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.

Offline Privacy & Security

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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Detroit Police Chief admits Facial Recognition Software Misidentifies 96% of the Time

Detroit police have used highly unreliable facial recognition technology almost exclusively against Black people so far in 2020, according to the Detroit Police Department’s own statistics. Detroit Police Chief James Craig admitted: “If we would use the software only [to identify subjects], we would not solve the case 95-97 percent of the time,” Craig said. “That’s if we relied totally on the software, which would be against our current policy … […]

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The Most Important Privacy Case You’ve Never Heard Of

“One of the most important privacy cases you’ve never heard of is being litigated right now in a federal district court in Maine. ACA v. Frey is a challenge by the nation’s largest broadband Internet access providers to a Maine law that protects the privacy of the state’s broadband Internet users. If the broadband providers prevail, this case could eliminate sector-specific privacy laws across the nation, foreclose national privacy legislation, […]

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DataLocker DL3 1TB Encrypted External Hard Drive

One device should be an excellent method of keeping backups of your Windows, Macintosh, or Linux computer safe from prying eyes. It obviously would also be an excellent method of sending a lot of data to someone else in a method that is safe. Want to keep your cryptocurrency wallet safe? Copy the wallet to this external encrypted hard drive, unplug the drive, then erase the wallet from the computer. […]

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The Dangers of Facial Recognition: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

Want to learn about just some of the dangers of the widespread use of facial recognition software? John Oliver takes a look at facial recognition technology, how it’s used by private companies and law enforcement, and why it can be dangerous. The video is available on YouTube at or in the video player below. Caution: the video contains some profanity.

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Apple, Google Bring Covid-19 Contact-Tracing to 3 Billion People

I don’t know if this is good news or bad news for private citizens. It seems to be blend of both. Here are a couple of quotes from an article by Mark Gurman in the Bloomberg web site with my own comments added in parenthesis: “Apple Inc. and Google unveiled a rare partnership to add technology to their smartphone platforms that will alert users if they have come into contact […]

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Thought for the day, 10 April 2020

“This shift is a bit like when websites moved from HTTP to HTTPS as the global standard: it lets consumers know that their information is protected by default… Unsurprisingly, these innovations have alarmed banks, regulators, and law-enforcement agencies. But just as the early Internet needed encryption to enable digital commerce, cryptocurrencies need privacy protections to unlock their full power and potential. Whether one needs to guard against authoritarian regimes, data […]

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DNA Testing Kits: What Are the Privacy Risks?

Call me paranoid but I do believe that some people who have their DNA tested are not aware of all the privacy issues. Quoting from an article by Victoria Mcintosh, a Certified Information Privacy Technologist, as published in the CompariTech web site at “Since DNA is health information, many users may expect the data is protected by privacy legislation. HIPAA, for example, is the well-known health privacy legislation in […]

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The Ultimate Method of Being Tracked

Do you value your privacy? Of course you do! Then why do you provide 24 hour-a-day tracking of your whereabouts to police, government agents, relatives, hackers, potential kidnappers, child molesters, or to would-be burglars who want to make sure you are not at home? NOTE: I am guessing your children might be near you. Another situation is that your older child(ren) might have his or her own cell phone and […]

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