how to
How to Browse the Web and Leave No Trace

On today’s web it’s hard to set a (digital) foot online without it attracting dozens of trackers and log entries, as companies look to learn everything about you and sell that data on to advertisers. To hide you’ve got a few tools at your disposal, many of which we’ve talked about in the past, and all of which add up to a largely anonymous browsing experience. What we can’t do is promise 100 per cent that you won’t be tracked—we’re not privy to the inner workings of the FBI or your employer’s IT system—but this is as much as you can do. Read More >>

privacy
The EU Wants to Enforce Encryption, and Ban Backdoor Access

In news that is likely to make most of us cheer, and Amber Rudd say something very stupid, The European Parliament's Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice, and Home Affairs has published some draft proposals that aim to enforce end-to-end encryption of communications data, and ban backdoor access would let law enforcement (and nefarious hackers) to snoop around your conversations. Read More >>

toys
Sphero’s Adorable Spider-Man Toy Has AI Smarts (That Aren’t Creepy)

Once known for its quirky remote-controlled robot balls, Sphero parlayed that technology into a massive consumer hit with its Star Wars: The Force Awakens BB-8 toy. As a result, the company has been able to expand beyond the sphere, first with a robotic version of Cars’ Lightning McQueen, and now with an interactive Spider-Man figure that chats with kids. Read More >>

privacy
An Unknown Tech Company Tried (and Failed) to Stop the NSA’s Warrantless Spying

In 2014, a tech company stood up to a National Security Agency demand for user data and challenged the legality of a controversial surveillance law that’s currently being debated in the US Congress. Read More >>

politics
Theresa May Re-Commits To Screwing The Internet In First Post-Election Address

Good news! The disaster that is Brexit could be mitigated by the election results. Read More >>

research
Digital Footprints Paint an Eerily Accurate Picture of Europe’s Refugees

Using search data collected by Google, researchers at the Pew Research Center have reconstructed the journeys taken by refugees flowing into Europe from the Middle East. It represents a new way of tracking migration patterns—but the technique could eventually lead to misuse. Read More >>

facebook
You Almost Definitely Don’t Know All the Ways Facebook Tracks You

We’re all aware of the deal we make when we sign up with Facebook: we get somewhere to post holiday photos and stalk friends, and Mark Zuckerberg gets to sell your passion for fishing trips to fishing equipment retailers. What you might not realise is how deep or extensive the tracking goes—so let’s shed some light on it. Read More >>

politics
The EU Wants to Make it Easier for Police to Access Electronic Data Stored in Other EU Countries

In news that would likely make Theresa May second guess her commitment to Brexit, the EU has announced that it was to speed up the processes that let police retrieve electronic evidence stored in other EU countries by US-based tech companies. Read More >>

apple
Apple Rolls Out New Feature That Permanently Associates Devices with Apps, Even After Deletion

Tim Cook once scolded Travis Kalanick about Uber’s practice of tracking users even after they deleted the app from their iPhones. But in its newest operating system, iOS 11, Apple is rolling out a feature that will allow the same type of tracking—but with fewer privacy implications. Read More >>

apple
Apple’s Upgrades to Location and Photo Privacy Features Are Pretty Great

Apple is making changes to the way apps get information about users’ location and photos, giving users more control over what data they share and when they share it. Read More >>

apple
Here’s How Safari Will Keep Ads From Stalking You Around the Internet

Safari is getting an update that will prevent those annoying ads that follow you from one website to the next as you browse the internet, encouraging you to hurry up and buy that one item you looked at on Amazon two weeks ago. Read More >>

uber
Uber Doesn’t Want You to See This Document About Its Vast Data Surveillance System

The ever-expanding operations of Uber are defined by two interlocking and zealously guarded sets of information: the things the world-dominating ride-hailing company knows about you, and the things it doesn’t want you to know about it. Both kinds of secrets have been in play in the Superior Court of California in San Francisco, as Ward Spangenberg, a former forensic investigator for Uber, has pursued a wrongful-termination lawsuit against the company. Read More >>

facebook
The EU is Fining Facebook €110 Million for Misleading it During the WhatsApp Takeover

The European Commission has ruled that Facebook intentionally misled officials during its takeover of WhatsApp in 2014. Specifically it was misleading about its ability to utilise data, and is receiving a fine of €110 million (£93.8 million). Read More >>

privacy
A New Inquiry Wants to Work Out How UK Voters are Targeted on Social Media

Elizabeth Denham, The Information Commissioner, has launched a new investigation into how the UK's political parties are targeting voters through social media. The inquiry comes with a warning that sending political messages to people based on their individual data could be against the law. Read More >>