(Bill Binns)

Report: Google Error Leaks Hidden Data For 280,000 Domains

Usually when we hear that a company has had a bunch of data leaked to the world, hackers are responsible. But in the case of a Google leak involving hidden data for 280,000 domain names, a bug in Google’s system is apparently to blame. [More]

Snooping Sites, Aimless Ads, Sexist Stereotypes: A Look Back At The Week In Tech News

Snooping Sites, Aimless Ads, Sexist Stereotypes: A Look Back At The Week In Tech News

It’s a big, busy world, and even with a smartphone in your pocket at all times it’s hard to read everything written about it in a week. Sometimes, useful info slips through the cracks. So, here are five interesting stories from the world of internet and technology news. [More]

(Mr. Forthright on YouTube)

This How-To Video On Protecting Your Online Identity Won’t Actually Work, But It’s Still Amazing

Once you’ve got an online identity, it’s pretty much there to stay. So while we can’t be advocating one YouTuber’s tip on how to protect your personal info online due to its total and complete ineffectiveness, we can applaud him for a spirited performance. [More]

Report: Almost Half Of American Adults Were Hacked In The Last Year

Report: Almost Half Of American Adults Were Hacked In The Last Year

If you’ve felt like there hasn’t been a day in the last year without a warning of some new hack on big businesses and services you use and have had to change your passwords and keep an eye on your accounts as a result, you’re not alone — not by a long shot. A new report says about half of American adults were the victims of hackers in the last 12 months. [More]

Predictive Models, Secret Scores: How Computers Decide Who You Are & What To Sell You

(Mike Saechang)

Savvy consumers all know that their lifetime debt history ends up in their credit score, and that lenders use that score to try to predict if someone is a good bet for a big loan like a mortgage. But even the most-connected consumer may not realize how many hundreds of other scores we all now trail in our wakes too, thanks to the advent of big data. Do you know, to the last decimal, how likely are you to buy jewelry? To sign up for cable? To have a kid in the next year? Someone, somewhere, is tallying all of that information about almost everyone. But good luck finding out what’s out there, who’s scoring it, and if your numbers are even actually about you at all. [More]


FTC Approves Oversight Program For Compliance With Kids’ Online Privacy Rules

The FTC announced today that the agency has approved a new “safe harbor” certification program for websites that handle childrens’ personal data. The kidSAFE program will certify websites and programs that meet the standards of the the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. [More]

United Nations Names Online Privacy That You Probably Don’t Have As A Universal Human Right

United Nations Names Online Privacy That You Probably Don’t Have As A Universal Human Right

Online privacy: it’s a contentious ground between corporations and consumers, a troubled 21st century frontier of expectations, and, apparently, a universal human right. [More]

(Paxton Holley)

Microsoft Trying To Get A Grip On Customers’ Online Privacy Concerns With New Campaign

In a time when almost any aspect of our lives can be translated into online terms and our personal information collected, tracked and used like so much currency, many people are understandably concerned about privacy in the virtual world. Microsoft is attempting to show its customers that it’s on top of things with a new campaign dedicated to discussing online privacy. [More]


Senator Introduces “Do-Not-Track” Bill Saying Industry Failed To Protect Consumers Voluntarily

Far from sitting on his laurels as an outgoing Congressman, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia is gearing up to go out with a blaze of consumer advocacy. He’s set to retire at the end of next year after championing consumers during his career, but before then will be working on the “Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2013,” a bill he introduced yesterday. [More]


Facebook Reportedly Working On Location-Tracking App So Friends Can Stalk You More Efficiently

Have you ever stared at your phone, cursing its inability to pinpoint your exact location and broadcast it to your large group of friends on a popular social network? Probably not — there are apps for that, Foursquare being one that pops to mind — but if you did, Facebook has a solution. The company is reportedly working on its own location-tracking app so your friends will be able to see where you go, when you go and who you’re with. Whew. [More]


Microsoft Under Pressure To Cough Up Skype Privacy Reports

While you’re chitchatting away on Skype with your friend living halfway around the world or maybe showing your new kitchen improvements to your mother by carrying the laptop around, what is Skype doing with your information, and what happens if the government tries to get it? A group of privacy advocates are putting Microsoft in the hot seat with a letter asking it to answer such questions. [More]


Facebook’s New Privacy Controls Rolling Out Soon: Here’s What’s About To Happen

There are plenty of times we’re critical of Facebook — the $1 message from strangers plan, launching auto-play ads — but with its new privacy controls it’s actually kinda sorta seems like the social network is (dare we say it?) making things easier for users. The new settings have rolled out globally and will be hitting U.S. accounts soon as well. They look like they’re easy to navigate, so, high five there, Facebook. [More]


FTC Closes Loophole That Let Website Plug-Ins Collect Personal Info About Kids Under 13

The Federal Trade Commission has announced updates to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule intended to bolster the privacy protections for Internet users under the age of 13 while giving parents greater control over what information websites and online services collect from these kids. [More]


So Here’s How You Delete Your Instagram Account

If you’re among the many Instagram users who are taking to the Internets to grumble about the photo service’s new terms of service and privacy policy, both taking effect Jan. 16, you might be considering the next  and final step — deleting your account. The bad news is it’s the only way to keep your photos out of the hands of Facebook advertisers. The good news is, it’s easy to do. [More]


Don’t Like Instagram’s New Terms Of Service & Privacy Policy? Quitting Is The Only Way Out

It seems like every week users of social network Instagram have been seeing more and more changes, all leading the service down the merry path toward becoming more and more like its parent company, Facebook. There was the Twitter card break-up, followed by the revelation that yes, Instagram would get ads. And now the service has updated its terms of service and privacy policy in ways that might see a whole lot of users fleeing for good. [More]


FTC: Mobile Apps Made For Kids Are Secretly Collecting Info On Minors, Sharing It

The Federal Trade Commission has been doing some digging around to make sure kids on the Internet are protected and has subsequently come up with some shocking news. Most of the mobile apps the agency checked out by way of the Google Play and the Apple App store are not only gathering info from kids without parents’ knowledge or their permission, they’re also sharing it. [More]


Relationship Pages Means Couples Can Go By “We” On Facebook Just Like In Real Life

Let’s make this clear right off the bat: It’s totally acceptable and normal to refer to your relationship as a “we”  when the situation calls for it. But we all know those couples who seem to have shed any pretense of separate identities and go around “we’ing” the bejeezus out of every conversation. That’s now possible in online world with Facebook’s new “relationship” pages starring you and your main squeeze as the happy “we” that you are. [More]

(Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com)

California Attorney General Warning App Developers They Can’t Mess With Consumer Privacy

Watch out, mobile app developers — California has your number and it’s not going to let you get away with violating consumer privacy. The state’s attorney general issued letters this week to the makers of 100 mobile apps that they must have a written privacy policy posted on their products to explain to customers which information the apps gather and share. [More]