Apple is tracking iPhones stolen from its stores

Posted by & filed under Apple, Privacy.

iPhones stolen in lootings of Apple stores in the US are tracked, disabled and the local authorities notified, according to messages displayed on their screens. Apple has temporarily closed some of its US stores following a series of attacks, amid protests over the death of George Floyd. Several images of the warnings have been shared… Read more »

Coronavirus contact-tracing: World split between two types of app

Posted by & filed under App Economy, COVID-19, Privacy.

Countries around the world are developing Covid-19 smartphone apps to limit the spread of coronavirus and relax lockdown restrictions. It’s hoped the information they gather can be used to alert people whether they pose a risk of spreading the contagion, and need to isolate. But, over recent weeks, a split has emerged between two different… Read more »

Health Weather mapping

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Healthcare, Privacy.

https://healthweather.us/ is a thermometer-based smartphone app that updates in real time. There is a thermometer that plugs into your phone. Kinsa, the company behind the app and service gathers all those thermometer readings to produce a heat map of where people are sick. It’s actually for influenza, but, of course, tracking temperature is part of COVID-19… Read more »

Coronavirus: How China’s using surveillance to tackle outbreak

Posted by & filed under Electronic Surveillance, Ethical issues, Privacy.

The coronavirus pandemic may have emerged in China, but the country now has fewer cases than the US, Italy and Spain. The Chinese government has used tools such as phone tracking to control the outbreak. Other countries are starting to look at similar technological solutions. But how does China’s controversial surveillance system work and can… Read more »

Why Amazon knows so much about you

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Privacy.

I’ve been a customer since 1999, and rely on it for everything from grass seed to birthday gifts. There are Echo speakers dotted throughout my home, Ring cameras inside and out, a Fire TV set-top box in the living room and an ageing Kindle e-reader by my bedside. I submitted a data subject access request,… Read more »

Brexit ad blitz data firm paid by Vote Leave broke privacy laws, watchdogs find

Posted by & filed under IT and Politics, Politics, Privacy.

A joint investigation by watchdogs in Canada and British Columbia has found that Cambridge Analytica-linked data firm, Aggregate IQ, broke privacy laws in Facebook ad-targeting work it undertook for the official Vote Leave Brexit campaign in the UK’s 2016 EU referendum. A quick reminder: Vote Leave was the official leave campaign in the referendum on the UK’s membership… Read more »

Amazon reportedly employs thousands of people to listen to your Alexa conversations

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Civil Liberties, Privacy.

Not only is Alexa listening when you speak to an Echo smart speaker, an Amazon employee is potentially listening, too.Amazon (AMZN) employs a global team that transcribes the voice commands captured after the wake word is detected and feeds them back into the software to help improve Alexa’s grasp of human speech so it can respond more efficiently in the… Read more »

How Alexa knows the difference between a breaking window and a wine glass

Posted by & filed under Amazon, Privacy.

For Amazon, getting Alexa’s new security-guard feature to work meant literally breaking a lot of windows. In December, the company started inviting Amazon Echo users to try out Alexa Guard, a new setting that turns the smart speakers into home security devices. It listens for suspicious sounds when you’re away and sends a smartphone alert if it detects, say,… Read more »

Tim Cook blasts ‘weaponisation’ of personal data and praises GDPR

Posted by & filed under Apple, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation), Privacy.

Apple chief executive Tim Cook has demanded a tough new US data protection law, in an unusual speech in Europe. Referring to the misuse of “deeply personal” data, he said it was being “weaponised against us with military efficiency”. “We shouldn’t sugar-coat the consequences,” he added. “This is surveillance.” The strongly-worded speech presented a striking… Read more »