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 As the year drew to a close, BlackBerry’s Chief Operating Officer Marty Beard announced the government had rescinded their previous orders effectively shutting down Blackberry in the country.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.┬áSince 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

Google discusses privacy and permissions within Android apps

talk android app permissionsPrivacy and security are big issues for consumers lately, especially when it comes to technology. It’s such an important topic that during Apple’s keynote last week, they used privacy as a selling point for their products. Staying in control of your data and information is invaluable to customers now, and companies are striving to make sure their users stay in control of those things.

With Apple making such a huge push in the direction of privacy, that puts eyes on Google to see what they’re planning on doing to help out on the security front. A Google executive recently sat down to discuss some of what goes into managing user info, especially when it comes to apps on a smartphone, and why it took the company so long to get things to where they are now. Read more

Researchers able to access private data on smartwatches

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Over the years owners of smartphones have learned the hard way that they need to keep their devices secured against attempts to get private information off of the devices. The worry is not so much that someone will intercept data on the fly, but that a misplaced device could fall into the wrong hands that have plenty of time to try to break through security to access private data. Researchers from the University of New Haven have started work on examining how secure a new crop of devices – smartwatches – may be and the results are not promising. Read more