• Oct 13, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Privacy, Security,

Amazon hopes to blanket your home and car with listening, eavesdropping Alexa devices

Last year, Privacy News Online noted that there was a new frontier for digital privacy: home devices that understand spoken commands. Recent research from Canalys confirms that the market continues to grow strongly, admittedly from a small base: The worldwide smart speaker market grew 187% in Q2 2018, with shipments reaching 16.8 million units. Google … Continue reading “Amazon hopes to blanket your home and car with listening, eavesdropping Alexa devices”

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  • Oct 6, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Open Source, Privacy, Programming, Security,

Tim Berners-Lee unveils next step for Solid, a decentralized Web platform with privacy built-in as standard

It’s no secret that the current design of the World Wide Web has huge problems. This was shown most dramatically by the recent security breach at Facebook that saw 50 million accounts compromised. A key issue is the highly centralized nature of today’s Internet, with power – and our personal data – concentrated in just … Continue reading “Tim Berners-Lee unveils next step for Solid, a decentralized Web platform with privacy built-in as standard”

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How to stop Chrome running in the background

With the changes to Chrome 69 (Chrome 69.0.3497.81 to be precise), Google pushed out a change which stealthily signs you into the Chrome application. This means that all your browsing habits can (and Google say they’re not currently profiling people) be logged, even when not using Chrome. Chrome runs in the background because the next … Continue reading “How to stop Chrome running in the background”

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Google is expanding back into China. What does that mean for freedom of information?

Google will expand into China and launch a new search engine compliant with the Chinese government’s strict censorship rules, according to a recent report by The Intercept’s Ryan Gallagher. Versions of the app have been called “Maotai” and “Longfei,” and could launch in as soon as six months — once the Chinese government approves the … Continue reading “Google is expanding back into China. What does that mean for freedom of information?”

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How to remove yourself from search engine results

How to secure your digital identity. With the recent deployment of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (otherwise known as the GDPR), it has never been easier for EU citizens to have their personal details removed from computer systems. The wording within the GDPR when defining personal information is extremely broad: “personal data”  shall … Continue reading “How to remove yourself from search engine results”

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  • Jul 28, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • News, Open Source, Privacy, Programming, Security,

Why Gmail’s new “confidential mode” is not so great for privacy, and potentially awful for the open Web

Gmail is used by well over a billion people worldwide, making it one of the most important online services. Google has recently started rolling out a new design that includes novel features. One of the most interesting of these is the so-called “confidential mode”. At first sight, that sounds like good news for privacy: “With … Continue reading “Why Gmail’s new “confidential mode” is not so great for privacy, and potentially awful for the open Web”

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  • Jul 21, 2018
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

Should Facial Recognition Technologies Be Regulated by the Government? Microsoft Says ‘Yes’

Facial recognition technology represents one of the most serious threats to privacy. That’s for two principal reasons. Perhaps the most important is that it is almost impossible to change our faces: serious plastic surgery apart, there are few effective techniques to disguise our bodily appearance. Masks may hide our features, but are too cumbersome – … Continue reading “Should Facial Recognition Technologies Be Regulated by the Government? Microsoft Says ‘Yes’”

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Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force back in May. One reason many people know about the GDPR is because they were bombarded with emails asking them to accept updated privacy policies as a result. Another is that some companies have required people to agree to new terms and conditions when they … Continue reading “Dark Patterns: How Tech Companies Use Interface Design to Undermine Online Privacy”

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Why did privacy expert Max Schrems immediately file GDPR complaints against Google and Facebook – and will he win?

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force a few weeks ago.  As Rick Falkvinge noted in his post on the topic, its impact is potentially huge. The GDPR has already led to a flood of (annoying) emails from companies eager to tell us about their updated privacy policy, and the blocking of EU … Continue reading “Why did privacy expert Max Schrems immediately file GDPR complaints against Google and Facebook – and will he win?”

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  • Nov 6, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

US Senate hearing confirms Facebook is the perfect surveillance machine: what can we do about it?

Last week’s hearings before US lawmakers has provided us with new insights into the workings of companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter, and how they have been subverted by Russia to further its political aims. In his opening remarks, the Vice Chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, Mark Warner, said that 120 Russian-backed pages on … Continue reading “US Senate hearing confirms Facebook is the perfect surveillance machine: what can we do about it?”

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