Category: Privacy

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April 3, 2020

Zoom will enable waiting rooms by default to stop Zoombombing

Zoom is making some drastic changes to prevent rampant abuse as trolls attack publicly-shared video calls. Starting April 5th, it will require passwords to enter calls via Meeting ID, since these may be guessed or reused. Meanwhile, it will change virtual waiting rooms to be...


by Josh Constine in Apps
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April 3, 2020

Google is now publishing coronavirus mobility reports, feeding off users’ location history

Google is giving the world a clearer glimpse of exactly how much it knows about people everywhere — using the coronavirus crisis as an opportunity to repackage its persistent tracking of where users go and what they do as a public good in the midst...


by Natasha Lomas in california
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April 1, 2020

An EU coalition of techies is backing a ‘privacy-preserving’ standard for COVID-19 contacts tracing

A European coalition of techies and scientists drawn from at least eight countries, and led by Germany’s Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute for telecoms (HHI), is working on contacts-tracing proximity technology for COVID-19 that’s designed to comply with the region’s strict privacy rules — officially unveiling...


by Natasha Lomas in Apps
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March 27, 2020

Telco metadata grab is for modelling COVID-19 spread, not tracking citizens, says EC

As part of its response to the public health emergency triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic, the European Commission has been leaning on Europe’s telcos to share aggregate location data on their users. “The Commission kick-started a discussion with mobile phone operators about the provision of...


by Natasha Lomas in Andrus Ansip
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March 24, 2020

Instagram launches Co-Watching of posts during video chat

Now you can scroll Instagram together with friends, turning a typically isolating, passive experience into something more social and active. Today Instagram launched Co-Watching, which lets friends on a video chat or group video chat browse through feed posts one user has Liked or Saved,...


by Josh Constine in Apps
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March 18, 2020

Israel passes emergency law to use mobile data for COVID-19 contact tracing

Israel has passed an emergency law to use mobile phone data for tracking people infected with COVID-19 including to identify and quarantine others they have come into contact with and may have infected. The BBC reports that the emergency law was passed during an overnight...


by Natasha Lomas in civil liberties
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March 16, 2020

To make locks touchless, Proxy bluetooth ID raises $42M

We need to go hands-off in the age of coronavirus. That means touching fewer doors, elevators, and sign-in iPads. But once a building is using phone-based identity for security, there’s opportunities to speed up access to WIFI networks and printers, or personalize conference rooms and...


by Josh Constine in Access Control
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March 10, 2020

Your VPN or ad-blocker app could be collecting your data

The underpinnings of how app store analytics platforms operate were exposed this week by BuzzFeed, which uncovered the network of mobile apps used by popular analytics firm Sensor Tower to amass app data. The company had operated at least 20 apps, including VPNs and ad...


by Sarah Perez in app analytics
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February 28, 2020

FCC proposes $200M in fines for wireless carriers that sold your location for years

The FCC has officially and finally determined that the major wireless carriers in the U.S. broke the law by secretly selling subscribers’ location data for years with almost no constraints or disclosure. But its Commissioners decry the $200 million penalty proposed to be paid by...


by Devin Coldewey in AT&T
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February 4, 2020

Messenger Kids adds expanded parental controls, details how much kids’ data Facebook collects

Facebook’s messaging app for families with children, Messenger Kids, is being updated today with new tools and features to give parents more oversight and control over their kids’ chats. Now, parents will be able to see who a child is chatting with and how often,...


by Sarah Perez in Apps