Entries with tag user privacy.

US Government Demands User Passwords from Internet companies

The US government is demanding users’ stored passwords from major Web firms, according to a CNET investigation by reporter Declan McCullach. Having a password—typically encrypted and stored—could let the government log into accounts and look at communications such as e-mails, review stored information, or even pretend to be the actual user. US officials have filed requests for passwords with companies including Microsoft and Yahoo. In some instances, they asked for additional information such as the companies’ encryption algorithms. It is unclear why the government submitted these requests. (CNET)

Mozilla Suggests Privacy-Protecting Approach for Personalizing Online Content

Mozilla is floating a new idea that would let browsers personalize Web content without needing to access a user’s entire browsing history as is the case now. If adopted, this interface would give users control over information their browser shares with websites and eliminate tracking systems used by advertisers that typically access a user’s entire browsing history. Such information is typically used to deliver content, such as advertisements, to a user based on sites or information previously viewed. The history can also be accessed without the user’s consent, which is a problem for privacy. The Mozilla Labs Prospector research team developed its new approach by conducting opt-in experiments with volunteer users. Mozilla’s new Firefox browser design would use artificial intelligence to learn a user’s interests over time and make relevant content available. (SlashDot)(Engadget)(CNET)(Mozilla)

EFF: Twitter, Sonic.net Lead Online Firms in User Privacy

A new study of 18 online firms by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-rights advocacy organization, found that Twitter and ISP Sonic.net met the EFF’s six privacy and transparency criteria. Those criteria, which are based on how firms handle user information, include whether they require a warrant before relinquishing user data or whether they publish transparency reports and law-enforcement data-access guidelines. For the third consecutive year, Myspace and Verizon satisfied none of the criteria. AT&T met one criterion this year. The EFF’s “Who Has Your Back” report is available at https://www.eff.org/who-has-your-back-2013.
(PC Mag)(Tom’s Hardware Guide)(EFF)

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