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Category Archives: E-Commerce

This is how police request customer data from Amazon

TechCrunch: “Anyone can access portions of a web portal, used by law enforcement to request customer data from Amazon, even though the portal is supposed to require a verified email address and password. Amazon’s law enforcement request portal allows police and federal agents to submit formal requests for customer data along with a legal order, like a subpoena, a search warrant, or a court order. The portal is publicly accessible from the internet, but law enforcement must register an account with the site in order to allow Amazon to “authenticate” the requesting officer’s credentials before they can make requests. Only time sensitive emergency requests can be submitted without an account, but this requires the user to “declare and acknowledge” that they are an authorized law enforcement officer before they can submit a request. The portal does not display customer data or allow access to existing law enforcement requests. But parts of the website still load without needing to log in, including its dashboard and the “standard” request form used by law enforcement to request customer data. The portal provides a rare glimpse into how Amazon handles law enforcement requests…”

1Password Brings Virtual Burner Credit Cards to Your Browser

Gizmodo: “At this point, you probably know that you should use some sort of password manager to juggle all your logins across the web. Even if you don’t actually do it, you know you should. Now, 1Password wants to make virtual credit cards an easy obligation with a unique new program. The popular password manager… Continue Reading

The High Privacy Cost of a “Free” Website

The Markup:”…An array of free website-building tools, many offered by ad-tech and ad-funded companies, has led to a dizzying number of trackers loading on users’ browsers, even when they visit sites where privacy would seem paramount, an investigation by The Markup has found. Some load without the website operators’ explicit knowledge—or disclosure to users. Website… Continue Reading

Best Sellers Sell the Best Because They’re Best Sellers

The New York Times – Publishing is becoming a winner-take-all game. Nobody dominates it like Madeline McIntosh and Penguin Random House:  “After a steep drop at the start of the pandemic, book sales not only recovered but surged. Unit sales of print books are up nearly 6 percent over last year, according to NPD BookScan,… Continue Reading

Why Goodreads is bad for books

New Statesman  “After years of complaints from users, Goodreads’ reign over the world of book talk might be coming to an end. On a typical day, a long-time user of Goodreads [owned by Amazon], the world’s largest community for reviewing and recommending books, will feel like they’re losing their mind. After numerous frustrated attempts to find… Continue Reading

Mozilla research: Browsing histories are unique enough to reliably identify users

“A recently published study conducted by three Mozilla employees has looked at the privacy provided by browsing histories.  Their findings show that most users have unique web browsing habits that allow online advertisers to create accurate profiles. These profiles can then be used to track and re-identify users across different sets of user data that… Continue Reading

Learn how to find image licensing information on Google Images

Google Blog: “First, we’re making it easier to find licensable images. For results where the publisher or image creator provided licensing information, we will display a “licensable” badge over the image. When you select a badged image to view, we will show a link to the license details of the image, and if provided by… Continue Reading

Browsing histories are unique enough to reliably identify users

ZDNet – Mozilla research – Online advertisers don’t need huge lists of the sites we access. Just 50-150 of our favorite sites are enough.”A recently published study conducted by three Mozilla employees has looked at the privacy provided by browsing histories. Their findings show that most users have unique web browsing habits that allow online… Continue Reading

Finding Email Addresses

Via LLRX – Finding Email Addresses – Across most sectors, customer support is no longer provided by human contacts but rather leads customers into endless telephone loops of menus, dealing with chatbots, or receiving emails from “no-reply” addresses. Finding email addresses for actual people is very difficult but Michael Ravnitzky’s article features proven tools and… Continue Reading

How Facebook and Other Sites Manipulate Your Privacy Choices

Wired: “…Dark patterns show up all over the web, nudging people to subscribe to newsletters, add items to their carts, or sign up for services. But, says says Colin Gray, a human-computer interaction researcher at Purdue University, they’re particularly insidious “when you’re deciding what privacy rights to give away, what data you’re willing to part… Continue Reading