privacy

March 17, 2019

Facebook is losing its product chief Chris Cox, a top-ranking executive who spent more than a decade at the company, just a week after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced a major new direction for the social network. The departure, announced Thursday, follows Zuckerberg’s announcement that Facebook FB, -2.46% will shift its emphasis to private messaging over public sharing. The change reflects Facebook’s changing audience and continued problems with serving as a conduit for misinformation and vitriol.

March 13, 2019

A top Google executive faced tough questions from a Senate committee on Tuesday about the company's data collection practices as lawmakers vow to impose tougher privacy regulations on tech giants. The Senate Judiciary Committee grilled Will DeVries, senior policy counsel at Google, over the company’s user location tracking and data practices.

March 13, 2019

A bipartisan pair of senators on Tuesday introduced legislation that would prevent tech companies from amassing personal information about teenagers without their consent. The bill, introduced by outspoken tech critics Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) and freshman Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.), would prevent internet companies from targeting ads toward children and require the companies to provide more insight into how they collect and use children's data.

March 04, 2019

China banned people from buying plane or train tickets 23 million times last year because their social credit scores were too low, according to the Associated Press, which obtained a copy of a government report. The government rolled out the travel ban on people with low social credit scores last May. According to a report from China’s National Public Credit Information Center from last week, people have been blocked 17.5 million times from purchasing airplane tickets, and 5.5 million times from buying high-speed train tickets.

February 28, 2019

Lawmakers slammed tech industry representatives at a hearing Wednesday as Congress begins work on drafting a federal privacy law. The Senate Commerce Committee held its first data privacy hearing this year, with lawmakers questioning the industry's support for sweeping federal privacy standards.

February 27, 2019

China has been leaning on American know-how to build a sprawling surveillance program in Xinjiang province, according to the New York Times. Scientists working with Chinese police have been using equipment from Thermo Fisher, a supplier of biotechnology tools in Massachusetts. They also shared genetic survey data with Kenneth Kidd, a geneticist at Yale University. The genetic data was being used to be able to determine, from a blood sample, if someone had Uighur ancestry. Chinese scientists even filed a patent on the idea.

February 21, 2019

Google said there’s absolutely, positively nothing to worry about the secret microphone in your Nest Secure smart home hub that it didn’t tell you about. Nope, not at all. Just an oversight, said Google. No need to be alarmed. Everything is just fine.

February 20, 2019

Facebook deliberately broke privacy and competition law and should urgently be subject to statutory regulation, according to a devastating parliamentary report denouncing the company and its executives as “digital gangsters”. The final report of the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport select committee’s 18-month investigation into disinformation and fake news accused Facebook of purposefully obstructing its inquiry and failing to tackle attempts by Russia to manipulate elections.

February 20, 2019

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has set off a flurry of speculation after he said the state's consumers should get a piece of the billions of dollars that technology companies make by capitalizing on personal data they collect. The new governor has asked aides to develop a proposal for a "data dividend" for California residents but provided no hints about whether he might be suggesting a tax on tech companies, an individual refund to their customers or something else.

February 19, 2019

A massive database for 2,565,724 people -- with names, ID card number, expiration date, home address, date of birth, nationality, gender, photograph, employer and GPS coordinates of locations -- was left online without authentication, according to a report from ZDNet. Security researcher Victor Gevers, who found the database, told ZDNet that over a 24-hour period, a steady stream of nearly 6.7 million GPS coordinates was recorded, which means the database was actively tracking Uyghur Muslims as they moved around Xinjiang province in China.

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