PSA: Verizon customers can opt out of carrier’s ‘supercookies’

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Starting today, Verizon customers have the option to remove themselves from the Relevant Mobile Advertising program. The carrier describes the program as a way for marketers to reach audiences with relevant content. However, it was discovered that this form of cookies was undeletable and stuck with individual users. Some labeled them ‘supercookies’ because of their permanence.


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Silent Circle buys out partner, raises funds in push to serve secure enterprise market

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Silent Circle, part of SGP Technologies, has announced they have reached an agreement to buy out their partner in the joint venture, Geeksphone. SGP Technologies’ primary claim to fame is their Blackphone, a smartphone developed for users interested in maintaining a high level of privacy. Silent Circle will take over 100% ownership of SGP Technologies when the acquisition closes later this week allowing the company to implement “operation efficiencies” and pursue an “integrated product roadmap.”
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Snapchat threatens to ban anyone using its service via a third-party app

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Following tons of negative press for its weak security protocol over the past few weeks, Snapchat has today announced a permanent ban on Snapchatters utilizing third-party applications to access its service.

All users recorded signing into the Snapchat servers via a third-party app will receive an email requesting them to stop, change their password and revert to the official application. If they fail to do so, their account may be “permanently” disabled.

Snapchat promises it will be developing a public API in an effort to put a stop to such security breaches in the future, but gives no indication as to when its likely to be up and running

Hit the break below to see a copy of the email Snapchat is sending out; requesting users to stop using third-party apps.


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Tim Cook’s new privacy statement for Apple jabs Google

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New hardware and software isn’t all Apple has launching this week. Tim Cook, the chief executive officer, personally wrote a new privacy statement located on the company’s site. In it, there are jabs at other tech firms and Google is seemingly the prime target. Unlike other tech firms, Cook states that Apple treats users as customers and not a product.


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Yahoo working with Google to create encrypted email system

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Google will not be alone in its quest to design an encrypted email system. Yahoo has announced it will be joining Google in doing so. The encrypted email system would be ready sometime next year and act as an optional, not mandatory, feature for users. Both companies would be able to bring privacy their more than 500 million combined users, a subject that has long been in question.
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Google looks inward with new Baseline Study of human body

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As Google has grown throughout the years, one result has been their investment in the massive computing power needed to drive all of their services. In a new effort to make use of that computing power, a new Wall Street Journal report indicates Google has turned to their Google X team to start a new project called the Baseline Study to collect anonymous genetic and molecular information in an effort to paint a picture of what a healthy human should be like. That can then be used to help researchers identify potential markers that signal problems and help people become more proactive in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As Dr. Andrew Conrad, who is heading up the project, notes, “We are just asking the question: If we really wanted to be proactive, what would we need to know? You need to know what the fixed, well-running thing should look like.”
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Netflix testing a private viewing mode

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Although the fare may be tame compared to what is out on the Internet, Netflix still has some stuff that users may not want showing up in their recent history or getting shared to Facebook. To help with that situation, Netflix has started testing a new privacy mode that users can jump into for those B-movie excursions. According to Netflix’s director of corporate communications and technology Cliff Edwards,
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