BetaNews: Data privacy and identity in the age of COVID-19

BetaNews: Data privacy and identity in the age of COVID-19. “With governments around the world rolling out contact tracing in order to fight the COVID-19 pandemic, access management company Okta has commissioned a survey of 12,000 people across six counties to discover how consumers feel about data privacy and identity. It finds that 84 percent of Americans are worried that data collection for COVID-19 containment will sacrifice too much of their privacy. A majority say they are uncomfortable with personally identifiable information (67 percent), bluetooth data (57 percent), medical data (53 percent), and location data (52 percent) being collected for COVID-19 purposes.”

New York Times: Facebook Loses Antitrust Decision in Germany Over Data Collection

New York Times: Facebook Loses Antitrust Decision in Germany Over Data Collection. “In a decision that could further embolden European governments to take on large tech platforms, Germany’s top court ruled on Tuesday that Facebook had abused its dominance in social media to illegally harvest data about its users.”

BBC: Former eBay executives charged with cyber-stalking

BBC: Former eBay executives charged with cyber-stalking. “Six former eBay executives and staff have been charged with cyber-stalking in a campaign against a couple who ran a newsletter critical of the company. Prosecutors allege the harassment included sending the couple live cockroaches, a bloody Halloween mask and a funeral wreath, as well as threatening messages.”

Silicon Angle: Niche dating app user data found exposed on misconfigured cloud instance

Silicon Angle: Niche dating app user data found exposed on misconfigured cloud instance. “The records of hundreds of thousands of users of a range of niche data apps have been exposed online in the latest case of a misconfigured cloud instance. Discovered by security researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar at vpnMentor… the 845 gigabytes of data containing 2.5 million records related to dating apps, including 3somes, Cougary, Gay Daddy Bear, Xpal, BBW Dating, Casualx, SugarD and Herpes Dating.”

CNET: US government doesn’t know how it uses facial recognition in public housing

CNET: US government doesn’t know how it uses facial recognition in public housing. “Lawmakers want to regulate how facial recognition is being used, but the Department of Housing and Urban Development has a significant obstacle: it doesn’t keep track of how the surveillance technology can be used on its approximately 1.2 million households. In a letter from HUD to Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, the agency explained that it doesn’t know how many of its public housing programs use facial recognition or even how it’s allowed to be used.”

Tom’s Guide: How quickly does an unprotected database get found online? Less than 9 hours

Tom’s Guide: How quickly does an unprotected database get found online? Less than 9 hours. “What happens when a database full of vital personal information is left unprotected on the internet? Potential data thieves find it within hours, says hybrid tech blog/research team/VPN affiliate reseller Comparitech.”

AsiaOne: Hacker allegedly breaches Indonesian govt database on Covid-19 test-takers

AsiaOne: Hacker allegedly breaches Indonesian govt database on Covid-19 test-takers. “The hacker, under the username Database Shopping, offered the personal data of Covid-19 test-takers in Indonesia on the data-exchange platform Raid Forums, where another member put up for sale the personal information of 15 million users from homegrown e-commerce unicorn Tokopedia’s internal database for US$5,000 (S$7,000).”

The Register: Kinda goes without saying, but shore up your admin passwords or be borged by this brute-forcing botnet

The Register: Kinda goes without saying, but shore up your admin passwords or be borged by this brute-forcing botnet . “Servers are being targeted with a malware attack that uses its infected hosts to brute-force other machines. Known to Akamai researchers as Stealthworker, the infection preys on weak passwords then uses a massive arsenal of malware to overtake Windows and Linux servers running popular CMS, publishing, and hosting tools.”

University of Massachusetts Amherst: Researchers Call for New Federal Authority to Regulate Facial Recognition Tech

University of Massachusetts Amherst: Researchers Call for New Federal Authority to Regulate Facial Recognition Tech. “A group of artificial intelligence experts, including computer vision researcher and lead author Erik Learned-Miller of the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s College of Information and Computer Sciences, recently proposed a new model for managing facial recognition technologies at the federal level. In a white paper titled, ‘Facial Recognition Technologies in the Wild: A Call for a Federal Office,’ the authors propose an FDA-inspired model that categorizes these technologies by degrees of risk and would institute corresponding controls.”

BetaNews: Firefox Private Network VPN renamed to Mozilla VPN and priced at $5 per month

BetaNews: Firefox Private Network VPN renamed to Mozilla VPN and priced at $5 per month. “Mozilla is a company that I trust more than some others (I trust no person or company 100 percent, however!) thanks to its respectable data privacy principles. That is why I surf the web with Firefox whenever I can. That company has been beta-testing a VPN service of its own called ‘Firefox Private Network VPN’. Yeah, that name stinks as it is too wordy. Thankfully, the company has wisely decided to rename it to the much cleaner ‘Mozilla VPN.’ In addition, we learn how much the VPN service will eventually cost — $4.99 a month.”

NBC News: France’s top court upholds $56 million fine for Google over privacy breach

NBC News: France’s top court upholds $56 million fine for Google over privacy breach. “France’s highest administrative court has upheld a fine of 50 million euros ($56 million) Google was ordered to pay for not being ‘sufficiently clear and transparent’ with Android users about their data protection options.”

Exclusive: Massive spying on users of Google’s Chrome shows new security weakness (Reuters)

Reuters: Exclusive: Massive spying on users of Google’s Chrome shows new security weakness. “A newly discovered spyware effort attacked users through 32 million downloads of extensions to Google’s market-leading Chrome web browser, researchers at Awake Security told Reuters, highlighting the tech industry’s failure to protect browsers as they are used more for email, payroll and other sensitive functions.”

CNET: Facebook sues developer over alleged data scraping abuse

CNET: Facebook sues developer over alleged data scraping abuse. “The social network announced on Thursday that it was filing a lawsuit against Mohammad Zaghar and his website, Massroot8, claiming that the service was grabbing Facebook users’ data without permission. The lawsuit filed in the northern district of California alleged that Zaghar’s website offered its customers the ability to scrape data from their Facebook friends — including their phone numbers, gender, date of birth and email addresses.”

700 million men and boys: China builds mega DNA surveillance database (Sydney Morning Herald)

Sydney Morning Herald: 700 million men and boys: China builds mega DNA surveillance database. “Police have swept across the country since late 2017 to collect enough samples to build a vast DNA database, according to a new study published on Wednesday by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, a research organisation, based on documents also reviewed by The New York Times. With this database, authorities would be able to track down a man’s male relatives using his blood, saliva or other genetic material.”

TIME: Going to a Protest? Here’s How to Protect Your Digital Privacy

TIME: Going to a Protest? Here’s How to Protect Your Digital Privacy. “Even as protesters turn to their smartphones as a means to record their experiences on the ground, those same devices can be used against them. Law enforcement groups have digital surveillance tools, like fake cell phone towers and facial recognition technology, that can be used to identify protestors and monitor their movements and communications. Furthermore, investigators and prosecutors have come to view suspects’ phones as potential treasure troves of information about them and their associates, setting up legal battles over personal technology and Americans’ Constitutional rights.”