Tens of millions of people use smart speakers and their voice software to play games, find music or trawl for trivia. Millions more are reluctant to invite the devices and their powerful microphones into their homes out of concern that someone might be listening.
Sometimes, someone is.
C'mon, I dare you to have a domestic dispute or yell at your neighbor. Threaten the pizza boy for being late? Singing in the shower? New suggestions for your phone are sure to come your way.
Thursday, Apr 11th 2019 (12:08pm)
When Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress in April in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, he said he'd have his team follow up on questions he couldn't answer in full during the hearing.
On Monday, June 11, Congress released a massive document with written answers to those questions. These responses were a good reminder that Facebook records a ton of information about you, including what you will find in this article.
Enjoy your privacy? What privacy?
Sunday, Jun 17th 2018 (12:00am)
After decades of false leads and dead ends, what finally appears to have nailed him is GEDmatch - an online genetic database that allows users to display DNA information publicly, as reported by the Mercury News. In most cases, the information was acquired by the users from more mainstream services like 23andMe and reposted to GEDMatch, the News said. While the arrest of DeAngelo makes the world a safer place, it also draws attention to the fact that in the case of genetic databases, complete, informed consent, particularly by people who aren’t using the service directly, is basically impossible.
Tuesday, May 1st 2018 (12:00am)
When Mark Zuckerberg appeared before the House Energy and Commerce Committee last week in the aftermath of the Cambridge Analytica revelations, he tried to describe the difference between "surveillance and what we do." "The difference is extremely clear," a nervous-looking Zuckerberg said. "On Facebook, you have control over your information... the information we collect you can choose to have us not collect."
But not a single member of the committee pushed the billionaire CEO about surveillance companies who exploit the data on Facebook for profit. Forbes has uncovered one case that might shock them: over the last five years a secretive surveillance company founded by a former Israeli intelligence officer has been quietly building a massive facial recognition database consisting of faces acquired from the giant social network, YouTube and countless other websites. Privacy activists are suitably alarmed.
Tuesday, Apr 17th 2018 (12:02am)
According to Steve Martin, the way to set yourself up for an insanity defense when committing a negotiatable crime is to make one of your demands outlandish - e.g. a million dollars, a getaway car, and to have the letter 'M' stricken from the English language. It looks like China's new emperor-for-life Xi Jinping was paying attention, but still missed it by a letter.
* The credit reporting firm said Thursday it detected a data breach in July that affects 143 million consumers.
* Consumer advocates are lashing out at Equifax for requiring arbitration.
Equifax has come under fire for attempting to bind consumers to mandatory arbitration when signing up for the monitoring service — called TrustedID Premier — thereby forcing them to give up their right to join a class-action case.
Monday, Sep 11th 2017 (9:44am)
Senate lawmakers voted Thursday to repeal a historic set of rules aimed at protecting consumers' online data from their own Internet providers, in a move that could make it easier for broadband companies to sell and share their customers' usage information for advertising purposes.
Translation: So now your ISP wants to make more money by watching what you do in the privacy of your own home and sharing with others.
Thursday, Mar 23rd 2017 (9:05pm)
Consumers have bought more than 11 million internet-connected Vizio televisions since 2010. But according to a complaint filed by the FTC and the New Jersey Attorney General, consumers didn't know that while they were watching their TVs, Vizio was watching them. The lawsuit challenges the company's tracking practices and offers insights into how established consumer protection principles apply to smart technology.
Though Google is not alone, many other online services follow you about and sell to you in one way or another, they are certainly the largest. Dumping your cookies occasionally and checking options may help.
Here are several tips to see what Mamma Google knows about your browsing habits.
Wednesday, May 11th 2016 (3:20am)
The FBI and NSA are supposed to get a court order before snooping on your phone calls, emails, or other records. They can even get the order retroactively, if need be.
Sadly, .03% (three hundredths of one percent) of all such requests are denied. Thanks for the rubber stamp, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Tuesday, May 10th 2016 (12:01am)
In the year 2084, society is slowly being crushed into conformity by an all-powerful computer. But one man is surprisingly impervious to the malevolent machine's relentless conditioning. How is this possible? Perhaps, in this dystopian future, Ignorance really is Strength.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has updated its protocol to no longer allow passengers to opt out of being electronically scanned at through Advanced Imaging Technology (AIT) machines at checkpoints. Before the change, people could choose a physical screening.
Monday, Dec 28th 2015 (4:26am)
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Intelexit is an activist group whose mission is to get spies to quit their jobs; they've recently installed billboards around spy complexes in the US and UK.
They upped their game last Friday, flying drones over the Dagger Complex near Frankfurt, which houses the European Cryptologic Center and 1,100 employees employees who work on programs like Xkeyscore, which indexes communications intercepted from fiber taps, phone companies, and other sources.
The drones dropped fliers on the complex urging the workers to quit their jobs.
Section 215 of USAPATRIOT expired this morning at midnight without renewal. Of course, it's just a matter of time before something replaces it, but at least it'll be a little more inconvenient for them going forward.
*not to me, dammit. knock that off.
Monday, Jun 1st 2015 (12:01am)
John Oliver is really in top form. This week's ep makes the true horror and immediacy of our surveillance state wholly relatable to the common man by taking a trip to visit Edward Snowden in Russia and talking about Hot Pockets and everyone's dicks.
Tuesday, Apr 7th 2015 (12:00am)
Better set it on fire if it is. Big Brother is actively listening to, recording, identifying, and disseminating everything you say within earshot of it. They haven't said as much, but it can probably see you as well.
Tuesday, Feb 10th 2015 (12:01am)
Replacements, The (2000)
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