Surveillance & Privacy

04 October 2017

Google and Apple report jump in requests for user data BBC News

US government requests to Google for individuals' data reached a six-year high in the first half of 2017, the company says.

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17 September 2017

Why does your identity depend on one number? Security experts push to replace SSN Denver Post

As confusion ensued after the Equifax data breach affecting up to 143 million consumers, what remained very clear was that some of the stolen data will haunt people forever.

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10 September 2017

Australian police want to read encrypted messages, but they already have significant power to access our data The Conversation

The Australian government wants new powers to access encrypted communications, but do they need them?

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09 September 2017

How to Protect Your Information Online New York Times

There are more reasons than ever to understand how to protect your personal information, as major website breaches become ever more frequent. On Thursday, Equifax, one of the three main credit reporting agencies, said that identifying information for 143 million customers had potentially been compromised.

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07 September 2017

It's too hard to get the data of Australian criminals when it's stored overseas The Conversation

Solving crimes and prosecuting criminals depends on efficient access to evidence. Technology has not changed that.

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02 September 2017

On internet privacy, be very afraid Harvard Gazette

In the internet era, consumers seem increasingly resigned to giving up fundamental aspects of their privacy for convenience in using their phones and computers, and have grudgingly accepted that being monitored by corporations and even governments is just a fact of modern life.

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11 August 2017

Ex-MI5 chief warns against crackdown on encrypted messaging apps The Guardian

A former head of MI5 has spoken out against curtailing use of encryption in messaging apps despite warning that Islamist terrorism will remain a threat for up to another 30 years.

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07 August 2017

UK Data Protection Bill: Facebook, Google and other internet companies will be forced to let people control their own data The Independent

Everyone will be given sweeping new powers to see what tech companies know about them and have it deleted, under a new bill.

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26 July 2017

Your Roomba May Be Mapping Your Home, Collecting Data That Could Be Sold New York Times

Your Roomba may be vacuuming up more than you think.

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19 July 2017

Government 'Cyber Troops' Manipulate Facebook, Twitter, Study Says Bloomberg

Governments around the world are enlisting "cyber troops" who manipulate Facebook, Twitter and other social media outlets to steer public opinion, spread misinformation and undermine critics, according to a new report from the University of Oxford.

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16 July 2017

Facebook says it shouldn't have to stay mum when government seeks user data Washington Post

Major technology companies and civil liberties groups have joined Facebook in a closed courtroom battle over secret government access to social media records.

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12 July 2017

Amazon and WhatsApp 'falling short over privacy', says pressure group The Guardian

Amazon and WhatsApp have been scolded by the privacy campaigning group the Electronic Frontier Foundation over their “disappointing” privacy practices, and told that they can and should be doing better in its yearly review.

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06 July 2017

Facebook can track your browsing even after you've logged out, US judge says The Guardian

A judge has dismissed a lawsuit accusing Facebook of tracking users’ web browsing activity even after they logged out of the social networking site.

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29 June 2017

Canada's Supreme Court rules Google must block certain search results worldwide The Verge

Canada’s Supreme Court upheld a British Columbia court ruling today that ordered Google to de-list entire domains and websites from its global search index.

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19 June 2017

The Guardian view on digital giants: they farm us for the data: Editorial The Guardian

An astonishing project is under way to build a “digital time machine” that will show us in fine detail the lives of ordinary Venetians across a thousand years of history. It is made possible by the persistence of the republic’s bureaucracy, which, when Napoleon extinguished the Republic of Venice in 1797, left behind 80km of shelving full of records of births, deaths, trades, building, land ownership, private letters, ambassadors’ reports and even medical information. All this is now to be digitised, cross-referenced, and analysed, and all its secrets laid bare to provide a picture in unprecedented richness and detail of the lives of individuals and the development of society over many centuries. Obviously, this is wonderful for historians and indeed anybody with an imagination alive today. One wonders, though, what the Venetians would have made of it, had they known their lives and letters would be so carefully anatomised after their deaths.

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16 June 2017

Australian government and George Brandis must learn from data retention mess with encryption Australian Financial Review

As Canberra turns its attention to the issue of accessing encrypted communications between potential terrorists, nobody's opposed to the principle that national security demands a technology strategy. On the other hand, we learnt valuable lessons from this government's 2014 data retention law, that should inform our approach to new laws.

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17 May 2017

Facebook Gets Slap on the Wrist From 2 European Privacy Regulators New York Times

Facebook suffered a setback on Tuesday over how it uses the reams of information it collects about users worldwide, after two European privacy watchdogs said that the social network’s practices broke their countries’ data protection rules.

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10 May 2017

How Privacy Became a Commodity for the Rich and Powerful New York Times

Recently I handed over the keys to my email account to a service that promised to turn my spam-bloated inbox into a sparkling model of efficiency in just a few clicks.’s method of instant unsubscribing from newsletters and junk mail was “trusted by millions of happy users,” the site said, among them the “Scandal” actor Joshua Malina, who tweeted in 2014: “Your inbox will sing!” Plus, it was free. When a privacy policy popped up, I swatted away the legalese and tapped “continue.”

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05 May 2017

How to Protect Your Privacy as More Apps Harvest Your Data New York Times

In the real world, your personal life is a private space. But in tech, your personal data is a ripe resource for businesses to harvest in their own interests.

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28 April 2017

Facebook sees rise in government requests for user data The Hill

Facebook revealed on Thursday that it saw an increase in government requests for user data from the first half of 2016 to the second.

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27 April 2017

German court upholds WhatsApp-Facebook data transfer ban PC World

Facebook must obtain the permission of German users of WhatsApp before processing their personal data, a German court confirmed on Tuesday.

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25 April 2017

Service Faces Backlash Over a Widespread Practice: Selling User Data New York Times

For months, Uber has paid a public price for some of the questionable tactics it has used to conquer the transportation industry. Now another company is experiencing some of the fallout for working with Uber.

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21 April 2017

Google is seeing more requests for user data worldwide, but it's responding to fewer Recode

Google received the most government requests for user data it has received in any six-month period, according to the company’s latest transparency report. The requests were made in the second half of 2016.

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31 March 2017

Porn websites beef up privacy protections days after Congress voted to let ISPs share your Web history Washington Post

As you may have heard, Congress recently voted to repeal Internet privacy protections that otherwise would have gone into effect later this year. The move effectively permits Internet providers such as Verizon and AT&T to mine and sell your browsing history, location information, and in some cases even the content of your communications, similar to what Google and Facebook do now.

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26 March 2017

End-to-end encryption on messaging services is unacceptable - UK Home Secretary Reuters

Home Secretary Amber Rudd said on Sunday end-to-end encryption of messages offered by services like Whatsapp are "completely unacceptable" and there should be no "secret place for terrorists to communicate".

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