*How Apple, Facebook, Microsoft and Google sell you to advertisers

TechViews News   …..

Because the latest version of Windows is always asking for information in the guise of being helpful, it’s easy to think that Microsoft is the poster child for the collective attack on your digital privacy.

It didn’t used to be that way. Until Windows-10, Microsoft was rather tame about its data collection practices. In fact, Google and Facebook have always been more aggressive in collecting your private data.

Today, a lot of companies feel perfectly entitled to require you to hand over your personal info before they open their doors. Where is all of this headed to?

It is the ‘price of free’: free email, free operating systems, free connecting with friends, free search. And while Microsoft has only recently joined the list of the mega-collectors, you can make the argument that all of these companies are doing all they can to mine your data. Let’s take a look.

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*Trump supports bill to modify Obama-era Internet privacy rules

TechViews News   …..

The controversial measure, which would change a host of Internet privacy protections enacted near the end of the Obama administration, would mean broadband Internet providers can collect data on user’s online activities. But backers of the proposal say the regulatory rollback of rules merely puts Internet providers on the same level as search engines like Google.

And there is some validity to this point of view. Other Internet giants like Google, Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, and others, already collect and sell personal data from users. The rollback simply allows ISP’s to compete on a level playing field.

“Congressional action to repeal the [Federal Communications Commission’s] misguided rules marks an important step toward restoring consumer privacy protections that apply consistently to all Internet companies,” the Internet and Television Association, a telecommunications trade group, said in a statement.

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*New Facebook customer service scam offers fake phone number

TechViews News   …..

Many of my friends are active, regular Facebook users. It’s estimated that there are nearly 2 billion active monthly users worldwide. That’s an astonishing number.

And we all know that some websites go down from time to time. And that Includes Facebook. But what if you were in the middle of posting something important … like what you had for breakfast, or a photo of your new cat. And suddenly Facebook crashes. If something did go wrong, how would you contact Facebook?

Crafty scammers have developed a way to target Facebook users who feel the need to get in touch with the popular website if they have trouble with their postings. And of course, people are falling for the scam.

National Public Radio (NPR) decided to investigate this scam after multiple police reports were filed.

How this Facebook customer service scam works

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*CIA director wants to track your Facebook postings

TechViews News   …..

If your Facebook profile is public, it’ll be an open invitation for the CIA to snoop around, collect what you have written , and then keep it for another day.

According to Mike Pompeo, incoming Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, the CIA is obligated to follow up on information that’s on a public website. That includes Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

“If someone is out there is on their Facebook, talking about an attack or plotting an attack against America, I think you would find the director of the CIA grossly negligent if they didn’t pursue that information,” Pompeo said.

Pompeo has said the US needed to collect publicly available information to “keep Americans safe.”

The Orlando nightclub gunman posted a cryptic warning on his Facebook page before committing his murders last June. A student at Ohio State in November reportedly did the same on Facebook before carrying out a knife attack on campus.

Pompeo said public social media profiles such as those on Facebook could be useful in the CIA’s counterterrorism efforts. He promised the Senate intelligence committee that the CIA wouldn’t unlawfully spy on US citizens, reminding the lawmakers that he’s voted for legislation protecting privacy.

That said, outgoing Attorney General Loretta Lynch signed an order her last days in office that would allow the federal intelligence agencies to share their collected data with local law enforcement. Essentially that means that local and state law enforcement now has the massive information gathering apparatus of the CIA, FBI, NSA, et.al. to funnel information back to them.

This takes us to a surveillance state like we have only seen in the movies.

Be Safe – Backup Your Data Regularly!


And don’t forget to take advantage of our FREE subscription to the TechViews.org Newsletter. A must-read if you are interested in Internet Security.

*WhatApp reveals huge security vulnerability

TechViews News   …..

The recently discovered WhatsApp vulnerability is being proclaimed as a ‘huge threat to freedom of speech’. A security backdoor that can be used to allow Facebook and others to intercept and read encrypted messages has been found within its messaging service.

New research shows that Facebook, it’s advertisers, as well as government agencies could in fact read messages due to the way WhatsApp has implemented its end-to-end encryption protocol.

That means that if you are using WhatsApp with the intention of having private, encrypted messages, you’re out of luck.

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*Government increases requests for Facebook personal data by 27 percent

Declan Dunn, TechViews News   …..

Worldwide governmental requests for Facebook personal data amounted to nearly 60,000 times in the first half of 2016, a 27 percent increase over requests made in the second half of 2015, according to a Facebook bi-annual report published last week.

The company claims it reviews each request to determine whether or not it has merit, especially in emergency cases where imminent risk of serious injury or harm is involved. It ultimately handed over data in 80 percent of cases.

That means that 80 % of the requests for YOUR personal information was granted regardless if you were a suspect in a crime or not. This, of course, raised privacy advocates’ concerns over why the governments around the world are amassing large data bases of personal data on private citizens.

The 27 percent jump for the latest reporting period compares to a 13 percent increase between the first and second halves of 2015, and 18 percent growth between the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015.

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*Common Ways You’re Being Tracked Every Day

Declan Dunn, TechViews.org   …..

Whether it’s companies tracking your user habits, or the government tracking your calls, chances are you are being tracked one way or another. Here are several common ways we are being tracked every day:

Surveillance Cameras and Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV)

They’re absolutely everywhere. From speeding cameras, red-light cameras at intersections, and even entire surveillance networks dedicated to detecting suspicious activity, monitoring devices are watching us.

In the case of New York City, the surveillance technology is so advanced that abandoned packages and bags are flagged immediately. The technology now even allows the cameras to lock onto particular subjects wearing certain clothing or scan license plates for numbers logged in police databases.

Automatic License Plate Readers, or ALPR

Using high-speed cameras, automatic license plate readers are present on many roadways and municipalities. The readers can snap a picture of your license plate, along with the time and location, retaining the information in databases, sometimes indefinitely.

Regardless of whether the car in question is suspected to be tied to a car theft or other crime, this information is captured and stored, according to the report. People with access to the database could assemble detailed information of where you have ever driven.

This particular technology isn’t limited to law enforcement use. Parking garages, tollways, shopping mall parking lots, and general urban area street corners all combine to track your every move.

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