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Category Archives: Privacy

Meta injecting code into websites to track its users, research says

UK Guardian – “Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has been rewriting websites its users visit, letting the company follow them across the web after they click links in its apps, according to new research from an ex-Google engineer. The two apps have been taking advantage of the fact that users who click on links are taken to webpages in an “in-app browser”, controlled by Facebook or Instagram, rather than sent to the user’s web browser of choice, such as Safari or Firefox. “The Instagram app injects their tracking code into every website shown, including when clicking on ads, enabling them [to] monitor all user interactions, like every button and link tapped, text selections, screenshots, as well as any form inputs, like passwords, addresses and credit card numbers,” says Felix Krause, a privacy researcher who founded an app development tool acquired by Google in 2017. In a statement, Meta said that injecting a tracking code obeyed users’ preferences on whether or not they allowed apps to follow them, and that it was only used to aggregate data before being applied for targeted advertising or measurement purposes for those users who opted out of such tracking…”

One of 5G’s Biggest Features Is a Security Minefield

Wired – “New research found troubling vulnerabilities in the 5G platforms carriers offer to wrangle embedded device data. True 5G wireless data, with its ultrafast speeds and enhanced security protections, has been slow to roll out around the world. As the mobile technology proliferates—combining expanded speed and bandwidth with low-latency connections—one of its most touted… Continue Reading

How California Reproductive Health Workers Can Protect Information They Submit to the Government

EFF: “With the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs reversing long-standing rights to abortion access, workers and volunteers for reproductive health clinics must reevaluate the risks they face (also known as a threat model) and take steps to safeguard their personal information–including information they have submitted to the government.  In 2020, nearly 17% of abortions… Continue Reading

FTC Investigation Into Amazon Prime Dark Patterns Intensifies

“The Federal Trade Commission has reportedly deepened its investigation into Amazon’s employment of dark patterns in the Amazon Prime subscription cancellation process. As EPIC explained in a complaint to the D.C. Attorney General last year, Amazon employs dark patterns to deter customers from canceling their Prime subscriptions, enabling Amazon to continue collecting, retaining, and using misdirected subscribers’ personal… Continue Reading

How to Block Spam Calls and Text Messages

Wired: “Life is busy enough without wasting time on spammers, scammers, and telemarketers. Whether you are suffering insistent injury lawyers, fraudulent car warranty representatives, or a drunk-dialing ex, there is a way to stop the endless calls and messages. The major carriers and phone manufacturers have upped their game against unwanted calls and messages in… Continue Reading

How to find out if you are involved in a data breach and what to do next

ZDNet: “Think you’ve been involved in a data breach? This guide will help you find out where and when, and it lists the steps you should take next. Data breaches are security incidents we now hear about every day. They strike every industry, every sector, every county; victim organizations can be everything from small, independent… Continue Reading

A Phone Carrier That Doesn’t Track Your Browsing or Location

Wired – “The new Pretty Good Phone Privacy service for Android hides the data linking you to your mobile device…As marketers, data brokers, and tech giants endlessly expand their access to individuals’ data and movements across the web, tools like VPNs or cookie blockers can feel increasingly feeble and futile. Short of going totally off… Continue Reading

Phones Know Who Went to an Abortion Clinic. Whom Will They Tell?

WSJ.com: “…Since the Supreme Court’s Dobbs ruling, companies across the location-data industry are examining and in some cases revising how they handle data regarding visits to abortion clinics. Some are agreeing voluntarily not to sell the data or say they will store it in ways that mask the location. Some such as Tapestri, which pays… Continue Reading

The Founder of GeoCities on What Killed the ‘Old Internet’

Gizmodo: “David Bohnett on what sets the social web apart, how GeoCities handled hate speech, and the profound need to log off more often. In the early aughts, my wheezing dialup connection often operated as if it were perpetually out of breath. Thus, unlike my childhood friends, it was near to impossible for me to… Continue Reading

DuckDuckGo browser now blocks all third-party Microsoft trackers

Bleeping Computer: “DuckDuckGo announced today that they will now be blocking all third-party Microsoft tracking scripts in their privacy browser after failing to block them in the past. This change comes after the company faced massive blowback in May for not blocking some third-party Microsoft trackers in the DuckDuckGo browser due to a syndicated search content… Continue Reading