On Friday, I blogged a privacy problem with Facebook: certain emails auto-sent by Facebook leaked users' IP addresses. Good news on that issue: Facebook policy communications officer Barry Schnitt updated us in the comments to let us know that the issue has been resolved.
Facial surveillance by public officials was already banned in Portland, Maine, and yesterday voters passed a measure allowing citizens who are illegally surveilled with facial recognition to sue the city. According to Bangor Daily News, "citizens would receive $100 per violation, or $1,000, whichever is higher, plus lawyer fees." From TechCrunch: Meanwhile, earlier this week,… READ THE REST
Most police have access to tools that can retrieve cleartext data from about 50% of the phones they confiscate, reports The New York Times. Phone-hacking tools typically exploit security flaws to remove a phone's limit on passcode attempts and then enter passcodes until the phone unlocks. Because of all the possible combinations, a six-digit iPhone passcode takes… READ THE REST
Mashable has a great new piece — in video, and in text — about the intersections between COVID-19 restrictions and surveillance-style privacy invasions. The reporting by Tulika Bose and Jack Morse is smart and nuanced enough that it doesn't veer into anti-masker conspiracy theories, and rather, takes a rational skeptic's approach to the potential abuses… READ THE REST
Calling all caffeine addicts! There's no reason to pin all your hopes on Black Friday for your new coffee gadget fix. As part of the Boing Boing Store's Pre-Black Friday Sale, you can score a great deal right now on one of more than a dozen different coffee and espresso makers by top brands. With… READ THE REST
There used to be a name for people who carried around equipment that could handle almost anything at a moment's notice: Boy Scouts. Now, we're all carrying everyday essentials that will hopefully help us MacGuyver our way out of any sticky situation. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the fight against COVID. KeySmart has… READ THE REST
With everyone stuck in COVID quarantine for much of the year, online sales for Amazon and other retailers have gone through the roof. That means more and more packages coming right to your door, to the sheer delight of a more loathsome brand of COVID opportunist: the porch pirate. Thieves taking off with delivered packages… READ THE REST