In Less Than Five Years, 44 Billion Cameras Will Be Watching Us

As jaw-dropping as that figure is, it doesn’t seem so crazy when you realize that today there are already about 14 billion cameras in the world, according to data from research firms such as Gartner. Next to phones, other camera-hungry products will include robots (including autonomous cars), security cameras, and smart home products like the new Amazon Echo Show, according to LDV Capital, a VC firm that invests in visual technologies such as computer vision.

Is there no privacy left? Read the article by LDV Capital at http://www.ldv.co/insights to learn more.

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Hotspot Shield VPN Accused of Sharing Customer Traffic With Online Advertisers

One of the more popular VPN services has been accused of doing one of the things that VPNs are supposed to prevent: sharing your private Internet activity with advertisers for the purpose of improving the ads shown to its users.

The Center for Democracy & Technology (CDT), a US-based privacy group, has filed a complaint with the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), accusing Hotspot Shield VPN’s parent company of deceptive trade practices. In a 14-page complaint, the CDT accuses AnchorFree — the company behind the Hotspot Shield VPN — of breaking promises it made to its users by sharing their private web traffic with online advertisers for the purpose of improving the ads shown to its users.

You can read more in an article by Catalin Cimpanu in the BleepingComputer web site at: http://bit.ly/2vO2B7A.

ProtonMail Professional – Encrypted Email for Organizations

This blog has always focused on privacy problems and solutions for individuals. However, many organizations also have a need for privacy. ProtonMail, already well known for private email services for individuals, has now introduced a related product for corporations, non-profits, and any other organizations that feel a need for privacy.

You can read the announcement for ProtonMail Professional at: https://protonmail.com/blog/encrypted-email-for-organizations/.

Microsoft Won’t Patch 20-Yr-Old SMBv1 Vulnerability (You Should Just Turn the Service Off)

If you use Windows 10, you need to read an article by Laurent Giret that describes a recently-discovered security weakness in Windows that apparently has been there for at least 20 years. The fix is simple: turn off SMBv1 file sharing protocol from your PC. Most people don’t need it anyways.

You can find the article at: http://bit.ly/2whtwFR.

Really Private Browsing: An Unofficial User’s Guide to Tor

Recommended reading from the MakeUseOf web site:

Privacy on the internet is a constantly evolving battleground. And for good reason. Revelations concerning government spying programs, almost daily data breaches, and less-than-transparent corporations are de rigueur. Tin foil hats abound; more and more citizens around the globe are taking note of their privacy… and where it is going.

When Edward Snowden revealed the PRISM (NSA) and Tempora (GCHQ) global surveillance programs, shock was met with apathy. Those that suspected this level of surveillance found their suspicions vindicated. But the average man or woman on the street? Many didn’t even pause for thought. This sort of invasion of privacy makes a number of people very nervous; they’re not just criminals, dissidents, and terrorists, either. This level of surveillance directly affects everyone.

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Proposed Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) has been Released

If passed, this is very good news for all Americans. As stated by James G. Neal, President of the American Library Association:

“No freedoms are more vital, and important to librarians, than those of inquiry and speech. Without real privacy, Americans effectively have neither. Current law that allows our government to get and view the full content of our most private electronic communications without a search warrant isn’t just outdated, it’s dangerous in a democracy. ALA strongly supports the bipartisan Leahy/Lee “ECPA Modernization Act” to finally and fully bring the Electronic Communications Privacy Act – and with it our fundamental rights to privacy, inquiry and speech – into the modern era.”

James G. Neal specifically mentions libraries, but his comments apply to all American citizens. If I might change one word in his statement, “No freedoms are more vital, and important to [all Americans], than those of inquiry and speech. Without real privacy, Americans effectively have neither.”

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