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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...

Malicious Android App Will Steal Your Data, Make You Feel Bad About It

Android users should be on the lookout for a malicious little app that's circulating around some file-sharing sites. The app, called 'Walk and Text,' advertises itself as a legitimate app of the same name, which uses a smartphone's camera to help guide texters as they walk. Unlike the real 'Walk and Text,' though, the fake app is available for free, and offers version 1.3.7 (which doesn't...

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...

Google Launches 'Think Quarterly' Magazine for U.K. Partners and Data Nerds

Google is getting in on the magazine game. (Sorta.) The company's U.K. arm just published the first issue of Think Quarterly, which the company bills as "breathing space in a busy world... a place to take time out and consider what's happening and why it matters." The 60-page mag was sent to a small selection of Google partners and advertisers in the U.K., but anyone can read it online. The...

Film Buff Uses Google Maps to Display Set Locations of 2,000 Movies

Edmund Helmer used to spend a lot his time on IMDB, where he would look up the exact filming locations of his favorite movies. One day, though, he decided to cut out the middle man, and created his own custom Google Map, showing more geographical movie information than anyone could ever desire. Using Google's Fusion Tables data management tool, Helmer created a map showing the precise set...

AT&T to Impose a Broadband Cap in May

On May 2nd, AT&T will impose a broadband data cap for all DSL and U-Verse customers, after having already implemented similar usage limits for wireless users nearly a year ago. People connecting to the Internet through DSL will face a monthly limit of 150 gigabytes, while U-Verse users will be capped at 250 GB per month. Anyone exceeding these limits more than three times in three different...

Researchers Develop Technique to Identify Anonymous E-Mail Authors

IP addresses may help identify the source of anonymous and malicious e-mails, but they can only tell authorities where the message originated, without providing many details on the individual who authored them. Using some pretty innovative analytics, researchers at Concordia University have just come up with a new technique that could help investigators determine the precise identity of these...

Facebook Still Wants to Share Users' Personal Info With Third-Party Developers

Facebook plans to go ahead and share its users' home addresses and phone numbers with third-party developers, despite the concerns of privacy advocates, members of Congress, and just about everyone else. Yesterday, the company released a response (PDF) to Representatives Ed Markey and Joe Barton, who had penned a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg earlier this month voicing their concerns over...

Thousands of Gmail Users See E-mails Vanish, Accounts Reset

Thousands of Gmail users suddenly lost access to their inboxes yesterday morning, some claiming that their entire collections of e-mails, Google Chat logs and attachments had simply vanished. Others reported that their accounts had been reset by the bug, which, according to Google, affected as many as 150,000 users. The company says it's investigating the issue, and should resolve it shortly....

Google Announces Challenge to Visualize Federal Spending

Google has issued a challenge to data-nerds: to take data from the site WhatWePayFor.com, which tracks where your tax dollars are allocated, and create a user-friendly way to visualize it. Google has gotten the ball rolling with its own interactive infographic of differently sized bubbles, each representing a distinct category of government spending....

Hacker Targets eHarmony, Accesses User Screen Names, Passwords

Security researcher Brian Krebs is reporting that eHarmony's user database has been compromised, giving a rogue hacker access to information on thousands of the dating site's clients. According to Krebs, it appears that the breach was orchestrated by Chris Russo -- the Argentinian hacker who pulled off a similar heist on dating site Plentyoffish a few weeks ago. Russo, who prefers to call...

China, IBM Develop City-Sized Cloud Computing Complex

China and IBM are teaming up to build a massive cloud computing and office complex. How massive? According to Computer World, it's the size of an entire city. The new center will cover an estimated 6.2 million square feet, with 646,000 square feet devoted to the data center alone. In total, the complex will be about the size of the Pentagon, though it will be spread out over a comparatively...

Spokeo Publishes All of Your Personal Information in One Place. Here's How to (Temporarily) Protect Your Privacy

Share Have you ever wondered how much of your personal information is out there on the Internet for all the world to read? Head over to a site called Spokeo, and find out for yourself. The site, which launched in 2007, markets itself as an online white pages, but warns that it's definitely "not your grandma's phonebook." And that much, at least, is true. Spokeo stores information on your age,...

Obama Administration Pushes for Online 'Privacy Bill of Rights'

The Obama administration is pushing for the creation of a new 'Privacy Policy Office,' which would be charged with the task of putting together an online "privacy bill of rights" for all Americans. The proposals were outlined in a report from the Department of Commerce, which called for the development of a new "framework" to protect consumers from data-gathering, third-party companies. The...

Google Zeitgeist 2010: Chatroulette and iPad Lead the Year in Search

Every year Google blesses us with Zeitgeist, a roundup of what the world was searching for during the last 12 months. This year's big searches included the World Cup, the Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the earthquake in Haiti. The iPad and Chatroulette, though were the most popular queries. Check out the year in review video after the break, and explore the Zeitgeist data here using Google's...