Verizon agreed to pay $1.35 million to settle Federal Communications Commission charges that it violated customers’ privacy when it used a hidden undeletable number to track cellphone users. In the settlement, Verizon also agreed to make its unkillable “zombie” cookie opt-in, meaning that users are not tracked by default. Previously, users had been tracked by default unless they opted out.
by Julia Angwin
The FBI’s much-discussed request to Apple can seem innocuous: Help us extract six weeks of encrypted data from the locked iPhone of Syed Farook, an employee of San Bernardino health department who spearheaded an attack that killed 14 people. Most people believe Apple should comply.
But the FBI is d
A new, extremely persistent type of online tracking is shadowing visitors to thousands of top websites, from WhiteHouse.gov to YouPorn.com. First documented in a forthcoming paper by researchers at Princeton University and KU Leuven University in Belgium, this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.
Online retailers are becoming increasingly sophisticated with their methods to track users. Cookies, emails, directed content, and massive databases are consistently and constantly invading shoppers' privacy.
The Heartbleed computer security bug is many things: a catastrophic tech failure, an open invitation to criminal hackers and yet another reason to upgrade our passwords on dozens of websites. But more than anything else, Heartbleed reveals our neglect of Internet security. The United States spends more than $50 billion a year on spying and intelligence, while the folks who build important defense software — in this case a program called OpenSSL that ensures that your connection to a website is encrypted — are four core programmers, only one of who calls it a full-time job.