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Tag Archives for " app "

Facebook says Apple’s new privacy rules could spare its own apps but hit smaller companies

Facebook warned that privacy changes coming from Apple could hurt smaller developers such as gaming companies disproportionately but will likely leave its own apps mostly unscathed.

Facebook said it was making a change to its own apps – which in addition to its flagship app also include WhatsApp and Instagram – that would likely spare them from having to ask iPhone users for data-tracking permissions that many advertising industry insiders believe users will refuse.

Source: Facebook says Apple’s new privacy rules could spare its own apps but hit smaller companies – Reuters

TikTok, WeChat & Co: How does spyware get into smartphones?

TikTok, WeChat and thousands of other apps from China look harmless but are, in fact, malware, experts say. The apps cleverly disguise their origin. How can we protect ourselves from them?

Many apps seem innocuous and harmless to start with. At first, there is only a small back door that an attacker can use later. “Even if you look at the app now, and it is only doing harmless things, the Chinese manufacturer is often able to extend the functionality at runtime,” says founder and CEO of the IT security company CIROSEC. “All of a sudden, the app does completely different things without having been updated somewhere from the app store.”

Source: TikTok, WeChat & Co: How does spyware get into smartphones? | Science| In-depth reporting on science and technology | DW | 27.08.2020

Google and Apple to roll out phase two of contact-tracing system

Apple and Google are preparing to roll out phase two of their Covid-19 contact-tracing system, allowing users to receive notifications about their exposure to infectious people without needing to install a specific app.

Operating system update will allow opt-in to coronavirus exposure notifications without need of an app.

Source: Google and Apple to roll out phase two of contact-tracing system | Technology | The Guardian

Popular fertility app Premom shared data without user consent

The popular fertility app Premom asks users to upload details about their sexual health to receive personalized, remote analysis to help predict how to get pregnant.

But Premom’s app for Android was also collecting a broad swath of data about its users and sharing it without their permission with three Chinese companies focused on advertising.

While many apps use third parties to collect analytics or target ads, IDAC researchers say Premom users had no way of opting out of this tracking by both the app and the third parties that received their data, which IDAC contends was a violation of Google’s rules.

Source: Popular fertility app Premom shared data without user consent, researchers say – The Washington Post

Secret Service Bought Phone Location Data from Apps, Contract Confirms

An internal Secret Service document describes the purchase of Locate X, a product that uses location data harvested from ordinary apps.

The sale highlights the issue of law enforcement agencies buying information, and in particular location data, that they would ordinarily need a warrant or court order to obtain. This contract relates to the sale of Locate X, a product from a company called Babel Street.

Source: Secret Service Bought Phone Location Data from Apps, Contract Confirms

How Smartphone Location Tracking Works, and What You Can Do About It 

Smartphone location data, often used by marketers, has been useful for studying the spread of the coronavirus. But the information raises troubling privacy questions.

The fact that companies are collecting, storing and selling location information about individuals at all presents risks. Hackers or people with access to raw location data could identify or follow a person without consent, by pinpointing, for example, which phone regularly spent time at that person’s home address.

Full article: How Smartphone Location Tracking Works, and What You Can Do About It – The New York Times

U.S. Government Contractor Embedded Software in Apps to Track Phones

Anomaly Six LLC , a small U.S. company with ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities has embedded its software in numerous mobile apps, allowing it to track the movements of hundreds of millions of mobile phones world-wide.

Virginia-based company founded by two U.S. military veterans with a background in intelligence, said in marketing material it is able to draw location data from more than 500 mobile applications, in part through its own software development kit, or SDK, that is embedded directly in some of the apps.

Source: U.S. Government Contractor Embedded Software in Apps to Track Phones – WSJ

Google ‘Spying’ On People’s App Use, Lawsuit Claims

Google employees “spy” on smartphone users, collecting their sensitive data and information about their use of other companies’ apps, New York resident Robert McCoy alleges in a new class-actioncomplaint.

The lawsuit centers on “Android Lockbox,” a program that “allows Google employees to spy on how Android Smartphone users interact with non-Google apps,” according to McCoy’s complaint, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.

Source: Google ‘Spying’ On People’s App Use, Lawsuit Claims 08/07/2020

Canada Admits COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Does Not Guarantee 100% Anonymity

Canada’s privacy regulator is admitting the government’s contract tracing app can’t provide a 100% guarantee of anonymity.

“True anonymity, technically speaking, would require the complete and permanent impossibility of reversing the data processes at play, which could reveal sources of personal information and so re-identify individuals,” says Vito Pilieci, spokesman for Canada Privacy Commissioner Daniel Therrien.

“Our understanding of the situation is that while the identification of users would be highly improbable, it would not be impossible.”

Source: Canada Admits COVID-19 Contact Tracing App Does Not Guarantee 100% Anonymity

COVID-19 contact tracing apps create privacy pitfalls around the world

Contact tracing apps have the power to amass personal data that reveals your movements, activities and relationships.

The potential harm from contact tracing apps came into focus at Defcon, an annual gathering of hackers that’s taking place online this week. Two presentations focused on the privacy failings of contact tracing apps. The verdict is clear: The apps have a tendency to collect information they don’t need.

Source: COVID-19 contact tracing apps create privacy pitfalls around the world – CNET

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