Google IO 2016 Coverage

Verizon hit with $1.35 million wrist slap from FCC for supercookie tracking

verizon new logoYou might some commotion about a year ago over Verizon’s tracking cookies for phones on their network. Big Red was tracking usage habits about users on the network, without alerting users or giving them a way to opt out of the tracking, but apparently they didn’t do a good enough job in giving customers control over everything, as the FCC has slapped with a fine over the ordeal. Read more

Snapchat offers public apology for employee hooked by phishing scam

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Snapchat posted a public apology on their blog this past weekend owning up to a mistake made by one of their employees. Targeted by a phishing scam, the employee revealed payroll information about several employees to a third party, meaning their identify information has been compromised. Snapchat says they are “impossibly sorry” for the breach of their privacy and security efforts. Read more

French privacy agency demands changes from Facebook

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France’s data protection agency, the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertes (CNIL), has issued an order demanding changes in the way Facebook operates the social media site in France. CNIL is demanding Facebook stop tracking non-members without consent who visit the site and that they stop transferring some personal data back to the U.S. CNIL is also demanding Facebook implement stronger password complexity rules. The demands follow similar action taken last year in Belgium. Read more

Pakistan backs off, agrees to let BlackBerry in the country

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Just over a month ago, BlackBerry announced that they were going to abandon the Pakistani market due to demands by Pakistani regulators. Pakistan’s Telecommunications Authority was demanding BlackBerry provide backdoor access to encrypted devices. As the year drew to a close, BlackBerry’s Chief Operating Officer Marty Beard announced the government had rescinded their previous orders effectively shutting down Blackberry in the country. Read more

Carrier IQ resurrected in deal with AT&T

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Back in 2011, when the smartphone market was still relatively young, Carrier IQ earned a degree of infamy by being one of the first companies discovered to be collecting detailed user data and information surreptitiously on mobile devices. Since then, Carrier IQ has managed to stay out of the limelight until now when it was announced that AT&T has acquired rights to Carrier IQ’s software and to some staff that is coming on board at AT&T. At the same time, the Carrier IQ web site has gone dark and it is unclear what the status of the company is. Read more

Googles denies EFF allegations that it has violated student privacy

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In a recent complaint to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has alleged that Google is violating student privacy by collecting and data mining student information obtained through Chromebooks used by schools. The EFF says the Chrome Sync feature, which is turned on by default on Chromebooks and is available through the Chrome browser, is being used improperly in violation of Google’s promises and FTC prohibitions against deceptive business practices. Google says the EFF is off base with their allegations and Chrome Sync is a benefit for students with no connection to advertising or data mining on Google’s part. Read more

Google sheds some light on EU’s requirement to keep some info out of the light

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Back in 2014, the European Union’s courts decided individuals covered by their jurisdiction had a right to not have some information about them show up in search results, the so-called “right to be forgotten.” Although action to protect individuals exercising this right applies to all search engines, by virtue of its size and having been a party to the original complaint, Google has been the primary recipient of attention regarding how this right will actually be implemented. To help the public understand the impact of the decision, Google has released a transparency report on search removals. Read more

Here’s how BlackBerry makes Android more secure on the Priv

BlackBerry_Priv_Android_smartphone (2)BlackBerry has been going on and on about everything its upcoming Android-powered slider can do, from faster to typing to a fantastic camera, but if you’re considering purchasing another BlackBerry device, you’re probably doing it for the privacy and security that BlackBerry has always offered. Fortunately, BlackBerry still remembers their roots and they’re not planning on ditching that for the Priv. Read more

Google may have helped the privacy cause in hotel ruling from Supreme Court

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In a ruling issued by the Supreme Court this week, Los Angeles saw an ordinance overturned in which they sought to give their police force the ability to seize information from hotel registries on demand and without a warrant. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing the majority opinion in the 5-4 ruling, deemed the ordinance unconstitutional and importantly, found the ordinance as written could have been extended to apply to any business, not just hotels. It was on that point that Google had jumped into the case via an amicus brief. Read more