Category: Privacy

Don’t trust Google Chrome’s incognito mode

Privacy is fast becoming a hard-to-earn luxury. As you browse through websites, it’s hard to shake off the creepy feeling that wherever you go, unseen eyes are watching you: Google, Facebook, your internet service provider, the government, the person sitting next to you, etc. Among the many privacy-enhancing tools, one of the best known is the Chrome Incognito window, Google’s version of private browsing. Incognito window provides a measure of privacy if you’re browsing on a shared computer. But it’s far from being a perfect solution. Unfortunately, many people don’t understand the privacy implications of Google’s Incognito window and end up trusting…

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China introduces mandatory face scans for new SIM card purchases

The Chinese government loves face recognition and including it in various services for authentication. In its the latest move, it has made it mandatory for people in China to scan their face when signing up for a new mobile or mobile data connection contract. The new rule, first announced in September by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, took effect from Sunday (December 1). Prior to the law, folks in China just had to provide a copy of their ID card to get a new cellular contract.  The Chinese government said in the notice that it took the step to…

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Facebook allegedly blocked personal accounts of WhatsApp spyware maker’s employees

On Tuesday, eight employees from the Israel-based security company, NSOGroup, filed a lawsuit against Facebook in the Tel Aviv district court for blocking their accounts. The company said this was an independent action and it doesn’t concern its ongoing tussle with the social media giant regarding Pegasus spyware used to exploit WhatsApp. According to the lawsuit, on October 29, the social network blocked 100 Facebook and Instagram accounts. Many amongst them belonged to current and former employees of NSO Group and their family members. A statement released by representatives of these employees said Facebook‘s action is harmful and unjust. Blocking our…

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Russia to pre-install its own apps on all phones, PCs, and TVs sold in the country

Russia has officially passed a law banning the sale of electronic equipment that doesn’t have Russian software pre-installed on it. The law — which is set to go into effect starting July 1, 2020 — will force electronic equipment sold in Russia — such as smartphones, computers, and smart TVs — to ship pre-installed with apps from Russian tech firms. The bill was tabled in the parliament earlier this month. The government is expected to publish for each device type a list of Russian software that manufacturers will need to include on devices sold in the country. “The bill provides Russian…

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Trust issues loom large over Google’s ambitious healthcare plans

Google‘s healthcare deal with Ascension has rightly attracted a lot of scrutiny, and now the search giant has stepped in once again to clarify the controversial undertaking. David Feinberg, the head of Google‘s health initiatives, said the company is working towards building an “intelligent suite of tools to help doctors, nurses, and other providers take better care of patients, leveraging our expertise in organizing information.” Last week, it emerged that Google had struck a partnership with the US’ second largest health system Ascension — called “Project Nightingale” — to develop AI-based tools in exchange for moving all the patient data to…

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Uber will start audio-recording trips to protect its passengers

Uber has plans to ensure its passengers feel safe when using the service by introducing an audio-recording safety feature to all rides. This feature, which will be tested in Mexico and Brazil next month, is being introduced amidst increasing user safety concerns, as first reported by The Washington Post.  Once it’s been tested in various Latin American cities, Uber has plans to roll out the feature in the US, which will eventually allow drivers to automatically record all rides, while passengers can opt in to activate the feature through the app’s Safety Toolkit prior to their ride. Neither driver or passenger…

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