• Feb 5, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Programming, Security,

The real Strava heatmap story is not threats to national security, but about privacy and de-anonymization

At the end of January, Nathan Ruser posted a tweet about Strava, a Website and mobile app used to track athletic activity via GPS coordinates. It concerned Strava’s global heatmap: “the largest, richest, and most beautiful dataset of its kind. It is a visualization of Strava’s global network of athletes,” as the company puts it. … Continue reading “The real Strava heatmap story is not threats to national security, but about privacy and de-anonymization”

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  • Nov 22, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Programming, Security,

The latest threat to your online privacy: exfiltration of personal data by website session-replay scripts

Last week, Privacy News Online reported on a worrying trend of increased surveillance in the workplace. This kind of spying includes capturing every keystroke workers make. The practice is regarded in many jurisdictions as acceptable because people are working on equipment provided by their employer, and use it to carry out tasks for the company … Continue reading “The latest threat to your online privacy: exfiltration of personal data by website session-replay scripts”

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  • Nov 20, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, Privacy, Security,

Two ways to help preserve privacy in an age of massive leaks and deep hacks

We live in the golden age of leaks. That’s not to say that leaks didn’t happen before. But the move to digital data and the availability of high-speed Internet connections has made the exfiltration of data on a massive scale much easier. Where in 1971 Daniel Ellsberg had to photocopy 7,000 pages of what became … Continue reading “Two ways to help preserve privacy in an age of massive leaks and deep hacks”

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  • Nov 13, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Programming, Security,

Welcome to the brave new world of workplace surveillance

Here on Privacy News Online, we write a lot about government surveillance and its impact on privacy. Sadly, constant spying has been normalized to such an extent that workplace surveillance is a thriving new business sector that startups and established companies are rushing to serve. For example, InterGuard promises “complete end-user auditing and control”, and … Continue reading “Welcome to the brave new world of workplace surveillance”

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Paywalls drive mass surveillance and give the NSA the advantage

Putting network specifications behind subscription paywalls gives the NSA and other surveillance agencies a decisive advantage against the freedom of the Internet. That is the unescapable conclusion of the recent KRACK vulnerability. There’s been a lot of debate about paywalls lately – not the least about whether so-called “journalism” of mainstream media is supposed to … Continue reading “Paywalls drive mass surveillance and give the NSA the advantage”

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  • Nov 9, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

What the Sci-Hub saga and DNA testing services can teach us about privacy

Privacy News Online has just written about an “unprecedented” injunction granted by a US judge against the site Sci-Hub. The reach of that injunction is clearly deeply problematic for lots of reasons, and creates a very troubling precedent. But there’s an aspect of the story that merits further consideration, since it has broader implications for … Continue reading “What the Sci-Hub saga and DNA testing services can teach us about privacy”

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  • Nov 2, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

Privacy is constantly under threat; here are ways communities can help to protect it locally

Stories about privacy have a depressing tendency to be about its loss, and the increasing threats to it in the future. Perhaps we need to spend more time thinking about how to protect it, to prevent the loss and head off the threats. That’s easier said than done, since the latter come from many quarters, … Continue reading “Privacy is constantly under threat; here are ways communities can help to protect it locally”

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  • Oct 31, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Security,

DHS expanding national biometrics database to hold details on over 500 million people, including many US citizens

We’ve just written about China’s ambitious plans to add voiceprints to its existing national biometrics databases. Given the country’s long record of keeping a close watch on its citizens, it’s easy to see this as part of China’s surveillance exceptionalism – the common belief that it is “different”, and that its experiences don’t have much … Continue reading “DHS expanding national biometrics database to hold details on over 500 million people, including many US citizens”

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  • 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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