Privacy

Rumor: Facebook to switch from opt-out to opt-in, better protect personal data

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Facebook might just be close to a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that would fundamentally change the way they treat their users, and their users' personal information.

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DropBox updates ToS: What you need to know

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iPhone records your location information, stores it on your PC

Security researchers, including Pete Warden have discovered that iPhone records location data, stores it in a file, and syncs it with iTunes. That means the data -- and the record of your location over time -- persists even when you upgrade or change iPhones. There's no evidence Apple transmits or receives a copy of this data or stores or uses it in any way beyond locally on your device and PC.

That Apple is doing this without disclosure is disconcerting, and as the researchers point out, it raises some security and privacy concerns:

"Apple has made it possible for almost anybody – a jealous spouse, a private detective – with access to your phone or computer to get detailed information about where you've been."

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Updated: Twitter suspends UberMedia clients for privacy, monetization, and trademark violations

Twitter recently suspended all Twitter clients supported by Ubermedia. Among the clients suspended are Twidroid and UberTwitter, which are both insanely popular on Android OS and Blackberry OS. They also operate and support the popular TweetDeck client which is available on iOS and several other platforms. They've also acquired Echofon, another popular Twitter client for iOS.

According to Twitter, they've been working with UberMedia since April of 2010 when they were operating under the name TweetUp, which also apparently violated some copyright issues. Currently Twitter is claiming that Ubermedia has changed the content of tweets in order to generate revenue for themselves. They've also pulled the clients due to privacy issues concerning direct messages over 140 characters.

When asked about the suspension, Twitter spokeswoman Carolyn Penner had this to say:

We ask all developers in Twitter ecosystem to abide by a simple set of rules that are in the interests of our users, as well as the health and vitality of the platform as a whole.

We often take actions to enforce these rules; in fact, on an average day we turn off more than one hundred services that violate our API rules of the road. This keeps the ecosystem fair for everyone.

Some of the allegations being held against UberMedia are pretty serious. For the full letter Ubermedia received, hit the break!

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Daily Tip: How to opt-out of (and back in to) personalized iAds

Worried that Apple's iAd's is getting too nosy about your personal information and wondering how to opt-out of sharing it with the advertising network? On the plus side personalized ads usually better reflect your interest and can be less annoying but if you're hyper-concerned about your privacy you may just want to cut it off. We'll show you how after the break.

[Apple knowledge base, thanks Dev!)

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iPhone Bugs: Facebook status updates not entering live feed, iPhone privacy settings missing

Some Facebook for iPhone users are experiencing two rather annoying bugs -- Facebook does not send their status updates to their friends' live feeds, and Facebook for iPhone seems to be missing from all users' privacy settings. Details after the break!

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Are you concerned your iPhone apps may be spying on you?

Does it bother you that some apps running on your iPhone (or Android phone), that know all your contact information and perhaps even your current location, could be spying on you? The Wall Street Journal says:

An examination of 101 popular smartphone "apps"—games and other software applications for iPhone and Android phones—showed that 56 transmitted the phone's unique device ID to other companies without users' awareness or consent. Forty-seven apps transmitted the phone's location in some way. Five sent age, gender and other personal details to outsiders.

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How to stop Google Latitude from tracking you

Google Latitude just landed on iPhone and as with any location-based app, it's always good to know how to turn it off and maintain your privacy when you so choose. This one can be a little trickier than most since it looks like even quitting the app and rebooting doesn't turn off Latitude tracking.

We don't know if this is some bad coding on Google's part, whether Apple's background location API is supposed to be allowed to do this or not, or if this is just the way Latitude is designed to work (scrary if so!) but it just seems to stay on. In order to turn Latitude's tracking off this is what you need to do:

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Facebook for iPhone adds account and privacy settings, fixed photo upload bug

Facebook has once again updated their iPhone and iPod touch app, this time adding access to account and privacy settings and fixing a photo upload bug. The new version (3.3.2 for those keeping track at home) lets you access the settings via the Account button at the top left of the home screen, but then simply loads the Facebook.com web page. It's nowhere as good a user experience as if they added those settings to the app proper, but it does mean Facebook won't have to update the app whenever they update those pages (it also means you can use it as a way to move between the app interface and the website without having to jump to Safari).

The photo upload bug fix is nice to see. The "no iPad version" bug persists, however.

If you've tried out the settings, and if photo uploads are finally working for you the way they should, let us know!

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Do you still trust Google with your personal data?

Do you still trust Google with your personal data?online surveys

While a lot of controversy has surrounded Facebook and privacy, Google has lately made many wonder if they could still be trusted with our private, personal info as well.

Personally, I'm all in with Google and I don't see that changing unless/until something truly cataclysmic happens. Dieter told me to sell my soul and enjoy all the free, fantastic services and sell it I did. I've significantly curtailed what I share over Facebook in light of their privacy stumbles, yet I've continued to go full steam ahead with Google.

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