
Alex Stamos, Facebook
 Flying pasties
'Flying pasties'
www.flyingpasties.com
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
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