Samsung Washing Machine App Requires Access To Your Contacts and Location

For some reason, Samsung apps designed to control internet-connected washer and dryers require “bogus,” “absurd,” “unacceptable,” “pesky,” and “awful” permissions. Motherboard reports: On Wednesday, a Reddit user complained that their washing machine app, the Samsung Smart Washer, wouldn’t work “unless I give it access to my contacts, location and camera.” This is a common complaint. “When I launch the app, the damned thing wants all sort of permissions: location, phone calls, media, and … contacts??? The app won’t work without these permissions,” another Reddit user grumbled last year, referring to another Samsung app — called Smart Home — that requires the same seemingly exaggerated permissions. “Why would the Samsung Smart Home app need access to my contacts?” The reviews for these two apps, both of which have more than a million installs according to their stats on the Google Play store, aren’t very positive either. The Smart Washer App has


Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/_8eLfRWMzCY/samsung-washing-machine-app-requires-access-to-your-contacts-and-location

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Legal Chatbot Firm DoNotPay Adds Anti-Facial Recognition Filters To Its Suite of Handy Tools

Legal services startup DoNotPay is best known for its army of “robot lawyers” — automated bots that tackle tedious online tasks like canceling TV subscriptions and requesting refunds from airlines. Now, the company has unveiled a new tool it says will help shield users’ photos from reverse image searches and facial recognition AI. The Verge reports: It’s called Photo Ninja and it’s one of dozens of DoNotPay widgets that subscribers can access for $36 a year. Photo Ninja operates like any image filter. Upload a picture you want to shield, and the software adds a layer of pixel-level perturbations that are barely noticeable to humans, but dramatically alter the image in the eyes of roving machines. The end result, DoNotPay CEO Joshua Browder tells The Verge, is that any image shielded with Photo Ninja yields zero results when run through search tools like Google image search or TinEye.
The tool


Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/uPMhpKE28ps/legal-chatbot-firm-donotpay-adds-anti-facial-recognition-filters-to-its-suite-of-handy-tools

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Microsoft 365’s ‘Productivity Score’ raises serious privacy concerns

Microsoft has attracted the attention of privacy campaigners over the Productivity Score feature of Microsoft 365. The tool uses telemetry to enable employers to track the activities and performance of workers. The analytics tool has been criticized for being a serious invasion of privacy, as it gives employers the ability to closely monitor individuals. One data privacy researcher describes it as “turn[ing] Microsoft 365 into a full-fledged workplace surveillance tool”. Productivity Score assigns a score out of 800 to employees, and reports details such as how much time has been spent using different tools such as Word, Microsoft Teams or… [Continue Reading]


Original URL: https://betanews.com/2020/11/27/microsoft-365s-productivity-score-privacy-concerns/

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No cookie consent walls — and no, scrolling isn’t consent, says EU data protection body

You can’t make access to your website’s content dependant on a visitor agreeing that you can process their data — aka a ‘consent cookie wall’. Not if you need to be compliant with European data protection law.
That’s the unambiguous message from the European Data Protection Board (EDPB), which has published updated guidelines on the rules around online consent to process people’s data.
Under pan-EU law, consent is one of six lawful bases that data controllers can use when processing people’s personal data.
But in order for consent to be legally valid under Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) there are specific standards to meet: It must be clear and informed, specific and freely given.
Hence cookie walls that demand ‘consent’ as the price for getting inside the club are not only an oxymoron but run into a legal brick wall.
No consent behind a cookie wall
The regional cookie wall has been crumbling for some


Original URL: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/N6f00-vNADg/

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Signal is finally bringing its secure messaging to the masses

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)
Last month, the cryptographer and coder known as Moxie Marlinspike was getting settled on an airplane when his seatmate, a midwestern-looking man in his 60s, asked for help. He couldn’t figure out how to enable airplane mode on his aging Android phone. But when Marlinspike saw the screen, he wondered for a moment if he was being trolled: Among just a handful of apps installed on the phone was Signal.
Marlinspike launched Signal, widely considered the world’s most secure end-to-end encrypted messaging app, nearly five years ago, and today heads the nonprofit Signal Foundation that maintains it. But the man on the plane didn’t know any of that. He was not, in fact, trolling Marlinspike, who politely showed him how to enable airplane mode and handed the phone back.
“I try to remember moments like that in building Signal,” Marlinspike told Wired in an interview over a Signal-enabled


Original URL: https://arstechnica.com/?p=1654057

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Amazon’s Ring Doorbell Update Allows Opt Out of All Police Video Requests

Amazon’s Ring doorbell has rolled out a new update that lets users add and remove shared users on an account, restrict third-party access, view two-factor authentication settings, and (perhaps, most importantly) opt out of all video request notifications from law enforcement. Mashable reports: Uncovered in reporting by Motherboard and Gizmodo in 2019, the scale of Amazon’s Neighbor Portal program is much larger than originally believed — and its various affiliations with law enforcement has raised alarming ethical questions. In the new update, users will be able to see an “Active Law Enforcement Map” clarifying which local institutions are part of the Neighbor Portal network. They will also be able to disable requests for video from officials, whether or not they have received one in the past. (This feature was available previously, but an account had to have received one request for the opt-out option to appear.)

That said, Ring is


Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/ACcncwZTzfc/amazons-ring-doorbell-update-allows-opt-out-of-all-police-video-requests

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Verizon Media Launches OneSearch, a Privacy-Focused Search Engine

An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Verizon Media, the media and digital offshoot of telecommunications giant Verizon, has launched a “privacy-focused” search engine called OneSearch. With OneSearch, Verizon promises there will be no cookie tracking, no ad personalization, no profiling, no data-storing, and no data-sharing with advertisers.

With its default dark mode, OneSearch lets you know that Advanced Privacy Mode is activated. You can manually toggle this mode to the “off” position which returns a brighter interface, but with this setting deactivated you won’t have access to privacy features such as search-term encryption. With Advanced Privacy Mode on, links to search results will only be shareable for an hour, after which time they will “self-destruct” and return an error to anyone who clicks on it. More broadly, the OneSearch interface is clean and fairly familiar to anyone who has used a search engine before. But at its core,


Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/uac24DXF_I8/verizon-media-launches-onesearch-a-privacy-focused-search-engine

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Microsoft will honor Californian privacy laws across the entire US

Microsoft has announced that it plans to honor the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) across the whole of the United States, not just in California. In Europe, GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) has done a lot to protect people’s privacy, and some companies have opted to voluntarily apply similar policies in the US. Microsoft, however, is the first major US company to say it will expand CCPA outside of its home state, bringing greater privacy protection to people across America. See also: Microsoft listens to feedback and removes Downloads folder from Disk Cleanup Microsoft’s Surface Pro X is better than… [Continue Reading]


Original URL: https://betanews.com/2019/11/12/microsoft-ccpa/

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Web Scraping Doesn’t Violate Anti-Hacking Law, Appeal Court Rules

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Scraping a public website without the approval of the website’s owner isn’t a violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, an appeals court ruled on Monday. The ruling comes in a legal battle that pits Microsoft-owned LinkedIn against a small data-analytics company called hiQ Labs. HiQ scrapes data from the public profiles of LinkedIn users, then uses the data to help companies better understand their own workforces. After tolerating hiQ’s scraping activities for several years, LinkedIn sent the company a cease-and-desist letter in 2017 demanding that hiQ stop harvesting data from LinkedIn profiles. Among other things, LinkedIn argued that hiQ was violating the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, America’s main anti-hacking law.

This posed an existential threat to hiQ because the LinkedIn website is hiQ’s main source of data about clients’ employees. So hiQ sued LinkedIn, seeking not only a


Original URL: http://rss.slashdot.org/~r/Slashdot/slashdot/~3/82QjaLJzTjU/web-scraping-doesnt-violate-anti-hacking-law-appeal-court-rules

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