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Privacy

The Information Commissioner's Office website contains a cookie prompt

A new law came into effect in the U.K. this past weekend which requires U.K.-based websites to receive consent from visitors before using cookies to store tracking information about them. Though the law originally called for visitors to explicitly opt-in with the use of a checkbox or similar method, the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO), an independent privacy watchdog, backpedaled just 48 hours before the law was to come into force and watered down the legislation to allow "implied consent" - in other words, websites can assume users have already consented to the use of cookies.  Read More

'X-ray' vision may soon be possible on cell phones by tapping into the terahertz band of t...

Those of us who envy Superman for his X-ray vision may soon get that ability - on our cell phones. Researchers at the University of Texas at Dallas have reported a new approach to harnessing the potential of the terahertz band in portable devices.  Read More

A new video surveillance system is able to search through data on 36 million faces per sec...

Japan’s Hitachi Kokusai Electric has developed a surveillance system that can automatically detect a face in either a provided photo or video footage, then search for that same face in other video provided by networked cameras. While such facial recognition systems have been seen before, this one is able to compare the target face against others at an astounding rate of 36 million faces per second.  Read More

The Privacy Pop provides some privacy in a zip

Although we’re social creatures, everyone needs a bit of privacy every now and then. This is particularly true in the bedroom, but whether it’s sharing with siblings growing up or co-habitation with roommates at college, unfortunately not all have us can enjoy the luxury of our own sleeping space. While not quite in the same league as your own four walls, the Privacy Pop will provide some protection from prying eyes - but you’ll still want to keep the noise down - you know, when reading.  Read More

Researchers have demonstrated a process relying on quantum physics they claim enables perf...

As numerous companies continue their push to get us to entrust our data to the cloud, there are many still justifiably concerned about the security of cloud computing-based services. Now an international team of scientists have demonstrated that perfectly secure cloud computing is possible by combining the power of quantum computing with the security of quantum cryptography. They carried out what they claim is the first demonstration of “blind quantum computing,” in which a quantum computation was carried out with the input, computation, and output all remaining unknown to the computer, and therefore, also any eavesdroppers.  Read More

The Norte Photoblocker is a functional beer cooler surrounded by four sensors that can det...

How many times have you been going about your usual business of cheating on your spouse, being an idiot around your boss, or drunkenly harassing fellow party-goers when some wildly irresponsible person tags you in a photo and posts it online? What's that? "Never," you say? Well congratulations on being an alright human being then. You can feel good about the fact that you don't need the Norte Photoblocker to ruin any potentially damaging photos of your night out as they're being taken.  Read More

A team has claimed the complete prize purse in DARPA's Shredder Challenge, two days before...

At the end of October, DARPA (the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) launched its Shredder Challenge contest. The objective: create a system for reconstructing shredded papers, then demonstrate it by piecing together five documents, the shredded remains of which were posted on the contest’s website. Although the contest had a December 4th deadline, the “All Your Shreds Are Belong to U.S.” team correctly reassembled all five documents with two days to spare.  Read More

The prototype device, which is reportedly able to detect illicit drugs in a person's syste...

Fingerprints have been used to confirm or determine peoples' identities for over one hundred years now, but new technology is allowing them to be put to another use - drug testing. Intelligent Fingerprinting (a spin-off company affiliated with the UK's University of East Anglia) has just unveiled a prototype portable device that can detect the presence of illicit drugs or other substances in a person's system by analyzing the sweat in their fingerprints.  Read More

Researchers have demonstrated how a smartphone could be used to determine what words are b...

If you're looking for a reason to buy an iPhone 3GS as opposed to an iPhone 4, besides the lower price, here's one: it's technically possible that malware on an iPhone 4 – if that phone were placed beside its user's computer keyboard – could be used to deduce what the user was typing. Once that data was stored on the phone, it could then be transmitted to another party. According to researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who were able to use one of the phones for this purpose, any smartphone made within the past two years should be capable of doing so.  Read More

FaceNiff is a new Android app that can be used to hijack sessions on public or private Wi-...

We brought news of Eric Butler's Firefox extension for HTTP session hijacking called Firesheep back in October last year, but if you haven't already taken steps to ensure your privacy and security online, we hope this does the trick - FaceNiff is a new Android app that can be used to hijack sessions on public or private Wi-Fi networks without needing to lug around a laptop.  Read More

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