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News and articles relating to consumer privacy by Adam K Levin.


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Supreme Court’s ‘Carpenter’ is a chance to improve modern privacy norms

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The Supreme Court is hearing a case this month, Carpenter v. the United States, that represents an opportunity for the country to move in the right direction on privacy. It’s only fitting that a conviction for a series of armed robberies involving the theft of smartphones may determine the way investigators and prosecutors can use cellphone data in the future. Timothy Ivory Carpenter was convicted of planning, supplying guns and acting as a lookout in […]

  • Caspar Mattress Company “Wiretaps” Potential CustomersPrivacy

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    A federal lawsuit alleges that the major mattress disruption company Caspar may have “wiretapped” potential customers—and all visitors to the company’s site—in cahoots with a software company named NaviStone. Originally a New York-based, cut-out-the-middleman company, Caspar is now distributed by Target, and its products are available nationally. The case at hand is focused solely on online orders.  The 21-page suit is aimed at class-action status, but currently relates one customer’s claim that a completed but […]

  • Tips for Buying Safe Connected Devices This Cyber MondayCybersecurity, Privacy

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    Keeping up with news alerts about cybersecurity flaws in consumer electronics is a lot like picking up spilled jelly beans one at a time with a plumber’s wrench. Even if you figure out how to do it and have endless patience, a few will skitter out of sight. Assume for the moment that, unlike most people, you think a lot about cybersecurity and you do your homework before buying a connected device. (I know. This […]

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    Buyer Beware: Your Smart Sex Toy Is ListeningPrivacy, Technology

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    As if the recent news of every Tom, Dick and Harry out in Hollywood creeping on women in every way imaginable weren’t enough, now comes news that a smart sex toy manufacturer may have been caught creeping on consumers—specifically with a predilection to eavesdrop on lovers in mechanical delicto. The story comes via Reddit: A Lovense remote control vibrator app recorded sessions without the permission of at least one user. It was bound to happen […]

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    Facebook Says “Send Nudes.” Don’t.Privacy, Technology

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    If a shady looking character told you to give him pictures of yourself naked, would you? How about a video? What if he told you that it was for your own good? Even if you have less sense than one of the rocks in Kim Jong-un’s head, you wouldn’t do it. Now what if Facebook asked you for nudes? According to The Verge, the social media giant is doing just that, piloting a program in […]

  • 5 Ways to Keep Your Personal Health Information SafeData Security, Privacy, Identity Theft

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    Did members of the royal family go under the knife at an upscale London plastic surgery clinic? A recent hack at London Bridge Plastic Surgery may reveal the answer to that—and many other questions you never thought to ask. Setting aside the obvious follow-up questions (Do you care? Is it any of your business?) and regardless of your curiosity about seeing the picture proof of royal rearrangements, you should be paying attention. The hack speaks to our […]

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    Apple’s iPhone X could be the ultimate privacy killerPrivacy

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    The odds you don’t know already know about Apple’s latest attempt at market domination — the iPhone X — are about even with the possibility that President Trump will stop using hand gestures when explaining something. That said, it is quite possible that you have not yet heard why the iPhone X should worry you. “In its continuing war on inconvenience,” Andy Greenberg of Wired wrote, Apple is poised to “give an unproven biometric security technology its […]

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    How to stop the tracking of every digital move you makePrivacy

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    Device lets you block your browsing habits, keep online life private Consumers’ digital trails—from their browsing and social media habits to search-engine inquiries—are a boon to financial institutions, which can use this treasure trove of data to analyze borrowing risk and other factors. More than 3,000 services worldwide track and gather this data, aggregating and selling it for banks’ use, unbeknown to consumers. “The trackers are gathering our browsing habits down to our mouse movement and […]

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    The Hidden Cost of Verizon’s ‘Free’ Rewards ProgramPrivacy

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    With the announcement of Verizon Up, a new wireless rewards program that provides users with customer incentives, first-dibs opportunities on things like VIP tickets and other exclusive deals, we thought it was time to review how reward marketing plans work. First, the good news: Verizon Up is free! Like their intrusive cousin the loyalty program, reward-based marketing schemes usually require no additional fees. In essence, Verizon Up is a camouflaged version of what author Seth […]

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    The Apps Your Partner Could Be Using to Spy on YouData Security, Privacy

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    “These apps are brutal,” Ondrej Krehel told me during a conversation about spyware, or “spouseware” as the software is sometimes called. “It doesn’t matter what ‘intended use’ these app developers claim in their sales pitches. They are increasingly being used by teens to spy on their love interests,” Krehel said. “It’s quite prevalent.” Krehel is CEO and founder of LIFARS, a digital forensics and cybersecurity intelligence firm. He sees spyware as a concern for consumers. […]

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