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  1. Windscribe VPN 30 GB free traffic 1. Create a new account here - https://windscribe.com/myaccount 2. Then go to your account and click "Get Voucher". 3. Now enter this code https://pastebin.com/uBS4tCkL Enter the captcha, create an account, go to the mailbox and be sure to verify your account
  2. MOSCOW (AP) — Dating app Tinder is now required to provide user data to Russian intelligence agencies, the country’s communications regulator said Monday. The app was included on a new list of online services operating in Russia that are required to provide user data on demand to Russian authorities, including the FSB security agency. Russia adopted a flurry of legislation in recent years tightening control over online activity. Among other things, Internet companies are required to store six months’ worth of user data and be ready to hand them over to authorities. The communications regulator said Monday that Tinder had shared with them information about the company and that it is now on the list of online apps and websites that are expected to cooperate with the FSB. Russian authorities last year issued an order to ban messaging app Telegram after it refused to provide the user data as required by the Russian law. Tinder was not immediately available for comment. Source
  3. Another day, another Spotify acquisition. This time, it’s podcast advertising platform Megaphone, which the music streaming giant announced it was buying earlier today, in an attempt to beef up its advertising chops as it expands its roster of podcast programming. The acquisition accomplishes a few things for both the buyer and buy-ee. On Spotify’s end, the acquisition allows the major brands currently working with Megaphone to funnel some of their major brand bucks through Spotify’s systems, which will help Spotify pinch off a bigger chunk of the roughly $1 billion dollars worth of podcast advertising expected to be spent by the year’s end. Thanks to the acquisition, Spotify’s podcasters will also get the ability to “opt in” to having their shows monetized. Aside from opening those floodgates, podcasters currently monetizing through Megaphone will get access to Spotify’s proprietary ad-serving system, called Streaming Ad Insertion, to target listeners with ads served in real-time, based on everything from the artists that they stan to their zip code or gender. This ad-insertion tech also tracks how many people hear these ads, and how often a single person tends to hear them. As is the case with most things adtech, it can be a bit tricky to wrap your head around why a podcast-based-ad-platform like Megaphone would be worth much of anything, let alone the reported $235 million dollars that Spotify paid in the deal. In short, the answer is data. Back in 2017, Megaphone—then called Panoply—partnered with the data brokering giant Nielsen to become one of the first companies that gave podcast advertisers the same, well, kinda creepy targeting abilities companies had everywhere else on the web. If an advertiser wanted to know what podcasts a middle-aged divorcée in Utah was listening to while she drove out to buy groceries, chances are, Megaphone would be able to suss it out with the tens of thousands of bits of data it collected across the over 900 shows that were plugged into its platform, as of the middle of last year. Spotify largely allowed its users to be tracked and targeted based on the genre of podcasts they listened to until now—but even that was pretty basic, at least according to Spotify’s own description. On its own, Spotify might be able to tell advertisers that I was the type of person who binged comedy- and history-related podcasts on the regular, but any other demographics were typically inferred. Acquiring Megaphone is Spotify’s way of collecting more precise data on its rapidly growing listener base, so that base can be better targeted by data-hungry troves of high-paying advertisers. Podcast ads were a big motivator behind some of Spotify’s other recent acquisitions. Last year, when the company bought out the podcasting companies Gimlet Media and Anchor in a single-day, $343 million dollar splurge, analysts pointed out at the time that because there’s a top-shelf podcast for just about any imaginable niche out there—from true crime to comedy to breakfast enthusiasts—buying out these companies gave Spotify’s advertisers a fast pass to reach those audiences and more. The same could be said of The Ringer, another big-budget acquisition on Spotify’s part, which reportedly cost the company upwards of $196 million. While this changes little for users in terms of the content they have available, the Megaphone acquisition clarifies how to think about Spotify overall: It’s quickly becoming an advertising behemoth—less the Netflix of audio and much more akin to Facebook or Google for your ears. Source
  4. Details about hackers obtained the files remain unclear. Ransomware gang also threatened to leak the source code of Watch Dogs: Legion, an upcoming Ubisoft game. A ransomware gang going by the of Egregor has leaked data it claims to have obtained from the internal networks of two of today's largest gaming companies — Ubisoft and Crytek. Data allegedly taken from each company has been published on the ransomware gang's dark web portal on Tuesday. Details about how the Egregor gang obtained the data remain unclear. Ransomware gangs like Egregor regularly breach companies, steal their data, encrypt files, and ask for a ransom to decrypt the locked data. However, in many incidents, ransomware gangs are also get caught and kicked out of networks during the data exfiltration process, and files are never encrypted. Nevertheless, they still extort companies, asking victims for money to not leak sensitive files. Usually, when negotiations break down, ransomware gangs post a partial leak of the stolen files on so-called leak sites. On Tuesday, leaks for both Crytek and Ubisoft were posted on the Egregor portal at the same time, with threats from the ransomware crew to leak more files in the coming days. For the Ubisoft leak, the Egregor group shared files to suggest they were in possession of source code from one of the company's Watch Dogs games. On its web portal, the group touted they were in possession of the source code for the Watch Dogs: Legion game, scheduled to be released later this month. It was, however, impossible to verify that these files came from the new game, rather than an existing release. For the past year, security researchers have tried to reach out and notify Ubisoft about several of its employees getting phished, with no results, which may provide a clue of how the hackers might have got it. But while hackers leaked only 20 MB from Ubisoft, they leaked 300 MB from Crytek, and this data contained a lot more information. The Crytek files included documents that appeared to have been stolen from the company's game development division. These documents contained resources and information about the development process of games like Arena of Fate and Warface, but also Crytek's old Gface social gaming network. Neither Ubisoft nor Crytek responded to emails seeking comment on the leaks. None of the companies reported major security incidents weeks, nor any abnormal and prolonged downtimes, suggesting the Egregor intrusion didn't likely impact cloud and gaming system, but merely backend office and work networks, where most ransomware incidents usually incur damages. However, in an email interview with ZDNet, the Egregor gang provided more details about the two incidents. The ransomware operators said they breached the Ubisoft network, but only stole data, and did not encrypt any of the company's files. On the other hand, "Crytek has been encrypted fully," the Egregor crew told ZDNet. The Egregor group said that neither company engaged in discussions, despite their intrusions, and no ransom has been officially requested yet. "In case Ubisoft will not contact us we will begin posting the source code of upcoming Watch Dogs and their engine," the group threatened, promising to publish more data in a press release tomorrow. Source
  5. A new survey from the National Cybersecurity Association (NCSA) shows adult workers vastly overestimate the security of the internet devices in their homes. The Nest Learning Thermostat is displayed at a Home Depot store. As COVID-19 forced companies to embrace remote working, home networks transformed into office networks. That’s proving a problem for CISOs. “You can’t just assume that people know how to stay secure in this moment,” NCSA chief operating officer Sylvia Layton told SC Media. The survey polled 1,000 adults – 500 aged 18-34 and 500 aged 50-75 – and found that the overwhelming majority of both believed the internet of things devices they owned were secure. Since the boom of teleworking earlier this year, experts have warned that home networks create business risk. While the survey was for all adults, not just teleworkers, it provides some concrete data on just how much risk is hiding at home. IoT devices, particularly those that are cheap, outdated and hard to upgrade, are widely considered to be an easy target for hackers. Yet 87 percent of the younger group and 77 percent of the older group said they were either “somewhat” or “very confident” in the security of their connected things. “It’s surprising, but the older generation was more risk-averse,” said Layton. Another finding from the same survey: 17 percent of the younger group and 37 percent of the older group said they did not regularly check or install updates (either claiming never, every 2-3 months, or “maybe if an auto-update happens.”) In many companies, especially in smaller companies, employees are using home computers rather than office issued computers – leaving updates completely in their own hands. Layton suggests CISOs better train employees for the rigors of working from home. Dmitriy Ayrapetov, vice president of platform architecture at the distributed office security vendor SonicWall, said CISOs might want to suggest employees segment home networks to isolate office computing. Segmenting networks would be key to blocking hackers from leveraging an IoT foothold in a home network to disrupt office networks. But that can be either too complex or too much of a hassle for many employees. An alternative, said Ayrapetov, would be offering employees access points. “A year ago, of course, you had some people working from home, but it was a self-selecting group who knew what they were doing, had office laptops and weren’t sharing a laptop with their kids e-learning,” saidAyrapetov. “A lot of small and medium-sized business got yanked five years into the future by quarantine.” Source
  6. Court records in an arson case show that Google gave away data on people who searched for a specific address. There are few things as revealing as a person's search history, and police typically need a warrant on a known suspect to demand that sensitive information. But a recently unsealed court document found that investigators can request such data in reverse order by asking Google to disclose everyone who searched a keyword rather than for information on a known suspect. In August, police arrested Michael Williams, an associate of singer and accused sex offender R. Kelly, for allegedly setting fire to a witness' car in Florida. Investigators linked Williams to the arson, as well as witness tampering, after sending a search warrant to Google that requested information on "users who had searched the address of the residence close in time to the arson." The July court filing was unsealed on Tuesday. Detroit News reporter Robert Snell tweeted about the filing after it was unsealed. Court documents showed that Google provided the IP addresses of people who searched for the arson victim's address, which investigators tied to a phone number belonging to Williams. Police then used the phone number records to pinpoint the location of Williams' device near the arson, according to court documents. The original warrant sent to Google is still sealed, but the report provides another example of a growing trend of data requests to the search engine giant in which investigators demand data on a large group of users rather than a specific request on a single suspect. "This 'keyword warrant' evades the Fourth Amendment checks on police surveillance," said Albert Fox Cahn, the executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project. "When a court authorizes a data dump of every person who searched for a specific term or address, it's likely unconstitutional." The keyword warrants are similar to geofence warrants, in which police make requests to Google for data on all devices logged in at a specific area and time. Google received 15 times more geofence warrant requests in 2018 compared with 2017, and five times more in 2019 than 2018. The rise in reverse requests from police have troubled Google staffers, according to internal emails. Google declined to disclose how many keyword warrants it's received in the last three years. Reverse search warrants like geofence warrants are being challenged across the US for violating civil rights. Lawmakers in New York have proposed legislation to make these searches illegal, while in Illinois, a federal judge found that the practice violated the Fourth Amendment. Keyword warrants aren't new. In 2017, Minnesota police sent a keyword warrant to Google for information including name, address, telephone number, Social Security numbers and IP addresses related to people who searched for a "Douglas [REDACTED]" in a fraud investigation. Todd Spodek, the attorney representing Williams, said he plans to challenge the legality of the keyword warrant issued in June. He hasn't seen the document yet but said he intends to argue that it violated Williams' rights. Spodek said he's seen more of these types of warrants being issued in criminal investigations and worries it could lead to wrongful accusations in the future. "Think of the ramifications in the future if everyone who searched something in the privacy of their own home was subject to interviews by federal agents," Spodek said. "Someone could be interested in how people die a certain way or how drug deals are done, and it could be misconstrued or used improperly." Source
  7. Google will add a "Privacy practices" section on each Chrome extension's Web Store page listing what data they collect from users and what the developer plans to do with it. Google said today it plans to add a new section on the Chrome Web Store where extension developers will be able to disclose what user data they're collecting from users and what they plan to do with the information. The new section is set to go into effect on January 18, 2021, and will appear as a "Privacy practices" button on each extension's Web Store listing. To aid the process, Google has added a new section today in the Web Store dashboard where extension developers will be able to disclose what data they collect from their users and for what purposes. Google's new "data usage" dashboard will ship with a limited set of preset options, which will effectively prohibit Chrome developers from certain data practices, such as: The bulk sale of user data by ensuring the use or transfer of user data is for the primary benefit of the user and in accordance with the stated purpose of the extension. The use or transfer of user data for personalized advertising. The use or transfer of user data for creditworthiness or any form of lending qualification and to data brokers or other information resellers. Google's new "data disclosure" policy is not unique. At the WWDC 2020 developer conference in June this year, Apple announced that all App Store app listings will soon be required to include a "privacy prompt (label)" that will list all the data points apps collect from users and which data points are used to track users across apps. Apple's privacy labels are scheduled to go live on December 8, next month. Google said it plans to show notices to all developers in the Web Store developer dashboards and prompt extension makers to set up a "privacy practices" section. Source
  8. Electricity and CRISPR used to write data to bacterial DNA Although it's inefficient, we can use voltage changes to write data to bacteria. Enlarge Rizlan Bencheikh and Bruce Arey, PNNL 14 with 11 posters participating In recent years, researchers have used DNA to encode everything from an operating system to malware. Rather than being a technological curiosity, these efforts were serious attempts to take advantage of DNA's properties for long-term storage of data. DNA can remain chemically stable for hundreds of thousands of years, and we're unlikely to lose the technology to read it, something you can't say about things like ZIP drives and MO disks. But so far, writing data to DNA has involved converting the data to a sequence of bases on a computer, and then ordering that sequence from someplace that operates a chemical synthesizer—living things don't actually enter into the picture. But separately, a group of researchers had been figuring out how to record biological events by modifying a cell's DNA, allowing them to read out the cell's history. A group at Columbia University has now figured out how to merge the two efforts and write data to DNA using voltage differences applied to living bacteria. CRISPR and data storage The CRISPR system has been developed as a way of editing genes or cutting them out of DNA entirely. But the system first came to the attention of biologists because it inserted new sequences into DNA. For all the details, see our Nobel coverage, but for now, just know that part of the CRISPR system involves identifying DNA from viruses and inserting copies of it into the bacterial genome in order to recognize it should the virus ever appear again. The group at Columbia has figured out how to use this to record memories in bacteria. Let's say you have a process that activates genes in response to a specific chemical, like a sugar. The researchers diverted this to also activate a system that makes copies of a circular piece of DNA called a plasmid. Once the copy number was high, they activated the CRISPR system. Given the circumstances, it was most likely to insert a copy of the plasmid DNA into the genome. When the sugar was not present, it would generally insert something else. Using this system, it was possible to tell whether a bacterium has been exposed to the sugar in its past. It's not perfect, since the CRISPR system doesn't always insert something when you want it to, but it does work on average. So, you just have to sequence enough bacteria in order to figure out the average sequence of events. To adapt this for data storage, the researchers used two plasmids. One is the same as described above: present at low levels when a specific signal is absent, and present at very high levels when the signal's around. The second is always present at moderate levels. When CRISPR is activated, it tended to insert sequences from whichever plasmid was present at higher levels, as shown in the diagram below. Enlarge / On the left, without any signal, the red plasmid is present at low levels. When CRISPR is activated, the sequence from the blue plasmid is more likely to be inserted into the genome. On the right, when the signal is present, there's a lot more red plasmid, and so it's more likely to be inserted into the genome. John Timmer On its own, this only stores one bit. But the process can be repeated, creating a stretch of DNA that's a series of inserts derived from the red and blue plasmids, with the identity being determined by whether the signal was present or not. Giving it a jolt It's a neat system but pretty far removed from the sorts of things we normally associate with the production of data—the output of a sensor reading or calculation is rarely a sugar or antibiotic mixed in with a bunch of bacteria. Getting bacteria to respond to an electrical signal turned out to be relatively simple. E. coli is able to alter the activity of genes depending on whether it's in an oxidizing or reducing chemical environment. And the researchers could alter the environment by applying voltage differences to a specific chemical in the culture with the bacteria. More specifically, the voltage difference would alter the oxidative state of a chemical called ferrocyanide. That in turn caused the bacteria to alter the activity of genes. By engineering the plasmid so that it responded to the same signal as these genes, the researchers were able to control the levels of plasmid by applying different voltages. And they could then record that level of that plasmid by activating the CRISPR system in these cells. It's pretty easy to see how each of the inserts in a series could be considered a zero or a one, depending on the identity of the insert. But remember that this system isn't perfect; pretty regularly, CRISPR would insert nothing when it's activated, which would shift all the ensuing bits. As this process is random, the longer the series of bits you try to encode, the more likely it becomes that at least one of them ends up being skipped. To limit this problem, the researchers kept their data to three bits per bacterial population. Even then, they had to train a supervised learning algorithm to reconstruct the most probable series of bits based on an average of the sequences found in the population. And, even with that, the system failed to recognize the series of bits about six percent of the time. In the end, they settled on using a parity bit that was the sum of the first two to allow error correction, and then edited lots of populations in parallel. (By giving each population's plasmids a unique sequence tag called a "barcode," it was possible to mix a lot of them into a single population after the bits were encoded and still untangle everything once the DNA was sequenced.) With everything in place, they successfully stored and read out "Hello world!" They even put the bacteria into some potting soil for a week and showed that they were able to recover the message. (Storing them in the freezer obviously works better.) They estimate that the message can be retained for at least 80 generations of bacteria. Let's be clear: as a storage medium, in its current form, this is pretty terrible. If you wanted to put some data into DNA, you'd be much better off having the DNA chemically synthesized. But it is intriguing to think we could go straight from electrical signals to altered DNA, and there may be some ways to improve the system now that it has been established. Nature Chemical Biology, 2021. DOI: 10.1038/s41589-020-00711-4 (About DOIs). Electricity and CRISPR used to write data to bacterial DNA
  9. Lately, I've been observing that some process is using my bandwith countinuously even if I'm not running any app related to network usage. I also have all system processes like windows update and the live tiles are turned off. But the moment I connect my dial up connection and do nothing, the data counter starts ticking continuously and never stops leading my costly bandwidth to drain out. Then I'm advised to use TCPview and using that I've found the culprit out and it's a svchost process. Below is the screenshot. Turning that off, it disconnects the network connection. I wanna know if there is anything to get rid of the situation.
  10. What is going on As you may have heard already, because of brexit, Google is moving UK citizens data from the Northern Ireland data controller to the US one (Google LLC). Leaving the EU, UK citizens are not protected anymore by GDPR, and while this may be unfair, Google is legally allowed to do it. The problem Even if I'm an Italian citizen and I live in Italy, a few days ago I received this email from them: What's wrong with it? The point is that I'm an Italian citizen, living in Italy. I have nothing to do with UK (even if I lived there for a few years in the past, my account was created from Italy). Why do they mention "UK leaving EU" to me, if I don't live in UK? I tried to contact them multiple times on their @Google account on Twitter, but I got no reply at all. I tried to search online and it looks like I'm not alone, they are doing this to many other people: https://support.google.com/accounts/thread/29317992?hl=en&authuser=1 Looking for help What should I do? Is this legally allowed? If there was an easy way to complain with them, I would have done it already, but I've tried to search on their website (even googling it... no pun intended) but I couldn't find a single contact form to report this issue and of course they are ignoring both Twitter and that forum I linked previously. Should I report them to the Privacy Authority? If yes, how? Full text of the email Here is the full text of the email I received: We’re improving our Terms of Service and making them easier for you to understand. The changes will take effect on 31 March 2020, and they won’t impact the way that you use Google services. And, because the United Kingdom (UK) is leaving the European Union (EU), Google LLC will now be the service provider and the data controller responsible for your information and for complying with applicable privacy laws for UK consumer users. For more details, we’ve provided a summary of the key changes and Frequently asked questions. And the next time that you visit Google, you’ll have the chance to review and accept the new Terms. At a glance, here’s what this update means for you: • Improved readability: While our Terms remain a legal document, we’ve done our best to make them easier to understand, including by adding links to useful information and providing definitions. • Better communication: We’ve clearly explained when we’ll make changes to our services (like adding or removing a feature) and when we’ll restrict or end a user’s access. And we’ll do more to notify you when a change negatively impacts your experience on our services. • Adding Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS and Google Drive to the Terms: Our improved Terms now cover Google Chrome, Google Chrome OS and Google Drive, which also have service-specific terms and policies to help you understand what’s unique to those services. • Your service provider and data controller is now Google LLC: Because the UK is leaving the EU, we’ve updated our Terms so that a United States-based company, Google LLC, is now your service provider instead of Google Ireland Limited. Google LLC will also become the data controller responsible for your information and complying with applicable privacy laws. We’re making similar changes to the Terms of Service for YouTube, YouTube Paid Services and Google Play. These changes to our Terms and privacy policy don’t affect your privacy settings or the way that we treat your information (see the privacy policy for details). As a reminder, you can always visit your Google Account to review your privacy settings and manage how your data is used. If you’re the guardian of a child under the age required to manage their own Google Account and you use Family Link to manage their use of Google services, please note that when you accept our new Terms, you do so on their behalf as well, and you may want to discuss these changes with them. And of course, if you don’t agree to our new Terms and what we can expect from each other as you use our services, you can find more information about your options in our Frequently asked questions. Thank you for using Google’s services. Your Google team Source
  11. GOOGLE KEEPS A SCARY AMOUNT OF DATA ON YOU HERE'S HOW TO FIND AND DELETE IT Everything you do online when you're signed into Google, and even some stuff when you aren't, becomes a part of your Google profile, but you can wipe the slate clean with these steps. Google collects a staggering amount of personal information about its users -- possibly even more than you realize. Google remembers every search you perform and every YouTube video you watch. Whether you have an iPhone ( $870 at Walmart ) or Android phone, Google Maps logs everywhere you go, the route you take to get there, when you arrive and what time you leave -- even if you never open the app. When you really take a look at everything Google knows about you, the results can be shocking -- maybe even a little frightening. Thankfully, there are a few things you can do about it. As a spate of data leaks and privacy violations continues to weaken the public's trust in big tech companies, Google has responded by creating a privacy hub that lets you access, delete and limit the data Google collects on you. Navigating all the various settings can get confusing, however, and it's not always clear what you're giving Google permission to do. What's worse, whenever you make a change that would restrict how much or for how long Google tracks you, Google warns that its services won't work as well without unfettered access to your data. How true that may be isn't very clear. Despite Google's best efforts to increase transparency, recent revelations that the search giant was secretly sharing users' private data with third-party advertisers have challenged the public's trust in the company, whose Google Home ( $79 at Walmart ) and Google Nest lines of smart speakers seek to put microphones and cameras in the most private of settings -- your home. We're going to cut through all the clutter and show you how to access the private data Google has on you, as well as how to delete some or all of it. Then we're going to help you find the right balance between your privacy and the Google services you rely on by choosing settings that limit Google's access to your information without impairing your experience. Find out what private information Google considers 'public' Chances are, Google has your name, a photo of your face, your birthday, gender, other email addresses you use, your password and phone number. Some of this is listed as public information (not your password, of course). Here's how to see what Google shares with the world about you. 1. Open a browser window and navigate to your your Google Account page. 2. Type your Google username (with or without "@gmail.com"). 3. From the menu bar, choose Personal info and review the information. You can change or delete your photo, name, birthday, gender, password, other emails and phone number. 4. If you'd like to see what information of yours is available publicly, scroll to the bottom and select Go to About me. 5. You can then back out and make changes. There's currently no way to make your account private. Take a look at Google's record of your online activity If you want to see the motherlode of data Google has on you, follow these steps to find it, review it, delete it or set it to automatically delete after a period of time. If your goal is to exert more control over your data but you still want Google services like search and maps to personalize your results, we recommend setting your data to autodelete after three months. Otherwise, feel free to delete all your data and set Google to stop tracking you. For most of the day-to-day things you do with Google you won't even notice the difference. 1. Sign into your Google Account and choose Data & Personalization from the navigation bar. 2. To see a list of all your activity that Google has logged, scroll to Activity controls and select Web & App Activity. 3. If you want Google to stop tracking your web and image searches, browser history, map searches and directions, and interactions with Google Assistant, uncheck both boxes. Otherwise, move on to step 4. 4. Next, click Manage Activity. This page displays all the information Google has collected on you from the activities mentioned in the previous step, all the way back to the day you created your account. 5. To set Google to automatically delete this kind of data either every three or every 18 months, select Choose to delete automatically and pick the timeframe you feel most comfortable with. Google will delete any current data older than the timeframe you specify, for example, if you choose three months, any information older than three months will be deleted immediately. 6. If you'd rather delete part of all of your activity history manually, on the navigation bar choose Delete activity by and choose either Last hour, Last day, All time or Custom range. 7. Once you choose an autodelete setting or manually select which data you want deleted, a popup will appear and ask you to confirm. Select Delete or Confirm. To make sure your new settings took, head back to Manage Activity (step 4) and make sure whatever's there (if you deleted it all there should be nothing) only goes back the three or 18 months you selected in step 5. Access Google's record of your location history Perhaps even more offputting than Google knowing what recipes you've been cooking, what vacation it looks like you're planning or how often you check the Powerball numbers, the precision of Google's record of your whereabouts can be downright chilling, even if you never do anything you shouldn't. Just the fact that if you're signed into Google Maps on a mobile device, Google's eyes are watching your every move is about enough to make you want to leave your phone at home. Thankfully, that's unnecessary. Here's how to access, manage and delete your Google location data: 1. Sign into your Google Account and choose Data & Personalization from the navigation bar. 2. To see a list of all your location data that Google has logged, scroll to Activity controls and select Location History. 3. If you want Google to stop tracking your location, turn off the toggle on this page. 4. Next, click Manage Activity. This page displays all the location information Google has collected on you as a timeline and a map, including places you've visited, the route you took there and back, as well as frequency and dates of visits. 5. To permanently delete all location history, click on the trash can icon and choose Delete Location History when prompted. 6. To set Google to automatically delete this kind of data either every three or every 18 months, select the gear icon and choose Automatically delete Location History then pick the timeframe you feel most comfortable with. Google will delete any current data older than the timeframe you specify. For example, if you choose three months, any information older than three months will be deleted immediately. To make sure your location data really disappeared, start over with Activity Controls in step 2, then after Manage Activity in step 4, make sure the timeline in the upper left corner is empty and there are no dots on the map indicating your previous locations. Source Image Courtesy & Thanks
  12. IBM said its cloud and cognitive software revenue -- which includes Red Hat -- was up 8.7% to $7.2 billion. IBM published its fourth quarter financial results on Tuesday, with a full quarter of Red Hat now in the fold. The company is showing signs of a return to growth, although year-over-year revenues were up just slightly for the quarter and still down overall for 2019. For Q4, IBM reported a non-GAAP EPS of $4.71 on revenue of $21.8 billion, up 0.1% year-over-year. Analysts were expecting earnings of $4.68 per share on revenue of $21.64 billion. For the full FY 2019, non-GAAP earnings per share came to $12.81 on revenues of $77.1 billion, down 3.1 year-over-year. The fiscal results are in line with analyst estimates. Shares of IBM were up nearly 5% after hours. "We ended 2019 on a strong note, returning to overall revenue growth in the quarter, led by accelerated cloud performance," said IBM chief executive Ginni Rometty. "Looking ahead, this positions us for sustained revenue growth in 2020 as we continue to help our clients shift their mission-critical workloads to the hybrid cloud and scale their efforts to become a cognitive enterprise." Cloud and cognitive software revenue -- which includes Red Hat -- was up 8.7% to $7.2 billion. Red Hat specifically contributed $573 million to IBM's cloud and software sales. Meanwhile, systems revenue climbed 16% led by the IBM Z, IBM's smaller footprint mainframe that utilizes design thinking. Storage systems showed growth but technology services revenue in the quarter fell 4.8%. Global business services sales were down 0.6%. IBM said cloud revenue was $21.2 billion for fiscal 2019, up 11%. Going forward, a goal for IBM will be capitalizing on the expected growth in enterprise software investments. In its latest IT spending forecast, research firm Gartner suggests that software will be the main driver for spending over 2020, reaching 10.5 percent growth. As for the outlook, IBM said it is on track to deliver non-GAAP earnings of at least $13.35 a share with free cash flow of about $12.5 billion for fiscal 2020. "After completing the acquisition of Red Hat, and with strong free cash flow and disciplined financial management, we significantly deleveraged in the second half," said James Kavanaugh, IBM 's chief financial officer. Source
  13. Cyber-security company Trend Micro says the personal data of thousands of its customers has been exposed by a rogue member of staff. The company says an employee sold information from its customer-support database, including names and phone numbers, to a third party. It became suspicious after customers started receiving phone calls from scammers posing as Trend Micro staff. The company says it has contacted those whose details were exposed. Trend Micro said it believed approximately 70,000 of its 12 million customers had been affected. "It's every security firm's nightmare for something like this to occur," cyber-expert and writer Graham Cluley told BBC News. "You can have all the security in place to prevent external hackers getting in but that doesn't stop internal staff from taking data and using it for nefarious purposes," he said. "If a cyber-security firm like Trend Micro can fall victim to a security breach, it can happen to any company." Trend Micro provides cyber-security and anti-virus tools to consumers, businesses and organisations around the world. In August 2019, it received reports many users of its home security software had been receiving scam phone calls. The scammers knew so much information about their targets that Trend Micro suspected its customer support database had been breached. It later found out its systems had not been attacked over the internet and it was instead facing a "malicious insider threat". "The suspect was a Trend Micro employee who improperly accessed the data with a clear criminal intent," the company said in a blog post. "Our investigation revealed that this employee sold the stolen information to a currently unknown third-party malicious actor." The company said it was working with police and the employee in question had been fired. It said its customer-support staff would never call people "unexpectedly". "If a support call is to be made, it will be scheduled in advance. If you receive an unexpected phone call claiming to be from Trend Micro, hang up and report the incident to Trend Micro support using our official contact details below," the company said. Liability A UK ruling that suggests companies can be held responsible if their own staff leak data is currently being challenged by supermarket chain Morrison's. In 2014, an internal auditor at the retailer stole the data, including salary and bank details, of nearly 100,000 staff and posted it online. Andrew Skelton was jailed for eight years in 2015 after being found guilty at Bradford Crown Court of fraud, securing unauthorised access to computer material and disclosing personal data. However, a group legal action also found the supermarket responsible for the actions of its staff. The retailer is currently challenging the ruling at the UK's Supreme Court. Source
  14. Car smash-and-grab ends with loss of payroll details for 20,000 employees Facebook has lost a copy of the personal details of 29,000 of its employees after hard drives containing unencrypted payroll information were stolen from an employee's car. The antisocial network said it is in the process of informing those who were exposed, though so far there is no indication of the purloined details being used for fraud, it is claimed. "We worked with law enforcement as they investigated a recent car break-in and theft of an employee’s bag containing company equipment with employee payroll information stored on it," a Facebook spokesperson told The Register. "We have seen no evidence of abuse and believe this was a smash and grab crime rather than an attempt to steal employee information. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have notified the current and former employees whose information we believe was stored on the equipment – people who were on our US payroll in 2018 – and are offering them free identity theft and credit monitoring services. This theft impacts current and former Facebook employees only and no Facebook user data was involved." A report from Bloomberg today cites an internal email explaining that last month an employee in the payroll department had their car broken into and, among the items stolen, were unencrypted hard drives containing corporate records. The report also notes that the worker was not authorized to have the drive in their car, and has been disciplined. The lifted records were said to include employee names, bank account numbers, and partial social security numbers. So far, Facebook has yet to file a data breach notification with the state of California, as is required by law. This is certainly a unique situation for Facebook, as the data-slurping biz usually finds itself on the other side of egregious violations of personal privacy. Facebook has made something of a custom out of letting outside developers play fast and loose with user profile information. Source
  15. India has proposed groundbreaking new rules that would require companies to garner consent from citizens in the country before collecting and processing their personal data. But at the same time, the new rules also state that companies would have to hand over “non-personal” data of their users to the government, and New Delhi would also hold the power to collect any data of its citizens without consent, thereby bypassing the laws applicable to everyone else, to serve sovereignty and larger public interest. The new rules, proposed in “Personal Data Protection Bill 2019,” a copy of which leaked on Tuesday, would permit New Delhi to “exempt any agency of government from application of Act in the interest of sovereignty and integrity of India, the security of the state, friendly relations with foreign states, public order.” If the bill passes — and it is expected to be discussed in the parliament in the coming weeks — select controversial laws drafted more than a decade ago would remain unchanged. Another proposed rule would grant New Delhi the power to ask any “data fiduciary or data processor” to hand over “anonymized” “non-personal data” for the purpose of better governance, among others. New Delhi’s new bill — which was passed by the Union Cabinet last week, but has yet to be formally shared with the public — could create new challenges for Google, Facebook, Twitter, ByteDance’s TikTok and other companies that are already facing some regulatory heat in the nation. India conceptualized this bill two years ago and in the years since, it has undergone significant changes. An earlier draft of the bill that was formally made public last year had stated that the Indian government must not have the ability to collect or process personal data of its citizens, unless a lawful procedure was followed. Ambiguity over who the Indian government considers an “intermediary” or a “social media” platform, or a “social media intermediary” are yet to be fully resolved, however. In the latest version, the bill appears to not include payment services, internet service providers, search engines, online encyclopedias, email services and online storage services as “social media intermediaries.” One of the proposed rules, that is directly aimed at Facebook, Twitter, and any other social media company that enables “interaction between two or more users,” requires them to give their users an option to verify their identity and then publicly have such status displayed on their profile — similar to the blue tick that Facebook and Twitter reserve for celebrities and other accounts of public interest. Last week news outlet Reuters reported portions of the bill, citing unnamed sources. The report claimed that India was proposing the voluntary identity-verification requirement to curb the spread of false information. As social media companies grapple with the spread of false information, that have resulted in at least 30 deaths in India, the Narendra Modi-led government, which itself is a big consumer of social media platforms, has sought to take measures to address several issues. Over the last two years, the Indian government has asked WhatsApp, which has amassed more than 400 million users in India, to “bring traceability” to its platform in a move that would allow the authority to identify the people who are spreading the information. WhatsApp has insisted that any such move would require breaking encryption, which would compromise the privacy and security of more than a billion people globally. The bill has not specifically cited government’s desires to contain false information for this proposal, however. Instead the bill insists that this would bring more “transparency and accountability.” Some critics have expressed concerns over the proposed rules. Udbhav Tiwari, a public policy advisor at Mozilla, said New Delhi’s bill would “represent new, significant threats to Indians’ privacy. If Indians are to be truly protected, it is urgent that parliament reviews and addresses these dangerous provisions before they become law.” Indian news site MediaNama has outlined several more changes in this Twitter thread. Source
  16. A year ago, we asked some of the most prominent smart home device makers if they have given customer data to governments. The results were mixed. The big three smart home device makers — Amazon, Facebook and Google (which includes Nest) — all disclosed in their transparency reports if and when governments demand customer data. Apple said it didn't need a report, as the data it collects was anonymized. As for the rest, none had published their government data-demand figures. In the year that's past, the smart home market has grown rapidly, but the remaining device makers have made little to no progress on disclosing their figures. And in some cases, it got worse. Smart home and other internet-connected devices may be convenient and accessible, but they collect vast amounts of information on you and your home. Smart locks know when someone enters your house, and smart doorbells can capture their face. Smart TVs know which programs you watch and some smart speakers know what you're interested in. Many smart devices collect data when they're not in use — and some collect data points you may not even think about, like your wireless network information, for example — and send them back to the manufacturers, ostensibly to make the gadgets — and your home — smarter. Because the data is stored in the cloud by the devices manufacturers, law enforcement and government agencies can demand those companies turn over that data to solve crimes. But as the amount of data collection increases, companies are not being transparent about the data demands they receive. All we have are anecdotal reports — and there are plenty: Police obtained Amazon Echo data to help solve a murder; Fitbit turned over data that was used to charge a man with murder; Samsung helped catch a sex predator who watched child abuse imagery; Nest gave up surveillance footage to help jail gang members; and recent reporting on Amazon-owned Ring shows close links between the smart home device maker and law enforcement. Here's what we found. Smart lock and doorbell maker August gave the exact same statement as last year, that it "does not currently have a transparency report and we have never received any National Security Letters or orders for user content or non-content information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA)." But August spokesperson Stephanie Ng would not comment on the number of non-national security requests — subpoenas, warrants and court orders — that the company has received, only that it complies with "all laws" when it receives a legal demand. Roomba maker iRobot said, as it did last year, that it has "not received" any government demands for data. "iRobot does not plan to issue a transparency report at this time," but it may consider publishing a report "should iRobot receive a government request for customer data." Arlo, a former Netgear smart home division that spun out in 2018, did not respond to a request for comment. Netgear, which still has some smart home technology, said it does "not publicly disclose a transparency report." Amazon-owned Ring, whose cooperation with law enforcement has drawn ire from lawmakers and faced questions over its ability to protect users' privacy, said last year it planned to release a transparency report in the future, but did not say when. This time around, Ring spokesperson Yassi Shahmiri would not comment and stopped responding to repeated follow-up emails. Honeywell spokesperson Megan McGovern would not comment and referred questions to Resideo, the smart home division Honeywell spun out a year ago. Resideo's Bruce Anderson did not comment. And just as last year, Samsung, a maker of smart devices and internet-connected televisions and other appliances, also did not respond to a request for comment. On the whole, the companies' responses were largely the same as last year. But smart switch and sensor maker Ecobee, which last year promised to publish a transparency report "at the end of 2018," did not follow through with its promise. When we asked why, Ecobee spokesperson Kristen Johnson did not respond to repeated requests for comment. Based on the best available data, August, iRobot, Ring and the rest of the smart home device makers have hundreds of millions of users and customers around the world, with the potential to give governments vast troves of data — and users and customers are none the wiser. Transparency reports may not be perfect, and some are less transparent than others. But if big companies — even after bruising headlines and claims of co-operation with surveillance states — disclose their figures, there's little excuse for the smaller companies. This time around, some companies fared better than their rivals. But for anyone mindful of their privacy, you can — and should — expect better. Source
  17. BT, Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk have been quizzed over how they gather and store customers' data in light of a recent EU ruling declaring such practices unlawful. On Tuesday the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) ruled that the Data Retention Directive, which requires internet service providers (ISPs) to retain “traffic and location data” for at least two years, was unlawful. Privacy campaigners in Austria and human rights advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland had challenged the Directive by arguing it abused individuals' rights to privacy. The cases were referred to the CJEU. In its ruling the CJEU said that, despite being introduced for national security purposes, the requirements “may provide very precise information on the private lives of the persons whose data are retained” such as where they live, social relationships and daily activities. As such it said they were incompatible with wider EU law. “The Court takes the view that, by requiring the retention of those data and by allowing the competent national authorities to access those data, the directive interferes in a particularly serious manner with the fundamental rights to respect for private life and to the protection of personal data,” it said. The decision does not mean the law has changed immediately, but member states will be required to ensure their legislation comes into line with the judgment. "National legislation needs to be amended only with regard to aspects that become contrary to EU law after a judgment by the European Court of Justice," the European Commission explained. In light of this fact, industry body the Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) has called on the government to outline its response to the decision. “The CJEU ruling has the potential for major changes to the data-retention regime, however we believe that for the time being that obligations remain in place," said Nicholas Lansman, ISPA secretary general. "It is crucial that the European Commission and Home Office provide guidance and clarity to industry." In response, the Home Office made a statement saying the department was reviewing the judgment and added that it believes the law is a vital part of national security. "The retention of communications data is absolutely fundamental to ensure law enforcement have the powers they need to investigate crime, protect the public and ensure national security.” Pressure on ISPs Nevertheless, the UK's biggest ISPs – BT, Virgin Media, Sky and TalkTalk – are already being asked how they intend to abide by the ruling, with the Open Rights Group (ORG) writing a letter asking how they will ensure they are not collecting data any more. "These regulations no longer have a valid basis in UK law. It is our understanding that ISPs therefore should not be retaining user data unless there is some other legal basis for doing so,” wrote ORG executive director Jim Killock. He asked the firms to clarify that they are not abiding by the Data Retention Directive any more, as well as what data they are still collecting for their own purposes, why they are doing so, and for how long the data is stored. V3 contacted BT, Sky and TalkTalk for response to the judgment but no response had been received at the time of publication. Gareth Mead, a spokesperson for Virgin Media, said: "We are seeking clarification on what this means for us under UK law." Killock from the ORG told V3 that TalkTalk confirmed to him that they have written to the government to ask for their position, but have not changed their setup as yet. PRISM backlash The judgement by the CJEU comes amid ongoing revelations into the spying carried out by agencies such as the UK Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the US National Security Agency (NSA). The professor of EU and Human Rights Law at the University of Essex Steve Peers wrote in a blog post on the ruling that the CJEU had "seized the chance to give an 'iconic' judgment on the protection of human rights in the EU" amid these concerns. "The Court’s judgment can be seen in the broader context of continued revelations about mass surveillance," he wrote. "Its reference to the retention of data by third states is a thinly disguised allusion to the spying scandals emanating from the United States." Bridget Treacy, head of the UK Privacy and Cybersecurity practice at law firm Hunton & Williams, agreed. “These criticisms [by the CJEU] are consistent with European concerns voiced in the wake of last summer’s revelations of the NSA’s covert surveillance activities," she wrote. Source
  18. Popular Whatsapp-like messaging service Viber is exposing users to man-in-the-middle and other attacks because it isn’t encrypting various data at rest and in transit, security researchers have warned. The mobile app allows users to send each other messages, videos, images and “doodles”, share GPS location details and make voice calls. However, researchers at the University of New Haven Cyber Forensics Research and Education Group (UNHcFREG) found a “serious security flaw” in the way Viber receives videos, images and doodle files; the way it sends and receives location data; and the way it stores data on its Amazon servers.The team’s experimental network created a rogue access point utilising a Windows 7 PC’s Virtual Wi-Fi Miniport Adapter and a first smartphone connected to the same network. It then connected a second smartphone outside the network via GSM and used it to exchange data with the first smartphone over Viber. It said that with tools such as NetworkMiner, Wireshark, and NetWitness it was able to capture traffic sent over the test network. Specifically, the team claimed that images, doodles and videos received are unencrypted; location data sent and received is unencrypted; and data is stored on the Viber Amazon servers in unencrypted format. Further, it said user data stored on Viber's Amazon servers is not deleted immediately and that it can be easily accessed without any authentication mechanism – “simply visiting the intercepted link on a web browser gives us complete access to the data”. The researchers added the following: UNHcFREG said it had already informed Viber of the security flaws but received no word back at the time of publishing. A video of the test (h/t The Hacker News) can be found here. Anyone, including the service providers will be able to collect this information – and anyone that sets up a rogue AP, or any man-in-the middle attacks such as ARP poisoning will be able to capture this unencrypted traffic and view the images and videos received as well as the locations being sent or received by a phone. It recommended Viber ensure all data in transit is sent over an encrypted tunnel, that data is encrypted properly when saved and that it access to it must require authentication. The Israeli-backed messaging service, based in Cyprus, was recently acquired for $900 million by Japanese e-commerce giant Rakuten in a bid to take the firm “to a different level”. For the record, the same team of New Haven uni testers last week published research claiming a bug in Whatsapp's "location sending" feature. Source
  19. A team of Dutch scientists has reportedly managed to 'teleport' information between two computers. The news came through a publication in a popular science journal, where they claimed to exchange data between two computers despite a lack of any connection. The technology used during this breakthrough has led Professor Ronald Hanson to claim that it would be possible to teleport ourselves with distance in the future. What we are teleporting is the state of a particle. If you believe we are nothing more than a collection of atoms strung together in a particular way, then in principle it should be possible to teleport ourselves from one place to another. As for the present, Professor Hanson and his team has provided a key step towards building quantum networks, and ultimately the quantum internet. The teleportation medium known as 'quantum entanglement' is completely hackproof, it's impossible to intercept the information relayed. The group of scientists achieved the data teleportation over a distance of three meters, they look to testing a distance of 1,300 meters this summer. Optical elements to guide single photons to each diamond The information transferred during the experiment is stored on diamond quantum bits. These are significantly more complex than the standard 'bit' that we see in our devices today. The diamond bits can store multiple values at once, contrasting to our limited '0 and 1' signaling scheme. What you're doing is using entanglement as your communication channel. The information is teleported to the other side, and there's no way anyone can intercept that information. In addition to this breakthrough, the team has gone directly against Einstein's belief that 'quantum entanglement' does not exist. Previously cast as "spooky actions" from the man himself, the team need to further prove that the entanglement process works with distance. Creating a hackproof internet is both exciting and daunting in its own right. If the breakthrough's continue coming our way, we could see data exchanges previously unheard of. The potential for an increase in crime rate is also huge. But don't go packing your bags for rural Alaska quite yet, it's still in early stages and there's no sign of any fully functioning network at this stage. Source
  20. Emergency powers to ensure police and security services can continue to access phone and internet records are being rushed through Parliament. Prime Minister David Cameron has secured the backing of all three main parties for the highly unusual move. He said urgent action was needed to protect the public from "criminals and terrorists" after the European Court of Justice struck down existing powers. But civil liberties campaigners have warned it will invade people's privacy. Mr Cameron defended the move in a joint news conference with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, saying it was about maintaining existing capabilities - not introducing new snooping laws. 'Vital measures' "We face real and credible threats to our security from serious and organised crime, from the activity of paedophiles, from the collapse of Syria, the growth of Isis in Iraq and al Shabab in East Africa. "I am simply not prepared to be a prime minister who has to address the people after a terrorist incident and explain that I could have done more to prevent it." He added: "I want to be very clear that we are not introducing new powers or capabilities - that is not for this Parliament. "This is about restoring two vital measures ensuring that our law enforcement and intelligence agencies maintain the right tools to keep us all safe." Mr Cameron there would also be new moves to "increase transparency and oversight", including: The creation of a new Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board to scrutinise the impact of the law on privacy and civil libertiesAnnual government transparency reports on how these powers are usedThe appointment of a senior former diplomat to lead discussions with the US government and internet firms to establish a new international agreement for sharing data between legal jurisdictionsA restriction on the number of public bodies, including Royal Mail, able to ask for communications data under the controversial Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA)Termination clause ensuring these powers expire at the end of 2016A wider review of the powers needed by government during the next parliament Mr Cameron stressed that the data being retained does not include the content of messages and phone calls - just when and who the companies' customers called, texted and emailed. But the emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill would also "clarify" the law on bugging of suspects' phones by the police and security services, when the home secretary issues a warrant, after concerns service providers were turning down requests. "Some companies are already saying they can no longer work with us unless UK law is clarified immediately," said Mr Cameron. "Sometimes in the dangerous world in which we live we need our security services to listen to someone's phone and read their emails to identify and disrupt a terrorist plot." Analysis By Nick Robinson, BBC Political Editor Critics will no doubt argue that the time for a debate about what powers will replace this law is now. To pass any new law in just a week is rare. So too is it to have the backing of all three main parties even before it is published. Read more The government says it was forced to act after the European Court struck down an EU directive in April requiring phone and internet companies to retain communications data for 12 months. And emergency legislation was needed, it argues, because service providers were being threatened with legal action by campaigners if they did not start destroying data that could prove vital to criminal investigations and court cases. But Mr Cameron repeated his vow to push ahead with plans for a giant database of all websites visited by UK citizens, dubbed a "snooper's charter" by critics, if he wins the next election. 'Stitch-up' Mr Clegg blocked attempts by this government to pass what he called the "snooper's charter" - but he said he had been convinced of the need for the more limited powers contained in the emergency Data Retention and Investigation Powers Bill. The legislation contains what Mr Clegg described as a "poisoned pill" which will mean the powers cease at the end of 2016, in an effort to ensure the next parliament takes a more considered look at the issue. The Lib Dem leader said successive governments had "neglected civil liberties as they claim to pursue greater security", but added: "I wouldn't be standing here today if I didn't believe there is an urgent challenge facing us. "No government embarks on emergency legislation lightly but I have been persuaded of the need to act and act fast." The bill will be pushed through Parliament in seven days - a process that normally takes several months. MPs will be given a chance to debate it in an extended Commons sitting on Tuesday, but Labour's Tom Watson said they would not get time to properly consider the plans and he branded it a "stitch-up". The Open Rights Group, which has been pushing service providers to start destroying data following the European Court ruling, criticised the government for using the threat of terrorism to push through an "emergency law" that it says has no legal basis. Executive Director Jim Killock said: "Not only will the proposed legislation infringe our right to privacy, it will also set a dangerous precedent where the government simply re-legislates every time it disagrees with a decision by the CJEU. The ruling still stands and these new plans may actually increase the amount of our personal data that is retained by ISPs, further infringing on our right to privacy. "Blanket surveillance needs to end. That is what the court has said." Source
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