• Nov 1, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Programming,

Beyond Aadhaar: India wants to create a giant centralized facial recognition database

Two years ago, Privacy News Online wrote about Aadhaar, India’s billion-person biometric database, used to check identity, and its potential to become the world’s biggest privacy disaster. Barely six months after that post, it emerged that access to the Aadhaar database could be bought very cheaply, as reported here by the Indian newspaper The Tribune: … Continue reading “Beyond Aadhaar: India wants to create a giant centralized facial recognition database”

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  • Aug 28, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Security,

A major security breach raises a key question: what happens when your biometric data is exfiltrated from a system?

It’s no secret that password security is often terrible. Good passwords – ones that are long and include a mix of lower case, upper case, numbers, and special characters – are hard to remember unless you use a password manager, which few seem to do. As a result, people tend to choose easy-to-guess passwords like … Continue reading “A major security breach raises a key question: what happens when your biometric data is exfiltrated from a system?”

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  • Aug 20, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

The future of privacy is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed

William Gibson is best known for his book “Neuromancer“, which popularized the word and concept of cyberspace. He also came up with the phrase “the future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed“. That was a general statement about technology, but it also applies to the technology that threatens our privacy. Around … Continue reading “The future of privacy is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed”

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  • Jan 5, 2019
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Security,

What happens to identity and privacy when every biometric can be faked?

Identity and privacy are closely bound up. Typically, you use proof of your identity to access your private information. Alongside traditional approaches like passwords and hardware tokens, biometrics are increasingly employed to authenticate people, notably with smartphones, many of which now come with fingerprint sensors and facial recognition built in as standard. As well as … Continue reading “What happens to identity and privacy when every biometric can be faked?”

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  • Dec 29, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Security,

Google wants to spy on everything you do at home, in every room (including the bathroom), to help “improve” your family

Smart speakers and the Internet of Things are undoubtedly impressive considered purely as technology. That may explain why they are increasingly popular. But as this blog has pointed out a number of times, they raise huge questions about privacy that many users seem unaware of. Moreover, we have only just started the journey towards making … Continue reading “Google wants to spy on everything you do at home, in every room (including the bathroom), to help “improve” your family”

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  • Dec 22, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

As facial recognition systems continue to spread, so do concerns about their deployment

Facial recognition is hardly new – Privacy News Online has been writing about the topic for years now. But it is becoming more and more the norm, as some recent news shows. For example, the following story from Rolling Stone: Taylor Swift fans mesmerized by rehearsal clips on a kiosk at her May 18th Rose … Continue reading “As facial recognition systems continue to spread, so do concerns about their deployment”

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  • Nov 24, 2018
  • Summer Hirst
  • General Privacy and Security, Online Activity, Tutorials,

What is Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication?

A colleague got to know your password and BAM, your account is hacked. Strong passwords are good. But they’re not good enough. That’s why you need two-factor or multi-factor authentication. It’s an extra layer of security that requires hackers to need your password AND another piece of information to gain access to your account. This … Continue reading “What is Two-Factor or Multi-Factor Authentication?”

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  • Nov 10, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

AI-based lie detection system will screen travellers to EU for ‘biomarkers of deceit’

As the borders between nations have become increasingly sensitive from a political point of view, so the threats to privacy there have grown. Privacy News Online has already reported on the use of AI-based facial recognition systems as a way of tightening border controls. As software improves, and hardware becomes faster and cheaper, it’s likely … Continue reading “AI-based lie detection system will screen travellers to EU for ‘biomarkers of deceit’”

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Behavioral biometrics: Websites and apps are learning from how you type, hold your phone, and use your mouse

How often do you hold your phone in your left hand?  How big are your hands?  Do your hands shake when you type or move a mouse?  If your pointer disappears from your screen, what do you do?  You might not know the answers to these questions – but chances are, your bank does.  These details … Continue reading “Behavioral biometrics: Websites and apps are learning from how you type, hold your phone, and use your mouse”

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  • Aug 18, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy, Programming, Security,

After call to implant microchips in people awaiting trial, are they about to become the next threat to our privacy?

Last year, Privacy News Online wrote about the Swedish SJ Railways allowing customers to use under-the-skin microchip implants for “easy” ticket purchases. That might have seemed a one-off bad idea, but such implants have a surprisingly long history. More worryingly, they seem to be gaining in popularity, and cropping up increasingly in everyday situations, with … Continue reading “After call to implant microchips in people awaiting trial, are they about to become the next threat to our privacy?”

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