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]

Lending Startups Use Borrowers’ Smartphone Behavior To Decide If They Are Creditworthy

Lending Startups Use Borrowers’ Smartphone Behavior To Decide If They Are Creditworthy

The wallet-sized – or larger – smartphone constantly tethered to your hand may often be seen as your connection to the outside world. Each time you surf the web, connect with friends, make purchases and check your bank account, it’s collecting mountains of data about you. And that data could soon be analyzed to determine if you’re creditworthy.  [More]

VTech Hack Exposed Tens Of Thousands Of Photos & Chat Logs Of Parents, Kids

VTech Hack Exposed Tens Of Thousands Of Photos & Chat Logs Of Parents, Kids

The recent breach of popular children’s electric toy maker VTech compromised the personal information of nearly five million parents and children, but a new report claims the hack exposed even more sensitive information: photos and chat logs between children and their parents.  [More]

(Chris Stephens)

It’s Cyber Monday, But Don’t Get Fired For Shopping Too Much At Work

So many people do their holiday shopping online that the idea of “Cyber Monday” seems like a relic of an era when online retail was a novelty in search of legitimacy. Still, the name — and the sales — persist, but shopping on the job today could land you in a heap of trouble with the boss. [More]

Hack Of Toy Maker VTech Exposes Data For Millions Of Parents, Kids

Hack Of Toy Maker VTech Exposes Data For Millions Of Parents, Kids

Let’s kick off the holiday shopping season with news of a data breach that may involve some toys you’ll be wrapping in the coming weeks. Popular children’s electric toy maker VTech has announced that customer information fell into the wrong hands earlier this month.  [More]

Dell Helpfully Installs Yet Another Gaping Security Hole On Some Laptops

That big fat “Superfish”-style security hole in Dell laptops that we told you about yesterday? Turns out, it’s not alone. There’s another basically just like it on Dell laptops, too. ZDNet has instructions for how to remove these troublesome certificates from your laptop if it has them. [ZDNet]

New Hire At FCC May Indicate More Protection For Consumers’ Privacy Down The Road

New Hire At FCC May Indicate More Protection For Consumers’ Privacy Down The Road

Government agencies are basically giant businesses: they hire new people all the time, and it’s very rarely news when they do. Occasionally, though, the match of person and position may hint at big news for consumers, as one recent hire at the FCC just did. [More]

A section of the Lockheed Martin brochure for its "LM Wisdom" product that Walmart used to track dissident employees and pro-union activists in 2012.

Walmart Used Defense Contractor Lockheed Martin To Monitor Employees

As a growing number of Walmart employees began demanding higher wages, with some also calling for workers to unionize, the nation’s largest retailer hired one of the world’s largest defense contractors to follow the online activities of critical employees. [More]

(Renata Prazeres)

Some Dell Laptops Shipping With Big Security Flaw Pre-Installed

There are millions of Dell laptops out there in the world; businesses buy them by the tens of thousands and plenty of home consumers use them too. And unfortunately, that means there are millions of laptops out there with a big fat security hole that could allow mischief-makers and would-be-thieves a way to access users’ private, theoretically secure data. [More]

Man Uses LifeLock To Track Ex-Wife; Company Didn’t Care

Man Uses LifeLock To Track Ex-Wife; Company Didn’t Care

Imagine you found out that your former spouse had opened a fake LifeLock credit monitoring account in your name, and then used it to follow your every financial move for two years? Then imagine that no one at LifeLock will take your query seriously, even after the police get involved. [More]

(frankieleon)

Medical Data Privacy Laws Don’t Actually Cover Apps, Wearables, And Other Consumer Stuff

The future’s really cool sometimes: We get to use all sorts of new technology tools and cloud-based services to help us manage our health. That constellation of apps, trackers, tests, and gadgets gives huge insight into our health and bodies, which is useful to millions… but it also lets a stunning amount of the most personal data out into the wild, unregulated and uncontrolled. [More]

(Byron Chin)

FCC Declines To Force Internet Companies To Listen When You Ask Them Not To Track You

It’s no secret that the internet, well, follows you around. Browse one product on Monday and you’re seeing ads for it everywhere all week long. Modern browsers have an option that lets users ask businesses nicely not to follow them. One consumer group tried to ask the FCC to make businesses listen but it appears that is not to be. [More]

(Steve)

Walmart Tried, Gave Up On Using Facial Recognition Software To ID Shoplifters

If you’ve ever known a shoplifter, you’ve probably noticed that he or she has a tendency to hit up the same stores over and over until those victimized retailers either nab the shoplifter or do something to make theft more difficult. It would make seem to make sense then for Walmart to deploy a facial recognition program to identify known or suspected offenders. So why did the company recently give up on this sort of system? [More]

Firefox’s Private Browsing Mode Can Now Block Invasive Online Ads

Firefox’s Private Browsing Mode Can Now Block Invasive Online Ads

Any decent web browser has some sort of incognito browsing mode that adds at least the appearance of a more private user experience. Now the folks behind the Firefox browser say their latest update includes an enhanced Private Browsing mode that limits tracking to the point of actually blocking some ads. [More]

Former Ashley Madison Customer Sues Site Over “Army Of Fembots” With Fake Profiles

Former Ashley Madison Customer Sues Site Over “Army Of Fembots” With Fake Profiles

After hackers dumped a plethora of personal information about Ashley Madison’s 37 million subscribers online in August, the public has learned a lot about the dating site aimed at cheaters. Among the reported revelations: only about 15% of its users are women, contrary to the site’s marketing claims, a new lawsuit says. Adding insult to injury? The army of fembots scattered through the sites with fake profiles written by employees. [More]

Privacy Advocates Concerned As Senate Approves Controversial Cybersecurity Bill

Privacy Advocates Concerned As Senate Approves Controversial Cybersecurity Bill

Despite previous failures, Congress just keeps on churning through bills that propose to enhance digital security at the cost of digital privacy. The latest in the series sailed through the Senate with wide approval this week, kicking off another wave of privacy concerns. [More]

(Mike Mozart)

Facebook Wins Dismissal Of $15 Billion Privacy Lawsuit

It’s been more than three years since a federal judge in California heard arguments in a large class-action lawsuit filed against Facebook over its questionable privacy practices. Finally, on Friday that judge sided with the social network and threw out the case — while leaving open the option for plaintiffs to revise and re-file their case. [More]