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Category Archives for "Surveillance"

Google proposes new privacy and anti-fingerprinting controls for the web

Google has announced a new long-term initiative that, if fully realized, will make it harder for online marketers and advertisers to track you across the web.

This new proposal follows the company’s plans to change how cookies in Chrome work and to make it easier for users to block tracking cookies.

Today’s proposal for a new open standard extends this by looking at how Chrome can close the loopholes that the digital advertising ecosystem can use to circumvent that. And soon, that may mean that your browser will feature new options that give you more control over how much you share without losing your anonymity.

Source: Google proposes new privacy and anti-fingerprinting controls for the web | TechCrunch

Facebook’s New Tool Lets You See Which Apps and Websites Tracked You 

The tool is a response to criticism that Facebook has faced over how it safeguards its users’ privacy.

The company introduced a new tool that lets people better see and control the information that Facebook has gathered about their browsing habits outside the social network.

The tool, Off-Facebook Activity, allows users to view the hundreds of sites and apps that share data and customer information with Facebook. They can disconnect the data from their account if they want.

Source: Facebook’s New Tool Lets You See Which Apps and Websites Tracked You – The New York Times

FBI proposal outlines plans for large-scale collection of social media data

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is planning to step up its efforts to monitor social media platforms more aggressively in order to detect potential threats.

The law enforcement agency is said to be seeking technological solutions from third-party contractors that would make it possible to harvest publicly-available information en masse from Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.

Source: FBI proposal outlines plans for large-scale collection of social media data

Amazon’s Ring Is a Perfect Storm of Privacy Threats

Recent reports show that Ring has partnered with police departments across the country to hawk this new surveillance system—going so far as to draft press statements and social media posts for police to promote Ring cameras.

This creates a vicious cycle in which police promote the adoption of Ring, Ring terrifies people into thinking their homes are in danger, and then Amazon sells more cameras.

Source: Amazon’s Ring Is a Perfect Storm of Privacy Threats | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Contractors at Microsoft eavesdrop on some Skype calls

Amazon and Google have been in the headlines recently over how the tech giants’ workers eavesdrop on the audio footage picked up by smart assistants. Now Microsoft has explaining to do following reports that its employees listen in on real Skype conversations that have gone through translation software processing.

People contracted to work with Microsoft take dialogues in for review as a means of translation quality control. No mention of this surveillance appears in Skype’s terms and conditions.

Source: Contractors at Microsoft eavesdrop on some Skype calls

As San Diego increases use of streetlamp cameras raising surveillance concerns

Privacy groups call on elected officials to put surveillance protections in place, warn about the potential for hacking and internal abuses.

San Diego has installed thousands of microphones and cameras in so-called smart streetlamps in recent years as part of a program to assess traffic and parking patterns throughout the city.

The technology over the last year caught the attention of law enforcement last year. But privacy groups have voiced concerns about a lack of oversight as law enforcement has embraced the new technology.

Source: As San Diego increases use of streetlamp cameras, ACLU raises surveillance concerns – Los Angeles Times

Cathay Pacific reveals its use of onboard cameras

Hong Kong airline Cathay Pacific reveals its use of cameras on its aircraft, reopening an uncomfortable debate over surveillance aboard airplanes.

While CCTV surveillance is accepted by many as a reassuring security measure, others feel tracking passengers in the confines of an airplane cabin is a step too far.

Full article: Cathay Pacific reveals its use of onboard cameras | CNN Travel

Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US

The Pentagon has 25 mass surveillance balloons that can monitor and track individual vehicles as they travel across states.

The point of the balloons is “to provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats”. But that also means everyday people will be subjected to sweeping government surveillance — without their knowledge or consent.

Source: Pentagon testing mass surveillance balloons across the US | US news | The Guardian

Privacy rights under threat with Irish government’s national ID card

A UN representative has called out the Irish government’s introduction of an ID card which contains biometric information.

UN special rapporteur on extreme poverty Prof Philip Alston criticised the roll-out of the Public Services Card (PSC), saying the government introduced the card “without any transparency of public debate”.

Source: UN official says privacy rights under threat with Irish government’s national ID card | The Canary

Publishers v. Privacy: Registration Is Coming

The introduction of ad blocking, browser-level advertising and browser-blocking of tracking and cookies should have heralded the beginning of more anonymous browsing.

Instead, these innovations may lead to more user registration and tracking, albeit in a potentially more consent-based manner. Publishers will soon be waging a greater battle with privacy to build a sustainable ad-supported business, writes, Ka Mo Lau, COO of Thunder Experience Cloud.

Full article: Publishers v. Privacy – Registration Is Coming | MarTech Advisor

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