DecryptedTech

Friday09 December 2022

Displaying items by tag: Privacy

Google is an odd company. They have used the personal vs corporate data ownership line like a jump rope over the years. We have watched them for a long time and all we can say is that their track record on protecting personal information and privacy has been both good and bad with them being on the bad side for most of recent history. After being a vehement opposer of bills like SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect our Intellectual Property Act) they quickly dropped those stances and started facilitating blanket takedown noticed from the MPAA (now the MPA) and RIAA. The blanket notices often came from law firms that provided little more than links to Google which Google then removed from their search engine and YouTube.

Published in Security Talk

Once again Google has been caught with their hands in the personal data collection cookie jar. It seems that their Messages and Phone Dialer Apps were sending information about your calls and messages without giving the user any chance to opt-out of this data collection. They also perform this data collection without any user notification at all.

Published in Security Talk

DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine and browser company, has come under a lot of negative press recently and now are facing pressure from the US government. They have already been labeled as a search engine for “conspiracy theorists” by many media outlets despite not really catering to any one group of people. The reality of the search engine is that it is attractive to people that are not happy with increased data collection from groups like Google, Facebook, and many, many others. A benefit of this is that, until now, DuckDuckGo has also not altered or censored search results based on current political motivations or narratives.

Published in In Other News

Google has a bit of a history (understatement) of abusing data collection and sneaking in ways to continue collecting data on its users. This type of collection is all in service to their ad business. They want to be able to send targeted ads to users and the only way to do that is to collection information about them. This pattern of behavior has led to more than one lawsuit in the past based on the way they word turning features on or off and what they collect. Even Google’s current proposed solution to excessive data collection for targeted ads is confusing and seems like nothing more than a way to maintain control of the collection process.

Published in In Other News

Recently Mark Zuckerberg had to admit that Meta not only had lost a significant amount of money but stood to lose more as changes in attitudes around personal data privacy and targeted ads are changing. In the EU privacy protection laws have impacted Meta in, to them, negative ways. Meta has made what could be interpreted as a threat to pull their services from the EU, it some agreement cannot be reached. They are also upset at Apple after Apple made the outrageous, again to Meta, decision to allow users to opt-in to cross app tracking. This means that Meta’s current data collection schemes are at risk.

Published in In Other News

After Google talked about their response to Apple requiring user acceptance for cross app tracking on mobile devices, the internet sort of exploded with different articles about the pros and cons of each. We wrote about this 2 days ago and gave out thoughts on both solutions. You can read the full article, or just read on for the summation. In short, Apple requiring a user to explicitly allow an app to perform cross tracking and data collection is better than Google’s current plan to collect everything and allow controlled access to the data via API. Google’s plan has even brought up the specter of anti-competition laws as they would literally control all the data on a mobile device. Yes, it is that bad.

Published in Security Talk

A couple of weeks ago Meta, Facebook’s parent company, announced that they were losing money (to the tune of $10 Billion) due to changes in the way Apple mobile devices handle user tracking by apps. The move by Apple was a bit of a surprise considering some of Apple’s history, but when you consider that Apple and Meta will probably be VR competitors it was not that much of one. The announcement also caused many to wonder if Google would follow suit.

Published in Security Talk

Firefox was once one of the leading “alternative” browsers on the internet. After the death of Netscape Firefox came along and offered people an alternative to the building Windows Internet Explorer and even to Safari on macOS. This trend continued into the mobile arena, at least until Google launched the Chrome Browser. Although Chrome had a bit of a rocky start (with clear indications of data collection), it has grown in popularity and gobble up about 64% of the browsing on the internet.

Published in Security Talk

Meta (Facebook) has a long history of privacy and other abuses of the platform they control. We have seen everything from abusing facial recognition technology to tracking users’ internet history after existing the platform. These types of abuses are concerning for both obvious and not so obvious reasons. On the surface the collection of personal information outside of actual platform use by Facebook is not a good thing, but when you also roll in the fact that large tech groups like Facebook also share information with government agencies freely and without recourse it makes the problem larger.

Published in In Other News

On December 4th, 1981, then President Ronald Regan signed Executive Order 12333. This Order, further amended by EO13284 in 2003, 13355(2004) and 13470(2008), is what grants and governs the collection of intelligence by Federal agencies. These agencies include the NSA, the CIA and to a lesser extent the FBI and Department of Homeland Security. The collection of information includes what is often referred to as signal intelligence. This type of intelligence if the collection of any information that is transmitted via electronic means. This wonderful blanket definition has been the basis of many borderline illegal data collection programs and a few outright illegal ones.

Published in In Other News
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