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Submission + - Online Security: 2016 Holiday Shopping Fraud Report Shows Bitcoin Remains Most S (newsbtc.com)

witchfieldaron writes: In the end, it goes to show traditional payment methods suffer from a lot of security issues.
During the 2016 holiday weekend, global online sales have seen a significant nudge upwards. At the same time, payment card fraud increased by a whopping 20%. Consumer’s financial details are always at risk when dealing with payment cards these days. Bitcoin is a far safer option, as there is no sensitive personal information leaked during the transaction process.
The rise in payment fraud during the 2016 holiday shopping season is not surprising. Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw an influx of global customers. However, this transaction volume makes it harder to determine which transactions are legitimate. But the concerns ago much deeper, as five types of fraud reports were filed.
First of all, there is credit card fraud. Everyone knows payment cards are inherently insecure, and provide significant risks to both owner and retailer. Very few companies perform thorough checks of payment card data when processing an order, making life easier for criminals shopping online.
Bitcoin Remains the Safe Way To Shop Online
Identity theft is another major concern, particularly during the holiday season. Vast amounts of personal information are floating around on the Internet, and criminals will sniff out sensitive details with relative ease. Thanks to email scams, which complete the top three, users are often tricked into giving up that type of information as well.
Promotion abuse is another popular trend, although its impact can often be negated. Users will experience annoyance through this type of fraud, but it should not affect them in a significant manner. Account takeover, on the other hand, is far more troublesome. Hacked social media profiles become far more common during the holiday season. Mostly due to consumers being more careless with their passwords.
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, mobile transactions were on the rise as well. Although mobile devices are commonly used for payments, they are not secure. Malware, scareware, and remote access trojans are just a few of the looming threats. Consumers storing payment information on these devices are at risk at any given time.
In the end, it goes to show traditional payment methods suffer from a lot of security issues. Bitcoin is a more secure solution, as no sensitive information can be obtained by analyzing transactions. Unfortunately, cryptocurrency is not as widespread when it comes to online shopping. But that situation can change at any given moment.

Submission + - No, You Can't Predict Likely Criminals Based On Their Facial Features (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: In a recent paper, researchers Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang claim they've found evidence that criminality can be predicted based on facial features—they say they've trained classifiers using various machine learning techniques that were able to distinguish photos of criminals from photos of non-criminals with a high level of accuracy. At Backchannel, Katherine Bailey points out one major flaw with that notion: if human beings can be prone to bias, the machine learning systems they trained can, too.

Submission + - T-Mobile CFO: Repeal of Net Neutrality Would Be 'Positive For My Industry' (tmonews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter spoke at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City, and he touched a bit on President-elect Donald Trump and what his election could mean for the mobile industry. Carter expects that a Trump presidency will foster an environment that’ll be more positive for wireless. “It’s hard to imagine, with the way the election turned out, that we’re not going to have an environment, from several aspects, that is not going to be more positive for my industry,” the CFO said. He went on to explain that there will likely be less regulation, something that he feels “destroys innovation and value creation.” Speaking of innovation, Carter also feels that a reversal of net neutrality and the FCC’s Open Internet rules would be good for innovation in the industry, saying that it “would provide opportunity for significant innovation and differentiation” and that it’d enable you to “do some very interesting things.”

Submission + - Orwell's toys

Presto Vivace writes: These Toys Don’t Just Listen To Your Kid; They Send What They Hear To A Defense Contractor

According to a coalition of consumer-interest organizations, the makers of two “smart” kids toys — the My Friend Cayla doll and the i-Que Intelligent Robot — are allegedly violating laws in the U.S. and overseas by collecting this sort of voice data without obtaining consent. ... ... In a complaint [PDF] filed this morning with the Federal Trade Commission, the coalition — made up of the Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC), the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood (CCFC), the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD), and our colleagues at Consumers Union — argue that Genesis Toys, a company that manufactures interactive and robotic toys, and Nuance Communications, which supplies the voice-parsing services for these toys, are running afoul of rules that protect children’s privacy and prohibiting unfair and deceptive practices.

Submission + - EU Data Regulations Will Disrupt Online Advertising Business Model

Presto Vivace writes: New EU Data Regulations Will 'Rip Global Digital Ecosystem Apart'

The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) doesn't come into force until May 2018, but when it does it will have a profound effect on businesses. The regulation will apply to data about every one of the EU's 500 million citizens, wherever in the world it is processed or stored. ... ... Put simply, targeting and tracking companies will need to get user consent somehow. Everything that invisibly follows a user across the internet will, from May 2018, have to pop up and make itself known in order to seek express permission from individuals.

Submission + - Virginia spent over half a million on cell surveillance that mostly doesn't work (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: In 2014, the Virginia State Police spent $585,265 on a specially modified Suburban outfitted with the latest and greatest in cell phone surveillance: The DRT 1183C, affectionately known as the DRTbox. But according to logs uncovered by public records website MuckRock, the pricey ride was only used 12 times — and only worked 7 of those times. Read the full DRTbox documents at MuckRock.

Submission + - Social media is not your friend

Presto Vivace writes: Of 8 Tech Companies, Only Twitter Says It Would Refuse to Help Build Muslim Registry for Trump

The Intercept contacted nine of the most prominent such firms, from Facebook to Booz Allen Hamilton, to ask if they would sell their services to help create a national Muslim registry, an idea recently resurfaced by Donald Trump’s transition team. Only Twitter said no.

Submission + - New Report Shows Internet Freedom Declining Worldwide (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A report issued by an independent watchdog organization shows that internet freedom is on the decline worldwide for the sixth straight year. The study by researchers at Freedom House assigned each of 65 countries a Freedom of the Internet (FOTIN) score. The FOTIN score is based on three categories: obstacles to access, which includes infrastructural and economic barriers to the internet; limits to content, and violations of user rights, which covers surveillance, privacy, and repercussions to users who violate internet restrictions. The study found that internet freedom continues to decline as governments increasingly target social media and communication apps to halt dissemination of information among the public.

Submission + - SPAM: Audit the ballots

Presto Vivace writes: Want to Know if the Election was Hacked? Look at the Ballots

The only way to know whether a cyberattack changed the result is to closely examine the available physical evidence—paper ballots and voting equipment in critical states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Unfortunately, nobody is ever going to examine that evidence unless candidates in those states act now, in the next several days, to petition for recounts.

Submission + - A web-site demonstrating, how other sites may track your every move (clickclickclick.click)

mi writes: The site (described here) annotates your every move on its one and only page. Turn on the sound to listen to verbal annotations in addition to reading them.

The same is possible for, and therefore done by, the regular sites as they attempt to study visitors looking for various trends — better to gauge our opinions and sell us things. While not a surprise to regular Slashdotters, it is certainly a good illustration...

Submission + - Google on the Trump Transition Team

Presto Vivace writes: Google is among the many major corporations whose surrogates are getting key roles on Donald Trump’s transition team.

Joshua Wright has been put in charge of transition efforts at the influential Federal Trade Commission after pulling off the rare revolving-door quadruple-play, moving from Google-supported academic work to government – as an FTC commissioner – back to the Google gravy train and now back to the government. ... The Intercept has documented how Wright, as a law professor at George Mason University, received Google funding for at least four academic papers, all of which supported Google’s position that it did not violate antitrust laws when it favored its own sites in search engine requests and restricted advertisers from running ads on competitors. George Mason received $762,000 in funding from Google from 2011 to 2013.

Submission + - Comcast Takes $70 Gigabit Offer Away From Cities Near Chicago (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: When Comcast brought its gigabit cable Internet service to the Chicago area in August, it gave customers in some parts of Chicago and nearby towns the option of subscribing for $70 a month—half off the standard, no-contract price of $140. Though the $70 gigabit offer required a three-year contract, it came with unlimited data, which normally costs an extra $50 a month on top of the $140 no-contract price. For Comcast customers, this was a good deal. But Comcast didn’t make the $70 offer available throughout the Chicago area, and now the company has restricted it even further. The offer remains available in parts of Chicago, namely Uptown, Grand Crossing, the Loop, and South Loop. But Comcast has stopped offering the $70 price in all nearby cities and towns where it was originally available. The $70 price was briefly offered in Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield, Waukegan, Tinley Park, Batavia, and Bloomington in Illinois and in South Bend in Indiana. In those areas, the $140 no-contract price is now the only option for new gigabit cable customers. (People who signed up for the $70 deal before it was rescinded will still get it for three years, as they’re under contract.) A Comcast spokesperson said the company had been “testing” the $70 promotion in certain areas of Illinois and Indiana but decided to stop the tests in most of them. It’s not clear why Comcast stopped the tests in these cities and towns, but Comcast told Ars that it often changes its promotions and thus could expand the $70 deal to other areas or offer new discounts soon. However, there are no expansions of the $70 offer being announced right now.

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