Target wants to track your every move while shopping at its stores. Or at least that seems to be the gist behind the retailers’ new test of transmitters – known as beacons – that link to shoppers’ smartphones through the company’s app, sending coupons, deals, product recommendations and recipes based on their location inside the big box store. [More]
After a group of hackers posted a sampling of user data stolen from AshleyMadison.com, the parent company of the dating site for cheaters says it’s secured all customer information that was allegedly leaked.
How much LTE mobile data does your family (or just the unrelated people on your mobile phone plan) really need? 10 GB? 20? 40? It depends on what you do with your mobile device and where you use it, but most people don’t use that much. Today, T-Mobile announced new plans designed to compete with similar offerings from Verizon, but that include more data than most people could need. [More]
Remember when it was announced that more than four million federal employees in the country were part of a massive data breach last month? Well, turns out that was just one of two rather large data breaches to hit the Office of Personnel Management, with the newly announced second, larger hack affecting upwards of 21 million current and former employees, as well as prospective employees, their families and others who applied for federal background investigations in the last 15 years. [More]
You’ve signed up for a dating site, and it has promised up and down not to sell your data for marketing purposes. One year in, so far so good. Except the site folds, and someone else buys its assets — and those assets include all your personal info. The new owners made no privacy promise, and now your likes, dislikes, and dating history are floating down you-know-what creek without you.
In an age when data is just as powerful as money, it may come as no surprise to learn that sales of political stickers, T-shirts, buttons, mugs and other merchandise emblazoned with a candidate’s brand not only go toward filling campaign coffers with money, but also provide presidential hopefuls with valuable personal data that sheds light on what kind of people/voters are out there shopping.
Net neutrality only became well and truly legal on June 12, and yet already the new rules are prompting change: Sprint stopped intermittently throttling data speeds for its heaviest wireless Internet users during busy times as of Friday, the same day the Federal Communications Commission’s net-neutrality rules went into effect.
Facial recognition still kind of sounds like science fiction, but is a tech reality. It is, however, still a fairly new and unregulated reality — nobody quite knows how to handle it. So the Commerce Department brought together privacy advocates and industry representatives to hammer out a new code of conduct… and it is not going well. In fact, several of the advocates claim, the process is so broken that it can’t be fixed, and they are walking out.
It’s no secret that ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft have enjoyed a spirited rivalry in recent years. Over the weekend, a security researcher inserted himself into the crosshairs of the two ride-hailing services by exploiting a vulnerability in Uber’s petition website that allowed him to showcase and redirect visitors to Lyft’s homepage, while also changing the content of some petitions. Now he’s warning the company – and others like it – to take precautions when using petition and contest websites, as they might prove to be a welcome mat for malevolent hackers. [More]
Study: Consumers Give Up Data In Exchange For Discounts Because They Figure It’s All Out There Anyway
You’re shopping at a store you’ve never been to before. They offer to sign you up for a loyalty card. You know it’s going to create endless postal and electronic spam for you if you accept, but they’ll give you 40% off of this order if you do. So you take the card. The store thinks they just bought your info with a discount. Are they right?
There are millions of federal employees in the country, and not just in Washington, DC. The government is a big bureaucracy and a big employer — and that makes it a nice, juicy target for a big data breach.
Verizon isn’t a cable company. Its FiOS product doesn’t spring from decades of guaranteed local monopolies, which means most FiOS customers can, if they get annoyed enough, jump ship to a competitor. But you leaving is bad news for Verizon. They want to keep their subscribers. And they have an enormous mountain of highly personalized data on hand to try to do it with.
With seemingly daily reports of new data breaches and related scams, it’s no secret that identity theft is now more of a concern than ever. In an effort to help victims work their way through the process of restoring and protecting their identities, the Federal Trade Commission has launched a new online interactive tool. [More]
Every day, the great amorphous mass of consumers creates millions upon millions of trackable, quantifiable pieces of data. Every purchase at every store. Every click on every website, every bit of geotagged data, every installed or opened app and every interaction on social media. All of it adds up together into one giant Mount Everest of data to be sliced, diced, bought, sold, and traded.
The controversial sale of RadioShack’s intellectual property continues: an attorney who represents the chain’s network of franchisees and dealers says that the current high bidder is the most logical buyer for the name and intellectual property: the same affiliate of hedge fund Standard General that purchased fewer than half of RadioShack’s stores and is running them in partnership with mobile carrier Sprint. Update: The final bid was $26.2 million. [More]
Given the sheer number of high-profile data breaches in recent years, and the varying levels of personal information stolen, it can be difficult to quantify how many American consumers were affected. A new survey tries to answer the questions of how many people have had their info stolen (a lot) and what consumers are doing to protect themselves (not much). [More]