Not long ago, few companies would dream of having to come out publicly to tell customers their data had possibly been exposed but had not been stolen or misused. Disclosures of data incidents were generally saved only for the crimes that hit consumers directly in the wallet, like stolen credit card numbers or identities.
An alternative search engine is seeing growth as Google faces questions about its practices and alleged bias against conservatives. Google dominates search with only few viable alternatives in the field. But in the last few years, Paoli, Pa.-based DuckDuckGo has been gaining as a search engine, one that is built around anonymity, according to Search Engine Watch.
Apple CEO Tim Cook hit out at tech companies that claim more customer data leads to superior products, saying that's a "bunch of bunk." In an exclusive interview with Vice News Tonight that aired Tuesday, Cook did not name any names but appeared to admonish the likes of advertising giants Facebook and Google, which rely on data sharing with third parties.
The Facebook data breach will be the first major test of Europe's tough data protection laws introduced in May and known as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). It regulates any companies that are handling data of EU citizens and puts strong controls on how that information is stored and used.
Some schools might have a problem on their hands when it comes to the use of educational technology and the need to protect student privacy, according to an alert issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The alert warns schools that the widespread collection of student data could have privacy and safety implications if the information is compromised or exploited.
In August, The Associated Press published an investigation into how Google handles the data it collects, following a curious discovery by a graduate researcher at U.C. Berkeley. For years, the company has allowed users to control their “location history,” which stores a detailed record of where they’ve been, based primarily on their activity in Google Maps. This, the researcher suggested -- and The A.P. confirmed -- did not work as advertised. “Some Google apps automatically store time-stamped location data without asking,” the reporters found.
This week, 23andMe shut down external apps’ access to its anonymized genomic data through its application programming interface. 23andMe was the first DNA testing company to open an API, back in 2012, and the idea at the time was to “allow authorized developers to build a broad range of new applications and tools for the 23andMe community.”
The latest survey from the Census Bureau shows that most Americans are not that concerned about online privacy…but the government agency that commissioned the research seems to be misinterpreting its own data. Since 1994, the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) has regularly commissioned the U.S. Census Bureau to conduct surveys on Internet use and adoption.
U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia said in a statement to the AP that if a Google user disables the setting, called Location History, it is "perfectly reasonable for that person to expect that apps will not continue tracking their location." Warner said the fact it does not is a "frustratingly common" experience for technology users.
Is Google following your every move? As it turns out, even when you opt to limit Google's ability to track your location when using its search function or apps, some of your time-stamped location data is still being automatically stored.