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Privacy in the digital age
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Privacy in the digital age

  #151 (permalink)
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Thanks for providing the links. It looks like CNN either did not fact check this properly or, as you suggested, wanted to put a particular spin on the story. It is important to understand that officials do have to provide probable cause.

As for the remarks


sixtyseven View Post
I'd have no doubt the application didn't have the requirement for reasonable cause, as from their point of view it's implied. IMO border security aren't there to get private personal information from innocent random people. They are there to stop bad buys. They want whatever makes their job easier.

Of course, we all expect that the agencies born with a specific purpose carry out that purpose: police should catch the bad guys and only the bad guys. Prosecutors should incriminate the guilty and only the guilty. Border control agencies should keep malicious actors out and only them.

In an ideal world, all people working in the Public Order system are flawless and don't make mistakes. This includes all people working in border control agencies.

In reality it's not that simple: there are plenty of cases of miscarriage of justice worldwide. In industrialized nations the situation is better but is still far from perfect.

I agree that these laws should be intended for the bad guys to be intercepted and that for example border security aren't out to snoop on people's private lives. I do not subscribe to conspiracy theories suggesting organizations such as the NSA in the US, the GCHQ in the UK (equivalent to NSA) or other similar entities engage in global mass surveillance on purpose.

The point is a different one: any system without sufficient checks and balances is prone to abuse. The limitations of power are there to mitigate that abuse.

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  #152 (permalink)
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Using Wi-Fi to “see” behind closed doors

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/612375/using-wi-fi-to-see-behind-closed-doors-is-easier-than-anyone-thought/

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  #153 (permalink)
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New article: tracking your location

I get comfortable, I tell myself not to be paranoid, and then I get new reasons to get less comfortable....

It seems that many, many companies are in the business of physically tracking where your phone is (you're there too ), and then selling that information. Personal details are removed, they say, but there is still a lot of information that gets captured and sold.

It's obviously worthwhile information to companies who want to send you targeted ads, and you might say that as long as they don't record identifying information, your privacy is not being affected. But that does sit well with me. This article shows how easy it would be to identify you and way too much about you:

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/12/10/business/location-data-privacy-ap...0Stories&pgtype=Homepage

It's also creepy, even if all they do is send ads based on where I've been. Do I want anyone to be able to buy that data? I don't think I do.

Bob.

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  #154 (permalink)
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Many popular iPhone apps secretly record your screen without asking

Many major companies, like Air Canada, Hollister and Expedia, are recording every tap and swipe you make on their iPhone apps. In most cases you won’t even realize it. And they don’t need to ask for permission.

You can assume that most apps are collecting data on you. Some even monetize your data without your knowledge. But TechCrunch has found several popular iPhone apps, from hoteliers, travel sites, airlines, cell phone carriers, banks and financiers, that don’t ask or make it clear — if at all — that they know exactly how you’re using their apps.

Worse, even though these apps are meant to mask certain fields, some inadvertently expose sensitive data.

Apps like Abercrombie & Fitch, Hotels.com and Singapore Airlines also use Glassbox, a customer experience analytics firm, one of a handful of companies that allows developers to embed “session replay” technology into their apps. These session replays let app developers record the screen and play them back to see how its users interacted with the app to figure out if something didn’t work or if there was an error. Every tap, button push and keyboard entry is recorded — effectively screenshotted — and sent back to the app developers.

Or, as Glassbox said in a recent tweet: “Imagine if your website or mobile app could see exactly what your customers do in real time, and why they did it?”

The App Analyst, a mobile expert who writes about his analyses of popular apps on his eponymous blog, recently found Air Canada’s iPhone app wasn’t properly masking the session replays when they were sent, exposing passport numbers and credit card data in each replay session. Just weeks earlier, Air Canada said its app had a data breach, exposing 20,000 profiles.

“This lets Air Canada employees — and anyone else capable of accessing the screenshot database — see unencrypted credit card and password information,” he told TechCrunch.

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In the case of Air Canada’s app, although the fields are masked, the masking didn’t always stick


We asked The App Analyst to look at a sample of apps that Glassbox had listed on its website as customers. Using Charles Proxy, a man-in-the-middle tool used to intercept the data sent from each app, the researcher could examine what data was going out of the device.

Not every app was leaking masked data; none of the apps we examined said they were recording a user’s screen — let alone sending them back to each company or directly to Glassbox’s cloud.

That could be a problem if any one of Glassbox’s customers aren’t properly masking data, he said in an email. “Since this data is often sent back to Glassbox servers I wouldn’t be shocked if they have already had instances of them capturing sensitive banking information and passwords,” he said.

The App Analyst said that while Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch sent their session replays to Glassbox, others like Expedia and Hotels.com opted to capture and send session replay data back to a server on their own domain. He said that the data was “mostly obfuscated,” but did see in some cases email addresses and postal codes. The researcher said Singapore Airlines also collected session replay data but sent it back to Glassbox’s cloud.

Without analyzing the data for each app, it’s impossible to know if an app is recording a user’s screens of how you’re using the app. We didn’t even find it in the small print of their privacy policies.

Apps that are submitted to Apple’s App Store must have a privacy policy, but none of the apps we reviewed make it clear in their policies that they record a user’s screen. Glassbox doesn’t require any special permission from Apple or from the user, so there’s no way a user would know.




Full article on TechCrunch

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  #155 (permalink)
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It sounds like in China if you jaywalk, face recognition picks you out and instantly debits the fine from your account

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/asia/china-police-facial-recognition-te...weibo-cctv-a8279531.html

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  #156 (permalink)
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Facebook admits it slurps mobe numbers for more than just profile security

I have a hanfdul of email addresses, across different providers. One such provider being Yahoo! which, every time I log onto its web client, reminds me "Don't get locked out!" and keeps prompting me to add my mobile phone number, which I invariably decline, for this very reason:


Another week, another Facebook privacy storm.

This time, the Silicon Valley giant has been caught red-handed using people's cellphone numbers, provided exclusively for two-factor authentication, for targeted advertising and search – after it previously insinuated it wouldn't do that.

Folks handing over their mobile numbers to protect their accounts from takeovers and hijackings thought the contact detail would be used for just that: security. Instead, Facebook is using the numbers to link netizens to other people, and target them with online ads.

For example, if someone you know – let's call her Sarah – has given her number to Facebook for two-factor authentication purposes, and you allow the Facebook app to access your smartphone's contacts book, and it sees Sarah's number in there, it will offer to connect you two up, even though Sarah thought her number was being used for security only, and not for search. This is not a particularly healthy scenario, for instance, if you and Sarah are no longer, or never were, friends in real life, and yet Facebook wants to wire you up anyway.

Following online outcry over the weekend, a Facebook spokesperson told us today: "We appreciate the feedback we've received about these settings, and will take it into account."

Don't hold your breath.





Outrage over Facebook's phone-number slurping was sparked on Friday by Emojipedia founder Jeremy Burge, who publicly criticized Mark Zuckerberg's information-harvesting operation for making users searchable via phone numbers submitted for the ostensible purpose of account security.

"For years Facebook claimed that adding a phone number for 2FA was only for security," he said via Twitter. "Now it can be searched and there's no way to disable that."

Facebook had partly disabled such phone-number searches in the past, preventing people from finding someone's profile directly from their number: in April 2018, the ad biz said it had switched off phone number search following the Cambridge Analytica scandal, citing abuse. "Until today, people could enter another person’s phone number or email address into Facebook search to help find them," said CTO Mike Schroepfer in a blog post at the time "So we have now disabled this feature."

What remains is that Facebook will use submitted phone numbers to suggest friend connections for those upload related contact information, even if that friend only provided the phone number for 2FA account security.



Full article on The Register

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  #157 (permalink)
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xplorer View Post
This time, the Silicon Valley giant has been caught red-handed using people's cellphone numbers, provided exclusively for two-factor authentication, for targeted advertising and search – after it previously insinuated it wouldn't do that.

Folks handing over their mobile numbers to protect their accounts from takeovers and hijackings thought the contact detail would be used for just that: security. Instead, Facebook is using the numbers to link netizens to other people, and target them with online ads.

I saw the news of this yesterday and said, damn, there they go again.

I think everyone would be wise not to give them any more information than they have to, since they apparently will relentlessly monetize anything they get their hands on.

I do have a Facebook account, but there is absolutely nothing on it, and there never will be. It's a damn shame, because Facebook could be very useful to a lot of people, but they just can't be trusted. They also don't seem to have any real intention to ever change, although they always issue apologies and say they will do better. They've pretty well proven that they won't, and that none of this (whatever the current thing they get caught doing) is just an innocent mistake or something they didn't realize would cause a problem for anyone.

Bob.

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  #158 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
I saw the news of this yesterday and said, damn, there they go again.

I think everyone would be wise not to give them any more information than they have to, since they apparently will relentlessly monetize anything they get their hands on.

I do have a Facebook account, but there is absolutely nothing on it, and there never will be. It's a damn shame, because Facebook could be very useful to a lot of people, but they just can't be trusted. They also don't seem to have any real intention to ever change, although they always issue apologies and say they will do better. They've pretty well proven that they won't, and that none of this (whatever the current thing they get caught doing) is just an innocent mistake or something they didn't realize would cause a problem for anyone.

Bob.

You're right. I keep going back to that infamous Zuckerberg's "they trust me with their data.... dumb f*ckers" comment which, regardless of its accuracy, did not stop him getting where he is now.

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  #159 (permalink)
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Facebook still tracks you on Android apps (even if you don't have a Facebook account)

Excerpt from Privacy International



Tuesday, March 5, 2019

In December 2018, we revealed how some of the most widely used apps in the Google Play Store automatically send personal data to Facebook the moment they are launched. That happens even if you don't have a Facebook account or are logged out of the Facebook platform (watch our talk at the Chaos Communication Congress (CCC) in Leipzig or read our full legal analysis here).

Today, we have some good news for you: we retested all the apps from our report and it seems as if we have made some impact. Two thirds of all apps we retested, including Spotify, Skyscanner and KAYAK, have updated their apps so that they no longer contact Facebook when you open the app.

Here’s the bad news: seven apps, including Yelp, the language-learning app Duolingo and the job search app Indeed, as well as the King James Bible app and two Muslim prayer apps, Qibla Connect and Muslim Pro, still send your personal data to Facebook before you can decide whether you want to consent or not. Keep in mind: these are apps with millions of installs.

Since we published our report, mobilsicher.de could also confirm that apps on iOS exhibit similar behaviour.

Why is this a problem?

This is hugely problematic, not just for privacy, but also for competition. The data that apps send to Facebook typically includes information such as the fact that a specific app, such as a Muslim prayer app, was opened or closed. This sounds fairly basic, but it really isn’t. Since the data is sent with a unique identifier, a user’s Google advertising ID, it would be easy to link this data into a profile and paint a fine-grained picture of someone’s interests, identities and daily routines. And since so many apps still send this kind of data to Facebook, this could give the company an extraordinary insight into a large share of the app ecosystem. We know how valuable such information is, because documents released by the UK parliament show how Facebook used its Onavo virtual private network (VPN) app to gather usage data on competitors.



Full article on Privacy International

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  #160 (permalink)
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I read this article in the Times today and thought of this thread.

It's not about Big Brother or Big Facebook this time, it's about Big Anybody who can use Google.

At first I didn't even want to post it, because of the creepiness factor, but in the end I feel there's important information and personal advice in it, and things we need to know:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/08/opinion/google-privacy.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Bob.

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