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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  • Oct 2, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Governments, News, Privacy,

EU is losing its patience with the US government over its failure to implement properly the Privacy Shield deal

Last week, the European Commission announced new guidelines to tackle illegal content inciting hatred, violence and terrorism online. Central to its new framework is expecting “online platforms” – Internet companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter – to take a more pro-active role: “The Communication invites online platforms step up their efforts to remove illegal content … Continue reading “EU is losing its patience with the US government over its failure to implement properly the Privacy Shield deal”

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  • Aug 29, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • BitTorrent, Privacy, Programming, Security,

Is this the key to foiling phishing attacks? Spoiler alert: probably

As readers of this blog know, VPNs are a great way to protect your privacy and security. But they address only some of the online threats we all face every day. Another important class of problems are caused by attacks that lead to accounts being taken over, identities being appropriated, data theft and financial losses. … Continue reading “Is this the key to foiling phishing attacks? Spoiler alert: probably”

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  • Aug 25, 2017
  • Glyn Moody
  • Copyright, Governments, Privacy, Security,

Welcome to the Internet of listening, eavesdropping, spying things

There’s a new frontier for digital privacy: home devices that understand spoken commands. That’s impressive and convenient, but it comes with definite risks, as Rick Falkvinge pointed out earlier this week. The product sites of the main players in the so-called “smart speaker” sector – Amazon, Apple, and Google – offer plenty of upbeat advertising … Continue reading “Welcome to the Internet of listening, eavesdropping, spying things”

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

Putting together the pieces of the Chinese VPN jigsaw puzzle

VPNs are indispensable tools for today’s Internet users, and nowhere more so than in China. The famous “Great Firewall of China” – the name given to the set of technologies used to enforce censorship of foreign sites – can be circumvented by VPNs, but not in a consistent way. Sometimes VPNs are blocked, sometimes they … Continue reading “Putting together the pieces of the Chinese VPN jigsaw puzzle”

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