All items tagged with "privacy"

Apple responds to Chinese media backlash over iPhone location tracking

Tim Cook in the crowd at a recent event with China Mobile.

Tim Cook in the crowd at a recent event with China Mobile, the largest carrier on earth.

After the Chinese media called iOS’s ability to track an iPhone’s location a “national security concern,” Apple has responded with a lengthy statement detailing its commitment to customer privacy.

Yesterday China’s state-run CCTV ran a segment heavily criticizing the “Frequent Locations” feature in iOS 7 that records where the device has been in detail on a map. The implications of the report were that Apple was sharing the data with other companies and governments.

Today Apple responded to the allegations by saying that it is “deeply committed to protecting the privacy of all our customers” and that it has never created a backdoor for any government agency.

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Apple jumps from chump to champ in just a year, says privacy group

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There are few companies you can trust with your private data ever since the revelations leaked by Edward Snowden shook the tech world last year, but according to the latest report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, our iPhone-making friends in Cupertino have gone from being a privacy chump to the people’s champ in just a year.

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Tweak your Facebook lists to filter your freaky friends

Tweak your Facebook lists to filter your freaky friends

We’ve all got them: the freaky friends. Those who comment on and like every. single. status update.

Those who post long, ranting political polemics to your happy cat poster images. The friends that creep you out in a subtle, yet plausibly deniable way.

Or maybe there’s the friends you want to get your freak on with who really don’t need to see you in those embarrassing photo updates that you send to your frat brothers.

However you rank your friends, Facebook has some non-intuitive list tools to help you finely tune your groups of friends. Here’s how to use them, and then how to view your profile through the lens of any specific person on your friends list, to make sure your list tweak was effective.

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Snapchat will be monitored for next 20 years following FTC investigation

snapchat

Protecting user privacy and sensitive information might drive Snapchat’s disappearing messages, but the Federal Trade Commission is keeping its eye on the company just in case!

The FTC has announced that it is settling with Snapchat after an investigation into the company’s privacy practices. The reason? The number of work arounds that allow photos and videos sent via Snapchat to be covertly captured.

“If a company markets privacy and security as key selling points in pitching its service to consumers, it is critical that it keep those promises,” FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez says. “Any company that makes misrepresentations to consumers about its privacy and security practices risks FTC action.”

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Apple will now alert you when the NSA wants your data

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The data-hungry tentacles of the NSA have managed to choke America’s top tech firms into silent submission on data requests, but after months of demanding more transparency, Apple is ready to defy authorities and let you know when the NSA wants your data.

Prosecutors warn that such a move will undermine investigations by tipping off criminals and allowing them to destroy sensitive data, but according to the Washington Post, Apple and others have already changed their policies.

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Hide your Facebook online status from your nosy boss

Illustration: Walter Appleton Clark/Library of Congress

Illustration: Walter Appleton Clark/Library of Congress

Chatting on Facebook has become rather de rigueur for many of us these days, as the social networking giant makes it easier and easier to stay in touch via its blue and white website and dedicated mobile apps.

If you’re anything like me, chances are that your buddies chat you up as often on Facebook Messenger as they do on iMessage. This multiple platform chatting solution is all fine and dandy when you’re just dealing with your friends, but what about the boss? Your mother in law? That friend who is trolling your Facebook page to see why you’re not at her party?

You need a way to hide the fact that you’re online and chatting from these folks, and we’re going to tell you how.

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Peek’s disappearing texts offer Snapchat-style privacy

peek

High-school senior Omar Martin Del Campo and his small team of developers have found a way to make text messaging even more secure. Peek lets you chat with friends via the app and your messages are erased as you read them.

The app asks you to authenticate with Twitter or Facebook to ensure your identity to your friends, and then you can chat away in the fairly clean, purple-themed interface on offer.

“Our focus,” said Del Campo in an email with Cult of Mac, “is a great user experience, beautiful design, simplicity and safe and secure messaging.”

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Use Preview To Protect Your PDFs With Encryption [OS X Tips]

password protected

Every once in a while, you might want to password protect a PDF file with encryption. While there are several nice third-party apps that will do the trick, the simplest way to do this is with the built-in image and PDF viewer, Preview.

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Catchr Catches People Using Your iPhone While You’re Not Around

catchr

Ever wondered if somebody you thought you could trust is going through your phone when it’s out of sight?

That’s the (all too pertinent) premise behind Catchr, a new app designed to give users peace of mind while they are away from their iPhone. While the app won’t protect against “leaky apps” or other forms of government eavesdropping, it can tell you whether your phone has been moved, and which applications have been started or stopped during your absence — along with plotting on a map where your iPhone has been during the time Catchr is running.

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How To Keep Web Sites From Listening To Your Microphone [OS X Tips]

Omnibar

Last week, a speech recognition developer found a potential exploit in the Chrome web browser that could possibly let malicious web sites activate your Mac’s microphone and listen in on any sounds your mic might pick up around you. Even if you’re not actively using your computer, the mic could be active and conversations, meetings, and phone calls could potentially be recorded or listened in on.

Luckily, there’s a way to keep this from happening, because–however remote the possibility–it’s always a good idea to keep your private information, including real-world conversations, private.

Of course, if you don’t use the Chrome browser at all, this won’t apply to you.

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