Toy Maker VTech Hires Cyber Forensic Team To Help Beef Up Security After Data Breach

Toy Maker VTech Hires Cyber Forensic Team To Help Beef Up Security After Data Breach

After a data breach at popular kids’ toy maker VTech that put the personal information of nearly five million parents and children at risk, as well as reportedly exposing many of their photos and chat logs, the Hong Kong-based company says it’s bringing in the pros to help shore up its security. [More]


Security Vulnerability In New Kardashian Websites Coughs Up User Info For 600K Subscribers

If you’re not up to date on all your reality TV star news, perhaps you aren’t aware that the Kardashian/Jenner sisters recently launched new mobile apps and redesigned websites to stay even more connected with their adoring hordes than before. But while the family’s popularity has seen hundreds of thousands of people signing up for those sites, a new report says the personal information for many of those subscribers was available — albeit briefly — to anyone with the know-how to get it. [More]

Lawsuit Claims Twitter Eavesdrops On Direct Messages

Lawsuit Claims Twitter Eavesdrops On Direct Messages

When you send a direct message on Twitter, you might imagine it zipping straight from your account to its intended recipient, arriving exactly how you wrote it, untouched and unchanged. But a new lawsuit in California claims Twitter is effectively snooping on users’ direct messages, and changing them to benefit its own advertising goals. [More]

Ashley Madison CEO Steps Down In Wake Of Hacking Scandal

Ashley Madison CEO Steps Down In Wake Of Hacking Scandal

Less than two weeks after hackers published two big data dumps full of material stolen from Ashley Madison, a dating website for cheaters, its parent company Avid Life Media announced that effective today, CEO Noel Biderman will be stepping down from his position and is no longer with the company. [More]

(Ken Fager)

Digital Privacy And Parental Rights Act Would Put Restrictions On The Use Of Student Data Online

Students are more dependent than ever on technology and the Internet for their education, but those same apps and online learning tools that help educate them could be putting their personal information at risk if shared improperly. Nearly a month after it was first expected, a pair of U.S. representatives have introduced a bill aiming to restrict third-party use of students’ sensitive personal data. [More]

(Bill Binns)

Report: Google Error Leaks Hidden Data For 280,000 Domains

Usually when we hear that a company has had a bunch of data leaked to the world, hackers are responsible. But in the case of a Google leak involving hidden data for 280,000 domain names, a bug in Google’s system is apparently to blame. [More]

Snooping Sites, Aimless Ads, Sexist Stereotypes: A Look Back At The Week In Tech News

Snooping Sites, Aimless Ads, Sexist Stereotypes: A Look Back At The Week In Tech News

It’s a big, busy world, and even with a smartphone in your pocket at all times it’s hard to read everything written about it in a week. Sometimes, useful info slips through the cracks. So, here are five interesting stories from the world of internet and technology news. [More]

(Mr. Forthright on YouTube)

This How-To Video On Protecting Your Online Identity Won’t Actually Work, But It’s Still Amazing

Once you’ve got an online identity, it’s pretty much there to stay. So while we can’t be advocating one YouTuber’s tip on how to protect your personal info online due to its total and complete ineffectiveness, we can applaud him for a spirited performance. [More]

Report: Almost Half Of American Adults Were Hacked In The Last Year

Report: Almost Half Of American Adults Were Hacked In The Last Year

If you’ve felt like there hasn’t been a day in the last year without a warning of some new hack on big businesses and services you use and have had to change your passwords and keep an eye on your accounts as a result, you’re not alone — not by a long shot. A new report says about half of American adults were the victims of hackers in the last 12 months. [More]

Predictive Models, Secret Scores: How Computers Decide Who You Are & What To Sell You

(Mike Saechang)

Savvy consumers all know that their lifetime debt history ends up in their credit score, and that lenders use that score to try to predict if someone is a good bet for a big loan like a mortgage. But even the most-connected consumer may not realize how many hundreds of other scores we all now trail in our wakes too, thanks to the advent of big data. Do you know, to the last decimal, how likely are you to buy jewelry? To sign up for cable? To have a kid in the next year? Someone, somewhere, is tallying all of that information about almost everyone. But good luck finding out what’s out there, who’s scoring it, and if your numbers are even actually about you at all. [More]


FTC Approves Oversight Program For Compliance With Kids’ Online Privacy Rules

The FTC announced today that the agency has approved a new “safe harbor” certification program for websites that handle childrens’ personal data. The kidSAFE program will certify websites and programs that meet the standards of the the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. [More]

United Nations Names Online Privacy That You Probably Don’t Have As A Universal Human Right

United Nations Names Online Privacy That You Probably Don’t Have As A Universal Human Right

Online privacy: it’s a contentious ground between corporations and consumers, a troubled 21st century frontier of expectations, and, apparently, a universal human right. [More]

(Paxton Holley)

Microsoft Trying To Get A Grip On Customers’ Online Privacy Concerns With New Campaign

In a time when almost any aspect of our lives can be translated into online terms and our personal information collected, tracked and used like so much currency, many people are understandably concerned about privacy in the virtual world. Microsoft is attempting to show its customers that it’s on top of things with a new campaign dedicated to discussing online privacy. [More]


Senator Introduces “Do-Not-Track” Bill Saying Industry Failed To Protect Consumers Voluntarily

Far from sitting on his laurels as an outgoing Congressman, Sen. John D. Rockefeller IV of West Virginia is gearing up to go out with a blaze of consumer advocacy. He’s set to retire at the end of next year after championing consumers during his career, but before then will be working on the “Do-Not-Track Online Act of 2013,” a bill he introduced yesterday. [More]


Facebook Reportedly Working On Location-Tracking App So Friends Can Stalk You More Efficiently

Have you ever stared at your phone, cursing its inability to pinpoint your exact location and broadcast it to your large group of friends on a popular social network? Probably not — there are apps for that, Foursquare being one that pops to mind — but if you did, Facebook has a solution. The company is reportedly working on its own location-tracking app so your friends will be able to see where you go, when you go and who you’re with. Whew. [More]


Microsoft Under Pressure To Cough Up Skype Privacy Reports

While you’re chitchatting away on Skype with your friend living halfway around the world or maybe showing your new kitchen improvements to your mother by carrying the laptop around, what is Skype doing with your information, and what happens if the government tries to get it? A group of privacy advocates are putting Microsoft in the hot seat with a letter asking it to answer such questions. [More]


Facebook’s New Privacy Controls Rolling Out Soon: Here’s What’s About To Happen

There are plenty of times we’re critical of Facebook — the $1 message from strangers plan, launching auto-play ads — but with its new privacy controls it’s actually kinda sorta seems like the social network is (dare we say it?) making things easier for users. The new settings have rolled out globally and will be hitting U.S. accounts soon as well. They look like they’re easy to navigate, so, high five there, Facebook. [More]


FTC Closes Loophole That Let Website Plug-Ins Collect Personal Info About Kids Under 13

The Federal Trade Commission has announced updates to the Children’s Online Privacy Protection (COPPA) Rule intended to bolster the privacy protections for Internet users under the age of 13 while giving parents greater control over what information websites and online services collect from these kids. [More]