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.

Legal Affairs

N.J. Lawmaker Wants to Make DNA Test Results Your Personal Property

A proposed law in New Jersey would make the results of a DNA test the sole property of the person tested, a bid to give consumers who use popular genetic testing services more control over their personal data and their privacy. Assemblyman Roy Freiman, D-Somerset, said that people have a right to know where their personal genetic data is going, even if it is used for good causes. “We don’t […]

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For $3, a ‘Robot Lawyer’ Will Sue Data Brokers That Don’t Delete Your Personal and Location Info

A startup called DoNotPay unveiled a service it calls Digital Health that automates the data-deletion process. Priced at $3 a month, the service will contact more than 100 data brokers on your behalf and demand they delete your and your family’s personal information. It will also show you the types of data the brokers have collected — such as phone number or location info — and even initiate legal proceedings […]

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ISPs Sue Maine Claiming a New Web-Privacy Law Violates Their Free-Speech Rights

It seems that Internet Service Providers are now claiming they have a right to spy on their customers’ web usage and to sell the private information they found to the highest bidder. Someone has a RIGHT to steal your personal information and resell it, claiming it is freedom of speech? I seems ludicrous but the article by Jon Brodkin the the Ars Technica web site at http://bit.ly/39Onkce explains the latest […]

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FCC Confirms Wireless Carriers Broke Federal Law by Selling Location Data

At the center of the investigation are all four major U.S. carriers: AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile. It is unclear at this time which groups will be penalized, and what that penalty will look like. Further documentation on the specifics of the violation is forthcoming. Details may be found in an article by Alison Foreman on the Mashable web site at: https://mashable.com/article/fcc-concludes-location-data-investigation/.

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A Court Tried To Force Ancestry.com To Open Up Its DNA Database To Police. The Company Said No.

From an article by Peter Aldhous in the BuzzFeed News web site: “Ancestry.com, the largest DNA testing company in the world, was served a search warrant to give police access to its database of some 16 million DNA profiles, but the company did not comply. “Ancestry received one request seeking access to Ancestry’s DNA database through a search warrant,” the company revealed in its 2019 transparency report released last week. […]

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Facebook Settles Lawsuit Over Its Use of Facial Recognition for $550 Million

After years of wrangling in courts, Facebook finally has settled a lawsuit over its privacy-invasive use of facial recognition. Last year it agreed to stop turning on the tech to scan photos by default, which built a template of your facial data, and automatically suggested tags in photos based on it. Details may be found in an article by Richard Lawler in the engadget web site at https://www.engadget.com/2020/01/30/facebook-photo-tagging-facial-recognition. In other […]

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Apple Privacy Officer says that ‘Building Back Doors’ to Access iPhone Data Won’t Help Solve Crimes

Several governments, including the U.S., are pressuring Apple and other manufacturers to add “back doors” to all products that offer encryption. The latest example is a demand on Monday of this week when the FBI sent a letter to Apple requesting assistance to extract data from password-protected iPhones used by a suspected mass shooter. You can read more about that “demand” in an article by Kif Leswing published in the […]

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Brazil Fines Facebook $1.6 Million for Improper Sharing of User Data

According to an article in the Reuters news agency: “Brazil’s Ministry of Justice said on Monday it fined U.S. tech giant Facebook Inc 6.6 million reais ($1.6 million U.S.) for improperly sharing user data. “The ministry’s department of consumer protection said it had found that data from 443,000 Facebook users was improperly made available to developers of an App called ‘thisisyourdigitallife.’ The data was being shared for ‘questionable’ purposes, the […]

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