Technology companies have been pummeled by revelations about how poorly they protect their customers’ personal information, including an in-depth New York Times report detailing the ability of smartphone apps to track users’ locations.
Data breaches, widespread malware attacks and microtargeted personalized advertising were lowlights of digital life in 2018.
New research digs into the behaviors—both obvious and subtle—that may put you at risk of falling victim to cybercrime involving Trojans, viruses, and malware.
If you have a smartphone, it probably is a significant part of your life, storing appointments and destinations as well as being central to your communications with friends, loved ones and co-workers.
Hackers are watching you this holiday season, so be as mindful of your phone as of your cash and credit cards.
Researchers have created a new method for keeping private the data that our many devices collect about how we use them.
In 2008, Newsweek published an article on then-presidential candidate Barack Obama titled “From Barry to Barack.” The story explained how Obama’s Kenyan father, Barack Obama Sr., chose Barry as a nickname for himself in 1959 in order “to fit in.” But the younger Barack – who had been called Barry since he was a child – chose to revert to his given name, Barack, in 1980 as a college student coming to terms with his identity.
Facebook’s founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg faced two days of grilling before US politicians, in April 2018, following concerns over how his company deals with people’s data.
There are several flow-on effects from the recent Facebook hack. Any accounts on other platforms that use Facebook verification are also at risk. That’s because it’s now a common practice to use one account as an automatic verification to connect to other platforms. This is known as single sign-on (SSO).
I recently predicted that health data from electronic sources could soon be compiled into a health or wellness report and shared with insurance companies to help them determine who they’ll cover.
The Trump administration is denying passports to U.S. citizens who live in Texas near the U.S.-Mexico border, according to news reports.
The administration is accusing applicants of having inadequate documentation of their birth on U.S. soil, and refusing to issue them passports on that basis.
If you have a mailbox, you probably get junk mail. If you have an email account, you probably get spam. If you have a phone, you probably get robocalls.
The smart device market is exploding. Smart home kits for retrofitting “non-smart” houses have become cheaper.
Imagine if a hacker shut down the baggage handling system of one of the world’s busiest airports.
We need a simple system for categorising data privacy settings, similar to the way Creative Commons specifies how work can be legally shared.
California law enforcement announced the possible capture of a long-sought serial killer. Shortly after, it was reported that police had used public DNA databases to determine his identity.
Whether or not you realise or consent to it, big data can affect you and how you live your life. The data we create when using social media, browsing the internet and wearing fitness trackers are all collected, categorised and used by businesses and the state to create profiles of us.
“Doxxing” is an old internet term that comes from the idea of collecting the documents, or “docs,” on a person. The effort to discover and reveal personal information, of course, long predates the internet. It’s worrying, and potentially dangerous, when someone peels back the curtain of another’s identity.
In late April, the top federal cybersecurity agency, US-CERT, announced that Russian hackers had attacked internet-connected devices throughout the U.S., including network routers in private homes.
As concerns about privacy increase for people using mobile apps, new research suggests that trust and engagement may hinge on perceptions about how the app uses personal data and whether it seeks user input before delivering services.
As a scholar of the social and political implications of technology, I would argue the internet is designed to be hostile to the people who use it. I call it a “hostile information architecture.”
Every time you open an app, click a link, like a post, read an article, hover over an ad, or connect to someone, you are generating data.
The dealings that have been revealed between Cambridge Analytica and Facebook have all the trappings of a Hollywood thriller
At a time when social network privacy is in the news, new research shows there are more ways than previously realized to reveal certain traits we might be trying to conceal.
Facebook announced last week it would discontinue the partner programs that allow advertisers to use third-party data from companies such as Acxiom, Experian and Quantium to target users.
Is it time to give up on social media? Many people are thinking about that in the wake of revelations regarding Cambridge Analytica’s questionable use of personal data from over 50 million Facebook users to support the Trump campaign.
The researcher whose work is at the center of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica data analysis and political advertising uproar has revealed that his method worked much like the one Netflix uses to recommend movies.
It’s no secret that big tech companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are increasingly infiltrating our personal and social interactions to collect vast amounts of data on us every day.
Smartphones store your email, your photos and your calendar. They provide access to online social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, and even your bank and credit card accounts. And they’re keys to something even more private and precious – your digital identity.
As cloud storage becomes more common, data security is an increasing concern. Companies and schools have been increasing their use of services like Google Drive for some time, and lots of individual users also store files on Dropbox, Box, Amazon Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and the like.
The revelation that New Zealand children as young as six or seven are posting sexually explicit images of themselves online may come as a shock to many, especially parents. The reality is that for many teenagers today, engaging with explicit material is not uncommon.
Hundreds of the world’s top websites routinely track a user’s every keystroke, mouse movement and input into a web form – even before it’s submitted or later abandoned, according to the results of a study from researchers at Princeton University.
Have you ever wondered why your computer often shows you ads that seem tailor-made for your interests? The answer is big data.
If you are the owner of a credit or a debit card, there is a non-negligible chance that you may be subject to fraud, like millions of other people around the world.
Our mobile phones can reveal a lot about ourselves: where we live and work; who our family, friends and acquaintances are; how (and even what) we communicate with them; and our personal habits.
Fictional metaphors matter, and in the battle to safeguard our civil liberties few metaphors matter more than George Orwell’s 1984. Although first published almost 70 years ago, the lasting salience of this most archetypal dystopia is undeniable.
Harvard recently rescinded admission offers for some incoming freshmen who participated in a private Facebook group sharing offensive memes.
At least 40% of Australian households now have at least one home “Internet of Things” device. These are fridges, window blinds, locks and other devices that are connected to the internet.
Anyone who spends much time online knows the saying: “If you’re not paying, you’re the product”. That’s not exactly correct.
Think about what you shared with your friends on Facebook today. Was it feelings of “stress” or “failure”, or perhaps “joy”, “love” or “excitement”?
Recent reports suggest that terrorists can now create bombs so thin that they cannot be detected by the current X-ray screening that our carry-on bags undergo.
Disruptions reported in at least 74 countries, including Russia, Spain, Turkey, and Japan, with some reports of U.S. infiltration as well
What would it mean if you lost all of your personal documents, such as your family photos, research or business records?
Large-scale cyberattacks with eye-watering statistics, like the breach of a billion Yahoo accounts in 2016, grab most of the headlines.
We pay our monthly Internet bill to be able to access the Internet. We don’t pay it to give our Internet service provider (ISP) a chance to collect and sell our private data to make more money.
The U.S. Senate voted last week to allow internet service providers to sell data about their customers’ online activities to advertisers.
We are producing more data than ever before, with more than 2.5 quintillion bytes produced every day, according to computer giant IBM.
The tech revolution is coming to advertising. Chatbots are replacing humans, big data threatens our privacy, and the blockchain is linking it all together.
Introducing new security measures for the airline industry is rarely done lightly by governments.
When the Indian government recently banned two high-value currency notes, it led to all sorts of chaos.
In the coming months, the Seattle-based nonprofit The Tor Project will be making some changes to improve how the Tor network protects users’ privacy and security.
Companies are bombarded with phishing scams every day.
A NASA scientist heading home to the U.S. said he was detained in January at a Houston airport, where Customs and Border Protection officers pressured him for access to his work phone and its potentially sensitive contents.
This week’s WikiLeaks release of what is apparently a trove of Central Intelligence Agency information related to its computer hacking should surprise no on.
Since 2009, U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have been allowed to search electronic devices carried by citizens or noncitizens as they cross the border into the United States from other countries.
Wearing a fitness tracking device could earn you cash from your health insurance company. At first, this sounds lucrative for the people who participate, and good for the companies, who want healthier insurance customers.
Having access to the internet is increasingly considered to be an emerging human right. The United Nations has taken note of the crucial role of internet connectivity in “the struggle for human rights.”
As you browse the internet, online advertisers track nearly every site you visit, amassing a trove of information on your habits and preferences.
Every January, I do a digital tune-up, cleaning up my privacy settings, updating my software and generally trying to upgrade my security.
Facebook has long let users see all sorts of things the site knows about them, like whether they enjoy soccer, have recently moved, or like Melania Trump.
At the touch of an app, Emma tracks her diabetes. She enters food, exercise, weight and blood sugar levels, then sets up medication reminders.
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which opens in theaters this weekend, shows how the Rebel Alliance steals architectural plans for the Death Star in order to eventually destroy it.
The age of digital technology, in which we can search and retrieve more information than we could in any previous era, has triggered a debate over whether we have too much information. Is the cure to “unpublish” things we think are wrong or out of date? Ought we have a “right to be forgotten”?
Kryptowire, a security firm, recently identified several models of Android mobile devices that have preinstalled permanent software, known as firmware, that serve as backdoor that collects sensitive personal data, including text messages, geolocations, contact lists, call logs and transmits them to a third-party server in Shanghai, China.
When it comes to theft online, “you’re only protected by other, easier victims,” says Hsinchun Chen, an expert in cybersecurity.
Enabled by exponential technological advancements in data storage, transmission and analysis, the drive to “datify” our lives is creating an ultra-transparent world where we are never free from being under surveillance.
We live in an interconnected age where wirelessly controlled computing devices make almost every aspect of our lives easier, but they also make us vulnerable to cyber-security attacks. Today, nearly everything can be hacked, from cars to lightbulbs
When Yahoo! confirmed that it had experienced a massive online attack from hackers who stole personal information from more than 500 million people — including names, emails and phone numbers — it revealed a disturbing truth about our digital media system.
Imagine, if you can, a period long before today’s internet-based connectivity. Imagine that, in that distant time, the populations of every country were offered a new plan.
Drone footage is everywhere, whether used to film extreme sports, outdoor events, nature, music festivals, or just for its own sake.
Fear of hackers reading private emails in cloud-based systems like Microsoft Outlook, Gmail or Yahoo has recently sent regular people and public officials scrambling to delete entire accounts full of messages dating back years.
President Obama has promised to support a bold future for medicine where diagnostic testing and treatments aren’t just what’s best for most people – they’re what’s best for you.
A new study reveals employers are using online information about job applicants without their knowledge, to inform hiring decisions. Approximately 55% of organizations now have a policy about this type of practice, called profiling.
For more than two decades, people have used the internet to research, shop, make friends, find dates, and learn about the world. And third parties have been watching—and learning.
If you have children, you are likely to worry about their safety – you show them safe places in your neighborhood and you teach them to watch out for lurking dangers.
Data breaches are a regular part of the cyberthreat landscape. They generate a great deal of media attention, both because the quantity of information stolen is often large, and because so much of it is data people would prefer remained private.
The State Senate of Michigan is currently considering legislation that would scale back “zero tolerance” discipline policies in the state’s public schools.
There are more than 865 encryption tools in use worldwide, all addressing different aspects of a common problem. People want to protect information: hard drives from oppressive governments, physical location from stalkers, browsing history from overly curious corporations or phone conversations from nosy neighbors.
If you’ve ever forgotten your phone or left it at home for the day, you will have realised just how much you use it. On average, we check our mobile phones about 110 times a day.
We now have dozens of smart devices in our houses and even on our bodies. They improve our lives in so many ways – from lowering energy consumption in our homes to egging us on to be active.
The FBI has succeeded in hacking into an iPhone that belonged to San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook without Apple’s help. As a consequence, the FBI has dropped its legal case that was trying to force Apple...
The range and number of “things” connected to the internet is truly astounding, including security cameras, ovens, alarm systems, baby monitors and cars. They’re are all going online, so they can be remotely monitored and controlled over the internet.
“You have nothing to fear if you have nothing to hide” is an argument that is used often in the debate about surveillance.
Apple has been ordered to help FBI investigators access data on the phone belonging to San Bernardino gunman Syed Rizwan Farook. The technical solution proposed by the FBI appears to undermine Apple’s earlier claim that they would be unable to help.
It’s a common assumption that being online means you’ll have to part ways with your personal data and there’s nothing you can do about it.
At the top of some children’s Christmas present wish list this year will be the new Hello Barbie doll. Mattel’s latest doll connects to the internet via Wi-Fi and uses interactive voice response (IVR) to effectively converse with children. When the doll’s belt button is pushed, conversations are recorded and uploaded to servers operated by Mattel’s partner, ToyTalk.
How much does your smart home know about you? That was the question that Charles Givre, a data scientist at Booz Allen Hamilton, set out to answer in a recent experiment. Givre has an account on Wink, a platform designed to control, from a single screen, his Internet-connected home devices, such as door locks, window shades and LED lights.
When you type up a racy email to a loved one, do you consider the details private? Most of us would probably say yes, even though such messages often end up filtered through intelligence agencies and service providers.
Verizon is giving a new mission to its controversial hidden identifier that tracks users of mobile devices. Verizon said in a little-noticed announcement that it will soon begin sharing the profiles with AOL's ad network, which in turn monitors users across a large swath of the Internet.
When people say “privacy is dead”, it’s usually for one of two reasons. Either they truly believe that privacy is irrelevant or unachievable in today’s hyper-connected world or, more often, that not enough is being done to protect privacy when huge amounts of personal information are being posted online
At this moment, there are likely many eyes on you. If you are reading this article in a public place, a surveillance camera might be capturing your actions and even watching you enter your login information and password. Suffice it to say, being watched is part of life today.
Facebook’s recent apology for its Year in Review feature, which had displayed to a grieving father images of his dead daughter, highlights again the tricky relationship between the social media behemoth and its users' data.
It is a wonder if the general population is quite certain they are comfortable with being tracked. Some folks are horrified by what tracking technology is capable while other just shrug their shoulders and say "I don't have anything to hide".