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.

5 Reasons to Use Online Bill Payment

An interesting article by Alison Cooper on the HowStuffWorks web site points out that paying bills online is much safer than sending a check through the post office: “Online bill payment is also safer than the snail-mail method: Your personal information is much more vulnerable to theft if it’s on paper and physically moving through the postal system.” Also, ” You can also use your credit card to pay all […]

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Apple, Google and WhatsApp Condemn GCHQ Proposal To Eavesdrop on Encrypted Messages

In an open letter to GCHQ (Government Communications Headquarters), 47 signatories including Apple, Google and WhatsApp have jointly urged the U.K. cybersecurity agency to abandon its plans for a so-called “ghost protocol.” It comes after intelligence officials at GCHQ proposed a way in which they believed law enforcement could access end-to-end encrypted communications without undermining the privacy, security or confidence of other users. Details of the initiative were first published […]

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How Your Privacy Will Be Protected in the 2020 Census

Every ten years the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a nationwide survey that sets the terms for the country’s democracy. The questionnaire yields rich data, including people’s names, street addresses, ages, races, ethnicities, and other details. People’s responses help determine dynamics of power, such as how seats are apportioned in the House of Representatives, where voting districts get divided, and which communities receive federal funds. But the bureau, tasked with releasing […]

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CrossFit, the Popular Fitness and Lifestyle Program with a Cult-Like Following, Broke Up with Facebook and Instagram on Friday, Citing Security and Privacy Concerns

CrossFit, Inc., which boasts 15,000 affiliates and millions of followers, said it was investigating alleged security problems and opposed what it called Facebook’s overwhelming influence on”the marketplace of public thought,” the fitness company said in a statement. “All activity on CrossFit, Inc.’s Facebook and Instagram accounts was suspended as of May 22, 2019, as CrossFit investigates the circumstances pertaining to Facebook’s deletion of the Banting7DayMealPlan and other well-known public complaints […]

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Using a Chromebox as My Primary Day-to-day Computer

The following article has little to do with privacy, other than the fact that Chrome computers are generally considered to be some of the most secure personal computers available today. However, it does discuss my recent experiences with low-cost computing and I think it may be of interest to many readers of this blog. Here is a conversation I had recently with a friend: “A couple of weeks ago I […]

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Instagram Data Breach! 49 Million Users’ Sensitive Data Exposed Online

Here is still ANOTHER data leak in a product supplied by Facebook. This time it’s the Facebook-owned photo-sharing application Instagram. An unprotected AWS (Amazon Web Services) server containing personal information of millions of Instagram influencers, celebrities, and brand accounts have been found online, the TechCrunch reported. According to the security researcher Anurag Sen, who discovered the leak and notified TechCrunch, the database had over 49 million records exposed online, allowing […]

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Whatsapp is Introducing Ads and May Remove End-to-End Encryption

WhatsApp has had a checkered past. WhatsApp Messenger is a freeware, cross-platform messaging and Voice over IP (VoIP) service. It was created by WhatsApp Inc. of Mountain View, California. During the time the app was supported by WhatsApp, Inc. the app never displayed advertising. In a June 2012 blog post, WhatsApp referred to advertising, among other things, as “the disruption of aesthetics, the insults to your intelligence and the interruption […]

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