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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

A class action lawsuit has been filed against Google, alleging that the company hasn't mad...

While fans of Android mobile phones may be taking some satisfaction in the current location-tracking controversy surrounding Apple’s iPhone, they perhaps might not be aware that their own phones are also tracking their movements. Although users reportedly must opt into the Android feature, Detroit-area residents Julie Brown and Kayla Molaski believe that the average user wouldn’t grasp the implications of doing so. To that end, last Wednesday (April 27, 2011) the pair filed a US$50 million class action lawsuit against Android’s parent company, Google.  Read More

A recently-discovered 2009 patent application has many people accusing Apple of lying, whe...

The ongoing kerfuffle over Apple devices allegedly tracking their users’ locations has taken yet another turn. It all started on April 20th, when tech bloggers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden reported their discovery that iPhones and 3G iPads running iOS4 were supposedly maintaining a stealth file of locations that the devices had traveled to – with their users. Apple responded on April 27th, stating that the devices were simply anonymously contributing to a database of local Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers, that helped to triangulate the phones’ location faster than GPS alone. Now, however, a just-discovered patent application filed by Apple in 2009 has some people doubting that claim.  Read More

Digital tracking: it might come as a shock to see just how much of a footprint we leave as...

While most of us know it is theoretically possible for our movements to be tracked by detecting which tower our mobile phone is connected too, it might come as a shock to see just how much of a digital footprint we leave as we go about our daily lives. German Green Party politician Malte Spitz and German newspaper Die Zeit have provided a frightening insight into just how much information can be gleaned from the digital breadcrumbs we drop every day by creating an interactive map showing Spitz's movements and activities over a five month period based on mobile phone data and information freely available on the internet.  Read More

Tracking Protection is the new privacy feature in Internet Explorer 9 designed to help kee...

Hot on the heels of a call for a user-controlled tracking prevention mechanism from the FTC comes news that Microsoft is introducing a new privacy feature to the next version of its browser - Internet Explorer 9. The Tracking Protection tool is aimed at helping netizens take control of online tracking from within the browser.  Read More

A report compiled by the FTC proposed a 'do not track' mechanism for browsers that would l...

Nearly all companies with a big Web presence, and search engines in particular, are known for gathering the user's browsing history and other personal information to improve on the services they offer, such as by offering better targeted advertisements. A preliminary report compiled by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) addressing the lack of transparency and user control over how companies gather Internet browsing data from their users, proposes a "Do Not Track" feature for Internet browsers that would allow users to opt out completely and protect their privacy.  Read More

A pedestrian is removed from a Google Street View image using experimental new software

Google Street View, while very useful, fascinating, and full of wonderful bloopers, does rub some privacy advocates the wrong way. Should people on public streets have a reasonable expectation of not ending up with their photo on the Internet? There’s a whole other article in that, but in any case... for all the folks who do have a problem with it, a computer science graduate student is working on a solution: software that digitally removes pedestrians from Street View images. One of the byproducts of the current version of the system is somewhat unsettling, however – areas where people were in images are sometimes marked by ghost-like shapes, or even by disembodied shoes and feet.  Read More

Online surveillance is now easier than ever (Image: VoxEfx via Flickr)

If it hasn't become apparent to you yet, you are living in an age when your every online step is being monitored. The notion of communications privacy has been steamrolled in the interests of security, and the occasional tiny chance we get to peek back at the people who make it their business to watch us is truly frightening. Two new stories from America this week give a rare glimpse behind the curtain at just how closely you're being watched, and by whom.  Read More

Facebook caves to pressure and tightens privacy controls

Facebook has caved to pressure from users and privacy advocates and overhauled its privacy settings. The site and its social networking brethren have come under increasing fire from users, privacy advocates and lawmakers, so in an attempt to address such concerns Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, says the site will introduce simpler and more powerful controls for sharing personal information.  Read More

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