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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

TikTok wants to keep tracking iPhone users with state-backed workaround

Some of China’s biggest technology companies, including ByteDance and Tencent, are testing a tool to bypass Apple’s new privacy rules and continue tracking iPhone users without their consent to serve them targeted mobile advertisements.

Apple is expected in the coming weeks to roll out changes it announced last June to iPhones that it says will give users more privacy. Until now, apps have been able to rely on Apple’s IDFA system to see who clicks on ads and which apps are downloaded.

In response, the state-backed China Advertising Association has launched a new way to track and identify iPhone users called CAID, which is being widely tested by tech companies and advertisers in the country.

Source: TikTok wants to keep tracking iPhone users with state-backed workaround | Ars Technica

Google says it won’t track you directly in the future as it phases out cookies

Google clarified its plans for targeted advertising, promising not to use other ways to “track” users around the internet after it ends support for cookies in Chrome by early 2022.

The company said it will only use “privacy-preserving technologies” that rely on methods like anonymization or aggregation of data. Google announced plans in January 2020 to end support for third-party cookies, which fuel much of the digital advertising ecosystem, in its Chrome browser within two years.

Source: Google says it won’t track you directly in the future as it phases out cookies

Swiss authorities raid home of hacker potentially responsible for breaching surveillance cameras

Swiss law enforcement raided the home of a hacker potentially responsible for breaching around 150,000 surveillance cameras, exposing sensitive footage from homes, hospitals and prisons.

The police in Lucerne, Switzerland, carried out a home search Friday at the request of the U.S. government on a residence connected to the hacker Tillie Kottmann who claimed credit for the breach, declining to name those involved.

Tillie Kottmann claimed responsibility for the breach, which was carried out by the international hacking group that Kottmann is a part of, as a way to bring attention to how easily surveillance systems can be compromised.

Source: Swiss authorities raid home of hacker potentially responsible for breaching surveillance cameras | TheHill

Facing Off Against Employee Monitoring Requirements

Many jurisdictions have adopted legal requirements – particularly data protection laws, but also telecommunication and employment or labor laws – that indirectly regulate network monitoring activities, since monitoring typically requires the collection and tracking of IP addresses, device IDs and other data that can be linked to a particular employee’s communication devices.

The differences in these laws may impose a burden on company efforts to adopt a uniform globalized approach to cyber risk mitigation. Therefore, companies must reconcile varying laws of every jurisdiction in which they operate, to implement a uniform approach to network monitoring while complying with data protection and other laws.

Full article: US: Cyber Risk: Facing Off Against Employee Monitoring Requirements – Privacy Matters

Greek police roll out new ‘smart’ devices with facial recognition

Under a Smart Policing plan announced in 2017, Greece will equip roughly 1,000 police officers with smartphone-like devices by summer 2021. Up to 10,000 officers could eventually get them.

The devices will be connected to national and European databases, according to the Hellenic Police, and officers who carry them on patrols will be able to use them to identify people by scanning their faces and fingerprints.

But critics say the project erodes privacy protections. And some warn against expanding police surveillance powers at a time when activists allege police brutality in Greece is on the rise.

Source: Greek police roll out new ‘smart’ devices with facial recognition

Hacked Surveillance Camera Firm Shows Staggering Scale of Facial Recognition

A hacked customer list shows that facial recognition company Verkada is deployed in tens of thousands of schools, bars, stores, jails, and other businesses around the country.

Verkada’s cameras are capable of identifying particular people across time by detecting their faces, and are also capable of filtering individuals by their gender, the color of their clothes, and other attributes.

Source: Hacked Surveillance Camera Firm Shows Staggering Scale of Facial Recognition

Internet providers tracking sites we visit in secretive trial

Two internet providers are tracking and collecting the websites visited by their customers as part of a secretive Home Office trial, designed to work out if a national bulk surveillance system would be useful for national security and law enforcement.

Details about the data collection experiment are limited, emerging via an obscure regulatory disclosure and a report in Wired, prompting campaigners to warn of a lack of transparency over data being “hoovered up into a surveillance net”.

Under the two trials, the Home Office is working with the National Crime Agency to harvest “internet connection records (ICRs)” – information about which websites a customer visited, when they did so and how much data they downloaded.

Source: Internet providers tracking sites we visit in secretive trial | Surveillance | The Guardian

Flaws in Apple Location Tracking System Could Lead to User Identification

Vulnerabilities identified in offline finding (OF) — Apple’s proprietary crowd-sourced location tracking system — could be abused for user identification, researchers said in a report released this month.

Introduced in 2019, the system relies on the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) technology for the detection of ‘lost’ devices, and on the Internet connection of so-called ‘finder’ devices to report on their location back to the owner.

With “hundreds of millions” of devices part of Apple’s OF network, this represents the largest crowd-sourced location tracking system in the world, one that is expected to grow even further, as support for non-Apple devices is added to it.

Source: Flaws in Apple Location Tracking System Could Lead to User Identification | SecurityWeek.Com

France seeks to bypass EU top court on data retention

In October, the Court of Justice of the European Union ruled that national data retention rules, including France’s, were not compliant with EU law, but that such schemes could be allowed in the face of serious security risks.

Now the French government has asked the country’s highest administrative court — the Council of State — not to follow the EU ruling. France said that the EU top court should not rule on matters related to security, which remains a national competence.

Source: France seeks to bypass EU top court on data retention – POLITICO

Privacy Debated in Fight Over Google Chrome Browser History Tracking

The plaintiffs in the class action claim they signed up for Chrome because Google explicitly said they would not have their browsing history sent to Google unless they decided to “sync” the browser with their account.

Despite these assurances, Chrome tracked their web browsing and sent it to Google, in violation of federal law and the newly minted California Consumer Privacy Act.

Google attorney Andrew Schapiro said plaintiffs had misconstrued the issue, saying that each of the plaintiffs was notified their web browsing history would be tracked when they agreed to the terms of service.

The attorney for Google also said the plaintiffs misunderstand how the advertising tracking component of the company works, because it tracks web browsing based on the website not on the browser.

Source: Privacy Debated in Fight Over Google Chrome Browser History Tracking – Courthouse News Service

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