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Submission + - Shields for Privacy in a Smartphone World (

PatPending writes: Anytime, anywhere: co-workers, strangers, and others are using their smart phones to secretly take your photograph, record your conversations, and record videos to potentially be used against you. What can one do to protect one's right to privacy in the face of technology? (Aside from never leaving your mom's basement.)

Submission + - Google accused of invading privacy with pictures of house numbers (

PatPending writes: FTA: "Internet users are being asked to read random property numbers snapped by Google's Street View cameras, as part of new security checks.

The tests weed out "bots" by ensuring that users are human. But Google has been accused of exploiting the data submitted in by the public for commercial gain — by adding the information to its own mapping system.

Campaign groups said that the use of pictures of real house numbers presents “serious” security issues, and accused the internet company of being “underhand and crude”."


Submission + - Domestic use of aerial drones by law enforcement (

PatPending writes: In a prior Slashdot story, Honeywell To Sell Miami-Dade Police a Surveillance Drone, and this summary of Drones on The Home Front, drones are now used by the Texas Department of Public Safety; the Mesa County Sheriff's Office, Colorado; the Miami-Dade County, Florida, Police Department; and the Department of Homeland Security. But what about privacy concerns? "Drones raise the prospect of much more pervasive surveillance," said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst with the American Civil Liberties Union's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project. "We are not against them, absolutely. They can be a valuable tool in certain kinds of operations. But what we don't want to see is their pervasive use to watch over the American people."

Submission + - German firm develops Internet eraser for photos (

PatPending writes: German firm X-pire is poised to launch software the third week of this month allowing users to have photos uploaded to websites erased automatically after a certain time, said Michael Backes, founder of X-pire. The software will cost two euros per month.

Their software assigns an electronic key to each photo; the key is valid for a limited time period. Thereafter the web server checks whether the photo has expired and blocks it from being displayed if its time is up.

Internet surfers already have the power to delete photos from social networking websites like Facebook, but "experience shows that they don't get round to it," Backes said. "Most Facebook users, for example, are passive users. They go on, they put on a lot of private information and almost never come back on or they forget their password," he said.

"The software is not designed for people who understand how to protect their data but rather for the huge mass of people who want to solve the problem at its core and not to have to think about it any more," added Backes.

However, it will not protect cautious users against third parties downloading their pictures and saving them. "When people put photos on line, it's so they can be seen... our software is not a panacea, not absolute protection," he said.


Submission + - Feds Warrantlessly Tracking Americans’ Credi (

PatPending writes: A 10 page Powerpoint presentation that security and privacy analysis Christopher Soghoian recently obtained through a Freedom of Information Act Request to the Department of Justice, reveals that law enforcement agencies routinely seek and obtain real-time surveillance of credit card transaction. The government's guidelines reveal that this surveillance often occurs with a simple subpoena, thus sidestepping any Fourth Amendment protections.

Submission + - Google backs Yahoo in privacy fight with DOJ (

PatPending writes: Does e-mail stored in the cloud have the same level of protection as the same information stored by a person at home?

No, according to the Obama administration's Assistant U.S. Attorney Pegeen Rhyne, who wrote in a government motion filed last month, "Previously opened e-mail is not in 'electronic storage.' This court should therefore require Yahoo to comply with the order and produce the specified communications in the targeted accounts." (The Justice Department's position is that what's known as a 2703(d) order--not as privacy-protective as the rules for search warrants--should let police read e-mail.)

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