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

Millions of DNA Samples Stored in Warehouse Worry Privacy Advocates

Privacy advocates are calling for more safeguards related to a state collection of DNA samples from 16 million Californians in a nondescript government warehouse in the Bay Area. The biobank holds blood taken with the prick of a heel from almost every baby born in California for the last three decades. It is used to screen for 80 health disorders, such as cystic fibrosis and sickle cell anemia. Unlike most […]

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Build a Hidden Compartment in a Fake Potted Plant to Hide Valuables

This is a cute trick. Create a secret hiding place that a burglar will never find. The easy instructions may be found at Hiding things in plain sight is often the best way to keep them away from burglars, neighbors, or from electricians, plumbers, carpenters or others who visit your home. Having a big safe or anything similar is a great way to advertise, “Hey! There’s something valuable inside.” […]

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For Better Security from Theft, Carry a Fake Wallet

I travel a lot, sometimes on airliners, sometimes on subways, and on almost every other form of transportation imaginable, even by walking. Security is always an issue, especially when traveling in certain areas. Many American cities and foreign countries have lots of pickpockets and hold-up men on the streets, especially in areas frequented by tourists. I worry more about pickpockets and hold-ups than I do about online hackers and identity thieves. […]

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Your Computer Knows You Better than Your Family, Friends or Spouse Will Ever Know You. It Has All Your Secrets

By studying just 10 “likes” on someone’s Facebook page, a computer can build a more accurate picture of a personality than a work colleague, Cambridge University researchers say. Examining 150 “likes”, it can be a better judge than a parent. At 300, they have more knowledge than a spouse. Lead author Wu Youyou said: “In future, computers could infer our psychological traits and react accordingly, leading to socially skilled machines.” […]

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Is Your Car Tracking You?

I know that my new car is reporting my location frequently to OnStar. That’s above and beyond the fact that my cell phone also frequently reports my exact location to the cell phone company. The EZ-Pass unit in my windshield reports the date and time of every passage through a toll booth to state authorities. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to add an additional comprehensive event data […]

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The Cheapest Wallet that Blocks RFID Signals

Pull out your credit card and flip it over. If the back is marked with the words “PayPass,” “Blink,” or the wi-fi symbol that serves as the universal symbol for wireless data or a few other obscure icons, it’s vulnerable to an uber-stealthy form of pickpocketing. Anyone with a Vivotech RFID credit card reader (available for less than $50 on eBay) can invisibly read your credit card information even if […]

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