privacy

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Shoppers Using Mall Kiosks Unknowingly Photographed

Watchdogs say Cadillac Fairview broke Canadian privacy laws

(Newser) - A commercial real estate company behind major shopping malls in Canada broke privacy laws in taking 5 million photos of shoppers and using facial recognition technology without their knowledge, according to federal and provincial privacy commissioners. Cadillac Fairview embedded inconspicuous cameras at digital information kiosks at 12 shopping malls—two... More »

Judge on Markle Lawsuit: a 'House of Cards' May Fall

Duchess of Sussex hits bump in complaint against Associated Newspapers Limited

(Newser) - Meghan Markle suffered an early loss this week in her lawsuit against a UK tabloid publisher. Variety reports that Associated Newspapers Limited, which puts out the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail, can use as part of its legal defense material from a behind-the-scenes book that ADL insists Markle... More »

Schools Debating Whether to Reveal Students' COVID Status

Boston University joins UA in not informing faculty, other students of infected students in their classes

(Newser) - University of Alabama professors aren't the only ones "terrified" of an administration directive on COVID-19 in their own classrooms. Last week, it was reported that instructors there received an email from higher-ups warning them not to reveal to the rest of the class if anyone in that class... More »

Man Felt 'Violated' After Landlord Text on Stimulus Check

Ore. man says property manager illegally accessed payment status via IRS site, asked for rent

(Newser) - On April 15, Austin Goodrich received his stimulus check from the government. That same day, he got some odd texts from his property manager, per Business Insider . In messages documented by Joshua Browder, CEO of the DoNotPay legal chatbot, Goodrich's landlord asked him, "You got your stimulus, just... More »

Working From Home During Virus? Beware of 'Zoombombs'

FBI warns that hackers are 'hijacking' videoconferencing app

(Newser) - As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, people stuck at home have taken to using videoconferencing apps to hold work meetings and chat with family and friends. One such app that's become ubiquitous: Zoom, founded by Cisco engineer Eric Yuan. But be careful before you log in for that virtual... More »

Google 'Bug' Sent Videos to the Wrong Users

If you downloaded content from Google Photos using Google Takeout, you may have been affected

(Newser) - On Monday evening, some users of Google Takeout, which lets you download data from your Google apps, received what the Verge calls a "nonchalant email" from the company about a "technical issue," and it's one that's raising eyebrows . Per a statement sent by Google to... More »

Stephen King Makes Big Move on Social Media

Author has quit Facebook over concerns on 'false information,' privacy

(Newser) - Last month, Facebook decided it wasn't going to bar or fact-check political ads during this election season, nor keep those ads from being targeted to certain groups of people. Now, partly based on that, Stephen King has made his own decision: He has left the social media site for... More »

In This School District, a Controversial Way to Flush Out Threats

Civil rights advocates say western NY system compromises student privacy

(Newser) - An upstate New York school district has begun using facial recognition technology to look for threats, over the objection of civil rights advocates who say it compromises student privacy. The Lockport City School District said it activated the system Thursday after meeting conditions set by state education officials, including that... More »

Suspect: Cops Illegally Got My Phone Data—and Maybe Yours

Okello Chatrie is not alone in raising concerns about geofence warrants

(Newser) - Authorities accessed the cellphone location data of 19 people in the vicinity of a Virginia bank heist before closing in on their suspect, who's claiming the act was illegal. Lawyers for 24-year-old Okello Chatrie of Richmond, who has pleaded not guilty to stealing $195,000 in the armed robbery,... More »

Facebook Hit With Biggest FTC Fine Ever for Tech Firm

Company slammed with $5B penalty over privacy; Zuckerberg escapes serious personal liability

(Newser) - Federal regulators have fined Facebook $5 billion for privacy violations and are instituting new oversight and restrictions on its business—but they're only holding CEO Mark Zuckerberg personally responsible in a limited fashion. The fine is the largest the Federal Trade Commission has levied on a tech company, though... More »

Millions Having Fun With FaceApp. Now, the Downside

Critics say users are jeopardizing their own privacy through Russian-made app

(Newser) - You may have seen the wrinkled faces of friends online, or shared your own, thanks to an aging filter that transforms user photos via the viral FaceApp. The Russian-made app has been around since 2017 but has seen new interest with the viral #FaceAppChallenge and #AgeChallenge, with participants including Lil... More »

How Google Contractors End Up Hearing Your Conversations

Company says 0.2% of audio snippets are reviewed and transcribed

(Newser) - Google has confirmed contractors around the world listen to samples of audio recorded by the virtual Google Assistant on smart speakers and Android devices. The confirmation comes after a rogue Dutch contractor reportedly shared more than 1,000 audio clips with Belgian public broadcaster VRT NWS , which notes 153 conversations... More »

Meghan Markle Called 'Diva' After Wimbledon Request

Duchess of Sussex is once more in unwanted spotlight with pleas for privacy

(Newser) - First Meghan Markle and Prince Harry irked taxpayers with their home redo . Then they set off an "almighty storm" with an ultra-private christening for baby Archie. Now Markle is being accused of harboring a "secretive, high-maintenance attitude," and making "diva-ish demands" after apparently trying to get... More »

Bosses Nab Intimate Details on Workers—via Fertility Tracker

Data is so useful, some employees are paid to use Ovia: 'WaPo'

(Newser) - Some of the 10 million users of Ovia's health apps, including women trying to conceive via period tracking and expectant mothers recording everything from bodily functions to sex drive, are sending some of that data straight to their bosses. That's according to the Washington Post , which reports employers... More »

Mark Zuckerberg Tosses Out Some Decent Trash

'Times' feature follows around a garbage picker, who finds a working vacuum cleaner, hair dryer

(Newser) - Mark Zuckerberg insists he's pushing Facebook on a path toward greater privacy for users. And Business Insider notes that if Zuckerberg read the New York Times on Sunday, he got a real taste of what it feels like to have your privacy violated. There, in a feature on a... More »

Family's Airbnb Stay Turns Sour After Connecting to WiFi

Nealie Barker and husband discover hidden camera livestreaming them, kids at Ireland property

(Newser) - It was not an April Fools' joke Nealie Barker posted on Facebook April 1. "PLEASE SHARE WIDELY," the New Zealand mom wrote about a recent experience she and her family had while on vacation in Ireland. Sky News and the New Zealand Herald report that Barker and her... More »

FEMA Struck by a 'Major Privacy Incident'

Agency disclosed sensitive data of more than 2M disaster survivors, per DHS IG report

(Newser) - Survivors may still be picking up the pieces after the natural disasters that have swept across the country over the past couple of years, and now they have a new issue to contend with: the possibility of identity theft thanks to what the Federal Emergency Management Agency is calling a... More »

GOP Aide Reveals NSA Phone Program Not Being Used

Luke Murry suggests the White House may not renew the controversial program

(Newser) - Nearly six years ago, Edward Snowden exposed the National Security Agency's covert collection of millions of Americans' phone and text records; the White House defended it as a critical tool in the fight against terrorism. Now, a new White House may be done with the program. The New York ... More »

A Distant Cousin's DNA Test Could Lead FBI to You

FBI can trace more than half of Americans via a third cousin's DNA

(Newser) - Federal investigators looking to solve crimes can find a DNA match for a relative as close as a third cousin (connected by a great-great grandparent) to more than half of Americans by accessing genealogy databases. Yaniv Erlich, chief science officer at DNA testing company MyHeritage, came to that conclusion after... More »

This Could Be a Big Ruling on Your Phone Privacy

Judge says cops can't force people to unlock them with fingerprints, face scans

(Newser) - It could be a big decision in the new and legally murky realm of privacy and biometrics: A federal judge in California has ruled that police cannot force people to unlock their phones using fingerprints, facial recognition, or iris scans. The ruling was first spotted by Thomas Brewster of Forbes ... More »

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