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German Court's Privacy Ruling Against Facebook Will Have Far-Reaching Effects
March 14, 2018
Facebook has millions of users in the European Union, and a German court recently ruled against the company in a case involving its Privacy Policy. Few ever read privacy policies except judges, who must examine them when challenges arise. The new EU General Data Protection Regulations, which go into effect on May 25, will make things even more complicated. If you have any customers who are EU residents, the new GDPR will impact you.
Data Storage, Privacy and Metaphysics: SC Weighs Arguments in MS Case
March 13, 2018
How far does the long arm of U.S. law enforcement extend when government agencies seek electronically processed information? The U.S. Supreme Court recently addressed that issue in an intriguing session covering global electronic connectivity, the law, and the significance of national borders. The discussion came during last month's oral arguments in U.S. v. Microsoft.
Russians Pose as Americans to Steal Data on Social Media
March 8, 2018
Americans have been targeted on social media by Russian agents on a mission to harvest personal information. The agents pretended to work for organizations promoting African-American businesses as a ruse to obtain personal information from black business owners during the 2016 presidential election campaign. Using names like "BlackMattersUS," the agents set up hundreds of social media accounts.
Where Blockchain Tech Offers the Most Promise
March 7, 2018
"Blockchain" is on everyone's lips in the tech industry, with vendors pushing it for everything from banking and finance to retail and apparel. "We're going to continue to see tech vendors trying to push blockchain as the solution to problems that may exist," said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research. However, it may not be "a privacy-effective or cost-effective solution."
SC Justices to Hear Arguments in Microsoft, DoJ Data Privacy Face-Off
February 27, 2018
The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear oral arguments in a landmark case over whether federal law enforcement can force Microsoft to hand over email stored in an overseas data center as evidence in a drug-trafficking case. The case, United States of America v. Microsoft Corporation, which dates back to 2013, is viewed as a potentially groundbreaking showdown over data privacy.
AI's Malicious Potential Front and Center in New Report
February 22, 2018
As beneficial as AI can be, it has its dark side, too. That dark side is the focus of a new 100-page report. AI will be used by threat actors to expand the scale and efficiency of their attacks, it predicts. They will employ it to compromise physical systems and to broaden their privacy invasion and social manipulation capabilities. Novel attacks are to be expected.
Are Smart TV Designs Taking Home Security for Granted?
February 15, 2018
Millions of smart TVs from Samsung and some streaming devices from Roku recently were found to be vulnerable to cyberattacks, allowing intruders to take control and remotely change channels and volume settings, among other things, according to Consumer Reports research. Vulnerabilities were discovered not only in Samsung televisions, but also in TVs from TCL and other Roku-compatible brands.
Open Up the Source Code to Lock Down Your Data
February 8, 2018
Meaningful security is more than an app or an OS. It's a mindset. Linux security tools by themselves will not make you or anyone more secure. Security requires trade-offs in convenience, so the tools I'll highlight here are not recommended as "daily drivers." Only you can determine your ideal balance point. Perhaps the single greatest strength of Linux is that it is open source.
Critics Love HomePod's Sound but Rap Its Smarts
February 7, 2018
Critics have begun weighing in on Apple's HomePod smart speaker, and they're loving the device's sound but don't have much affection for its smarts. The HomePod's sound outclassed top-shelf competitor SonosOne, according to Matthew Panzarino. "The HomePod was the 'best' sounding. It's nuanced and subtle with great separation and clarity across all kinds of music," he wrote.
Privacy-Minded Smart Speaker May Struggle to Get to Know You
January 31, 2018
Mycroft AI earlier this week announced that its Mark II smart speaker achieved full funding on Kickstarter in just 6.5 hours. As of Wednesday, pledges reached more than three times its $50K goal -- with 23 days remaining in the campaign. The Mark II is positioned as an open source alternative to the dominant Amazon Echo line of smart speakers and its main challenger, the Google Home device.
New Open Source Mobile OS Puts Privacy Front and Center
January 5, 2018
A renowned Linux innovator has developed a new mobile operating system, called "Project eelo," in an effort to provide a level of data privacy that traditional Android and iOS devices fail to offer. The new eelo system will allow mobile phone users to regain control over their personal information at a price they can afford, said Gael Duval, who created Mandrake Linux back in 1998.
Ominous Processor Vulnerabilities Could Put Most Computers at Risk
January 4, 2018
Nearly a dozen cybersecurity researchers this week reported two potentially serious exploits of vulnerabilities that exist in most modern processors. Three teams independently discovered and reported the Meltdown exploit. Two teams independently discovered and reported the Spectre exploit. The Meltdown and Spectre exploits could used to capture sensitive information on devices.
Consumers Win Some, Lose Some in Privacy Legal Tussles
January 3, 2018
The Walt Disney Company's recent decision to purchase major assets of 21st Century Fox in a transaction valued at $52 billion underscores the huge potential for distributing information and entertainment via the Internet. The deal will allow the company to improve its direct-to-consumer offerings, Disney said when it disclosed the transaction early last month.
New Open Source Tools Test for VPN Leaks
December 13, 2017
ExpressVPN on Tuesday launched a suite of open source tools that let users test for vulnerabilities that can compromise privacy and security in virtual private networks. Released under an open source MIT License, they are the first-ever public tools to allow automated testing for leaks on VPNs, the company said. The tools are written primarily in Python, and available for download on Github.
Oops... Some HP Laptops Shipped With Hidden Keylogger
December 12, 2017
Some HP laptops users came with a preinstalled program to capture the keystrokes of users, a security researcher recently discovered. The researcher, Michael Myng aka "ZwClose," discovered the keylogger software while trying to solve a keyboard problem for a friend. The software is turned off by default. After Myng contacted HP about the program, it quickly released a patch to get rid of it.
Risky Scripts Pose Threat to Web Surfers, Say Researchers
November 28, 2017
A popular technique used by website operators to observe the keystrokes, mouse movements and scrolling behavior of visitors on Web pages is fraught with risk. The technique offered by a number of service providers uses scripts to capture the activity of a visitor on a Web page, store it on the provider's servers, and play it back on demand for a website's operators.
BlackBerry: The Most Important Mobile Company of the Future?
November 20, 2017
If you are like many, when you saw this headline you likely were surprised BlackBerry was still around. As BlackBerry phones left the market, the company fell out of sight. However, behind the scenes it has been moving into industries like automotive. Also, it remains the leading vendor providing mobile security to our politicians, military personnel and major corporations.
Eavesdropper Vulnerability Exposes Hundreds of Mobile Apps
November 10, 2017
Appthority has warned that up to 700 apps in the enterprise mobile environment, including more than 170 that were live in official app stores, could be at risk to due to the Eavesdropper vulnerability. Affected Android apps already may have been downloaded up to 180 million times, the firm said. The vulnerability has resulted in large-scale data exposure.
Amazon Cloud Cam Joins Burgeoning Smart-Home Ecosystem
November 9, 2017
Amazon has begun shipping its latest smart home product, a security camera that works with its Alexa personal assistant and Echo speakers. The Amazon Cloud Cam allows customers to live-stream activity inside their home 24/7. It features 1080p full HD resolution, two-way audio for communicating with family members or pets, night vision technology, and sophisticated identification algorithms.
Sony's Aibo Resurrected From Robot Pet Cemetery
November 2, 2017
Sony has revived its robot dog, Aibo, which it put down, so to speak, in 2006. The autonomous entertainment robot brings fun and joy to the entire family, Sony claimed. It can bond emotionally, give people love and affection, and let them experience the joy of nurturing and raising a companion. Aibo has ultra-impact 1- and 2-axis actuators that let it move smoothly and naturally along 22 axes.
Amazon to Let Delivery Drivers Open Your Front Door
October 26, 2017
Amazon has announced a new service that will allow Prime members to receive in-home delivery of packages with the help of high-tech smart locks that allow drivers to open their front doors. Amazon Key will launch officially on Nov. 8 in 37 U.S. cities and surrounding communities, with additional locations to be added over time. The service will be available at no extra cost to Prime members.
E-Commerce Firms: Get Ready for New Privacy Laws
October 24, 2017
The Federal Trade Commission regulates privacy in the United States, and under the FTC rules, a website need not have a privacy policy at all. However, a website must comply with and not violate its policy if it has one. ifeLock learned that lesson the hard way when " target="_blank">the FTC sued it for failing to abide by its privacy policy. How do other countries' privacy laws apply to U.S. businesses?
WPA2 Flaw Could Blow WiFi Systems Wide Open
October 17, 2017
A security flaw in WPA2, the security protocol for most modern WiFi systems, could allow an attacker to steal sensitive data including emails, credit card numbers and passwords, Researchers at Belgian university KU Leuven reported Monday. Depending on the network configuration, the flaw also could allow an attacker to inject or manipulate information in the system.
Anticipating the Smart World of 2027: A Billion Cameras and AI, Oh My...
October 2, 2017
Nvidia went to China last week and made a series of interesting announcements having to do with smart cities and autonomous cars. IBM made an announcement on advancements in tying the Weather Channel to its Watson artificial intelligence engine, and improvements in targeted marketing. We also found out about Oculus' Fall in Love VR project which is kind of like the The Bachelor.
FTC Confirms Probe Into Equifax Data Breach
September 15, 2017
In a rare move, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission on Thursday confirmed that it has opened an investigation into the data breach at Equifax that compromised the sensitive personal information of 143 million U.S. consumers. The FTC announcement came less than a week after Equifax revealed that an unknown party had gained access to names, addresses, Social Security Numbers and other data belonging to nearly half the U.S. population.
How Many Ways Might iPhone X's Face ID Go Wrong?
September 14, 2017
When Apple unveiled its iPhone X on Tuesday, officials highlighted the device's advanced functionality, including what truly could be a game changing feature, its facial recognition technology. The new handset allows users to unlock it simply by looking at it. The 10th anniversary edition of Apple's flagship mobile device is the first Apple handset to utilize Face ID.
Credit Agency Equifax Cracked, 143 Million Consumers Exposed
September 8, 2017
Consumer credit reporting agency Equifax suffered a major criminal data breach that exposed personal information of as many as 143 million consumers in the U.S. between mid-May and July of this year. The attack exposed a range of sensitive personal data, including names, addresses, Social Security Numbers, dates of birth, and in some cases driver's license numbers, Equifax said.
Vivaldi CEO Claims Google Retaliated for Privacy Criticism
September 6, 2017
Vivaldi CEO Jon von Tetzchner, the brains behind both the new Vivaldi browser and the early Opera browser, has accused Google of retaliating against his company after he questioned its customer privacy practices. Vivaldi's Google Adwords campaigns mysteriously were suspended just two days after von Tetzchner's criticisms of Google's handling of customer data were published this spring, he said.
Cyberthieves Train Their Sights on US Mobile Phone Customers
August 29, 2017
A relatively new form of cybercrime recently has been plaguing American consumers. Thieves have been hijacking mobile phone account numbers and then transferring services to a different device. Further, hackers have begun using mobile numbers to raid digital wallets and similar accounts. This type of theft has been successful even against the most sophisticated of consumers.
Google Connects Mobile Searchers to Depression Assessment Tool
August 25, 2017
The National Alliance on Mental Illness on Wednesday announced that Google on mobile now provides people who search for the term "clinical depression" with a direct link to the PHQ-9 questionnaire used by medical professionals in the United States to evaluate patients for the disorder. People can conduct a self-assessment by filling in the questionnaire online.
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What should be done about UFOs?
World governments should cooperate to address a potential planetary threat.
The DoD should investigate -- they could signal a hostile nation's tech advances.
The government should reveal what it already knows.
The government probably has good reasons for secrecy and should be trusted on this.
Wealthy corporate space-age visionaries should take the lead.
Nothing. Studying UFOs is a waste of resources.
Keep the stories coming. People love conspiracy theories, and it's fun to speculate.