This summer, Governor Ricardo Rossello was forced to resign after a massive information leak from a messaging application he had been using exposed various levels of corruption and other embarrassing details. Earlier this year, Jeff Bezos certainly experienced a similar (though not as damning) information leak when his WhatsApp messages with now-girlfriend, then-mistress Lauren Sanchez revealed he was having an affair. Let’s not even talk about Anthony Weiner… And yet, we continue to see information leaks stemming from messaging applications over and over again.
Just this January, Apple featured a billboard at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. “What happens on your iPhone stays on your iPhone,” the billboard stated. The recent news that Apple had contractors listening to Siri conversations for quality control—and that these contractors sometimes had access to deeply personal conversations—debunks this claim. While this news is unsettling, it brings up something important that we all need to know—and talk about: when we use voice assistants like Siri, whatever we say no longer belongs to us. The voice-to-text travels off the device, into the cloud and outside of our control.
Using online communication tools at the office has become second nature—it just makes life easier and business more efficient. Need to drop a quick note to a co-worker with a project update? Send it on Slack. Need to discuss a deal with a potential client halfway across the country? Set up a meeting on Zoom. But as we look a little closer we become quickly aware of the potential risks of sharing business information online . We’re now at a turning point where consumers and businesses alike are realizing that they don’t want to sacrifice the security of their sensitive information for the sake of convenience. But the question is: Do they have to?
Last month, GDPR, or the General Data Protection Regulation in the European Union, celebrated its first anniversary. So how are we doing one year later? There are many outcomes that can be attributed to the regulation, some that have improved privacy and some that haven’t had much of an effect. Let’s take a look at some of the developments and highlights of the past year and their impact on privacy:
Companies have been harvesting our data without our knowledge for years now. Whether its because they didn’t inform us, we didn’t read the terms and conditionsor because the language in the terms and conditions was so complicated and misleading that we didn’t understand what was about to happen – many of us now feel duped.
When it comes to privacy, it’s typically the consumer who’s held responsible for maintaining their own privacy, not the company (take Facebook, for example). But the introduction of facial recognition into our lives could change that dynamic. Consumers’ haven’t been blindly accepting it into their lives but questioning it—and questioning it hard. The result? Companies are being pushed to take responsibility for consumers’ privacy. Which is a good thing for consumers andcompanies—it creates an opportunity for companies to foster trust with consumers and strengthen their relationships with the public at large.
As a social network, Facebook is inherently at odds with private, secure communications – its business model is built on harvesting people’s information. And it’s not just that Facebook’s business model is built around what are effectively privacy violations: recent articles have revealed that Facebook lacks transparency and accountability towards its users. In short, this is a company that should not be producing private, secure communications.
These days, it feels like everybody’s talking about encryption and privacy. Whether you work in healthcare, energy and utilities, financial services or some other enterprise—you’ve probably come across debates around privacy, encryption and how to securely communicate to maintain privacy. But with all the news reports and use of buzzwords being thrown around it’s easy to forget the basics. So what do terms like encryption, privacy and man-in-the middle attacks really mean?
The high-profile Golden State Killer case is causing experts to debate the privacy implications of using genealogical data from open-source sites, like GEDmatch.com, in criminal investigations. There are no laws prohibiting detectives from using the data, but law enforcement experts are concerned about potential abuses of this investigative method. Others have argued the tactic represents an invasion of privacy – but does it?
Facebook has been in the news lately, causing its stock value to fluctuate since the 3/16 announcement that it was suspending Cambridge Analytica due to unauthorized access and use of Facebook’s user data. The news and hearing are all about privacy. What privacy rights do we really have when we put our data out there?
What started out as a novelty quickly spun into something ominous. In November of 2017, the San Francisco-based start-up fitness app Strava released a heatmap depicting the activities of Strava users across the world. What does the Starva leak mean for privacy and what can end-users do to secure their information?
Face ID is a facial scanner that will replace Apple’s Touch ID, allowing people to unlock their iPhone with their face. Sounds simple and convenient but it also has many privacy experts concerned. In fact, Apple’s embrace of facial recognition opens a whole can of worms over security, the idea of people’s faces as their password and where this technology may take us.