Privacy

July 21, 2015
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Federal regulators want tighter controls on the export of cyber weapons, with the Commerce Department seeking to ensure that software that can attack a network—the kind that can break in, bypass encryption and steal data—can’t be shipped overseas without permission. According to human rights reports, government agencies in Bahrain, Turkmenistan, Ethiopia and the United Arab Emirates have used spyware to monitor and crack down on activists. Leaders from about 40 countries, including the...

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July 17, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Google won the dismissal of a lawsuit by Android users who said the company violated its privacy policy by disclosing their names, email addresses and account locations to third parties without permission, to boost ad revenue. Judge Paul Grewal said the users failed to show that Google transmitted their own personal data or that they would suffer economic harm if it occurred. Grewal had allowed plaintiffs to pursue breach of contract...

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July 14, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Army National Guard members should check their credit reports after a contract employee unintentionally transferred personnel files to an unapproved data center. Compromised data includes soldiers’ names, Social Security numbers, dates of birth and home addresses. “All current and former Army National Guard members since 2004 could be affected by this breach,” the National Guard Bureau’s Maj. Earl Brown said. The Pentagon did not...

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July 8, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

If you’ve ever wanted to know who got sick of your social-media habits, there’s now an app for that. Who Deleted Me can be used for iOS or Android or as a browser extension for Google Chrome. When you use it for the first time, it downloads your Friends list. Any time you log in after that, it compares your original friend list to your current one, and can tell you who left your Facebook life. You also can check the last time your...

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July 2, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Some of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump’s luxury hotels have been hit by a credit card hack, according to data shared by several banks, which traced fraudulent debit and credit card charges to accounts that had been used at Trump hotels. “We have been alerted to potential suspicious credit card activity and are in the midst of a thorough investigation to determine whether it involves any of our properties,” a Trump Organization...

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June 30, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Three weeks after officials said foreign hackers may have stolen sensitive government records tied to tens of millions of people, the Office of Personnel Management has shut down a system tied to the breach, essentially stopping background checks for new federal employees, contractors and others. The Electronic Questionnaires for Investigations Processing system “will be down for an extended period of time for security enhancements.”...

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June 26, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Google has removed an extension from Chromium after privacy activists alleged that the extension allowed the tech giant to spy on users. The software uses a computer’s microphone to listen for the “OK, Google” phrase, which triggers voice searches. Open-source developers and privacy activists said Chromium was automatically downloading the “Chrome Hotword” extension, giving users no warning and making it impossible to stop the download...

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June 25, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

With 1.4 million people enrolled, California’s health insurance exchange plans to collect insurance data on prescriptions, doctor visits and hospital stays for every Obamacare patient. Covered California says the data-mining project is needed to measure the quality of care that patients get and to hold insurers and medical providers accountable. The plan raises questions about patient privacy and whether the state is doing enough to...

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June 24, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Facebook now has the ability to recognize a person in photographs even when their face can’t be seen. The company is testing DeepFace, a new algorithm in its artificial intelligence lab, which uses cues such as hairstyles, clothing or body language to identify a person. It is so good, according to New Scientist, that it can pick a person out of a lineup. “People have characteristic aspects, even if you look at them from the back,” Yann...

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June 23, 2015
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By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

 The personal information of an estimated 18 million current, former and prospective federal employees was affected by a cyber breach at the Office of Personnel Management—more than four times the 4.2 million the agency has publicly acknowledged. The number is expected to grow, according to U.S. officials briefed on the investigation. Those affected could include people who applied for government jobs, but never worked...

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