Everyone from Congressional heavyweights to Joe Internet on the street is concerned about privacy these days. So it's a fitting time for the EFF to release their updated Privacy Score Card. This handy document tells you which companies are looking after your online privacy, and which aren’t. You might be surprised by the standings.
Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz is holding Google's feet to the fire for the lack of a "Do Not Track" feature in the company's Chrome browser. It's the only major browser that has yet to jump on board with this specific privacy trend, which the FTC back in December recommended that all browsers adopt.
A privacy flaw in Skype's mobile application for Android could give cybercriminals access to user information from smartphones, private details such as the user's name, email address, contacts, and even chat logs, the VoIP service confirmed in a recent blog post. It's not something you should be overly concerned with, as unfettered access to cached profile information and instant messages does require the installation of a malicious third-party application, but definitely something you should be aware of, especially if you tend to install apps from outside the Android Market.
Ever feel like somebody’s watching you? Good because they are. Without proper protection, your internet usage habits are left out in the open; vulnerable to anyone to exploit. By simply navigating to a page, mousing over a given pixel or clicking through an advertisement or other link, most computer users give data brokers, advertising companies and other nefarious types enough to information to work with to tailor ad content to your needs. Creepy. While we love the look and fit of a good tin foil hat as much as anyone else, Ghostery, our Browser Extension of the Week, is really the better choice for putting an end to all that unwanted tracking.
A German court last month declared street-level photography by Street View's car-mounted cameras to be legal when it dismissed a lawsuit alleging personal and property rights violations on the part of Google's Street View service. Despite the legal victory, and contrary to what most people might have expected, the company has decided against returning to the streets of Germany with the camera-toting vehicles it uses to collect street imagery for its popular Google Maps and Google Earth services.
Fair warning for anyone who plans to travel outside the country. Upon re-entry into the U.S., border agents have full authority to seize your laptop, netbook, tablet PC, and other electronic components without a warrant, but that's not all. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that border agents also have the power to send your confiscated electronics to an offsite location for forensic inspection.
Data firms are proving gold mines for hackers looking to sneak in and steal hordes of customer data in one fell swoop. That's what happened to Epsilon, a firm that stores personal data for thousands of companies, including JPMorgan Chase, Kroger, TiVo, Best Buy, Walgreen, and Capital One. The security breach exposed email addresses and other private data for some 50 firms, including each of the above named outfits.
One of the many features included in the new Firefox 4 browser is support for the new HTTP "Do Not Track" (DNT) header. The browser broadcasts the header to all sites requesting that the server not install any tracking cookies on the machine. In what amounts to a solid endorsement of the standard, the Associated Press has decided to implement support for the DNT header.
If you placed your Samsung laptop safely in the corner yesterday, and have been eyeing it suspiciously, you can stop now. Reports that Sammy was installing a keylogger application called StarLogger on new laptops have been verified as false. Samsung points the finger at the VIPRE security program used by a Toronto-based security expert for the false alarm.
If you're a business owner living in Massachusetts, failing to keep your customers' personal information safe from virtual prying eyes isn't just bad for business, it's also illegal. This was underscored by a MA restaurant chain agreeing to pay a $110,000 fine to settle a complaint alleging that hackers were able to access customers' credit and debit card information. That's a big no-no in Massachusetts.