Privacy

Do Mobile App Developers Need a Lawyer?

Apple Watch
Activity trackers, “smartwatches,” wearable electronics, and smartphones all come with more than the ability to record your daily steps taken or calories burned; the devices’ ability to record the nuances of daily activity—thanks in large part to a growing collection of third-party apps—has subjected them to quite a bit of privacy-related scrutiny. In a recent study, the Federal Trade Commission found 12 mobile health and fitness apps sending users’ personal information to 76 different third parties. Another study of the… continue…

More Workers Willing to Share Personal Data With Employers

Woman Hands Over Data
Another sign that the type of data profiling used by retailers and advertisers could soon become commonplace in the workplace: A significant number of employees aren’t really worried about it, according to a report by accounting and consulting firm PwC. The report—The future of work: A journey to 2022—says that nearly a third of people would be “happy” for their employer to have access to personal data such as social media profiles. The assumption seems to be that the information… continue…

Want Laptop Privacy? Wear This ‘Compubody Sock’

Posted In Living in Tech
Sternlab Compubody
Ever sat on a crowded airplane or bus with your laptop open, craving a little privacy as you typed an email or watched a terrible movie? One valiant innovator has a solution for exactly that dilemma, and it’s a bit more, shall we say, enveloping than one of those privacy filters you slide over your screen. The “Compubody Sock,” which anyone with knitting skills can make at home, is a giant sock-hoodie-bag in which you place your laptop or tablet,… continue…

The Next Big Threat to the Internet

Posted In Living in Tech
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Here’s cause for a little Monday optimism: A majority of experts interviewed by the Pew Research Internet Project think the Internet will remain free in coming decades. Unlike most Pew surveys, which are randomized and meant to represent a broad swath of the American population, this latest research is described as a “canvassing,” with hundreds of technology experts invited to leave their opinions on the future of the Internet. To those 1,400 willing to submit to questioning, Pew opened with… continue…

Facebook’s New Privacy Issue Highlights Need for Transparency

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Anyone signing up for Facebook must agree to the social network’s Terms of Use, which opens user-generated data to everything from data analytics to product testing. The majority of the time, Facebook keeps its capitalization (some might call it exploitation) of user data firmly in the background; your postings might end up used in a system-wide test, but you’ll never know about it. So it was surprising when, over the weekend, news leaked that Facebook had manipulated the news feeds… continue…

Want to Help Lock Down Google’s New Chrome Extension?

Posted In Living in Tech
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Google wants its developer community to pick through its latest Chrome extension, End-to-End, for potential vulnerabilities. End-to-End, currently in Alpha release, allows users to encrypt, decrypt, digitally sign and verify signed messages within the browser. It implements the OpenPGP standard, IETF RFC 4880. As part of its security process, Google has posted the source code on code.google.com, and it wants those with the skills to give it a thorough looking-over. Click here to see security jobs. “One of the reasons… continue…

Secret Service Wants Sarcasm Detection. That’ll Work Out.

Posted In Looking in Tech
Secret Srevice
The Secret Service is in the market for software capable of detecting sarcastic language online, according to the Washington Post. In a note posted on FBO.gov, the agency indicated that it wants a software tool that can perform real-time stream analysis, sentiment and trend analysis, audience and geographic segmentation, access to historical Twitter data and “ability to detect sarcasm and false positives,” among other attributes. Click here to see jobs involving sentiment analysis. “Our objective is to automate our social-media… continue…

Do You Want Google to Forget You?

Posted In Living in Tech
Erased Blackboard
On the Internet, the truism goes, content lingers forever. But now Google—under pressure from the Court of Justice of the European Union—will give anyone living in the EU the opportunity to delete the search-engine results leading to that content. Thanks to the Court’s recent ruling, EU citizens can ask Google to remove results on the grounds of the associated links being “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant, or excessive in relation to the purposes for which they were processed.” Click… continue…

When a Data Breach Takes Your Job

Posted In Looking in Tech
Account Login
Almost six months after a hacker collective breached Target’s cyberdefenses and made off with millions of customers’ personal data, Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel has chosen to resign, effective immediately. Target’s lengthy official statement on the matter is full of those standard-issue statements that usually accompany an executive departure (“The board is deeply grateful to Gregg for his significant contributions and outstanding service,” and so on), except for the one portion that hints at Steinhafel assuming responsibility for the attack: “Most… continue…

Digital Shadow Reveals What Facebook Knows About You

Posted In Living in Tech
Digital Shadow
Ever wondered how much of your personal data a company could mine in a couple seconds, from one source? Head on over to Digital Shadow (“You are not an individual,” the homepage boasts. “You are a data cluster”), a website built to promote the new video game Watch Dogs, and—if you’re feeling adventurous on this fine Friday—click the big blue button that allows you to log in with Facebook. The website will proceed to scrape everything from your Facebook friends… continue…