Privacy

Stores using our phones to track our movement, behavior while we shop - clever... or creepy?

While online retailers like Amazon can collect and analyze an incredible amount of behavioral data via accounts, cookies, page-views and other web technologies, real world stores aren't so lucky. If you run in, pay cash, and run out, they're pretty much "blind". That is, until American fashion retailer, Nordstrom, decided to use our phones and their Wi-Fi signals to try and get in on the customer analytics game. Stephanie Clifford and Quentin Hardy writing for the New York Time:

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UK Border Police can take your phone, and everything inside it

What Governments are doing in relation to our phones is a hot topic at the moment, but a new report out of the UK claims that the Border Police can seize your phone and download all the data within it. The procedure can be applied under a domestic anti-terror law, with a blanket power so broad that reasonable suspicion doesn't even need to be established before hand. The report comes by way of UK newspaper The Telegraph:

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Apple releases public statement on customer privacy, over 4,000 requests in a six month period

Apple has gone public with a statement on how they handle requests for customer data from Government agencies. Reiterating their stance first and foremost that a court order is required for any data to be handed over, the release goes on to say that Apple received between 4,000 and 5,000 requests for customer data over a six month period to May 31 2013.

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How to easily encrypt external drives in OS X Mountain Lion

OS X has long let you encrypt external drives, and even your Mac HD. Mountain Lion has actually made it even easier to encrypt external disks with just a few clicks. It's sometimes a good idea to do so on items such as backup disks. This way, if they ever fall into the wrong hands, no one should be able to access your data without the password you have set to decrypt it.

If you aren't sure how to encrypt your data, follow along and we'll show you how.

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How to disable website tracking in Safari for Mac

There are lots of reasons browsers use website tracking. There are also lots of reasons you would want to turn it off.

If you use Safari for Mac, you can do just that with just a few simple clicks.

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How Apple can stop Google from taking over the iPhone. Again.

Earlier today Google posted some iOS code aimed at helping developers use a combination of URL schemes and x-callback to basically set Chrome as the default browser from within their own apps, if it detects the user has Chrome installed. Call it a hijack, call it a take over, call it a 5th column, call it whatever you want, but it's a smart, strategic move on Google's part, and it's something Apple will have to address. Here's why...

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Apple keeps anonymized Siri data for up to two years for testing and improvement purposes

After privacy concerns were raised regarding data it gets from Siri, Apple has revealed that it keeps that data for up to two years. Apple generates a random string of numbers to associate with your voice data, rather than using your Apple ID, and any Siri data they collect from you goes under that number. Data, however, is decoupled from that number. According to Wired an Apple spokesperson explained:

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What the DEA really said about iMessages, and what it means to you

It was recently reported that iMessage had caused a snag in the Drug Enforcement Administration’s ability to intercept text messages. Citing iMessage’s end-to-end encryption as the cause, the DEA stated that "iMessages between two Apple devices are considered encrypted communication and cannot be intercepted, regardless of the cell phone service provider." On the surface, this seems reassuring to iMessage users that their conversations can’t be intercepted. But is it possible that we’re giving a little too much credit to the DEA when they say iMessages are “impossible to intercept”?

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Privacy and security in the age of iPhone mics and cameras

iOS has experienced its fair share of privacy fiascos over the last few years. From user locations being tracked , to Address Book data being exposed, to full on malware in the App Store, privacy and security concerns over iOS are very much a reality. Two components often overlooked are your iPhone’s camera and microphone.

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Instagram realizes it needs to start making money, decides to do it with your photos and identity

Instagram, the popular online photo filtering, blurring, and sharing community, has changed its terms of service to allow them to share your data with their new owner, Facebook, its affiliates and advertisers, and use your photographs and identity in advertising without your consent, and without any revenue sharing.

Depending on who's take you read, this is either a profound bait-and-switch and betrayal or an obvious reality of online business that anyone with a brain should have seen coming. And, as usual, it's both. It's the proverbial scorpion given a ride across the river, that stings you and leaves you both to drown, because that is its nature and you knew what it was when you picked it up.

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