More tech companies are about to face congressional scrutiny. Leaders from Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Charter and Google are scheduled to testify before a US Senate panel at a data privacy hearing on September 26th. Senators will grill the companies on their existing approaches to privacy, how Congress can press for “clear privacy expectations” and how firms will adapt to stricter requirements like the European Union’s GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act.
Apple has already bent over backwards in a bid to keep doing business in China, but it’ll have to bend a little further. As of the end of February, the company will host mainland Chinese users’ iCloud keys on servers located within the country — and they’ll be jointly run by a state-backed company, Guizhou Cloud Big Data Industry. The company has no choice if it wants to keep offering iCloud to Chinese users, as the law now requires that any cloud services have domestic ownership and store their data within China’s borders.
Open up a web browser or power up a smartphone—pretty much essential for modern-day living—and you’re walking straight into a privacy minefield. That much you know. Especially after the news earlier this week that Unroll.me, a popular service that lets you unsubscribe from multiple email lists with a single click, was selling data it had mined from all your mail. What you might not realize is that your surrendering of your privacy isn’t just an accident—it’s the purposeful design of a particular breed of app makers and web designers employing a practice known as “dark patterns.”
Fingerprint readers, like the TouchID on an iPhone, exist to make your device extra secure while keeping the process of unlocking it easy. Computer scientists at New York University and Michigan State are poised to turn that security benefit on its head. Like a master key that can open any lock, these researchers developed digital “master prints” that could emulate a variety of partial fingerprints enough to hypothetically hack into a device.
LAST OCTOBER THE agency passed a set of rules that would have required internet providers to take steps to protect your private data from hackers, notify you if someone hacked your data, and require your explicit permission before selling your data. Today the FCC suspended the data security rules from that package before they took effect1.
Most of us are aware that we need to be careful with what we post on social media, but do you know exactly who can see your recent vacation photos and status updates? Here are the privacy controls you need to know about on three of the biggest social networks.