In the first half of 2013, agents of 74 different governments including our own demanded the personal data related to about 38,000 Facebook users. About half of these demands came from authorities in the United States. Facebook "is the latest technology company to release figures on how often governments seek information about its customers," reports AP, "Microsoft and Google have done the same.
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
A small Chinese firm known as Shenzhen Zhenhua Data Technology has been systematically collecting personal data and crawling social media posts since 2017 for the stated purpose of providing intelligence to Chinese military, government and commercial clients, "according to a copy of the database that was left unsecured on the Internet and retrieved by an… READ THE REST
Mid October is too early for us to start in on holiday shopping suggestions. Oh, you'll get 'em all soon enough, trust us…but with more than two months before Santa rolls into town, we're not gonna hard sell you about the holidays. However…if your shopping list may eventually include an artsy teen who's obsessed with… READ THE REST
Fidget toys are made for relieving anxiety and stress, but there's a very ephemeral quality to finding fidget toys that actually do the job. Many are just clutter on your desk or can even be just kind of annoying. But the best ones slip into your hand almost unconsciously, providing a very soothing tactility and… READ THE REST
With the announcement of the iPhone 12 just a few days ago, everybody is assessing their smartphone needs and making the big decision about upgrading. While the smartphone may be at the heart of these latest tech questions, it's probably also a good time to give your entire Apple device collection a once over and… READ THE REST