Equifax engineer gets 8 months house arrest for $75,000 insider trading spree

An internet engineer at Equifax who coded parts of a breach portal for the credit agency has been sentenced to 8 months of house arrest for insider trading. He was convicted of using insider information about the Equifax breach to make more than $75,000. Read the rest

Why Do-Not-Track browser settings are useless and what to do about it

The long fight over Do-Not-Track followed a predictable trajectory: a detailed, meaningful pro-privacy system was subverted by big business, and then published as a "standard" that offered virtually no privacy protections. Read the rest

No identity theft protection for latest Facebook hack victims

Facebook will not provide fraud protection for victims of its latest data breach, details of which were announced in a Friday news dump. It set up a page where you can check if your Facebook account was breached.

One analyst told the BBC the decision was "unconscionable" ... For the most severely impacted users - a group of around 14 million, Facebook said - the stolen data included "username, gender, locale/language, relationship status, religion, hometown, self-reported current city, birthdate, device types used to access Facebook, education, work, the last 10 places they checked into or were tagged in, website, people or pages they follow, and the 15 most recent searches".

Typically, companies affected by large data breaches - such as Target, in 2013 - provide access to credit protection agencies and other methods to lower the risk of identity theft. Other hacked companies, such as on the Playstation Network, and credit monitoring agency Equifax, offered similar solutions.

A Facebook spokeswoman told the BBC it would not be taking this step "at this time". Users would instead be directed to the website's help section.

They're done caring. If you're still using Facebook, you're done caring too. Read the rest

Facebook to offer wide-angle videocall camera that tracks you as you move around your home

To celebrate the leaking of 50 million user accounts last week, Facebook is today launching two "video call machines" that "automatically zoom in on users and follow them as they move." You'll be putting them in your homes, so you can watch Facebook while Facebook watches you. The BBC's Leo Kelion:

The Portal products automatically zoom in on users and follow them as they move, to offer a superior experience to existing smartphone and tablet apps. The devices rely on Facebook Messenger to make and receive calls and also feature Amazon's Alexa smart assistant. ...

Both of the Portals are designed to be used from a distance of between 5ft to 10ft (1.5m to 3m) - further than video calls are typically made from using smartphones and other computers.

They use a 140-degree 12 megapixel camera to capture a relatively wide field-of-view, providing scope for on-device software to zoom in and track the users' movements.

The Verge's Jacob Kastrenakes:

The first hardware products marketed under the Facebook brand, the Portals can be used to call other Portal users, or anyone who has Facebook or Facebook Messenger. The Portals can play music through Spotify and Pandora, or stream video from Facebook Watch, but these are intentionally limited devices. For better and for worse, you can’t even browse Facebook.

It's funny that thay launched it despite the ongoing fallout from the privacy breach, but they don't need to worry about it. The target audience for this product doesn't understand privacy issues or doesn't care about them. Read the rest

Advisor quits Google Toronto's "smart city" project over privacy concerns

Google sister company Sidewalk Labs is building a creepy, heavily surveilled "smart city" in the midst of Toronto. Read the rest

Google releases Android encrypted DNS app that will help beat censorship

Google sister-company Jigsaw (previously) has released an Android app called Intra that encrypts DNS queries, which allows Android users to bypass one of the most common forms of internet censorship. Read the rest

Standard Notes: free, open, cross-platform, encrypted, eternal note-taking app

With Evernote's business on the rocks, a lot of people are waking up to the fact that commercial, proprietary cloud systems work great (easy, well-supported) but fail badly (lock-in, sudden bankruptcy, loss of years' worth of important data). Read the rest

EFF and McSweeney's collaborated on a publication: "The End of Trust"

The End of Trust will be McSweeney's issue 54, the first-ever all-nonfiction issue of McSweeney's, with more than 30 contributions on "surveillance in the digital age." Read the rest

App for UK Conservative Party conference exposes all attendees' private info

The UK Conservative Party's annual conference is about to kick off in Birmingham, and the Tories have distributed an app ahead of time to all attendees: senior ministers, government officials, members of the press, party members, and others. Read the rest

Facebook: 50 million users’ personal information exposed in mega breach

Facebook says an attack on its network left the personal information of some 50 million users—perhaps you?—exposed to hackers. Who were the hackers, and what did they want? Facebook doesn't know, or won't say. But the company has confirmed that execs Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sanders were among the users affected.

“We have a responsibility to protect your data, and if we can’t then we don’t deserve to serve you,” Zuckerberg said about Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal earlier this year.

Well. You heard the man. Read the rest

Google, Amazon, Twitter, other Big Tech to Congress: New California data privacy rules too tough

Executives from Google, Twitter, AT&T, Amazon, Apple, and other big tech companies told a U.S. Senate panel today they support updating federal law to protect data privacy, but they want Congress to block California's tough new privacy rules. Read the rest

Spectacle frames that reflect infrared light, blinding CCTV cameras

Eccentric spectacle-maker Scott Urban kickstarted his Reflectacles in 2016: ray-ban-style frames inset with highly retroreflective material that is visible from hundreds of meters and strobes under a flash, making for fantastic photos. Read the rest

Report: someone is already selling user data from defunct Canadian retailer's auctioned-off servers

When Vancouver tech retailer NCIX went bankrupt, it stopped paying its bills, including the bills for the storage where its servers were being kept; that led to the servers being auctioned off without being wiped first, containing sensitive data -- addresses, phone numbers, credit card numbers, passwords, etc -- for thousands of customers. Also on the servers: tax and payroll information for the company's employees. Read the rest

Defunct Vancouver tech retailer's servers sold off, containing credit cards and other customer details

Jesse writes, "Vancouver tech retailer NCIX was driven into the ground last year (much to the morbid fascination of local techies). Now their fetid corpse is in the news again, after their SQL servers were sold for $1500 at auction without being wiped, containing the personal data – including credit card details – of thousands of customers." Read the rest

Edward Snowden on Malkia Cyril, a multigenerational black rights activist on the front lines of the surveillance wars

For its 25th anniversary, Wired Magazine asked numerous luminaries to pick a figure from the digital world to celebrate; Edward Snowden chose EFF Pioneer Award Winner Malkia Cyril, executive director of the Center for Media Justice and cofounder of the Media Action Grassroots Network, who is one of the leaders in teaching grassroots activists to resist government surveillance. Read the rest

Mozilla's Firefox & Apple's Safari browsers add anti-Facebook and Google privacy protections

Care about your data privacy? Here's a good reason to stop using the Google Chrome browser, and use Firefox or Safari instead on your desktop, laptop, and mobile devices. Read the rest

EU's top court rules against the UK mass surveillance revealed by Edward Snowden

The European Court of Human Rights has ruled that the UK spy agency GCHQ acted illegally when it engaged in mass-scale domestic surveillance of every Briton's electronic communications, a programme that was revealed by documents supplied to journalists by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. Read the rest

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