Archive for the ‘Privacy’ Category

Apple WWDC14: Safari DuckDuckGo

June 3, 2014

Apple builds path to future with WWDC software refresh

Some Apple WWDC14 Keynote highlights included:

  • OS X Yosemite
  • Continuity
  • iOS 8
  • HealthKit
  • HomeKit
  • Swift
Safari DuckDuckGo Privacy WWDC14

Safari. Apple


Executive Craig Federighi – (a.k.a. “Hairforce One”) – also stressed privacy and security features several times.


Per Apple’s website, Safari will include a DuckDuckGo option:

“Safari now gives you more control over your privacy on the web. You can open one Safari window in Private Browsing mode — which doesn’t save your browsing history — while keeping others in regular browsing mode. So while you do your online banking privately in one window, your browsing history is still being saved while you surf in another. You can also now search the web using DuckDuckGo, a search engine that doesn’t track you.”


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Heartbleed Suspect Nabbed

April 17, 2014

Heartbleed Bug Hacker Charged by RCMP

Suspected Heartbleed hacker, Stephen Arthuro Solis-Reyes, 19, arrested.

Press release from The Royal Canadian Mounted Police:

“The RCMP treated this breach of security as a high priority case and mobilized the necessary resources to resolve the matter as quickly as possible. Investigators from National Division, along with our counterparts in ‘O’ Division have been working tirelessly over the last four days analyzing data, following leads, conducting interviews, obtaining and executing legal authorizations and liaising with our partners,” said Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud.”

According to The Washington Post:

“Earlier this week, the Canada Revenue Agency said an attacker using Heartbleed stole 900 Social Security numbers. It was the first known case of a hacker taking advantage of the security flaw for malicious purposes.”

Okay, I’ve been changing passwords left and right.

But now a 19-year-old is in custody.

Jailed by The Royal Gendarmerie of Canada:

Heartbleed Suspected Arrested RCMP

Credit: Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Wikipedia.

Mounted Police.

Helped by “O” Division.

Not a double-O, as in a “Bond” movie.

Single-O. Still cool enough.

And a teen.

In Canada.

Knew it all along.

This means the Heartbleed scare is over.

That my privacy is assured.




Twitter: @schwartznow

Digital Hubs:  Here or Here


Gmail’s April 1 Anniversary

April 1, 2014

How Gmail Happened: The Inside Story of Its Launch 10 Years Ago Today

Harry McCracken writing for TIME:

“If you wanted to pick a single date to mark the beginning of the modern era of the web, you could do a lot worse than choosing Thursday, April 1, 2004, the day Gmail launched.”

It was not an April Fool’s joke.

Here’s Google’s original news release.

Gmail’s “creator”, Paul Buchheit, is not quoted.

His color in the TIME article is classic Silicon Valley.

Balancing innovation, creating a team, addressing privacy, advertising, incorporating search, launching.

A tech “how-to.”

Gmail is now a decade old.

Out of Beta.

But a work in progress.

Still addressing privacy.

Did you get one of the original Gmail invites?

Do you still use it?


Twitter: @schwartznow

Digital Hubs:  Here or Here



Web’s 25th: Basic Human Rights

March 12, 2014

On the open internet and the free web

David Foster, deputy head of CERN’s IT department, is an early web contributor.

On this the 25th anniversary of the web, he shares some opinions:

“The web has evolved from simple information sharing to transacting business through socialising and more recently collaborative problem solving in citizen cyber science. In these ways it harnesses the capabilities of humanity to do what we do best; share, learn, collaborate and innovate.”

“Basic human rights.”
David Foster. Source: CERN

In an opinion piece, Foster cautions:

“However, with this capability comes considerable responsibility. Basic human rights – including the right to freedom of expression and the protection of privacy – all need to be balanced and preserved in order that this incredible resource can be a safe and exciting place for creativity for people of all ages and interests.”

Who is he addressing?

“This responsibility rests with all of us – whether politicians, lawmakers, scientists or citizens – to ensure that the incredible progress we have made in the last 25 years, starting with the work of a few, and now capturing the innovations of many, can continue in an open, trusted, safe, free and fair way.”

 “All of us.”

The Target Crisis

December 20, 2013

Answers to questions about the Target data breach

Bree Fowler, AP Technology Writer:

“Target says anyone who made purchases by swiping cards at terminals in its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have had their accounts exposed. The stolen data includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards.”

But how?

“Target isn’t saying how it happened.”

Investors rejected Target on the news.

The company’s stock dropped (-2.2%):

Target Stock Sell Off After Data Breach

U.S. Secret Service is now involved.

In the meantime, Target is in the middle a crisis.

Its reputation at stake.

Update – Target is offering a weekend sale.

CEO Gregg Steinhafel:

“We’re in this together, and in that spirit, we are extending a 10% discount – the same amount our team members receive – to guests who shop in U.S. stores on Dec. 21 and 22.”

Will this sale earn your trust in shopping at Target?

Blocking Twitter Trolls Harder

December 12, 2013

Blocking Twitter Users

Thought you blocked one of those Twitter trolls (or worse).

Not really. Read Twitter’s new policy closely:

Note: If your account is public, blocking a user does not prevent that user from following you, interacting with your Tweets, or receiving your updates in their timeline.”

You won’t see blocked users.

Their troll content, however, can still be seen.

And retweeted.

And searched.

Your choice?

Start over.

Go private.

Lock your account.

I know. Not much of a choice.

Twitter is now a public company.

The company wants your trolls (or worse) to remain public.

Update — Twitter “reverts” change:

Source: Twitter

“Earlier today, we made a change to the way the ‘block’ function of Twitter works. We have decided to revert the change after receiving feedback from many users – we never want to introduce features at the cost of users feeling less safe. Any blocks you had previously instituted are still in effect.”


New level of corporate spin.

After Twitter creates a crisis.

Issues remain: balancing privacy, reputations, safety … and the wrath of the ticked off trolls you block.

Ford Navigating Data, Privacy, Innovation

May 1, 2013

How data is changing the car game for Ford

Derrick Harris,

Mike Cavaretta, technical leader for predictive analytics and data mining with Ford Research & Innovation, added that Ford is really interested in collecting more data from more vehicles, but noted there’s also a privacy concern that could come into play. The potential of someone knowing where and how you’re driving might not appeal to the mainstream just yet (just look at all that data Tesla collects about its cars and can present if it really wants to), but as with the Energi, data does present some opportunities to improve the customer experience.

Navigating carefully the intersection of big data, privacy, customer satisfaction and innovation.

Facebook Home: Three More Things to Worry About

April 4, 2013

“We’re finally going to talk about that Facebook phone”

CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s unveiling of Facebook Home worries Om Malik:

It is time to ask for simple, granular and easy to understand privacy and data collection policies from Facebook, especially for mobile. We need to ask our … representatives to understand that Facebook wants to go from our desktops and browsers right into our home — the place where we need to be private.

The announcement provides three more reasons to worry about Facebook:

  1. Zuckerberg grinds forward like a fly that won’t go away. Dogged iteration is both bothersome and inspiring. His professional growth is noteworthy.
  2. Facebook Home allows even deeper data-dives into the private parts of your online shorts and knickers than ever before.
  3. Only your okay stands between Facebook’s and Zuckerberg’s plan. And you’ll probably buckle.

Bottom Line:
We give Facebook content for free … because we all want Facebook to scrape more of our data … to achieve its strategies.


Facebook stock finished more than 3 percent higher on the news.

Wall Street liked the announcement.

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