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Posts Tagged ‘Personal Data’

This Case for Data Mining Might Make You Reconsider Your Position on Web Privacy [Data Mining]

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
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Selling used Android phones poses huge identity theft risk, expert says

Friday, March 30th, 2012

Android users who are looking to sell their old devices should be wary of the possible consequences. McAfee identity theft researcher Robert Siciliano warned that personal data from Android devices is not completely removed after a user activates the built-in wipe option, The Los Angeles Times reported on Friday. “What’s really scary is even if you follow protocol, the data is still there,” Siciliano said. If you have a BlackBerry or Apple device, Siciliano said your data can be fully deleted by following the manufacturer’s directions. As for smartphones running the Android operating system and computers running Windows XP, Siciliano recommends that people don’t bother with selling them at all. “Put it in the back of a closet, or put it in a vise and drill holes in the hard drive, or if you live in Texas take it out into a field and shoot it,” he said. “You don’t want to sell your identity for 50 bucks.” To test the security of various platforms, Siciliano purchased 30 smartphones and computers from Craigslist. The researcher was able to access personal data from 15 of the 30 devices through his own hacking efforts and the help of a forensic expert. The data obtained included bank account information, Social Security numbers, child support documents and credit card account log-ins.


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Orange says it’ll bring LTE to all of its EU markets by 2015

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012
Orange made a bold pledge to the future of Europe’s “digital economy” yesterday, promising to bring 4G / LTE networks to all EU markets by the year 2015, and reaffirming its commitment to Africa and the Middle East. The France-based carrier outlined its plan during an event in Brussels, where CEO Stéphane Richard and European Commission digital chief Neelie Kroes met to discuss the Commission’s “Digital Agenda for Europe.” Orange laid out ten commitments in total, including a promise to make FTTH available for 15 million households and 80 percent of all businesses in France by the year 2020. It also vowed to bring 3 million NFC-enabled handsets to the EU this year, and 10 million by the year 2013. Perhaps most salient to Kroes’ agenda was Orange’s promise to offer customers a privacy “dashboard” by the year 2015, allowing them to more directly control their personal data. In Africa and the Middle East, meanwhile, the company is looking to roll out its 3G network by the year 2015, in the hopes of providing 80 percent of the population with mobile services. For more promises and optimism, check out the full PR after the break.

Continue reading Orange says it’ll bring LTE to all of its EU markets by 2015

Orange says it’ll bring LTE to all of its EU markets by 2015 originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 21 Mar 2012 06:21:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Former Google exec: Larry Page ruined Google

Wednesday, March 14th, 2012

Former Engineering Director at Google and current Partner Development Manager at Microsoft James Whittaker on Tuesday published a lengthy piece explaining why he chose to leave the Mountain View-based company after having been such a vocal Google evangelist for nearly three years. His post on Microsoft’s MSDN blogs reiterates a number of opinions that have been hot topics in the media of late, but he also offers several insights from a unique point of view that only an insider can offer. In short, Whittaker feels that Google co-founder and current CEO Larry Page completely ruined the company for him. Read on for more.

Whittaker’s main issue is what, in his opinion, was a core value shift that took place when former chief executive Eric Schmidt stepped down and Larry Page took over at the helm. The former Director acknowledges that advertising has always been Google’s main business, but until Larry Page took over at CEO, advertising was treated as a means to an end, providing the funding that allowed Google employees to build innovative products.

Once Page became Google’s top executive, Whittaker says, the opposite was true. Google’s products became a means to an end, providing the tools Google needs to collect as much personal information as possible about its users, thus better equipping the company to woo advertisers.

“Under Eric Schmidt ads were always in the background,” Whittaker wrote. ”Google was run like an innovation factory, empowering employees to be entrepreneurial through founder’s awards, peer bonuses and 20% time. Our advertising revenue gave us the headroom to think, innovate and create.” He continued, “But that was then, as the saying goes, and this is now.”

Whittaker says that Page became infatuated with Facebook, which is able to gather a massive amount of personal data about its users because of all the information they share using the service. Google needed a way to break into the social sharing space following failed attempts like Wave and Buzz, and advertising was the sole reason for this renewed focus on social networks.

“Larry Page himself assumed command to right this wrong,” Whittaker says in his post. “Social became state-owned, a corporate mandate called Google+. It was an ominous name invoking the feeling that Google alone wasn’t enough. Search had to be social. Android had to be social. You Tube, once joyous in their independence, had to be … well, you get the point. Even worse was that innovation had to be social. Ideas that failed to put Google+ at the center of the universe were a distraction.”

Whittaker concludes, “The old Google was a great place to work. The new one?


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EU tells Google to stop rolling out privacy changes

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

Regulators with the European Union have asked Google to stop rolling out new privacy changes that the company originally introduced earlier this month. “Given the wide range of services you offer, and the popularity of these services, changes in your privacy policy may affect many citizens in most or all of the EU member states,” the European wrote in a letter to Google’s CEO Larry Page. “We wish to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these citizens in a coordinated way. In light of the above, we call for a pause in the interests of ensuring that there can be no misunderstanding about Google’s commitments to information rights of their users and EU citizens, until we have completed our analysis.” Google said it was introducing the new privacy changes, which go into effect on March 1, to provide a “more intuitive Google experience” for its users, but several groups, including the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, have accused Google of collecting more data than ever before. Google told BGR in a statement that it is “not collecting any new or additional data about users.”


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McAfee updates Mobile Security to 2.0, keeps you protected on the go (video)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012
McAfee updates Mobile Security to 2.0, keeps you protected on the go
If you tend to exercise a bit more caution when using your mobile machine, we imagine you’ll welcome McAfee‘s Mobile Security 2.0 with open arms. The Intel-owned security connoisseur has just introduced its refreshed apps, designed to protect Android handsets and slates, along with BlackBerry and Symbian smartphones. All users can take advantage of features such as Complete Anti-virus, Anti-spyware, Anti-phishing Protection, Call and SMS Filtering, while Android owners can also try out App Protection, which is said to interpret “how apps are accessing and possibly transmitting personal data,” in order to keep your privacy under control. If you’ve been a paranoid — or smart — user since the first release, then the update will come at no cost, while those of you looking to jump aboard the secured ship for the first time will need to fork over the $29.99 subscription fee. You’ll find all the details you need in the press release just past the break.

Continue reading McAfee updates Mobile Security to 2.0, keeps you protected on the go (video)

McAfee updates Mobile Security to 2.0, keeps you protected on the go (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 31 Jan 2012 08:40:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Megaupload user data purge could begin Thursday [updated]

Monday, January 30th, 2012

Third-party companies that stored Megaupload’s data may delete all user files on Thursday. Megaupload customers, even those not guilty of piracy or using the service illegally, have been unable to access their files since the website was shut down on January 19th. So far, seven men have been charged for illegally allowing Megaupload users to store and share music, movies and other copyrighted content, among other things. The issue, however, is that millions of Megaupload users used the service legally to store family photos and other personal data. Megaupload doesn’t store the data itself, the AP said Monday, instead it hired Carpathia Hosting and Cogent Communications Group to store its data. A letter from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia explained that both companies may begin deleting the data as soon as this Thursday. 50 million users could have their personal photos, videos and music erased; Megaupload attorney Ira Rothken said the company is currently speaking with prosecutors in an effort to save the data.

UPDATE: Megaupload lawyer Ira Rothke on Monday confirmed that Megaupload’s hosting companies have agreed not to delete user files for two weeks, TVNZ reports. “Carpathia and Cogent agreed to preserve consumer data for additional time of at least two weeks so Megaupload can work with US on proposal,” Rothke posted on Twitter.


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ITC bans U.S. import of multiple HTC devices in Apple patent ruling

Monday, December 19th, 2011

A judge with the United States International Trade Commission (ITC) ruled Monday that HTC is guilty of infringing Apple’s patents in several devices. The ITC also ordered a ban on the import of several of HTC’s smartphones although it is unclear which models are affected. The ban will take effect on April 19th. “Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission has found a violation of section 337 in this investigation and has issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting importation of infringing personal data and mobile communications devices and related software,” the ITC said in its determination. “The Commission has determined that exclusion of articles subject to this order shall commence on April 19, 2012.” Raed on for more.

UPDATE: HTC gave BGR a statement regarding the ITC ruling, which can be read in its entirety here.

The injunction applies to two patents related to “data tapping,” and “if Google can implement this popular feature, which users of modern-day smartphones really expect, without infringing on the two patent claims found infringed, this import ban won’t have any effect whatsoever,” patent expert Florian Muller of FOSS Patents said in a post.

Apple accused HTC of infringing on 10 total patents and the ITC ruled in July that HTC was in violation of two of those patents. HTC later filed for an appeal of the case, in which Apple sought to ban the Taiwan-based vendor from selling its devices in the United States. “We can sit by and watch competitors steal our patented inventions, or we can do something about it. We’ve decided to do something about it,” Apple’s late CEO Steve Jobs said in March, 2010, when the complaint was initially filed.

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Facebook settles privacy suit with FTC; will submit independent audits for 20 years

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011

Facebook settled a privacy lawsuit with the Federal Trade Commission on Friday and agreed to submit independent audits for the next 20 years. The FTC had accused the social network of being deceptive in its privacy practices, Reuters explained. ”Facebook’s innovation does not have to come at the expense of consumer privacy,” FTC Chairman Jon Leibowitz said. Facebook will create two positions dedicated to privacy, including a chief privacy officer. In addition, Reuters said the social network must be transparent about what it does with personal user data in the future and it must receive user permission before changing how it shares private user data. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he “is committed to making Facebook the leader in transparency and control around privacy.”


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McAfee and Intel partner up to put anti-theft tech in Ultrabooks

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011
Intel Anti-Theft

Intel has long provided hardware-level anti-theft technology, primarily for its enterprise customers. But, as users become increasingly mobile, the need to extend those protections to average consumers has become more and more apparent. McAfee is teaming up with Chipzilla to create a consumer-friendly software package that will interact with the chip-level anti-theft tech that will be packed into every Ultrabook. Details about the software are pretty slim for the moment, but we know it’ll feature remote lock, remote wipe and location tracking to help you recover you precious lappy and keep your personal data out of the hands of ne’er-do-wells. The suite will start shipping alongside the tiny notebooks next year, but while you wait, check out the PR after the break.

Continue reading McAfee and Intel partner up to put anti-theft tech in Ultrabooks

McAfee and Intel partner up to put anti-theft tech in Ultrabooks originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 14 Sep 2011 18:01:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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AntiSec hacks Universal and Viacom; leaks user data, passwords

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

A hacking group named LulzSec made headlines recently for attacking high visibility targets, including Sony and the U.S. government. LulzSec announced earlier this week that it was stopping its operations, and rumor has it many of the members joined up with Anonymous’ “AntiSec” hacking group. Now that group is making its own headlines. On Tuesday AntiSec claimed responsibility for attacks against Universal and Viacom. According to The Wall Street Journal, the hackers released personal data, including passwords, from the Universal Music Website. It also obtained and leaked information about Viacom’s network. It’s unclear how many users were affected by the security breach, although we hope to hear an official word from both firms in the near future.


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Find Out if Your Personal Data Is Part of LulzSec’s Grand Finale [Psa]

Sunday, June 26th, 2011

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