Two years ago, Uber was heavily criticized (by basically everyone except investor/sort-of actor Ashton Kutcher) when an executive suggested the company should probe the personal life of a reporter who criticized the ridesharing service. Now Uber has gone from trying to dig up dirt on reporters, to hiring investigators who pretend to be reporters to dig up dirt on a someone suing the company. [More]
Millions of unbanked consumers unable to open a traditional bank account have turned to prepaid debit cards in recent years. But now these reloadable, and often untraceable, cards have also become a method of choice for criminals to transport a large amount of cash from one place to another. A new device aims to make it easier for police to seize these ill-gotten funds, but some advocates worry the card scanner could be putting legitimate prepaid card users’ civil rights at risk. [More]
A year after the Internal Revenue Service said hackers used stolen Social Security numbers and other information gleaned from the agency’s system in an attempt to access hundreds of thousands of taxpayers’ accounts, the agency says that the Get Transcript tool at the heart of the attack is back online. [More]
Law enforcement has long used tattoos as a way to identify people (“The suspect has the name ‘Marge’ on his forearm”), or as an indicator of group membership (“All members of the gang had the same exact tattoo on their forearms”), but the FBI’s in-development tattoo recognition program seeks to create an algorithm to make instant inferences about a person’s behavior based on their tattoos.
This week’s episode of “Congress Tries To Cope With The 21st Century” is all about e-mail, and how much privacy yours gets.
Facebook announced in recent weeks that they’re expanding their advertising empire. With that change, came a stealthy new privacy setting for users — one that all of us are opted-in to by default.
Okay, okay, we know what you’re thinking: “Myspace?” you scoff, “It’s 2016! I haven’t had a Myspace account since I was a kid! My gosh, what’s next, CompuServe?”
Earlier this month, a federal court gave the go-ahead to a lawsuit alleging that Facebook’s photo-scanning, facial-recognition feature violated Illinois state law. Having lost that legal battle, it looks like Facebook may be trying to get out of the lawsuit by simply changing that Illinois law. [More]
Last month, Senators Diane Feinstein of California and Richard Burr of North Carolina were set to bring forth legislation that would end the debate on whether companies like Apple should help law enforcement unlock users’ devices, by requiring them to do so. In spite of the bipartisan, high-level sponsorship and the spotlight of the disputes between Apple and the Justice Department, it looks like this controversial legislation may never even be formally introduced. [More]
From a business standpoint, it makes sense for Netflix to block VPNs — virtual private networks — to cut down on users accessing its content in foreign countries. But privacy activists who just want to use VPNs to keep their internet connections, well, private, aren’t too pleased with Netflix’s recent blocking campaign. [More]
“The walls have ears” used to be a metaphorical expression. These days, as the era of the Internet of Things dawns and marches on apace, it’s becoming a little more literal every day. And while that’s all well and good for the adults who buy and install a device in their home, it might not be quite so legal for the house to listen to their kids.
“Individuality” does not exactly spring to mind when you’re in the middle of the workday commuter crush, trawling the same roads at the same time as every other 9-5 worker who has to get to work and pick the kids up from school. And yet it turns out that you — yes, you — have a unique way of approaching that commute. So unique, in fact, that it only takes a few minutes of driving data for you to be completely identifiable.
When you think of an identity thief, you probably envision some squirrelly jerk in a third-world country selling your data on the black market. He’s untraceable and living someplace where the police don’t care. However, that ID thief could be only miles away from you, living an otherwise normal life… in a police where police also don’t really care. [More]
Five years ago, a CVS representative explained that the reason why the pharmacy chain keeps printing such long receipts for customers is that customers like it. Maybe the public’s preferences have changed since 2011, since the chain officially announced today that it’s getting rid of the lengthy coupon-filled receipt streamers, and pre-loading coupons to customers’ rewards program cards instead. [More]
Usually when you think of “privacy,” that comprises ideas like, say, other people not knowing who you are, or being able to locate you down to the nearest meter. And yet that last bit seems to have been grossly overlooked by the developers of certain dating and hookup apps, which, it turns out, leak your exact location even if you have location-based services turned off.
We all kind of know that our devices, and our activities on them, are being tracked. In response, there are entire categories of apps and services that let you browse incognito, block ads, or hide your tracks — and many of those are quite popular. But it turns out there’s another kind of tracking signal that those privacy protectors, for the most part, miss.
Facebook Lawsuit Over Scanning Of Private Messages Moves Forward, But Plaintiffs Will Receive No Money
Way back in late 2013, a lawsuit accused Facebook of scanning links in users’ private messages and turning them into public “Likes,” from which the company earned revenue. This week, a federal court certified the class action, giving it the green light to move forward, but none of the plaintiffs should expect to see any money if they prevail at trial. [More]