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  1. Early tests show Apple’s Private Relay feature does not live up to speed promises Apple introduced a new iOS 15 feature at WWDC called Private Relay. The feature is designed to frustrate companies tracking you on the internet by routing your data via two servers, one belonging to Apple and the other to a 3rd party. When Apple introduced the service they promised it would not reduce your connection speed or “compromise your performance“, something which was frankly hard to believe. Now early tests have shown that promise was indeed too good to be true. Googl
  2. Apple adds welcome privacy features to Mail, Safari Say goodbye to IP tracking Apple has always stressed user privacy as part of its core mission. At its WWDC 2021 event, it announced it would be adding a spate of powerful new functions to Mail and Safari, as well as giving users broader insight into what their installed apps are doing with their information. First, Apple’s Mail appears to have declared war on tracking pixels, which can be included in some emails to give third parties insight into if or when their messages
  3. WhatsApp caves in: Won't limit features if you reject privacy changes WhatsApp says that it will no longer limit the app's functionality for users who disagree with the new privacy policy requiring them to share their data with Facebook companies. This change of mind comes after WhatsApp updated its Privacy Policy and Terms of Service in January, leaving users three choices: to accept sharing their data with Facebook, stop using the app altogether, or delete their accounts. Four months later, in early May, the company gave up on its plans to
  4. Latest version of Windows privacy tweaker O&O ShutUP10 is ready for Windows 10 version 21H1 O&O ShutUp10 is a popular Windows privacy tweaker, which we reviewed back in 2017 for the first time. The latest version of the Windows program introduces support for Microsoft's latest version of Windows 10, version 21H1. O&O ShutUp10 version 1.8.1421 was released on June 2, 2021. The new version installs without issues over existing installations of the program; configured tweaks should remain as they are, provided that the tweaks are still supported by the new ver
  5. Google reportedly made it difficult for smartphone users to find privacy settings The details come from unredacted documents in Arizona’s lawsuit against the company Unredacted documents in Arizona’s lawsuit against Google show that company executives and engineers were aware that the search giant had made it hard for smartphone users to keep location information private, Insider reported. The documents suggest that Google collected location data even after users had turned off location sharing, and made privacy settings difficult
  6. WhatsApp’s New Privacy Policy Just Kicked In. Here’s What You Need to Know Instead of a hard cutoff, the messaging app will gradually degrade and eventually cease to function if you don’t accept the changes. WhatsApp's been sharing account data with Facebook since 2016—which came as a surprise to many of its users.Photograph: John Lamparski/Getty Images At the beginning of the year, WhatsApp took the seemingly mundane step of updating its terms of use and p
  7. A New Facebook Bug Exposes Millions of Email Addresses A recently discovered vulnerability discloses user email addresses even when they’re set to private. PHOTOGRAPH: MIRAGEC/GETTY IMAGES STILL SMARTING FROM last month's dump of phone numbers belonging to 500 million Facebook users, the social media giant has a new privacy crisis to contend with: a tool that, on a massive scale, links Facebook accounts with their associated email addresses, even when users choose settings to keep them from being public. A video circulating
  8. Samsung SmartThings Update Aims to Prevent Tracker-Based Stalking Ahead of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event later today, Samsung has announced an update to its SmartThings Find platform that can scan for unknown Galaxy SmartTags and other Tile-like trackers nearby and alert the user if one appears to be moving along with them in their vicinity. Called "Unknown Tag Search," the anti-stalking feature aims to detect if someone has slipped a SmartTag into the user's bag or vehicle and is surreptitiously tracking their location. iOS and iPadOS 14.5 beta
  9. Mozilla will remove Leanplum tracking from Firefox for Android and iOS Mozilla will remove the Leanplum integration of its mobile web browser Firefox for Android and iOS soon. Two new entries on the official GitHub project page highlight that Leanplum integration will be removed because Mozilla won't renew the contract with the company. Mozilla has decided to not renew our Leanplum contract for 2021-22. The current contract will expire on May 31, 2021. We need to turn off any Leanplum integrations in our products by that date. Mozilla describes Leanplum as a
  10. EFF Partners with DuckDuckGo to Enhance Secure Browsing and Protect User Information on the Web DuckDuckGo Smarter Encryption Will Be Incorporated Into HTTPS Everywhere San Francisco, California—Boosting protection of Internet users’ personal data from snooping advertisers and third-party trackers, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) today announced it has enhanced its groundbreaking HTTPS Everywhere browser extension by incorporating rulesets from DuckDuckGo Smarter Encryption. The partnership represents the next step in the evol
  11. DuckDuckGo Extension blocks Google FLoC in latest update DuckDuckGo released a new version of its browser extension, called DuckDuckGo Privacy Essentials, for all supported web browsers this week. The new version blocks FLoC interactions on websites to protect the privacy of users. If you have not heard about FLoC yet, it is Google's attempt to shift advertising from a cookie-based system to one that does not require cookies anymore. Basically, what it does is assign a user to a cohort -- FLoC stands for Federated Learning of Cohorts. A cohort is made up of thousands of
  12. Tails 4.17 launched with improved upgrade process The team behind the privacy-oriented operating system, Tails, has launched Tails 4.17. This update includes several important updates to key packages such as the Tor Browser which are essential for maintaining your privacy but it also comes with several improvements to the upgrade process which should result in less failed upgrades. The first of the reliability improvements to automatic upgrades pertains to the file system. The release notes state that automatic updates were previously failing because of an
  13. Apple’s privacy change is poised to increase the power of its App Store KEY POINTS The digital advertising world is scrambling to prepare for a seismic change when Apple updates its iPhone software in the coming weeks in a bid to improve user privacy. Digital ads specialists say the change could make it harder for app makers to draw consumers to download their apps through in-app advertisements. That could help Apple instead guide consumers to the apps that it chooses to highlight in the App Store for its own business purposes. Th
  14. Google and the Age of Privacy Theater The demise of surveillance capitalism has been greatly exaggerated. Privacy experts outside Google have raised questions about precisely how secure the company's new approach to digital advertising will be. Illustration: Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images Google got some good press a few weeks ago when it announced in a blog post that it would be moving forward with its plans to remove third-party cookies from the Chrome
  15. Bug in Apple's Find My Feature Could've Exposed Users' Location Histories Cybersecurity researchers on Thursday disclosed two distinct design and implementation flaws in Apple's crowdsourced Bluetooth location tracking system that can lead to a location correlation attack and unauthorized access to the location history of the past seven days, thereby by deanonymizing users. The findings are a consequence of an exhaustive review undertaken by the Open Wireless Link (OWL) project, a team of researchers from the Secure Mobile Networking Lab at the Technical Un
  16. Google plans to stop targeting ads based on your browsing history It's a big step towards becoming more privacy focused. NurPhoto via Getty Images In a major change for its core business model, Google said today that it plans to stop selling ads that rely on your individual web browsing history. Additionally, it won't build any tools to track your data across its products in the future. The announcements come after Google has committed to removing support for third-party cookies in Chrome, a move that would effectively kill the main source of data tracking
  17. FTC: Protect Women’s Privacy Photo by freestocks on Unsplash According to the Federal Trade Commission, a technology start-up that develops and distributes a mobile application called Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker is in a bit of trouble. The App collects and stores menstruation and fertility information about millions of women who use their app worldwide. No big deal, right? The problem is the technology start-up allegedly shared and monetized the data collected in the app without getting the appropriate approvals. The FTC investigated allegation
  18. Why we need to rebuild internet search, putting user privacy first To use the internet is to consume advertising, but it doesn’t have to be this way (Image credit: Shutterstock / HaseHoch2) Everyone who browses the internet is familiar with advertising. Regardless of what browser, search engine or social media app we use to search the web, every day we are peppered with ads that prey on our aspirations and insecurities to sell us products. An entire generation has grown up believing that if you want to che
  19. Chrome for iOS test locks Incognito tabs behind Touch or Face ID The feature will blur that tab you want to remain private. No CaptionThomas Trutschel via Getty Images Google is working to make private web browsing on Chrome for iOS a little more secure by letting you lock Incognito tabs with Face or Touch ID. The update, detailed in the app's beta version for iPhone and iPad, essentially blurs Incognito tabs in the tab switcher so that they remain hidden until you authenticate with either a fingerprint or facial unlock. It's a helpful li
  20. Android 12 is bringing some important security features Protecting your privacy will be one of the main reasons to upgrade (Image credit: Google) Google is doubling down on security and privacy enhancements in Android 12 and when the next version of its mobile operating system launches this fall, users will be able to manually block access to some of the hardware sensors on their devices. As reported by 9To5Google, the latest version of Android includes a pair of new toggles that will all
  21. Don't use VPN services. No, seriously, don't. You're probably reading this because you've asked what VPN service to use, and this is the answer. Note: The content in this post does not apply to using VPN for their intended purpose; that is, as a virtual private (internal) network. It only applies to using it as a glorified proxy, which is what every third-party "VPN provider" does. Why not? Because a VPN in this sense is just a glorified proxy. The VPN provider can see all your traffic, and do with it what they want - including logging. But my provider doesn't log! T
  22. Complaint Blasts TikTok’s ‘Misleading’ Privacy Policies TikTok is again in hot water for how the popular video-sharing app collects and shares data – particularly from its underage userbase. An umbrella group comprising 44 consumer-privacy watchdog organizations have filed a complaint against TikTok, saying the wildly-popular video-sharing platform has “misleading” data-collection policies. ByteDance-owned TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity, with more than 2 billion downloads on the Google Play and Apple App Store marketplaces
  23. Windows 10 features that boost your PC's security and privacy Like almost all operating systems, Windows 10 is vulnerable to security and privacy issues, and researchers have proved that Microsoft can track a lot of your activities to improve their products and enable personalized ads and promotions. Thankfully, Windows 10 allows us to improve the operating system's security and privacy using the built-in settings app. If you've concerns about your data security and privacy, you should consider making the below changes. Security features you
  24. Consumers worry about privacy but don't want to change their habits A survey released to coincide with Data Privacy Day reveals that although 80 percent of consumers are concerned about their data privacy, few are willing to change their habits. The study from Entrust, based on responses from 500 adults in the US and 500 in the UK, shows 64 percent of consumers are willing to some degree to share personal information with an app in exchange for more relevant, personalized and/or convenient services. A large majority (83 percent) of consumers are
  25. DuckDuckGo enables Global Privacy Control on mobile and desktop by default Late last year, DuckDuckGo joined a privacy-focused initiative called Global Privacy Control (GPC) along with other organizations and individuals in an effort to develop an open standard to help users assert their rights against online tracking. Now, it's bringing that online privacy protection to a new level. DuckDuckGo announced today that it is enabling the GPC setting by default in its mobile apps for Android and iOS as well as browser extensions for Google Chrome, Firef
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