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Tag Archives for " monitoring "

Big Tech condemn GCHQ proposal to listen in on encrypted chats

An international coalition of civic society organizations, security and policy experts and tech companies — including Apple, Google, Microsoft and WhatsApp — has penned a critical slap-down to a surveillance proposal made last year by the UK’s intelligence agency, warning it would undermine trust and security and threaten fundamental rights.

GCHQ’s idea for a so-called ‘ghost protocol’ would be for state intelligence or law enforcement agencies to be invisibly CC’d by service providers into encrypted communications — on what’s billed as targeted, government authorized basis.

If implemented, it will undermine the authentication process, introduce potential unintentional vulnerabilities, and increase risks that communications systems could be abused or misused. Users won’t be able to trust that their communications are secure, thereby posing threats to fundamental human rights, including privacy and free expression.

Source: Apple, Google, Microsoft, WhatsApp sign open letter condemning GCHQ proposal to listen in on encrypted chats | TechCrunch

Autonomous cars rise privacy questions

When fully autonomous vehicles begin circulating on public roads they will have to be able to detect when people enter or exit a vehicle, who the person is, whether they have left anything behind in the car, and especially if a person has become disabled (because of intoxication or a medical emergency).

And that information will inevitably be shared online, although there may be ways that some people can still preserve their sense of independence in the car.

“In the future, it may be different for people who own their own cars, where there’s more privacy,” said Mr. Wisselmann at BMW, “and for people who use robo taxis, where there will be less.”

Full article: Eyes on the Road! (Your Car Is Watching) – The New York Times

A New Age of Warfare: How Internet Mercenaries Do Battle for Authoritarian Governments

Sophisticated surveillance, once the domain of world powers, is increasingly available on the private market. Smaller countries are seizing on the tools — sometimes for darker purposes.

NSO, a private company based in Herzliya, Israel, has hired former government hackers to ply their trades for foreign governments.

Full article: A New Age of Warfare: How Internet Mercenaries Do Battle for Authoritarian Governments – The New York Times

We’re not safe without information privacy

Left unchecked, in ten years, some of the biggest, most influential corporations will know (or have ready access to) not just your name, email address, phone number, age, sex/gender, credit card numbers, family relationships, friends, mother’s maiden name, first car, favorite food, various social media metrics, browsing history, purchase history, as well as a large collection of content authored and curated by you.

That’s already bad enough. But they might add to their dossiers on you such things as your social security number, credit score, criminal record, medical history, voting history, religion, political party, government benefits, and more.

Full article: We’re not safe without information privacy

Taxing your privacy

Data collection through mobile tracking is big business. For consumers, protecting yourself against the who, what and where of data flow is just the beginning.

While the revenue upside for companies helping smart cities (and states) with taxing and tolling is significant, it is also rife with contradictions and complications that could, ultimately, pose serious problems to those companies’ underlying business models and for the investors that bet heavily on them.

Full article: Taxing your privacy | TechCrunch

European Court of Human Rights to Reexamine Bulk Collection

On February 5, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) announced that the Grand Chamber will reexamine two cases concerning bulk interception: the joined petitions of Big Brother Watch and Others v. United Kingdom, Bureau of Investigative Journalism and Alice Ross v. the United Kingdom, and 10 Human Rights Organisations v. the United Kingdom (collectively called “Big Brother Watch”), and Centrum för rättvisa v. Sweden (“Centrum”).

Source: European Court of Human Rights to Reexamine Bulk Collection

Second rise for the ‘Do Not Track’

In recent years, the setting has been criticized as being essentially meaningless. But it might have a crucial role to play in enforcing privacy regulations.

In January 2017 the European Commission announced an initiative to update the ePrivacy Regulation, a proposal that would revisit a 15-year-old directive dealing with privacy protections and how users consent to being tracked by cookies (websites served to citizens of the European Union are required to ask for consent for the use of cookies).

Among the goals of the new ePrivacy Regulation was cleaning up “cookie pop-up” mess by requiring some sort of standardized and automatic process that is transparent to users.

Source: A Second Life for the ‘Do Not Track’ Setting—With Teeth

How facial recognition technology follows you, even as you shop

As digital billboards record customers’ reactions to advertisements tailored to them, just who is safeguarding Australians’ privacy?

The semi-camouflaged cameras can determine not only your age and gender but your mood, cueing up tailored advertisements within seconds, thanks to facial detection technology.

Full article: Are you being scanned? How facial recognition technology follows you, even as you shop | Technology | The Guardian

Facebook monitors and tracks the locations of users it deems a threat

Facebook monitors and tracks the locations of its users when the company’s security team finds that they are making credible threats on its social network.

The company actively monitors its platform for threatening comments. Once Facebook determines that a threat from a user is credible, the company uses data from its products to track that person’s location. However, it’s unclear what a ‘credible’ threat actually looks like.

Source: Facebook monitors and tracks the locations of users it deems a threat – The Verge

Google has quietly dropped ban on personally identifiable web tracking

When Google bought the advertising network DoubleClick in 2007, Google founder Sergey Brin said that privacy would be the company’s “number one priority when we contemplate new kinds of advertising products.”

But this summer, Google quietly erased that last privacy line in the sand – literally crossing out the lines in its privacy policy that promised to keep the two pots of data separate by default. In its place, Google substituted new language that says browsing habits “may be” combined with what the company learns from the use Gmail and other tools.

Source: Google has quietly dropped ban on personally identifiable web tracking

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