All items tagged with "privacy"

How to nuke pesky location data from your iPhone photos

"You were in Vegas without me!?" Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

“You were in Vegas without me!?” Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

These days, any photo you shoot with your iPhone or other smartphone will typically contain location data (unless you have that feature turned off) to allow apps like iPhoto to place your images on a map.

Even photo-sharing services use this data, with some — like Flickr — posting it prominently on your photo pages (along with all the other EXIF data, like shutter speed and f-stop).

If you don’t want the location of your photos to be known, the Yosemite version of OS X’s Preview can take care of it for you. Let’s strip that location data before we post that photo to the Web, OK?

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Your biggest online security mistakes (and how to avoid them)

Don't let online hackers get into your home...directory. Photo: Scott Schiller/Flickr CC

Don’t let online hackers get into your home … directory. Photo: Scott Schiller/Flickr CC Flickr

We all make compromises daily when it comes to online security. Everybody wants to be safe and secure when making purchases online, but practically none of us do everything necessary to keep our data secure.

“People, myself included, are basically lazy,” web developer Joe Tortuga told Cult of Mac, “and ease of use is inversely related to security. If it’s too difficult, then people just won’t do it.”

With all the recent hacks into private as well as corporate data — like the credit card grab from Home Depot and the hack into Sony’s files, there’s no better time to learn some of the things we all can do to protect ourselves. We spoke to some online security experts to get their advice.

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Keep OS X Yosemite from sending Spotlight data to Apple

Spotlight is sending your searches back to Apple Photo: Apple

Spotlight is sending your search information back to Apple. Photo: Apple

OS X Yosemite has changed the way your Mac deals with your privacy. On the one hand, Apple has decided to enable hard drive encryption by default, despite the FBI requests not to.

On the other hand, every time you type in Spotlight, your location and local search terms are sent to Apple, and, according to developer Landon Fuller, other third parties like Microsoft.

Fuller’s created a website, Fix Mac OS X Yosemite, where he’s posted up a way to stop Yosemite from sending such private data out. He’s also been contributing to a developer project on GitHub to find out and fix other ways that OS X phones home.

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iOS 8 privacy upgrade means Apple can’t unlock your phone for cops

iOS 8 is Apple's most privacy-conscious mobile OS yet.

iOS 8 is Apple’s most privacy-conscious mobile OS yet.

Updated security measures in iOS 8 make it impossible for Apple to give your data to the cops — even if the company wanted to.

Previously Apple could access a significant amount of data on any iOS device, which it would do if law enforcement approached the company with a seized device and a valid search warrant. Apple’s stronger encryption and updated privacy policy now mean it can no longer pull data from devices that have the latest version of the mobile OS installed.

“On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode,” Apple notes on its website. “Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.”

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Tim Cook says Apple tries to not collect data: ‘You’re not our product’

timcookcharlierose

The second part of Tim Cook’s interview with Charlie Rose is scheduled to air tonight on PBS, and as a teaser the show has released a short video of the CEO explaining that Apple’s stance on user privacy and company transparency is basically to never become like Google.

“You are not our product,” says Cook. “I think everyone has to ask, ‘How do companies make their money?’ Follow the money. And if they’re making money mainly by collecting gobs of personal data, I think you have a right to be worried and you should really understand what’s happening with that data.”

Watch the three-minute clip below:

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Simple hack shows Secret posts aren’t as anonymous as they seem

secret_app_screenshot

The idea behind Secret is that you can share anything to your social circle with the comfort of total anonymity. Users’ identities are kept hidden, and that’s what’s supposed to make the app enjoyable or whatever.

As it turns out, it’s not that hard to see who someone actually is on Secret. The catch is that you need their email address.

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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

governmentdatarequests

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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