App vs. website: Which best protects your privacy? It depends

“My goal is not just to tell people a scary story but to issue a call to action. Users could start requesting the pri­vacy and trans­parency con­sid­er­a­tions they want from the com­pa­nies they interact with.”— David Choffnes, assis­tant professor

Should you use the app—or a web browser—for that? That’s the ques­tion that North­eastern researchers, led by assis­tant pro­fessor David Choffnes, ask in new research that explores how free app– and web-based ser­vices on Android and iOS mobile devices com­pare with respect to pro­tecting users’ privacy.
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WhatsApp and Facebook could face legal action from privacy groups over data sharing policy

WhatsApp made a promise in 2014 that it wouldn’t share personally identifiable information such as phone numbers!!
When Facebook purchased WhatsApp in 2014, the messaging service vowed that its focus on user privacy wouldn’t change. Last week, an update to the company’s terms-of-service appeared to backtrack on this pledge, something that privacy groups and watchdogs on both sides of the Atlantic are unhappy about.
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Apple and Google have joined Microsoft’s fight for digital privacy

It seems like Microsoft has firmly taken a side.


Reuters reports that Microsoft put out a lawsuit against the United States Department of Justice back in April, and the case has received quite a bit of support from organizations all over the country.

Microsoft alone has received thousands of requests to keep quiet to their customers, and it makes sense that this would feel antithetical to the goals of any corporation that wants to protect the rights of its users.

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WhatsApp privacy under threat as France and Germany push EU to allow states to break encryption

Telegram, iMessage and WhatsApp all use some form of encryption – and so could come under threat from a renewed scrutiny of the technology which privacy advocates say is key to all parts of the internet

France and Germany are to pressure the EU to let them break one of the most central technologies of the internet.
The two countries plan to ask the European Commission to force technology companies to limit the encryption used to keep messages private.
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Privacy groups call foul on WhatsApp sharing data with Facebook

WhatsApp’s new terms-of-service are causing quite a stir among privacy advocates

WhatsApp’s new terms-of-service are causing quite a stir among privacy advocates. Yesterday, the company announced it would begin sharing user phone numbers, profile data, status message and online status with Facebook, its parent company — a change that the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) claims violates a Federal Trade Commission consent order.
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Malware hits 20 major hotels, customer data may be stolen

According to a Reuters report, hotels under attack include Starwood, Marriott, Hyatt and Intercontinental. The malware was developed specifically to target it and collect credit card data from its systems.Hacker laptop

As many as 20 hotels in the US have been hit by malware, and fears are spreading that customer data, including credit card information, was stolen.

 The malware was developed specifically to target it and collect credit card data from its systems. The malware was found two months ago, on payment systems used all over these hotels — in restaurants, bars, lobbies, and spas.

The number of people affected is hard to estimate, as many people used their credit cards more than once. However, there were some 8,000 transactions at the Hyatt Centric Santa Barbara hotel in California, as well as 12,800 at the IHG Intercontinental in Tampa, Florida, during this period.

A total of 12 Starwood hotels were affected, six Marriott Internationals, one Hyatt Hotel and one InterContinental Hotels Group, with the malware being in operation from March 1 2015, to June 21, 2016. Fourteen hotels were infected during December last year.

Federal authorities have been alarmed, and a new payment system installed. Here is a list of all the hotels affected: Starwood’s Westin hotels in Minneapolis; Pasadena, California; Philadelphia; Snowmass, Colorado; Washington, D.C.; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Also affected were Starwood properties in Arlington, Virginia; Manchester Village, Vermont; San Francisco; Miami; and Nashville, Tennessee. Marriott properties in Boca Raton, Florida; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Chicago; San Diego, California; and Minneapolis.

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Adblock Plus says Facebook’s decision to block ad blockers is ‘anti-user’

Oh well – It looks like Facebook just got anti-user!
ben williams

Adblock Plus has reacted to the news that Facebook is going to prevent ad blocking software from working on its desktop site by accusing the social network of becoming “anti-user.”
Facebook announced Tuesday it was updating its tech to circumvent ad blocking software on its website. At the same time, Facebook said it will update its ad preferences tools to make it easier for individuals to tailor the types of ads that are served to them on the site.
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Single piece of sensitive data creates 1000 unnecessary copies

According to Ponemon’s 2016 Annual Cost of Data Breach report, the per-record cost of a data breach reached $154
Single piece of sensitive data creates 1000 unnecessary copies
Spirion’s Data Platform was developed for CISOs, CIOs, and vice presidents of IT and IT Security to prevent the deliberate theft and accidental loss of sensitive information.
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The end of anonymity for Bitcoin? EU proposes tracking cryptocurrency users

The European Commission wants to take the anonymity away from virtual currencies by demanding users register on a database so they can be tracked.Bitcoins

The European Commission wants to take the anonymity away from virtual currencies by demanding users register on a database so they can be tracked. The proposal would provide the EU with a record containing the real-world identities of people using cryptocurrencies as well as the addresses of the virtual wallets where their money is held.
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France claims Windows 10 does not comply with country’s data protection rules

France’s government claims that Microsoft is collecting what it says is “excessive data” from Windows 10 PCs. The country’s National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) says it has given Microsoft three months to make changes that will comply with France’s data protection rules.
Windows 10
In a press release, the commission stated:
The CNIL found that the company was collecting diagnostic and usage data via its telemetry service, which uses such data, among other things, to identify problems and to improve products. To this purpose, Microsoft Corporation processes, for instance, Windows app and Windows Store usage data, providing information, among other things, on all the apps downloaded and installed on the system by a user and the time spent on each one. Therefore, the company is collecting excessive data, as these data are not necessary for the operation of the service.
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