Judge Denies DOJ’s Gag Order Against Tech Firms

gag order

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Ornstein has ruled against the DOJ’s gag order practices on tech firms saying users should know when the government is searching their data. The judge denied the Justice Department’s 15 requests against tech firms saying they did not produce enough information to convince him the secrecy was reasonable. Facebook was among … Read more

Runkeeper Faces Complaint In Norway For Tracking Habits

The popular fitness app Runkeeper is in some hot water after receiving a formal complaint from the Norwegian Consumer Council (NCC) after it was determined that the app tracks its users at all times, and sends that data to advertisers. As a fitness app, there is a certain amount of tracking that will need to … Read more

Facebook Reactions Trigger Warning From Belgian Police

Facebook reactions

Facebook Reactions were introduced just a short-time ago and they’ve become rather popular, but not with the Belgian Federal Police. The Belgian Federal Police are warning their citizens not to use Facebook Reactions because they might be invading their privacy. The police are saying that Facebook Reactions are just another way for Facebook’s algorithms to … Read more

Protecting Your Business Data On The Cloud: Are These Password Tips Actually Effective?

Business

While most business owners advise their employees not to share their passwords with anybody else, there may come times where hackers will try to access company accounts without your people’s knowledge. Unfortunately, some security advice that has become common knowledge may not actually be as effective as the general public believes it to be. In this … Read more

Twitter Blocks Feds Access To Dataminr

data breaches

Dataminr is a service for companies who want “real-time information discovery” and serves many companies who require analytical type data including Twitter. These types of services aren’t anything new, collecting data on users isn’t anything new either. Even before we had computers or the Internet, marketing companies have always tried to analyze and understand what … Read more

FBI Wants Some Biometric Data Exempt From Privacy Laws

biometric data

Biometric data is a term we need to get used to. Whether we like it or not, the future of technology is being built around biometric data and the battle for that data is in its infancy. There are a few entities who collect biometric data such as Apple, Google, Huwaei, Motorola, Lenovo, and the FBI. The … Read more

Microsoft Suing DOJ Over Privacy Concerns

buying LinkedIn

Microsoft has brought a lawsuit against the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) over privacy concerns involving Microsoft’s users. The lawsuit, filed yesterday, insists that consumers have a right to know when the government requests to read their emails and Microsoft should have the right to inform users when the government is doing so. The … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 4 — Authentication, Password Managers, And The Cloud

Tech-Security-Authentication-Password-Cloud

Last time in our how to avoid tech security and privacy risks, we talked about the lockscreen and passcodes. As we continue investigating how we can better lock down our devices, finances, and lives, there’s one more item in this category that we need to acknowledge. Two factor authentication. It’s a way of making money … Read more

EFF Panopticlick Tool: Test Your Browsers Trackability

Panopticlick

Panopticlick is an online testing tool and research project put together by the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) designed to test how trackable your browser is. When you surf the web and click on whatever website you click on, those sites gather information about your computer’s configuration. This information is assembled into what the EFF calls … Read more

Google April Fools’ Day Prank Backfired

Gmail April Fools

As is tradition, Google released more April Fools’ Day pranks. Some of them are quite hilarious, like Snoopavision, added to YouTube, and the Google Cardboard Plastic. However, not all of them are so harmless, it turns out. Google added the option to send an email through Gmail with a “mic drop.” The option inserted a … Read more

FBI Asking For Access To Phones Across The USA

After all the drama between the FBI and Apple over the iPhone 5c used by the shooter in the San Bernardino shooting, which ended rather anticlimactically with the FBI dropping the case, we are now getting confirmation of what everyone always suspected — this is not just about one phone. In fact, Apple’s CEO Tim Cook made … Read more

The Tech Miser: Another Bluetooth Headset And A Privacy Browser

In the last miserly column, we talked about the Jarv Joggerz Pro. Today, let’s start with the Photive BTH3. These are not the small, lightweight earphones like the Joggerz Pro, nor are they tiny, unnoticed earbuds. They look more like the headphones used by studio engineers. You know, the big ones that are sometimes referred to … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 3 — It’s a Lock

security-lock-privacy

So far, we’ve dealt with social engineering as a threat and scanners for the credit cards in your wallet. In both cases, thieves and scammers rely to some degree on our own normal behavior. “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That’s Benjamin Franklin. There are some steps we can take on our … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 2 — In Your Pocket

security privacy risks

Last time, we talked about Facebook — not to warn about how bad Facebook is, but to highlight that we’re our own weakest link in our cybersecurity.  People can fake who they are online.  We’re not there with them to see that the picture of them doesn’t match who they really are.  Or that online … Read more

Apple Servers Suspected Of Being Tampered With

Apple servers

Apple servers, you might find surprising, aren’t built by Apple and now the company thinks some may have been tampered with. According to Business Insider and The Information, the company suspects that servers they ordered from third-parties had additional chips and firmware added to steal customer and company data. Running a business the size of … Read more

HOW TO: Tech Security: Part 1 — Facebook

Privacy Risks

We all like to keep our info private and secure and our devices working the way we expect them to.  And there are a whole slew of folks who want exactly the opposite.  There are ways to avoid having those people make us unhappy via our tech. The least secure connection to our devices isn’t … Read more

ProtonMail Beta Closed, Service Opens Up For Business

ProtonMail Beta

ProtonMail beta has officially closed and the company is now accepting new users and signups as of Thursday, encryption for everyone. The ProtonMail beta had been running for two years and at one point was hit with a massive DDoS attack holding their servers ransom for a bitcoin payment. During the attack the company reached out … Read more

Apple vs. FBI Has Turned Into King Kong vs. Godzilla

The Apple vs. FBI battle has been going on for some time about hacking the iPhone from the San Bernardino terrorist attack. None of us wants to see all iPhones hacked, whether it’s by black hat hackers or legally sanctioned government hackers. At the same time, I doubt even Apple wants to see a missed opportunity … Read more

The Encryption Debate: John Oliver Gets It

encryption debate

The encryption debate just seems to be getting hotter and hotter as the battle between Apple and the FBI continues to grab headlines across America and all over the world. The debate has some in my social media circles screaming this is nothing more than a dog and pony show on both Apple’s and the … Read more

The Villainization Of Apple And The Future Of Personal Data

Villainization

Now that the FBI vs. Apple case has grasped the headlines inside and outside the tech world the villainization of Apple is in full swing. Just to recap quickly, the FBI is asking Apple to write a program that would essentially break the encryption on a phone used by the San Bernardino shooters. Apple is … Read more

iOS 9.3 Includes Warnings For iPhones Tracked By Your Employer

Apple has been in the news quite a bit lately as it pertains to privacy and security. Sure, most of that is due to their slight disagreement with the FBI over Apple’s stance on creating backdoors in user hardware, but overall the broader issue is privacy and security. Apple appears to be taking another giant … Read more

Judge Rules Tor Users Lack A Reasonable Expectation Of Privacy

Tor users

US District Judge Richard Jones has ruled that Tor users lack a reasonable expectation of privacy and also revealed the government paid researchers $1 million to hack the Tor network. The Tor Project already knew they had been hacked but it is now official after Judge Jones’s ruling. A research team at Carnegie Mellon University were … Read more

Apple Complied With FBI Requests Just Three Days After San Bernardino

FBI

New information in the Apple VS. FBI case is emerging showing that Apple was contacted just three days after the shooting and complied with FBI requests as well as search warrants. This brings some clarity into what Apple’s role has been in this case and shows the company has not been holding out as some might have … Read more

Microsoft Crosses The Line; Windows 10 Will Now Display Ads On The Lock Screen

Windows-10-Lockscreen-Ad-Tomb-Raider

While your laptop or desktop are called “Personal Computers,” that tag will soon be inapplicable. Windows 10 now displays advertisements on your PC’s lock screen, definitely taking the personal factor away from the whole experience. Right now, the ads are limited to titles available on the Windows Store, a service that Microsoft has been trying … Read more

Privoro Privacy Guard Promises To Secure Your iPhone

Privoro Privacy Guard

Privoro Privacy Guard is a new device that is promising to secure your iPhone 6/6s and maintain your digital privacy. With the recent Apple VS FBI squall that has kicked up privacy is once again on the radar of many consumers. While Apple and the FBI continue to wrestle and fight over whether or not … Read more

Survey Says: We Don’t Trust Google And Facebook

trust Google

Before we actually talk about this survey conducted by brand marketing company Prophet, we have to stress that surveys can swing either way depending on the swath of people surveyed. With the millions and millions of users that exist, these survey’s may give some insight but they’re not by any means the consensus of the … Read more

Are You Ready For An Implanted NFC Airline Boarding Pass?

NFC airline boarding pass

Are you ready for an implanted NFC airline boarding pass just underneath your skin? What if you could board your flight, check into an airport lounge or check into your hotel all without having any paperwork or physical ID? To some this prospect sounds scary and rife with many privacy pitfalls. But to others it’s … Read more