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Location permissions in iOS 8: Explained

Every day our iPhones and iPads become a little more integrated in our lives. Every day they learn a little more about us and become more capable than they were before. And every day many of us make a choice to hand over more information about ourselves in exchange for features and convenience. One such piece of information is our location. There's a seemingly endless list of apps that may want to track your location for a variety reasons. From mapping your bike rides to recommending nearby restaurants, many of us grant apps permission to access our location every day. As more apps request and make use of this type of sensitive information, it becomes increasingly important for users to have more granular control over which apps access what information and when. With iOS 8, we will see some noteworthy changes to location permissions intended to provide more transparency, and give users more control.

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Apple awarded top marks for protecting user data from prying governments

Apple has been involved with other tech companies in fighting for customers' privacy rights in the courts and congress in the US. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which publishes a Who Has Your Back report each year, has awarded Apple (among a handful of other companies) with top marks when it comes to protecting user data against government officials.

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iOS 8 wants: Privacy Sheets to make permissions manageable

Back in February 2012 I wrote about, in part, the need for more granular privacy controls for the iPhone and iPad. Later that year we got them in the form of iOS 6 Privacy Settings. Apps had to ask you for permission to use each and every one of them, but they'd ask one after the other. "[App] would like to use your current location", tap, "[App] would like to access your Twitter account", tap, "[App] would like to send you push notifications", tap, "[App] would like to—" You know the modal pain to which I'm referring. That's why I also wrote about the need for a saner, simpler management system — a Privacy Sheet. And that's why, on the eve of iOS 8, I'm writing about it again.

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Apple, Google, Microsoft increasingly defying U.S. government, informing customers of data demands

If the government demands your personal, private email or other data, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Apple, and others are reportedly taking steps to notify you faster and more frequently than they did in the past. That's putting them at odds with prosecutors who believe such notifications can interfere with ongoing investigations and evidence gathering.

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QuizUp accused of lax security that lets other players see your private data

Popular trivia game QuizUp appears to have numerous security and privacy issues. The app seems to be sending your information to the devices of other users, including your name, email address, and Facebook ID.

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Darkmail Alliance wants to create newer, more private email standard to prevent snooping

Email providers Silent Circle and Lavabit are proposing a new email standard that would make it harder for governments to snoop. Strictly speaking, Darkmail, as the proposed standard is called, would keep individuals and governments from spying on email metadata. Traditional email can never be fully secured, as the standard requires some metadata to be unencrypted. The Darkmail Alliance, which right now consists only of Lavabit and Silent Circle, aims to get Darkmail off the ground, according to the Guardian:

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NSA reportedly infiltrated Yahoo!, Google data center links, collected hundreds of millions of user accounts

The U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) has reportedly been infiltrating the main communications links to data centers operated by Google and Yahoo!, and collected hundreds of millions of user accounts, including those of American citizens. Barton Gellman and Ashkan Soltani writing for the Washington Post:

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U.S. President Obama to 'rebalance' NSA surveillance program, but is that enough?

President Barack Obama announced changes to the large-scale electronic surveillance program that has been undertaken by the NSA in an effort to make the program more transparent. Calling it a "rebalancing" of the program, the President announced that the government will be taking steps to make sure that the program isn't being abused and is applied narrowly.

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Apple's Tim Cook, other tech leaders meet with U.S. President Obama, discuss NSA spying concerns

U.S. President Barack Obama met with Apple's CEO, Tim Cook, as well as AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson, Google computer scientist Vint Cerf (no Larry Page or Eric Schmidt?), as well as other leading technologists, civil libertarians, and concerned parties regarding the recent controversy surrounding NSA spying on citizens via the services they use. The meeting was held behind closed doors, but Tony Romm and Michelle Quinn share the following on Politico:

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Private email service Lavabit chooses to quit rather than submit

Lavabit, a private email service currently best known for being NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden's communication medium of choice, has suddenly and unexpectedly announced it's shutting down, hinting it would rather do that than comply with something it claims it's not even allowed to talk about. Ladar Levison, owner and operator, on the Lavabit home page:

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