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Category Archives: Privacy

48 Advocacy Groups Call on the FTC to Ban Amazon Surveillance

Vice: “…While a number of firms offer networked surveillance devices to try and make homes “smart,” the coalition uses Amazon as a case study into how dangerous corporate surveillance can become (and the sorts of abuses that can emerge) when in the hands of a dominant and anti-competitive firm. From Amazon’s Ring—which has rolled out networked surveillance doorbells and car cameras that continuously surveil public and private spaces—to Alexa, Echo, or Sidewalk, the company has launched numerous products and services to try and convince consumers to generate as much data as possible for the company to eventually capitalize on...”

She risked everything to expose Facebook. Now she’s telling her story.

MIT Technology Review: “The world first learned of Sophie Zhang in September 2020, when BuzzFeed News obtained and published highlights from an abridged version of her nearly 8,000-word exit memo from Facebook. Before she was fired, Zhang was officially employed as a low-level data scientist at the company. But she had become consumed by a… Continue Reading

Americans added a few hundred million smart devices to their homes in 2020

Marketplace – And they’re learning a lot about us. “Back in 2014, when the Echo and its virtual assistant Alexa made their debut, it was called a “Star Trek computer for the home.” Over this past year, our homes have become our own personal Starship Enterprises, as more of us have turned to smart devices… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, July 25, 2021

Via LLRX – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly complex and wide ranging ways technology is used to compromise and diminish… Continue Reading

Here’s how to check your phone for Pegasus spyware using Amnesty’s tool

The Verge: “Amnesty International — part of the group that helped break the news of journalists and heads of state being targeted by NSO’s government-grade spyware, Pegasus — has released a tool to check if your phone has been affected. Alongside the tool is a great set of instructions, which should help you through the… Continue Reading

How TikTok’s Algorithm Figures You Out

The Wall Street Journal Inside TikTok’s Highly Secretive Algorithm: “The Wall Street Journal created dozens of automated accounts that watched hundreds of thousands of videos to reveal how the the TikTok algorithm knows you so well A Wall Street Journal investigation found that TikTok only needs one important piece of information to figure out what… Continue Reading

DuckDuckGo’s new email privacy service forwards tracker-free messages

Bleeping Computer: “DuckDuckGo is rolling out an email privacy feature that strips incoming messages of trackers that can help profile you for better profiling and ad targeting. Users of the service get a free “@duck.com” email address that cleans messages of trackers and forwards them to your normal inbox. Currently in private beta, DuckDuckGo’s Email… Continue Reading

This tool tells you if NSO’s Pegasus spyware targeted your phone

TechCrunch: “Over the weekend, an international consortium of news outlets reported that several authoritarian governments — including Mexico, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates — used spyware developed by NSO Group to hack into the phones of thousands of their most vocal critics, including journalists, activists, politicians and business executives. A leaked list of 50,000… Continue Reading

Text Analytics, Court Stats, and Privacy

National Center for State Court:  “A couple of weeks ago I shared some of “my problems with pending case statistics”.  Before that, I posted another note regarding an alternative for analyzing criminal justice data.  I generally try not to complain about things without having a solution in mind.  In this article, I will share a… Continue Reading