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Tag: PRIVACY

Google Will No Longer Collect Street View Photos in Germany

Google has decided to stop collecting Street View photos in Germany, where regulators have spent much of the past two years railing against the search giant for violating the privacy of German residents. A company spokesman confirmed the decision in a statement sent to the Register, explaining that the images gathered across 20 German cities will remain available online, but reiterating that...

Pandora Provides Detailed Data, Including GPS Coordinates, to Advertisers

After it was revealed earlier this week that several smartphone app makers, including Pandora, were being targeted by a federal grand jury in New Jersey for illegally gathering and distributing user information, security firm Veracode decided to do its own analysis. It took a look at the Android version of Pandora's streaming music app, and found that it was feeding data to five different...

New Jersey Feds Call Grand Jury Investigation Into Smartphone Apps

Federal prosecutors in New Jersey have called for a grand jury investigation to determine whether or not smartphone apps have been illegally gathering and spreading users' personal information. According to the Wall Street Journal, federal authorities are looking into whether or not app manufacturers properly disclosed the kinds of personal information their apps collect from users, and whether...

'Porn Wikileaks' Reveals Adult Stars' Real Names, Home Addresses

The adult film industry is up in arms over 'Porn WikiLeaks' -- a new site offering the real names, birth dates and other private information belonging to more than 15,000 adult actors and actresses. As Gawker reported last week, Porn WikiLeaks obtained this information from a patient database at an STD testing clinic in California. In addition to the porn stars' real names, the leaked...

Twitter Confirms Your Long UberSocial DM's Might Be Public

Twitter has issued a warning to all UberSocial and Twitroyd users after discovering that some direct messages sent via the apps have become publicly visible. Twitter's Trust and Safety Team confirmed the vulnerability yesterday, explaining that it could affect any direct messages exceeding 140 characters in length, sent via "d username." Twitter says it has notified the apps' developer and is...

'Creepy' App Uses Photo Data to Pinpoint Your Location

Ever wonder how easy it would be for someone to track your every move? You can now find out with a new app called 'Creepy.' Created by 26-year-old Yiannis Kakavas, 'Creepy' is a software package that allows users to pinpoint anyone's location, using geographic data embedded within shared photos. All you have to do is type in a person's Twitter or Flickr username, and hit the 'Geolocate...

Google, FTC Reach Settlement on Buzz Privacy Case, John Kerry Wants to Go Further

Google reached a historic settlement with the Federal Trade Commission yesterday, bringing an end to the FTC's investigation into Google Buzz -- the social network that has mired the company in allegations of privacy violations. Under the settlement, Google will have to implement a "comprehensive privacy program," and will be subject to independent audits for the next two decades. Yesterday's...

BP Loses Laptop and 13,000 Claimants' Personal Data

BP is now involved in a spill of a different kind -- a massive leak of personal data. The company confirmed to the AP that an employee lost a laptop containing information on some 13,000 claimants filing for compensation from the Gulf oil spill. It does not appear the data has been used for any malicious purposes yet. Hopefully, BP's laptops are just as prone to exploding as its drilling platforms...

America Develops Cell Phone Panic Button for Pro-Democracy Activists

One of America's newest tools in the war against tyranny could be a cell phone "panic" button. According to Reuters, the U.S. State Department wants to equip pro-democracy activists in the Middle East with technology that could wipe phones of sensitive data in the event that they are arrested or their cell phones are confiscated. Initiating the panic sequence would erase the phone book, call...

Simple 'Color' Hack Lets You Snag Anyone's Photos, Regardless of Location

The new social photo-sharing app 'Color,' which shares photos with and from everyone within a 150-foot radius, landed last week, and immediately garnered some raised eyebrows from those concerned with silly things like privacy. But sharing your photos with anyone and everyone who might walk down the same block as you seems like a trivial complaint, now that security researcher and Veracode chief...

German Politician Exposes Personal Data Gathered by Cell Phone Companies

Looking for another reason to feel paranoid about your privacy? German politician Malte Spitz may have found one. Spitz recently sued his mobile provider, Deutsche Telekom, in order to obtain data that the company had collected on his own whereabouts. Deutsche Telekom complied, and handed over all the geographic information it had gathered over a six-month period. As it turns out, the provider...

'Color' App Takes Your Photos Public, Shows Users in 150-Foot Radius

Lala founder Bill Nguyen's new 'Color' app is keeping the app hype machine rolling by raising $41 million... before launch. The Lala founder's app arrived today at Color.com (the domain having been purchased for a cool $350,000) with commentators claiming that it will "transform the way people communicate with each other." Nguyen has been given huge media exposure by everyone from the New York...

Facebook Rolls Out 'Social Ads,' But Here's How to Opt-Out

Facebook has begun rolling out its controversial 'Social Ads' campaign, which allows companies to use your name and profile picture in advertisements targeted to your friends. Under the new service, users who 'like' certain pages, events or apps could have their name and picture displayed in online ads for participating companies. If you 'like' Starbucks, for example, your face may pop up in...

Appeals Court Reinstates Lawsuit Against Federal Wiretapping

The ACLU and other civil liberties groups can continue their legal battle against a federal wiretapping law, now that a New York appeals court has reinstated their lawsuit. At issue is a 2008 federal law known as the FISA Amendments Act, which empowered the U.S. government to conduct widespread electronic surveillance on suspected terrorists. The ACLU's challenge had been previously thrown out...

FBI Investigating Hacking Ring Responsible for Swiping Nude Celeb Pics

It ain't a nice time to be a female star. The FBI is investigating a hacking ring it believes is responsible for swiping "sensitive" material from the e-mail accounts and phones of dozens of stars. According to TMZ, 50 celebrities (including Selena Gomez, Jessica Alba and Scarlett Johansson) have been targeted, with nude photos and embarrassing videos allegedly stolen. Supposedly, all the...