privacy and security
Avast CEO Says Company Will Shutter Data-Sucking Subsidiary, Apologises for the Data-Sucking

The “global leader” in cybersecurity – Avast – announced today it would be shutting down its analytics arm Jumpshot that was recently found harvesting the data of the hundreds of millions installing Avast’s free browser extension. Apparently, the optics of a company that prides itself on privacy-forward approaches and honouring user’s personal security exploiting users’ data for profit was just a bridge too far. Read More >>

artificial intelligence
Alphabet CEO Sides With EU on Facial-Recognition Tech Moratorium, But Microsoft Isn’t Convinced

Alphabet and Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently came out in support of a European Union proposal for instating a temporary ban on facial-recognition technology until officials beef up privacy regulations. Read More >>

privacy and security
Dating Apps Caught Sharing Your Details With ‘Dozens’ of Third Parties: Report

If you’re one of those people who’s a bit unnerved by your phone’s apps tracking your every move, I have some bad news – it turns out dating apps are just as guilty as the rest of them. But unlike other apps, they also know what makes you horny. Read More >>

HBO Invited Us to a Westworld Dinner Party, Where We Were the Ones Roasted

“Ms. Cranz, would you prefer a tequila or vodka shot? Don’t worry. We know the difference.” With one question a Westworld “robot” had roasted me to a cinder and brought into relief everything cool and terrifying about HBO’s Westworld “activation” at CES. Read More >>

Amazon Employees Leak Customer Data to Third-Party Agent (Again)

Online retail giant Amazon fired several employees this week after they leaked private customer data to an undisclosed third-party. If reading that gives you some serious déjà vu, it’s probably because the same damn thing happened less than six months ago. Read More >>

Google Suspends Xiaomi’s Nest Integration After User Appears to Pick Up Strangers’ Camera Feeds

Google has cut off access to its Nest Hub and Assistant for Xiaomi devices after a user was reportedly able to view still images from other camera owners upon linking his Xiaomi camera to his Google account. Android Police first reported on the incident after a Reddit user posted about the disturbing encounter. Read More >>

Uninstall ToTok, the Government Surveillance Tool Posing as a Chat App: Report

While, yes, your messaging apps are indeed spying on you, to argue that they were developed specifically for that purpose might seem like a stretch. But life is stranger than fiction in the year of our lord 2019, and now you can thank ToTok for making your worst dystopian surveillance state nightmares come true. Read More >>

Twitter Warns Millions of Android App Users to Update Immediately

If endlessly scrolling through Twitter on your phone is part of your daily ritual, you’re going to want to update the app as soon as you can if you’re an Android user. This week, Twitter confirmed a vulnerability in its Android app that could let hackers see your “nonpublic account information” and commandeer your account to send tweets and direct messages. Read More >>

privacy and security
Stranger Breaks Into Ring Camera, Terrorises 8-Year-Old In Latest Creepy Ring Hack

A hacker broke into one Mississippi family’s Ring security camera and used its speaker function to scare their 8-year-old daughter, local CNN affiliate WMC reported this week. This incident marks the latest in a recent series of reported Ring hacks wherein strangers terrorise users through their devices, and demonstrates reason number 1,467 why you might want to forego a Ring camera. Read More >>

privacy and security
Ring User Blocks £300K Bitcoin Extortion Attempt by Taking Out the Batteries

Tania Amador of Grand Prairie, Texas, awoke on Monday to an alarm and a sinister voice speaking to her through her Ring device. Read More >>

privacy and security
Simplisafe Black Friday Sale Cuts Prices by 30%

We're mired down in Black Friday sales over here, and SimpliSafe throws another one on the pile with 30 per cent off and a free SimpliCam. Read More >>

Google’s Smart Home Doorbell Sounds Terrifying (Or At Least, It Will Soon)

It seems like Google’s getting into the Halloween spirit. A recent update for its Google Nest app – where users can control the company’s recently rebranded line of smart home products – hints at upcoming festive themes, the first of which appears to be some frightening new ringtones for the Nest Hello Doorbell. Read More >>

Facebook’s Top Priority is Definitely Its Government-Ordered Privacy Programme

Facebook’s primary focus at the moment is implementing an FTC-mandated privacy programme, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a Fox News interview Friday. If you’re rolling your eyes right now, you’re right to have a healthy bit of scepticism: the feds have been pestering Facebook to get serious about this initiative for the better part of a decade at this point, well before the infamous Cambridge Analytica scandal. Read More >>