Scrub your name off spammers’ call lists for just $49


Get your name, email, and more off the internet.
This service will get your private info off the internet.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

Whether you like it or not, your personal information is somewhere on the internet. If you’ve signed up for a subscription on a website, entered your birthday into a streaming service, or given your email to a grocery store, then someone has your information. Not to mention what’s on social media.

There’s also a good chance they’re selling your data. It’s almost impossible to scrub yourself from the internet, but as privacy concerns grow, so does the technology available to protect yourself. Optery Data Broker Removal is the best way you’re going to find to remove your sensitive personal information from the internet. Right now you can get one year of Optery’s Core Plan for $49, or an Ultimate Plan for $199.

Apple TV+ is the only streaming service that takes your privacy seriously


Spatial audio for Apple TV in tvOS 15
Most streaming services are watching you while you watch them.
Photo: Apple

Almost every video streaming service except Apple TV+ is selling your data to third-party companies and tracking your viewing habits for targeted ads. A new report from Common Sense Media exposes the loose privacy policies employed by most streaming providers, including Amazon and Netflix.

“Many viewers know that free streaming apps are most likely selling their personal information, but most viewers may not know that most paid sub‐ scription streaming apps are also selling users’ data,” warns the report.

WhatsApp’s promise of end-to-end encryption may be a complete lie


WhatsApp encryption message
WhatsApp says no one — not even WhatsApp — can read your messages.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

WhatsApp promises to protect every one of its 2 billion users with end-to-end encryption that ensures their messages cannot be seen by anyone outside of the original conversation. But does it live up to that promise?

A new report alleges that the Facebook-owned messaging platform uses artificial intelligence and more than 1,000 contract workers to examine “millions of pieces of users’ content” using “special Facebook software.”

That’s despite Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg telling the U.S. Senate in 2018 that “we don’t see any of the content in WhatsApp.”

How to hard-lock your iPhone in a hurry


Know how to hard-lock your iPhone in a hurry.
Know how to hard-lock your iPhone in a hurry.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Should you find yourself in a situation where a police officer or federal agent — like a TSA person at the airport — requests or demands your iPhone, should you hand it over? Many folks say no, never. But if you do, at least know how to hard-lock it in a hurry before it leaves your hand. That will help protect your data on the device.

Apple delays plan to scan user photos for child abuse material


Apple reportedly will scan images in iPhones and iCloud for hints of child abuse.
Apple will take time to "collect input and make improvements."
Photo: Kevin Dooley/Flickr CC

Apple on Friday confirmed it has delayed controversial plans to start scanning user photos for child sexual abuse material, aka CSAM.

The feature was originally scheduled to roll out later this year. Apple now says it will take time to “collect input and make improvements” before deploying the changes. However, the feature is far from canceled altogether.

iCloud Private Relay won’t be part of initial iOS 15 release


Private Relay makes paying $1 a month for iCloud a bargain
Private Relay protects your online privacy. It’s the best part of Apple’s new iCloud+.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

A major new privacy feature of iOS 15 won‘t be ready when the update goes out to iPhones. iCloud Private Relay will mask users’ IP addresses so they can’t be tracked. But it needs additional time for beta testing.

It’s one of several high-profile new iPhone and Mac features that won‘t launch as soon as Apple first promised.

90+ organizations urge Tim Cook to drop Apple’s photo scanning plan


Groups oppose Apple photo scanning
The largest campaign so far against Apple's new child safety features.
Photo: Benjamin Balázs

An international coalition of more than 90 policy and rights groups is urging Apple to drop plans to scan user photos for child abuse material (CSAM).

In an open letter addressed to Apple CEO Tim Cook, published on Thursday, the coalition said it is concerned the feature “will be used to censor protected speech, threaten the privacy and security of people around the world, and have disastrous consequences for children.”

Corellium will support security testing of Apple CSAM scanning feature


Corellium Apple CSAM scanning
It is offering funding and free access to its iPhone virtualization platform.
Photo: Corellium

Security research firm Corellium on Monday revealed its new Open Security Initiative, which will support independent research into the privacy and security of mobile apps and devices. Its first target is Apple’s controversial CSAM scanning feature, set to roll out to iPhone users later this year.

Corellium said it applauds Apple’s commitment to holding itself accountable, and it believes its platform of virtual iOS devices is best for supporting any testing efforts. It hopes that researchers will use it to uncover “errors in any component” of Apple’s feature, which could be used to “subvert the system as a whole, and consequently violate iPhone users’ privacy and security.”

Twitter finally gets on board with ‘Sign in with Apple’


Twitter finally gets on board with ‘Sign in with Apple’
You can now sign up for a Twitter account a little more privately.
Graphic: Twitter

Twitter added the option to ‘Sign in with Apple’ on Monday. This is a privacy feature that lets users hide their email address from the online service. And avoid hassle when signing in.

The social-networking service also implemented support for logging in with Google.