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 »

Siri is your new customer service rep

Posted by & filed under Career, Privacy, Security.

The folks behind some of the technology in Siri, the iPhone’s virtual personal assistant, are bringing their voice recognotion technology to customer service applications, including bank, cable and credit card smartphone apps. Nuance Communications (NUAN) last week announced the creation of “Nina,” a natural human language input software that is designed to understand customers’ questions about their… Read more »

Who has your data? Researchers scrutinize apps for undisclosed ties to advertisers, analytics companies

Posted by & filed under App Economy, Privacy.

A study looked at hundreds of apps’ privacy policies — then compared them to the data actually collected.  Of the 757 apps analyzed, the researchers found nearly 60 per cent of apps collected more information than stated in their privacy policies. Source: CBC News Date: September 7th, 2018 Link: https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/app-privacy-policy-apptrans-uoft-third-parties-ads-code-1.4791834 Discussion 1) Why does it matter that apps collect… Read more »

GDPR: Are you ready for the EU’s huge data privacy shake-up?

Posted by & filed under Privacy.

Next month a new law in Europe will make the consequences of failing to protect personal data for banks and others far more serious.  The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on 25 May, will be the biggest shake-up to data privacy in 20 years.  A slew of recent high-profile breaches has brought the… Read more »

More than 600 apps had access to my iPhone data

Posted by & filed under Facebook, Privacy.

While Facebook desperately tightens controls over how third parties access its users’ data – trying to mend its damaged reputation – attention is focusing on the wider issue of data harvesting and the threat it poses to our personal privacy.  Data harvesting is a multibillion dollar industry and the sobering truth is that you may… Read more »