Tag: Privacy

12
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

How To Protect Your Privacy Online In 8 Tips : Life Kit : NPR

Your tech is watching you.

Jackie Ferrentino for NPR

Your tech is watching you.

Jackie Ferrentino for NPR

Before I became a reporter at NPR, I worked for a few years at tech companies.

One of the companies was in the marketing technology business — the industry that’s devoted in part to tracking people and merging their information, so they can be advertised to more effectively.

That tracking happens in multiple senses: Physical tracking, because we carry our phones everywhere we go. And virtual tracking, of all the places we go online.

The more I understood how my information was being collected, shared and sold, the more I wanted to protect my privacy. But it’s still hard to know which of my efforts are actually effective and which are a waste of time.

So I reached out to experts in digital security and privacy to find out what they do to protect their stuff – and what they recommend most to us regular folks.

Here’s what they told me.

1. To protect your accounts, practice good security hygiene.

There are some steps that make sense for almost all of us, says Eva Galperin, the director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Those include using strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and downloading the latest security updates.

She and other experts make a distinction between privacy and security when it comes to your data. Security generally refers to protecting against someone trying to access your stuff — like stealing your credit card number or hacking your accounts. Privacy is more often used to talk about keeping your movements from being tracked for purposes of advertising or surveillance.

It turns out that the steps to protect your security are more clear-cut than those for privacy — but we’ll come back to that.

Use strong passwords or passphrases for your accounts. Longer than a

08
Oct
2020
Posted in website

Privacy push could stop some annoying website popups and online tracking

Companies want to know what you do online.

Angela Lang/CNET

If you’re sick of websites tracking you and just as frustrated with website pop-ups prompting you to dig through obscure browser cookie settings — good news. An alliance including web publishers and browser makers has developed technology to stop websites from selling or sharing the data they gather about you, and you can try it now.

If the effort succeeds, a single setting in your browser could forbid website publishers from selling your data — at least if you live in California. And unlike a related effort years ago called Do Not Track, this one could have legal teeth.

Allies include publishers like The New York Times and Washington Post and browser makers Brave and Mozilla. One way to try it is with the Nightly test version of Brave, the browser maker said. Another is by installing DuckDuckGo’s mobile browser or desktop browser extension, the privacy-centric search engine said. “We hope [Global Privacy Control] will become a widely-adopted standard,” DuckDuckGo said in a tweet.

The Global Privacy Control project dovetails with two recent privacy laws. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the earlier Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe are why so many websites make you wrestle with settings for cookies. Those small text files are key to how many websites track your online activity.

One provision of the CCPA allows for a single switch you could set in your browser, through the browser itself or a browser extension, that would tell every website what you wanted and sweep away those dialog boxes. That’s what the alliance members have built, and they’re working to make it legally binding under the CCPA so websites

08
Oct
2020
Posted in internet

DuckDuckGo, Mozilla launch privacy settings for the internet

A group of tech companies, publishers, and activist groups including the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Mozilla, and DuckDuckGo are backing a new standard to let internet users set their privacy settings for the entire web.

“Before today, if you want to exercise your privacy rights, you have to go from website to website and change all your settings,” says Gabriel Weinberg, CEO of DuckDuckGo, the privacy-focused search engine.

That new standard, called Global Privacy Control, lets users set a single setting in their browsers or through browser extensions telling each website that they visit not to sell or share their data. It’s already backed by some publishers including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and the Financial Times, as well as companies including Automattic, which operates blogging platforms wordpress.com and Tumblr.

Advocates believe that under a provision of the California Consumer Privacy Act, activating the setting should send a legally binding request that website operators not sell their data. The setting may also be enforceable under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, and the backers of the standard are planning to communicate with European privacy regulators about the details of how that would work, says Peter Dolanjski, director of product at DuckDuckGo. At the moment, the official specification of the standard specifies that it’s in an experimental stage and “currently not intended to convey legally binding requests,” but that’s expected to change as legal authorities and industry groups have time to react to the standard and put it into place across the web, Dolanjski says.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time for them to make the modifications and all that,” he says.

If it becomes widely accepted and helps prevent website operators and companies from building cross-site profiles of their users, the new standard could

07
Oct
2020
Posted in website

Privacy push could banish some annoying website popups and online tracking

Companies want to know what you do online.

Angela Lang/CNET

If you’re sick of websites tracking you and just as frustrated with website pop-ups prompting you to dig through obscure browser cookie settings — good news. An alliance including web publishers and browser makers has developed technology to stop websites from selling or sharing the data they gather about you.

If the effort succeeds, a single setting in your browser could forbid website publishers from selling your data — at least if you live in California. And unlike a related effort years ago called Do Not Track, this one could have legal teeth.

The Global Privacy Control project, with support from publishers like The New York Times and Washington Post and browser makers Brave and Mozilla, dovetails with two recent privacy laws. The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and the earlier Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe are why so many websites make you wrestle with settings for cookies. Those small text files are key to how many websites track your online activity.

One provision of the CCPA allows for a single switch you could set in your browser, through the browser itself or a browser extension, that would tell every website what you wanted and sweep away those dialog boxes. That’s what the alliance members have built, and they’re working to make it legally binding under the CCPA so websites would have to honor the setting.

It’s the latest move in a years-long effort to balance privacy protections with the convenience of free, ad-supported websites. Advertisers held the upper hand with an earlier, voluntary effort called Do Not Track that fizzled.

But the tone of the discussion is different now: Privacy protection is in

03
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Andrew Yang takes lead in California data privacy measure

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Fitbits on our wrists collect our health and fitness data; Apple promises privacy but lots of iPhone apps can still share our personal information; and who really knows what they’re agreeing to when a website asks, “Do You Accept All Cookies?” Most people just click “OK” and hope for the best, says former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

“The amount of data we’re giving up is unprecedented in human history,” says Yang, who lives in New York but is helping lead the campaign for a data privacy initiative on California’s Nov. 3 ballot. “Don’t you think it’s time we did something about it?”

Yang is chairing the advisory board for Proposition 24, which he and other supporters see as a model for other states as the U.S. tries to catch up with protections that already exist in Europe.

The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020 would expand the rights Californians were given to their personal data in a groundbreaking law approved two years ago, which took effect in January. The California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 was intended to give residents more control over their personal information collected online. It limited how companies gather personal data and make money from it and gave consumers the right to know what a company has collected and have it deleted, as well as the right to opt out of the sale of their personal information.

But between the time the law was passed and took effect, major companies have found ways to dodge requirements. Tech and business lobbyists are pressuring the Legislature to water it down further, with proposals to undo parts of the law, says Alastair Mactaggart, a San Francisco real estate developer who spearheaded support for the 2018 law and is behind the effort to amend