Google enabling auto-delete of search and location history

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Setting your Google account to automatically delete old information about you will soon be possible.
Setting your Google account to automatically delete old information about you will soon be possible.
Photo: Google/Cult of Mac

Everyone who uses Google services, whether on iPhone or Android, will soon be able to have some of the data being collected about them automatically erased after a span of time.

It’s already possible to order Google to erase everything it stores about your search history, but this new feature will allow for on-going deletion.

Guilty iCloud hacker sent to slammer

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Celebgate hack
Christopher Brannan gets a prison sentence for his part in the crime.
Illustration: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

A judge sentenced a former high school teacher to 34 months in prison Friday after the man pleaded guilty to his role in the “Celebgate” hack of iCloud and other accounts.

Of those convicted for the high-profile hack, Christopher Brannan, 31, received the harshest sentence for breaching accounts. The attack led to the circulation of nude photos and videos of model Kate Upton, actress Jennifer Lawrence and others.

Apple caves to Kremlin pressure to store iCloud data in Russia

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Apple in Russia
A new Russian law means President Vladimr Putin could take a peek at the iCloud data of his citizens.
Photo: Caviar

Apple will comply with a Russian law that could force them to decrypt data on Russian customers at the government’s request.

The law took effect last year and requires the tech giant to store data on servers in Russia for up to six months. Apple acquiesced to a similar law last year in China, a smartphone market in which it has invested heavily.

Facebook employees considered quitting after iOS apps shutdown

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Facebook employees
Facebook employees went through a tense 24 hours.
Photo: Facebook

Apple’s sudden shutdown of Facebook’s internal apps for iOS created enough chaos this week that some working for the social network company were openly talking about quitting, according to reports.

The Facebook employee apps show shuttle schedules, campus maps, and company calendars. Apple disabled all of them Wednesday after it learned Facebook ran a research app where iOS users could be rewarded for their data, a sideloaded app that violates Apple’s developer rules.

Take one easy step toward better data privacy [Deals]

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Happy Data Privacy Day! To celebrate, check out this pair of can't miss deals on data security tools.
Happy Data Privacy Day! To celebrate, check out this pair of can't miss deals on data security tools.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

When it comes to personal data, you can’t be too safe. So when you have the chance to easily boost your security, you should take it. That makes this VPN a great data security tool that shouldn’t be missed. It is already discounted, but Cult of Mac readers get an extra 15 percent off when they use the code DATAPRIVACY15 at checkout.

iPhone is tech reporter’s first line of defense against data vampires

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iPhone data privacy
Data privacy comes with the price.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

The New York Times investigative reporter Nick Confessore has covered data privacy long enough to make the iPhone his smartphone of choice.

His take on data-hungry Android phones is damning enough to make anybody switch to an iPhone. He also offers other tips for keeping your data as safe as possible these days. Unfortunately, that’s not very safe at all, according to Confessore.

Proposed privacy legislation outlaws some Google business practices

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Apple takes privacy seriously
A statement on Apple’s stance toward privacy is baked into iOS.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) published a draft privacy bill this morning that proposes making it harder for companies to track people’s location or collect biometric information about them. 

Apple is a top donor to the CDT, and the company has taken a strong stance on protecting user’s privacy.

Google makes it way easier to delete your search history

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With just a couple of taps you can erase your Google search history.
With just a couple of taps, you can erase everything Google has stored about your search history.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone does everything it can to protect your privacy, but using Google’s services punches a gaping hole in that protection. Google took a small step toward increasing user privacy by making it much easier to delete your search history.

Google doesn’t just save the terms your looked for, but also the pages you visited as part of the search. Both collections can be erased.

iOS 12 defeats law enforcement’s GrayKey iPhone unlocker

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GrayKey can bypass iPhone security
GrayKey can still unlock iPhones but can no longer unencrypted their contents.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple has apparently won a victory in preserving the privacy of iPhone users. Previously, even if an iOS device was secured with a password, police could use the GrayKey unlocking tool to access the contents. But that changed with iOS 12. 

This hacking tool reportedly became nearly useless with the release of Apple’s latest operating system.