Privacy Blog

"Friends don’t let friends get spied on.' – Richard Stallman, President of the Free Software Foundation and longtime advocate of privacy in technology.

Why a Data Breach at a Genealogy Site Has Privacy Experts Worried

From an article by Heather Murphy and published in the New York Times: “GEDmatch, a longstanding family history site containing around 1.4 million people’s genetic information, had experienced a data breach. The peculiar matches were not new uploads but rather the result of two back-to-back hacks, which overrode existing user settings, according to Brett Williams, the chief executive of Verogen, a forensic company that has owned GEDmatch since December.” Also: […]

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Covid-19 Masks Are Breaking Facial Recognition Software

Here is still another reason why you should wear a medical face mask: Masks are breaking police facial recognition. The rapid global spread and persistent threat of the coronavirus has presented an obvious roadblock to facial recognition’s similar global expansion. Suddenly everyone is covering their faces. Even in ideal conditions, facial recognition technologies often struggle with accuracy and have a particularly dismal track record when it comes to identifying faces […]

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Encryption Software for Dissidents Could Be Collateral Damage of Budget Fight

The software is widely used in Iran to view U.S.-funded content. The U.S. Open Technology Fund, a digital rights nonprofit financed by the U.S. government, is poised to cancel a contract for encryption software that helps people living in repressive regimes access impartial news without their government’s knowledge, according to a U.S. government official with direct knowledge of the matter. Psiphon, based in Canada, makes internet circumvention software tools that […]

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A U.S. Senator Demands MORE Encryption, Not Less

This is a unique twist in the ongoing saga of using encryption to protect your secrets. In recent weeks, several U.S. Senators have demanded. that all online communications either not be encrypted at all or else be encrypted with a “back door” that allows government employees (and undoubtedly others) to have the ability to read these communications. (See https://bit.ly/2ClmhWf for a list of my past articles concerning this privacy invasion.) […]

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European Union’s Court of Justice Invalidates Data Sharing Under Privacy Shield Due to US Surveillance Procedures

Facebook and Company can no longer transfer data of European Union citizens under Privacy Shield because this undermines the data protection guaranteed by the GDPR. A landmark decision for privacy rights by the European Court of Justice invalidates Privacy Shield – a US-EU agreement. Privacy Shield was passed to give Silicon Valley tech companies easier access to the European market. This special arrangement for US companies is now null and […]

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection Has Admitted There Is No Practical Way for Americans to Avoid Having Their Movements Tracked by Its License Plate Readers

CBP published its new assessment — three years after its first — to notify the public that it plans to tap into a commercial database, which aggregates license plate data from both private and public sources, as part of its border enforcement efforts. The U.S. has a massive network of license plate readers, typically found on the roadside, to collect and record the license plates of vehicles passing by. License […]

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EFF Launches Searchable Database of Police Agencies and the Tech Tools They Use to Spy on Communities

The following announcement was written by the Electronic Frontier Foundation: San Francisco—The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), in partnership with the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, today launched the largest-ever collection of searchable data on police use of surveillance technologies, created as a tool for the public to learn about facial recognition, drones, license plate readers, and other devices law enforcement agencies are acquiring to spy on […]

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How to Apply for Australian Citizenship

With all the political upheavals in the world, along with various economic sanctions amongst countries, many people are finding the idea of obtaining citizenship in a different country can be enticing. Australia is certainly one of the more appealing countries, especially for anyone who speaks English either as their native tongue or else is already fluent in English as a second language. Australia is one of the safest countries in […]

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