Google could face €15 million fine for violating Dutch privacy legislation

Google

Dutch privacy watchdog group CBP has threatened Google with up to a €15 million fine for violating Dutch privacy legislation. According to DutchNews, the issue stems from Google collecting personal information about users from Gmail, Google Maps, YouTube, and search results and combining the data into one profile for more effective targeted advertising. Read more

Twitter to start tracking the apps on your smartphone

Twitter Logo

Twitter Logo

Twitter is about to get very nosey with its mobile subscribers, and if you’re among the millions of people using the company’s app on your smartphone, you’ll definitely want to listen up. The short-form social media outlet’s new app graph feature will soon start tracking which applications you have installed on your devices. This opt-out feature is being introduced to help the firm insert better ads and recommendations into your timeline.

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WhatsApp updated with end-to-end encryption between Android devices

WhatsApp

The Wall Street Journal reports that WhatsApp has been updated with end-to-end encryption for messages sent and received between Android smartphones and tablets. The cross-platform messaging service claims it will be unable to help decrypt messages for law enforcement, a noteworthy move given increasing concerns about government surveillance and tracking over the past few years. Read more

‘Right to be forgotten’ by Google may extend beyond Europe following court ruling

google

Europe’s controversial ‘right to be forgotten‘ ruling, giving individuals the right to have sensitive information about them removed from search engines if it is deemed to be ‘out-dated or irrelevant,’ could extend beyond Europe following a recent court ruling.

Google has so far been removing links only from its European sites, for example google.fr in France and google.co.uk in the UK. However, a French court has now ruled that Google is required to remove links globally, and that local subsidiaries can be fined if the company fails to do so, reports the Guardian …  Read more

FBI director continues push against Google & Apple on smartphone encryption (Video)

James Comey FBI Director

FBI Director James Comey isn’t backing down from his position that Google and Apple are wrong to encrypt customer smartphone data preventing law enforcement agencies the possibility of access if requested. After last month sharing that the FBI was in talks with the two companies to discuss concerns with marketing devices as being inaccessible to third-parties including the government, the FBI Director spoke with CBS News in an interview where he continued to make the case against such encryption… Read more

AT&T apologizes to customers for recent data breach

att

AT&T is currently apologizing to customers for a security breach caused by one of its employees who illegally accessed personal information for a small number the carrier’s subscribers. Some of the compromised information includes social security and driver’s license numbers of the affected customers. AT&T says the incident took place this past August and further discussed the matter in a letter to the Vermont attorney general.

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Google warned to change its user data profiling policies in Germany

Google-Germany

Google is in hot water in Germany, with the Hamburg Data Protection Authority warning the company that its user profiling practices violate the Telemedia Act and Federal Data Protection Act. A continuation of the search giant’s ongoing problems in Europe, the German regulatory organization is stating that spreading a person’s information across multiple services such as Gmail, Maps and YouTube is unnecessary and a violation of the country’s privacy laws.

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Google discusses child porn detection policies after recent sex offender arrest

Google recently helped police in Houston, Texas catch a sex offender after tipping the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) that it had located explicit pictures of children in a man’s email. Although the search giant’s efforts helped catch a criminal, they’ve also made some people wonder if the company regularly monitors its subscribers’ email accounts.

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Google helped police arrest a man for child abuse after locating explicit images in his Gmail account

Gmail_Icon

Google helped law enforcement arrest a man in Houston, Texas by sending a tip to National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The search giant used information obtained from the suspect’s email account, according to a report from Business Insider. Already a registered sex offender, the man was previously convicted of sexually assaulting a child in 1994 and was recently caught after sending explicit images of a child via email.

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‘Right to be forgotten’ mess gets messier as European regulators complain about Google’s approach

Google-offices-1

The mess and uncertainty created by an European court ruling that individuals have a ‘right to be forgotten‘ by search-engines when sensitive information is deemed to be “outdated or irrelevant” just got worse. Regulators are meeting with Google today to express concerns about the way in which Google has chosen to implement the ruling, reports Business Insider.

Under particular scrutiny is Google’s decision to only remove results from its European search engines, such as google.co.uk, meaning anyone can easily access the hidden information by switching to the widely used google.com […]

Another issue likely to be raised by the EU watchdogs is Google’s decision to notify the owners of the websites that have been removed from search results …

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Google reveals ‘Right to be forgotten’ criteria and announces advisory panel

Google’s chief legal officer David Drummond has revealed in a Guardian comment piece some of the criteria the company is using to decide whether or not to act on ‘right to be forgotten‘ requests, and says that it is creating an independent advisory council to assist it in making these decisions.

[The criteria] include whether the information relates to a politician, celebrity or other public figure; if the material comes from a reputable news source, and how recent it is; whether it involves political speech; questions of professional conduct that might be relevant to consumers; the involvement of criminal convictions that are not yet “spent”; and if the information is being published by a government …

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Android’s stock data-wipe tool doesn’t fully delete your personal files, can allow easy recovery

Android-logo-007

Before selling a used smartphone, most users take the time to erase personal data contained on the devices to prevent anything from falling into the hands of strangers. Most smartphones come with an option for doing this built right into the operating system, but a newly-discovered flaw in how Android handles the process could allow anyone to recover your personal information, including text messages, social media data, and a lot more.

How much more, exactly? According to researchers at security software maker Avast who purchased 20 smartphones from eBay, they were able to recover over 40,000 photos, 750 emails and text messages, and even a completed loan application. A few hundred contact entries were also pulled from the phones, and the original owners of four of the devices were found using the recovered information. That’s not even the worst part…

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