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Category Archives: Privacy

11 steps to keep Meta from stealing your data to train AI

Deborah Copaken: “You only have until June 26, 2024 to say no to Meta taking your personal photos and words and using them to train their generative AI. Here are step-by-step directions for opting out…Facebook has led to all sorts of horrors, including an orange-haired, coup-instigating felon in the White House; Russian interference in our elections; and elder scams a plenty. I’m embarrassed to admit how much raw material of my life I’ve handed over to the company now called Meta, which includes Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Threads. Especially given that, starting on June 26th, unless you make a formal request to opt-out, Meta will be stealing and scraping your data to train AI. Apparently, they have run out of other sources to feed the beast. If you, like me, do not feel comfortable having Meta harvest your data to train their AI and make it more powerful or god knows what else they’re going to do with it, you can make a request to opt out of this theft. But of course—here’s the catch—they make it extremely hard to find the correct link to do so. Moreover, if you live in the U.S., your formal request may not even be heeded. Unlike the U.K. and the European Union, countries with stronger laws about what kinds of shenanigans online companies can do to track and abuse their users, we are not protected from having our intellectual property and online habits stolen. But while all of these issues are making their way through the U.S. court system, you might as well make your objection known to Meta before the June 26 deadline. I have spent hours in abject frustration trying to do this so that you don’t have to. First of all, don’t even try to make your request on Instagram on your phone. I filled out the whole, teeny, tiny form on my teeny, tiny screen, only to be stymied by Meta hiding the SEND button too low on the screen to hit it. The next day—I needed a break—I tried doing it via Facebook, on my laptop this time, and that’s how I finally succeeded in submitting my request. I see it as my civic duty now to help you.Herewith are the 11 steps you must take to tell Meta you do not want them to scrape your data to use it to train generative AI (the 12th is kind of a joke, but feel free to do it anyway)…”

Open Source LibreChat Offers More Than Just Extra LLMs

The New Stack: “With an interface inspired by ChatGPT, LibreChat offers an “enhanced” ChatGPT clone, an open source alternative with AI model selection as a main feature — while also providing additional features and customization options (including plugins for things like Retrieval-Augmented Generation). On the Practical AI podcast, LibreChat creator Danny Avila said he’s especially… Continue Reading

Stop Giving Companies Your Real Email—Do This Instead

HowToGeek: ” Websites may sell your email address to spammers or leak your address in a data breach. An email alias service hides your real email address and makes it easier to curb spam. Choose an email alias service like Proton Mail for top-notch encryption, or AnonAddy for easy, on-the-fly alias generation. You can’t increase… Continue Reading

Proton Drive Can Now Replace Google Photos on iPhone

HowToGeek: “Step aside, Google Photos. Proton Drive now offers automated photo backup with end-to-end encryption on iOS. This feature is available to both free and paid Proton Drive users. Proton Drive photo backup initially launched in December 2023 as an Android-exclusive feature. The new iOS implementation is practically identical to what we saw on Android—stored… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 15, 2024

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends – Weekly highlights on cyber security issues, June 15, 2024 – Privacy and cybersecurity issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, finance, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the… Continue Reading

17 Hidden Facebook Features Only Power Users Know

PC Mag – The world’s largest social network is full of advanced features that you’re probably not using, so we dug deep into the settings menu to find the most useful ones for you. Despite its issues (and there are many), Meta’s Facebook remains today’s foremost digital public square. Politicians and journalists gravitate toward X/Twitter,… Continue Reading

Your employer might be spying on your tech. Here’s how to check.

Washington Post: “Your employer may be able to see everything you’re doing on your phone or computer. They might know you’re reading this article right now. (Hi!) But how can you be sure? Companies have a growing number of ways to keep tabs on workers. They can gather details from common workplace apps and use… Continue Reading

Data broker shuts down product related to driver behavior patterns

The Record: “The revelation earlier this year that General Motors had been selling driver behavior patterns to data brokers — who in turn packaged and resold it to insurers — has led at least one of two major data brokers to shut down its related product.  That data broker, Verisk, disclosed last month that it… Continue Reading


“a collection of free screen savers for X11, macOS, iOS and Android.  by Jamie Zawinski and many others. XScreenSaver for Android is… a set of screen savers and live wallpapers. That’s it. It draws pretty pictures on your screen. And it’s free. That’s the whole deal. But in their wisdom, Google — the most rapacious… Continue Reading

States are already collecting more abortion data. And HIPAA won’t always keep it private.

Nebraska Examiner: “Years before the Dobbs decision, providers like Dr. Kylie Cooper were already uncomfortable with some of the reporting requirements for abortion procedures in states where they practiced. Cooper was a maternal-fetal medicine specialist for several years in Idaho before she reluctantly left the state in 2023 because of the near-total abortion ban that… Continue Reading