Barclays Replacing Security Questions With Voice-Recognition

We know you all love calling your bank and being asked the same security questions over and over; and we’re sure that bank employees get a real kick out of having to ask these questions and hearing customers groan. Barclays thinks it has the answer to the problem — voice-recognition software. [More]


Your ZIP Code And Your Name, That’s All Retailers Need To Track Your Behavior

How many times have you been asked “May I have your ZIP code?” when paying with a credit card? Many people just assume it’s for security purposes, but in reality it’s more likely that you may have just given marketers access to a wealth of knowledge about you and your shopping habits. [More]

(Matt McGee)

Google To Pay States $7 Million For Privacy Violations Related To Street View

Remember way back in 2010 when people were up in arms about Google collecting and storing data — including e-mails, texts, browsing histories, and other fun, private stuff — while tooling around taking photos for Google Street View? Well, the multi-state lawsuit over that mess has finally been settled. [More]

(CBS Sacramento)

Hospital Sends Lab Test Results For 10 Patients To Random Stranger

Even in this era of over-sharing and supposed transparency, most people don’t want their medical files shared with anyone who doesn’t absolutely need to see them. But all it takes is one person to not pay attention when stuffing envelopes for private medical documents to be shared with the world. [More]

(So Cal Metro)

AT&T E-Mails Me Stranger’s Account Statements, Shrugs

Eric was most likely an early adopter of Gmail, meaning that he was able to nab the address “elastname@gmail.com.” If you substitute in Eric’s actual last name for “lastname”, that is. The problem, as many early Gmail adopters can tell you, is that every other “E. Lastname” in the world seems to give out Eric’s e-mail address as his own. This time, it was serious: an AT&T business account holder gave the company Eric’s e-mail address, and now he’s getting notifications that have way, way more personal information than he’s comfortable having about a stranger. AT&T’s response? He should contact their customer himself. [More]

Creepy GameStop Stalks Me, Wants To Talk About My Gift Card Late At Night

Creepy GameStop Stalks Me, Wants To Talk About My Gift Card Late At Night

Michael doesn’t remember registering his gift card with GameStop, and he didn’t associate his cell phone number directly with it. He might have used his PowerUp card to make a purchase using that gift card, but didn’t realize that he was linking them up. Or that GameStop would call him up to pester him about his unspent gift card balance. [More]


FTC To Investigate What Info Data Brokers Are Collecting & Selling About Consumers

You may remember earlier this fall when Facebook’s new partnership with data broker Datalogix spurred privacy advocates to ask the Federal Trade Commission to investigate. Now it looks like Datalogix, along with eight other data brokers, will be going under the agency’s microscope. [More]

They know what you're buying and want you to buy more.

Walmart Knows I Bought Lube At The Store, Sends Me E-Mails About Other Lubes I Might Enjoy

Some folks are put off by online retailers tracking their browsing and buying habits in order to send them recommendations, but what about when your minor — and decidedly personal — purchases at bricks-and-mortar stores become the basis of marketing e-mails? [More]

One does not simply channel surf into Mordor.

Your Samsung Smart TV May Be Primed For A Hack Attack

Having an Internet-connected TV has its advantages — streaming Netflix, Hulu or Pandora straight through your TV is nice — but a new report claims that Samsung’s line of Smart TVs are just waiting to be exploited by clever hackers. [More]

(Bruno Pieroni)

1-In-5 Internet Users Always Read Privacy Policies, But That Doesn’t Mean They Understand What They’re Reading

Though everyone is always saying “You’ve got to read the fine print,” most of us don’t do it. According to a new study, only 16% of Internet users claim to always read privacy policies of the sites and online services with which they share their private information. [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]

Know your audience... a little too well

Does Verizon’s Monitoring Of Customer Behavior Violate Wiretap Laws?

Earlier this month, Verizon Wireless began selling reports that contain data about its customers’ phone usage and browsing activity. Not surprisingly, some people are worried that this might cross the line from being simply bad business to possibly violating federal laws. [More]

Facebook's New Mobile Ad Network Uses Your Data To Target You In Other Apps And Sites

Facebook's New Mobile Ad Network Uses Your Data To Target You In Other Apps And Sites

Yesterday, Facebook announced that it’s new mobile ad network (the one that analysts are counting on to rescue the company’s stock price) would allow advertisers to pay to use your Facebook data to target you with ads outside the Facebook environment. So, for example, if you’ve authorized Facebook on an outside mobile website, you’ll begin to see ads targeted to your Facebook profile data. [More]

You Should Really Use Google Two-Factor Authentication

You Should Really Use Google Two-Factor Authentication

If you haven’t heard of it, Google Two-Factor authentication is a simple process that combines something you know (your password) with something you have in your possession (your smart phone.) You may think you don’t need something like this, but we suggest you read this completely terrifying article from Ars Technica that explains that with every password breach, the bad guys are getting smarter. [More]

Google On The Hook For A Record $22.5 Million In Safari Privacy Case

Google On The Hook For A Record $22.5 Million In Safari Privacy Case

Better start digging around in those couch cushions, Google. The company has agreed to settle with the Federal Trade Commission over charges that it fudged privacy settings of Apple’s Safari Internet browser when it told users it wouldn’t place cookies or serve targeted ads. It’s going to cost Google a pretty penny to pay the civil penalty — a record $22.5 million. [More]

Want To Look At A Car? Dodge Dealership Needs All Of Your Info

Want To Look At A Car? Dodge Dealership Needs All Of Your Info

Allen wanted to look at a new Dodge Charger. Not test-drive it. Just look at it, and maybe check out the interior or sit inside. But the dealership he visited wouldn’t let him even look at the car without taking down his name, address, driver’s license information, and phone number. Annoyed, he left the dealership and did a Google Images search or something instead. [More]

College Instructor Accused Of Using Patients' X-Rays Without Permission

College Instructor Accused Of Using Patients' X-Rays Without Permission

When you go into a hospital, even for something as simple as a broken leg, you have an expectation that your documents are only to be used by your physicians and nurses. At the very least, you don’t expect that your X-rays and records will end up being used — with no attempt made to hide your identity — in a college class. [More]