Google sued for snooping on Apple users

Apple customers in Britain have begun to seek compensation after the search giant bypassed security settings on their iPhones and Mac computers, allowing it to track their browsing habits.

Don’t be evil Google.

Instagram responds to critics

Kevin Systrom, the co-founder of Instagram posted his thoughts on the recent privacy policy changes and promises the company is listening.

Blizzard’s gets hacked

The unauthorized access included email addresses associated with accounts in all regions, outside of China. Additional information from accounts associated with the North American servers (which generally includes players from North America, Latin America, Australia, New Zealand, and Southeast Asia) was also accessed, including cryptographically scrambled versions of passwords (not actual passwords), the answer to a personal security question, and information relating to Mobile and Dial-In Authenticators. It’s important to note that at this time, Blizzard does not believe this information alone is enough to gain access to accounts.

At least it wasn’t clear text passwords.

[Via Mac Rumors]

Microsoft standing up for what’s right

Ed Bott:

When Microsoft shipped its Release Preview of Windows 8 in June, it announced that the default browser, Internet Explorer 10, would have the Do Not Track (DNT) signal enabled by default. That action unleashed a heated debate in the Tracking Protection Working Group of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C).To the advertising and analytics companies that make up the tracking industry, this issue is an existential one. If the default browser in the world’s most popular operating system is set to disallow tracking, the effect would be profoundly disruptive to companies that live and die by their ability to follow users around the web.

Kudos to Microsoft for doing the right thing.

Twitter is tracking you

Dustin Curtis:

I’m not particularly surprised that Twitter is doing this kind of data analysis or collection. Facebook is almost certainly doing the same thing. But it is wrong. People do not expect Twitter or Facebook to know about their movements on the web. But they do. And that information is being stored somewhere. It is a violation of privacy and trust.

Online privacy

Steve Wildstrom:

But based on what I heard from an admittedly limited sample in Seattle, that’s not where real peoples’ concerns lie. Their worries about online privacy are less corporate and much more personal and intimate. Privacy concerns are real, but the policy responses can seem like solutions in search of problems.

I think this sums up my feelings pretty well. Privacy is a personal issue and one that we sometimes give up freely for a small reward.

Privacy, Safari and Google

John Gruber takes on John Battelle’s defense of Google and its practice to track users through cookies, even if they don’t want to be tracked.

The Piracy Threshold

Matt Gemmell: Let me make this perfectly clear: piracy is your own fault. You’ve got the whole situation almost exactly backwards. There’s so many great quotes that I could have used from Matt’s story, but this sums it up nicely … Continued

PrivacyScan available for Mac

PrivacyScan works by searching for known applications which leave files on your computer that could lead to privacy concerns. PrivacyScan offers support for a wide range of items, including popular web browsers such as Camino, Chrome, Firefox, Flock, iCab, OmniWeb, Opera, Safari, SeaMonkey, and Shiira, privacy threats presented by Flash Cookies, as well as standard apps such as Finder, Preview, and QuickTime. Once a scan has run its course and privacy threats have been detected, PrivacyScan offers a variety of choices for cleaning — from a standard quick delete to one of the many secure delete shredding options.

Made by the same people that make MacScan.

Carrier IQ and the FBI

Brad McCarty for TNW:

It probably wouldn’t come as a surprise if the FBI were to use data from Carrier IQ, but there’s no need for alarm, just yet. However, that’s contrary to what’s being reported elsewhere, so let’s take a moment to clear the air.

A very sensible article and approach from Brad.

Malls cancel plans to track shoppers

Maggie Shader: Remember how two malls annoyed more than a few people by announcing that they would be tracking shoppers’ movements via their cellphone signals? Yeah, well that’s no longer happening — at least for now. The malls have suspended … Continued

∞ Think you can hide, anonymous blogger?

Andy Baio:

Nonetheless, I found his other blog in under a minute — a thoughtful site about technology and local politics, detailing his full name, employer, photo, and family information. He worked for the local government, and if exposed, his anonymous blog could have cost him his job.

Kind of amusing.

[Via Streakmachine]

∞ Senator Franken asks Apple, Google to require privacy policies for apps

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) asked both Apple and Google to require “clear and understandable privacy policies for all of their apps.”

The Senator made the statements in a letter sent to both companies.

“If the companies agree to this request, consumers who purchase apps from Apple or Google’s app stores would have a clearer understanding of what information is being collected about them and with whom it’s being shared,” wrote Franken.

Read the rest of this story

∞ Video: Apple's Senate testimony now public

U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, questioned executives from Apple and Google on mobile privacy. That testimony is now public.

There is also a video of Franken’s opening remarks from the hearing this morning, which has been embedded below. In his statement, Franken expressed concern about mobile privacy, but said he didn’t want to stifle the companies.

Read the rest of this story on The Loop

∞ Apple, Google asked to appear before Senate over privacy

Privacy concerns among U.S. Senators have prompted Senator Al Franken to ask Apple and Google to participate in a hearing with the Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy.

According to Ars Technica’s Jacqui Cheng, the hearing will take place on May 10, 2011 at 10:00 am ET. The hearing will focus on recent reports that Google’s Android and Apple’s iPhone and iPad track user’s location.

Read the rest of this story on The Loop