Great Beyond

College Students Sue Google For Scanning School-Issued Gmail Accounts

Nearly two years after Google agreed to stop data-mining email accounts provided through its Google Apps For Education (GAFE) program, a group of current and former college students have sued the Internet giant for the snooping that did occur for years on the Gmail accounts provided by their university. [More]

(Nicholas Eckhart)

Report: Wendy’s May Be Latest Victim Of Credit Card Data Breach

A burger and some chili or a baked potato seems like a great meal idea in this miserably snowy winter weather so many of us are having. Unfortunately, reports are saying that if you bought that tasty treat from Wendy’s with a credit or debit card recently, it may come with an unwanted side of fraud. [More]

How Social Engineering Fooled Amazon Customer Service Reps Into Sharing A Customer’s Data

How Social Engineering Fooled Amazon Customer Service Reps Into Sharing A Customer’s Data

You generally expect that a company that has your personal information — like your address, recent orders, and billing information — is going to treat that data with some level of care. While you know their privacy policy might still allow some sharing for marketing reasons, you don’t expect their customer service agents to divulge it to anyone who happens to call up and pretend to be you. [More]

Microsoft Finally Resolving A Five-Year-Old Skype Privacy Flaw For All Users

Microsoft Finally Resolving A Five-Year-Old Skype Privacy Flaw For All Users

There’s a security flaw in Skype that can expose users’ location. That’s not the news, though: that flaw was discovered in 2010, and published in 2011. No, the news is this: after more than five long years and one big acquisition by Microsoft, that problem is finally fixed. [More]

Boris Sverdlik

YouTuber Being Sued By Dentist Explains Why It’s Important They Stay Anonymous

Yesterday we told you about Dr. Gordon Austin, a former dentist who is suing to unmask an anonymous YouTube user for posting a 2009 news report about allegations against Austin. We’ve since had the chance to communicate with the YouTuber via email to understand why they posted the clip in the first place and why, nearly seven years later, they are still fighting to keep it online. [More]

When It Comes To Privacy, Some Americans Are Willing To Negotiate

Rich Renomeron

We recently wrote about the apparent reluctance of drivers to join auto insurance programs that could save them money in exchange for giving up some of their privacy. While many people want little to do with this sort of tracking, there are still a large number of consumers who don’t take such a hardline stance and are willing to consider ceding their privacy if they receive some benefit in return. [More]

3 Common Misconceptions & 1 Important Truth About Privacy Policies

Jason Cook

It’s right there, somewhere. Buried deep in a menu under “legal” in an app, or lurking somewhere in the footer of a website that never seems to stop adding content while you scroll. Each of us encounters dozens of them every day and yet most of us never give any thought to them. It is, of course, the privacy policy. [More]

Progressive's Snapshot has been used by millions of drivers, but many more Progressive customers are just saying no to plugging the tracker into their car for six months.

Some Drivers Don’t Want Insurance Companies Tracking Them, Even If It Means Discounts

A longstanding complaint against auto insurance is that it sometimes lumps in drivers based on things — like location, type of car, and age — that may have little-to-nothing to do with a particular driver’s behavior or history. In recent years, some insurers have begun offering drivers a way to get more personalized rates by allowing the insurance company to track their vehicular movements, but many American consumers simply aren’t willing to share that information. [More]

(Eric Arnold)

States Say Volkswagen Won’t Turn Over Documents In Emissions Investigation

A group of state attorneys general called out Volkswagen on Friday for allegedly withholding documents related to its use of “defeat devices” to skirt emissions standards in 500,000 vehicles in the U.S.  [More]

Google Gets Access To Your Kids’ Data Because It’s A “School Official”

Google Gets Access To Your Kids’ Data Because It’s A “School Official”

Sometimes, data has to be shared to be useful. For example, a school district needs information on the students in it, in order to function. When are they absent? What are their grades? How are things going with scheduling? So it wouldn’t come as a surprise to most parents that “school officials” are on the list of entities who are allowed to access data, even sometimes sensitive data, about their kids. But it would shock most parents to find out that Google — yes, that Google — is one of those “school officials.” [More]

(frankieleon)

TSA Updates Screening Procedure, Will Mandate Some Passengers Use Full-Body Scanners

Going through airport security is about to get a bit different for some passengers: the Transportation Security Administration can now require some travelers to go through body scanners even if the person asks to get a full-body pat-down instead. [More]

Woman Sues Airbnb, Homeowners After Finding Hidden Camera In Residence

Woman Sues Airbnb, Homeowners After Finding Hidden Camera In Residence

When staying at a hotel you have a reasonable expectation that what you do in your room remains your private business, and that it won’t be captured by a hidden camera. The same should be true for an Airbnb rental, right? But one user of the home-sharing service claims she was secretly filmed by the homeowner. [More]

Comcast Hit With $26M Penalty For Dumping Hazardous Waste AND Revealing Personal Customer Info

Comcast Hit With $26M Penalty For Dumping Hazardous Waste AND Revealing Personal Customer Info

Wow. Just wow. It takes a truly awful company to dump hazardous waste. It takes an equally bad business to reveal private customer info. But it takes a Kabletown to do both at the same time. [More]

(Damian)

“Do Not Track” Bill Hopes To Let Consumers Just Say No To Online Tracking

Just about anywhere you go online, at least some of your actions are being tracked. Sometimes, it’s as simple and innocuous as measuring unique visits to a website. Other times, it’s more invasive — keeping track of the pages you browse to provide you more targeted advertising. A newly introduced piece of federal legislation aims to give consumers more choices about when their browsing behavior is being tracked. [More]

Eavesdropping Barbie Brings Home The Win For Worst Toy Of The Year

Eavesdropping Barbie Brings Home The Win For Worst Toy Of The Year

Here’s to hoping Hello Barbie has cleared off a spot in the Dream Home’s trophy case for a dubious honor: the eavesdropping doll that got privacy advocates talking — and not in a good way — has topped all other nominees for Worst Toy of The Year and will be taking home the win. [More]

(photo: CBC)

Cable Company Decides To Shame Overdue Customers By Posting Names On Facebook

There are a lot of reasons you might fall behind on your cable bill — finances are tight, a medical emergency — or maybe, as we’ve heard all too often, the cable company screwed up and hasn’t properly credited your account. But even if you’re just a cheap jerk with no intention of ever paying your bill until they cut off service, that still doesn’t merit being called out publicly on Facebook. [More]

Target Agrees To Pay Banks $39.4M For Expenses Resulting From 2013 Data Breach

Target Agrees To Pay Banks $39.4M For Expenses Resulting From 2013 Data Breach

Target continues to put the disastrous 2013 holiday-season data breach behind it, agreeing today to pay $39.4 million to banks claiming they lost money during the hack.  [More]

Google Accused Of Snooping On Students’ Internet Activity

Google Accused Of Snooping On Students’ Internet Activity

Google is one of more than 200 companies that have signed on to the “Student Privacy Pledge,” in which it promises to, among other things, “Not collect, maintain, use or share student personal information beyond that needed for authorized educational/school purposes.” But a new complaint accuses the Internet biggie of breaking its oath and spying on kids’ online activity. [More]