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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

FBI Practices for Intercepted Emails Violated 4th Amendment, Judge Ruled

A federal judge secretly ruled last year that the F.B.I.’s procedures for searching for Americans’ emails within a repository of intercepted messages that were gathered without a warrant violated Fourth Amendment privacy rights, newly declassified files showed.

The F.B.I. improperly searched the repository for information involving large numbers of Americans who fit within general categories but against whom there was no individualized basis for suspicion. In a twist, one March 2017 search used more than 70,000 identifiers, like email addresses, linked to the F.B.I.’s own work force.

Source: F.B.I. Practices for Intercepted Emails Violated 4th Amendment, Judge Ruled – The New York Times

Tech firms know more about us than any spy agency says ex-GCHQ chief

Big internet firms know more about the lives of private individuals than any intelligence agency ever has and that is a dangerous threat to democracy, the former head of the spy agency GCHQ has said.

“The big revelation over the last couple of years has been not about government intelligence agencies, it’s been about the private sector. It is about the internet companies knowing more about me, you, everyone in the hall than any intelligence agency ever could or should know about us.”

Source: Tech firms know more about us than any spy agency – ex-GCHQ chief | UK news | The Guardian

German publishers wrestle with Firefox’s latest anti-tracking changes

German publishers have been hit hard by Mozilla Firefox’s latest anti-tracking update, which blocks third-party cookies by default.

Publishers have experienced a detrimental drop in programmatic ad revenues since the changes three weeks ago.

In a way, the fact Germany has been hit harder by the Firefox changes is unsurprising. That’s because, in Germany, where privacy is far more deep-rooted culturally than it is in the U.S. and U.K., the non-profit Firefox browser has always been especially popular.

Source: German publishers wrestle with Firefox’s latest anti-tracking changes – Digiday

Facebook and Google have ad trackers on your streaming TV

Modern TV, coming to you over the Internet instead of through cable or over the air, has a modern problem: all of your Internet-connected streaming devices are watching you back and feeding your data to advertisers. Two independent sets of researchers this week released papers that measure the extent of the surveillance your TV is conducting on you.

The first study, conducted by researchers at Princeton and the University of Chicago, looked specifically at Roku and Amazon set-top devices. A review of more than 2,000 channels across the two platforms found trackers on 69% of Roku channels and 89% of Amazon Fire TV channels.

Source: Facebook and Google have ad trackers on your streaming TV, studies find | Ars Technica

Google Seeks to Establish Facial Recognition in Homes

With opposition growing to facial recognition, Google has decided instead to build facial recognition into Nest Hub Max, an “always on” device intended for use in the home.

Google’s “face match” constantly targets the facial images of each person in the household. Any interaction with the Google device is added to the secret user profile Google maintains for ad targeting.

Source: Google Seeks to Establish Facial Recognition in Homes

California lawmakers passes ban on facial recognition tech in police body cams

The three-year moratorium prohibits state and local law enforcement from using facial recognition technology.

The bill, AB215, also referred to as the Body Camera Accountability Act got voted by The State Assembly 42-18, and will now head to Governor Gavin Newsom who will decide on signing the bill to law. If he signs, it will go into effect January, 2020.

Source: #privacy: California lawmakers passes ban on facial recognition tech in police body cams

UK Court Dismisses Challenge to Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

On September 4, 2019, the High Court of England and Wales dismissed a challenge to South Wales Police’s use of Automated Facial Recognition technology. The Court determined that the police’s use of AFR had been necessary and proportionate to achieve their statutory obligations.

The police would subsequently match the images captured with wanted persons in their own databases using biometric data analysis. Where a match was not made with any of these watchlists, the images were immediately and automatically deleted.

Source: High Court Dismisses Challenge to Police Use of Facial Recognition Technology

Bavarian DPA investigates Blood Donation Service for website tracking

The Bavarian Data Protection Authority (BayLDA) is currently scrutinising the website of the blood donation service of the Bavarian Red Cross as part of a focused data protection review.

The reason for this was the use of tracking tools on the website of the blood donation service. In particular, the BayLDA will look at whether sensitive data about the users’ health has been used by Facebook.

If tracking tools are used, quite a number of data protection requirements must be observed. This is not as simple as merely informing the user about the tracking tools in simple terms; the website operator must also ensure that they legally integrate the tracking tools, i.e. that a legal basis allows the integration or that the users have given their consent in advance.

Source: Blood Donation Service under high scrutiny

Browser Fingerprinting: An Introduction and the Challenges Ahead

In the past few years, a technique called browser fingerprinting has received a lot of attention because of the risks it can pose to privacy.

What is it? How is it used? What is Tor Browser doing against it?

In this blog post is answer to these questions: Browser Fingerprinting: An Introduction and the Challenges Ahead | Tor Blog

UK watchdogs voice concern over lip-reading CCTV

The UK Surveillance Camera Commissioner, Tony Porter, has warned that in the future, citizens may have to hide their conversations from CCTV until regulations are put in place for intrusive technologies.

Additionally Porter raised concerns about new technologies which could identify citizens by their walk, as well as lip-syncing technology that could decipher what individuals are saying from a distance.

Source: #privacy: UK watchdogs voice concern over lip-reading CCTV

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