• Oct 26, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

China is quietly building a national voiceprint database to allow automated speaker recognition

It’s hardly a secret that China conducts massive surveillance of all kinds, as Privacy News Online has reported many times. And yet it seems that the authorities there are still coming up with new ways to check on their 1.4 billion citizens. For example, Human Rights Watch (HRW) has just written a fascinating description of … Continue reading “China is quietly building a national voiceprint database to allow automated speaker recognition”

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The recent catastrophic Wi-Fi vulnerability was in plain sight for 13 years behind a corporate paywall

The recent Wi-Fi “KRACK” vulnerability, which allowed anyone to get onto a secure network (and which was quickly patched by reputable vendors), had been in plain sight behind a corporate-level paywall for 13 years. This raises a number of relevant, interesting, and uncomfortable questions. When this week’s KRACK wi-fi vulnerabity hit, I saw a series … Continue reading “The recent catastrophic Wi-Fi vulnerability was in plain sight for 13 years behind a corporate paywall”

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  • Oct 20, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Programming, Security,

Good news on the privacy front: no more EU demands for crypto backdoors

Governments all around the world hate encryption. Unless they are being incredibly cunning by pretending they can’t break strong encryption when they can, this seems to be because crypto really does keep messages and data safe from prying governmental eyes. Banning strong encryption is clearly a non-starter – even the most clueless politician knows by … Continue reading “Good news on the privacy front: no more EU demands for crypto backdoors”

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  • Oct 18, 2017
  • Caleb Chen
  • News, Privacy, Security,

How to stop your mobile phone number and location from being sold

Smartphone users are becoming aware that their phone number and location isn’t private when they use the internet on their data plans thanks to the selling of your mobile advertising id (MAID). According to Wired’s Andy Greenberg, it only costs $1,000 to track someone online. When you visit a website on your smartphone, both the … Continue reading “How to stop your mobile phone number and location from being sold”

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  • Oct 16, 2017
  • Caleb Chen
  • News, Privacy, Security,

WPA2 KRACK leaves your device vulnerable on every WiFi network

Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) has been proven to be insecure – leaving your device vulnerable on pretty much all wireless networks, whether they are public or private. The WPA2 KRACK, a Key Reinstallation Attack, was discovered by Mathy Vanhoef and Frank Piessens of imecDistriNet, KU Leuven. More details about the vulnerabilities can be seen … Continue reading “WPA2 KRACK leaves your device vulnerable on every WiFi network”

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  • Oct 15, 2017
  • Caleb Chen
  • News, Privacy, Security,

Visiting websites with your smartphone on mobile data can reveal your full name, phone number, address, and even location

With just your mobile IP address, a website can find out all of your billing information, and even your precise location. This has been going on for years, largely behind the scenes – but recently the issue has been re-highlighted and the benefits of hiding your IP address are super clear. Whenever you are using … Continue reading “Visiting websites with your smartphone on mobile data can reveal your full name, phone number, address, and even location”

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The UK home secretary still doesn’t know how encryption works, and she’s not ashamed

Railing against the use of encryption by criminals has always been an exercise in futility, but it’s a great way to sound tough. What better way to assert your power as a law-enforcer than by demanding the impossible? The problem is, there’s a line between swagger and overt foolishness, and for some reason politicians are … Continue reading “The UK home secretary still doesn’t know how encryption works, and she’s not ashamed”

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  • Sep 27, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

Stunning: Taser wants to turn the public and their smartphones into its big data posse of police informants

Last month we wrote about the increasing application of big data analysis by police forces, often using software from the shadowy outfit Palantir. But it’s by no means the only company that sees this as a huge growth market: another is Axon. If that name is unfamiliar, that’s because it’s the new, rather anonymous branding … Continue reading “Stunning: Taser wants to turn the public and their smartphones into its big data posse of police informants”

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  • Sep 25, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy, Programming, Security,

The race to save online privacy: what happens when quantum computers can break all our crypto?

Although many people are well aware of the many threats to their privacy, there is an underlying assumption that the use of strong encryption will always be available to mitigate those problems. Governments will doubtless continue to push for backdoors in encrypted Internet services like WhatsApp. But even if they do get their way by … Continue reading “The race to save online privacy: what happens when quantum computers can break all our crypto?”

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  • Sep 21, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Programming, Security,

Opening the black boxes: algorithmic bias and the need for accountability

Here on Privacy News Online we’ve written a number of stories about the privacy implications of DNA. There’s an important case going through the Californian courts at the moment that involves DNA and privacy, but whose ramifications go far beyond those issues: “In this case, a defendant was linked to a series of rapes by … Continue reading “Opening the black boxes: algorithmic bias and the need for accountability”

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