Privacy

 2017



  Intrusive snooping...

Internet companies are attempting to block a US bill requiring that users permission is obtained before gathering people's web browsing history for commercial purposes


Link Here 26th May 2017
US SenateLobbyists for Google, Facebook, and other websites are trying to stop the implementation of a proposed law in the US that would strengthen consumer privacy protections online.

Representative Marsha Blackburn last week proposed a bill that would require broadband providers and websites to obtain users' opt-in consent before they use Web browsing history and application usage history for advertising and other purposes or before they share that information with other entities. The rule in Blackburn's BROWSER Act is similar to a previous proposal blocked by Republicans in Congress and President Donald Trump.

Currently the internet industry claims to be self regulating with mechanisms in which websites let visitors opt out of personalized advertising based on browsing history. However these rules do not restrict internet companies from gathering such intrusive personal information.

Naturally, lobbyists are trying to stop this from taking effect. The Internet Association yesterday issued a statement claiming that the bill will somehow diminish consumer experience and will stifle innovation. The Internet Association's founding members include Google, Facebook, Amazon, Dropbox, eBay, Microsoft, Netflix, PayPal, Reddit, Spotify, Twitter, and about 30 other Web companies.

 

 Offsite Article: The Big Slurp...


Link Here 7th April 2017  full story: Microsoft Snooping...Microsoft’s Windows 10 is a privacy nightmare
windows 10 logo Details of the vast amount of personal data that Microsoft extracts from Windows 10 users

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

  My friend Cayla's a snitch...

German authorities ban internet connected doll over unprotected and hackable surveillance capabilities


Link Here 18th February 2017

NEW Party Time My Friend Cayla Doll Blonde 18" Smart Interactive Fashion   Germany's telecommunications watchdog has ordered parents to destroy or disable a smart doll because the toy can be used to illegally spy on children. The My Friend Cayla doll, which is manufactured by the US company Genesis Toys and distributed in Europe by Guildford-based Vivid Toy Group, allows children to access the internet via speech recognition software, and to control the toy via an app.

But Germany's Federal Network Agency announced this week that it classified Cayla as an illegal espionage apparatus . As a result, retailers and owners could face fines if they continue to stock it or fail to permanently disable the doll's wireless connection.

Under German law it is illegal to manufacture, sell or possess surveillance devices disguised as another object. According to some media reports, breaching that law can result in a jail term of up to two years.

The ruling comes after Stefan Hessel, a student at Saarbr3ccken University, raised concerns about the device. He explained:

Access to the doll is completely unsecured. There is no password to protect the connection.

 

 Update: A handle on your private life...

US lawmaker introduces bill to force visa applicants to identify their social media accounts


Link Here 17th February 2017
US SenateA congressman ahs introduced a law bill demanding that visitors to America hand over URLs to their social network accounts.

Representatve Jim Banks says his proposed rules, titled the Visa Investigation and Social Media Act (VISA) of 2017, require visa applicants to provide their social media handles to immigration officials. Banks said:

We must have confidence that those entering our country do not intend us harm. Directing Homeland Security to review visa applicants' social media before granting them access to our country is common sense. Employers vet job candidates this way, and I think it's time we do the same for visa applicants.

Right now, at the US border you can be asked to give up your usernames by border officers. You don't have to reveal your public profiles, of course. However, if you're a non-US citizen, border agents don't have to let you in, either. Your devices can be seized and checked, and you can be put on a flight back, if you don't cooperate.

Banks' proposed law appears to end any uncertainty over whether or not non-citizens will have their online personas vetted: if the bill is passed, visa applicants will be required to disclose their online account names so they can be scrutinized for any unwanted behavior. For travellers on visa-waiver programs, revealing your social media accounts is and will remain optional, but again, being allowed into the country is optional, too.

Banks did not say how his bill would prevent hopefuls from deleting or simply not listing any accounts that may be unfavorable.

The Register reports that the bill is unlikely to progress.

 

 Offsite Article: Trump signs 'no privacy for non-Americans' order...


Link Here 31st January 2017
donald trump What does that mean for rest of us? Europe's Privacy Shield shaken by US president

See article from theregister.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Beauty is only skin deep, it's what underneath that counts...


Link Here 20th January 2017
meitu A Chinese selfie app from Meitu installs a privacy horror show

See article from cnet.com

 

 Offsite Article: It even shouts 'bingo' if it finds any bad taste joke emails featuring animal sex...


Link Here 15th January 2017
cellebrite phone snooper British police have been buying in mobile phone data analysis devices for a rapid scan at downloading kiosks set up in police stations

See article from thebristolcable.org

 

  The Age of PC Censorship...

IMDb challenges Californian ban on websites revealing ages in bios


Link Here 9th January 2017
imdb logoLast year the state of California passed a new law that banned sites that offer paid subscriptions, and allow people to post CVs and bios, from publishing individuals' ages. The law came into effect on 1st January 2017, and it is now being challenged by IMDb who have not taken down celebrity birthdays.

The state of California introduced the new law as a politically correct move against age-discrimination. Perhaps they would have done better to frame the birthday ban more in terms of privacy protections, date of birth is quite a key piece of information enabling identity fraud.

MDb believes that the law is a violation of the First Amendment and it says the state has chosen instead to chill free speech and to undermine access to factual information of public interest rather than trying to tackle age-discrimination in a more meaningful way. IMDb has now filed a lawsuit against the Californian law.