UK government ignites debate over privacy vs. safety

Credit to Author: Jonny Evans| Date: Mon, 17 Jan 2022 09:28:00 -0800

Most technologists understand that end-to-end encryption in messaging keeps people safe and empowers commerce. But the UK government is launching a publicity blitz to have that layer of protection removed.

The decision will affect every nation the UK does business with, including those that still value the right to privacy and free speech.

Privacy versus safety

Rolling Stone reports the UK has developed an emotive ad campaign around child safety to build support for its argument. Of course, this campaign comes nowhere near addressing the threat to free speech, commerce, or privacy in such a move. Naturally, the reaction across most of the tech industry has been a series of shared oaths as people who know about this stuff ask: “Do we have to explain this again?”

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Apple is sneaking around its own privacy policy — and will regret it

Credit to Author: Evan Schuman| Date: Fri, 07 Jan 2022 03:04:00 -0800

Apple has a rather complicated relationship with privacy, which it always points to as a differentiator with Google. But delivering on it is a different tale. 

Much of this involves the definition of privacy. Fortunately for Apple’s marketing people, “privacy” is the ultimate undefinable term because every user views it differently. If you ask a 60-year-old man in Chicago what he considers to be private, you’ll get a very different answer than if you asked a 19-year-old woman in Los Angeles. Outside the US, privacy definitions vary even more. Germans and Canadians truly value privacy, but even they don’t agree on what they personally consider private.

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Privacy-centric DuckDuckGo to release Mac desktop browser

Credit to Author: Lucas Mearian| Date: Thu, 23 Dec 2021 04:11:00 -0800

Popular, privacy-centered search engine DuckDuckGo plans to launch a desktop browser for macOS laptops and desktops.

The browser is designed from the ground up to maintain privacy; that means it will not collect information about users and will not install cookies or tracking codes on devices. The company also claims it can block “hidden trackers” before they load.

DuckDuckGo’s search engine is already available as a download for mobile devices. In 2019, DuckDuckGo added Apple Maps support and has since added other improvements to how it works on Apple devices.  

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Beyond the VPN: Ultimate online privacy, with The Tor Project’s Isabela Bagueros: Lock and Code S02E20

Credit to Author: Malwarebytes Labs| Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2021 17:39:27 +0000

On Lock and Code this week, we discuss staying private online, beyond using a VPN, with Tor Project Executive Director Isabella Bagueros.

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How to give your phone an Android-12-inspired privacy upgrade

Credit to Author: JR Raphael| Date: Thu, 29 Jul 2021 07:04:00 -0700

Android 12 sure is an onion of an update, wouldn’t ya say?

Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not suggesting it’s fragrant, likely to make you cry, or positively delicious when cooked in a stir-fry. (That’d be one heck of a piece of software!) I just mean that it has lots of layers to it, including some that are beneath the surface and impossible to see when you’re only glancing from afar.

Android 12 is full of changes both big and small, in fact — and while many of its most noticeable external elements will be limited to Google’s own Pixel phones, some of the improvements tucked away in those sticky lower layers are arguably the most important changes of all.

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Note to IT: Google really wants its privacy settings left alone

Credit to Author: Evan Schuman| Date: Fri, 04 Jun 2021 11:14:00 -0700

The biggest difference in business models between mobile giants Google and Apple is that Google sells hardware and software whereas Google sells information. So when Apple makes a big play out of protecting privacy—such as pushing back against encryption backdoors and government subpoenas—it’s relatively easy for them. That’s not primarily how they make money.

Google, though, has a business model that truly hates privacy. To Google, enterprise data privacy, along with consumer data privacy, is just something that deprives them of raw material that they can sell. In short, Google has to publicly say that it protects its customers’ privacy while privately doing whatever it can to keep leveraging that data.

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The missing context around Google's Android privacy fallout

Credit to Author: JR Raphael| Date: Thu, 03 Jun 2021 07:10:00 -0700

If you’ve read much tech news lately, you might be feeling a slight sense of shock right now.

A series of newly publicized documents related to an Arizona lawsuit reveals that Google’s had some complicated systems for collecting location data across Android over the years — and that, according to the info, the company at one point tried putting a catch-all location toggle into the software’s Quick Settings panel but saw a substantial increase in the number of users who took advantage of it with that more prominent positioning in place.

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Privacy compliance for smart meter infrastructure with Microsoft Information Protection and Azure Purview

Credit to Author: Emma Jones| Date: Wed, 02 Jun 2021 16:00:01 +0000

Smart meters and smart grid infrastructure have been deployed in many of the world’s electric distribution grids. They promise energy conservation, better grid management for utilities, electricity theft reduction, and a host of value-added services for consumers.

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