(Daniel Fuentealba P.)

You Should Probably Check Your Facebook Privacy Settings Right Now

If you’re like most Consumerist readers, you’re probably Internet-savvy enough to carefully screen what you say on Facebook, and to use filters when you have something more colorful and interesting to post. Now that everyone from your grandmother to your niece’s cat are on using Facebook, though, everyone could use a reminder of how to set up your privacy settings, how to change who sees a given post, and how to make sure those settings are still arranged how you want them. [More]

Google Says No (For Now) To Facial Recognition Apps For Glass

Google Says No (For Now) To Facial Recognition Apps For Glass

As consumers test Google’s Glass device on the streets and subways of America, many people have raised privacy concerns about the possibility of developers creating facial recognition apps for the wearable computers. But Google is trying to calm those fears by saying it won’t allow such apps… for the time-being. [More]

Microsoft Eases Concerns (Slightly) About Being Spied On By Xbox One

Microsoft Eases Concerns (Slightly) About Being Spied On By Xbox One

Among the major concerns about the upcoming Xbox One gaming console is that the device’s new Kinect sensor is so thoroughly integrated into the the system that it will always be on and listening/watching what users are doing. In response to consumers who would rather not be monitored 24/7, Microsoft has issued a statement that quells some concerns while raising others. [More]

Nordstrom Decides To Stop Tracking Customers’ Smartphones

Nordstrom Decides To Stop Tracking Customers’ Smartphones

Earlier this week, we told you how Nordstrom has been testing a smartphone tracking service at 17 of its stores around the country. Almost immediately after the public found out about the tracking system, the department store decided to put an end to it, though it insists the timing is just a coincidence. [More]


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]