#415 May 26th, 2015 – Americans on Online Privacy

This week’s headline story: Americans on Online Privacy

AISome believe that Americans, especially young Americans, are becoming complacent about privacy invasion, but a recent survey by the Pew Research Center quickly dispels any such notion. Americans are deeply troubled by surveillance, data collection and the security of their data that’s held by government agencies and private companies, Pew Research has found. The vast majority of American adults consider it very important to be in control of who can get information about them. 88 percent of the respondents didn’t want someone to watch or listen to them without their permission. 90 percent say that controlling what information is collected about them is important. Only 9 percent felt that they have much control over how much information was collected about them and how it was used.

Other Tech News

  • NSA Planned To Hijack Google Play Store, Hack Android Phones [NewsFactor]
    The National Security Agency (NSA) collaborated with the governments of four other countries on a planned attack that sought to infect millions of smartphones with spyware, according to a new report. The program, with the codename Irritant Horn, was designed to hijack the phones’ connections to app stores operated by Samsung and Google that would allow spies to surreptitiously steal data from users’ devices. The report was based on internal NSA documents provided by former government contractor and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.
  • Facebook’s Internet.Org Hits Global Flak [MIT Technology Review]
    Facebook’s internet.org initiative seeks to provide Internet access to people who could otherwise not afford it. It works with governments and telecom companies around the globe to provide limited access to the Web through commercial apps. Now digital-rights groups from 28 countries or regions around the world are complaining that internet.org isn’t the humanitarian gift that it is made out to be. They have signed a joint letter to Zuckerberg criticizing many of Internet.org’s practices on fairness, privacy, and security grounds. In many cases, the people using the service are confusing Facebook with the Web. They are given the impression that Facebook IS the web. Others are concerned about government and corporate surveillance through the service. In the letter they write that “In its present conception, Internet.org violates the principles of net neutrality, threatening freedom of expression, equality of opportunity, security, privacy and innovation.”

in Information Security News…

  • Google Study: Most Security Questions Easy To Hack [NewsFactor]
    Google has analyzed hundreds of millions of secret questions and answers that users had employed to recover access to their accounts. It then calculated how easily hackers could guess the answers to those questions. The result? “Secret questions are neither secure nor reliable enough to be used as a standalone account recovery mechanism.”
  • Adult Dating Site Hack Exposes Personal Data of Millions [NewsFactor]
    AdultFriendFinder.com, an online dating site with 64 million members, is reporting a data breach. Member information including marital status, sexual preference, e-mail addresses, dates of birth and physical addresses for up to 4 million members may have been compromised. Adult FriendFinder claims to be the Internet’s “Hottest Dating, Hookup and Sex Community.” Aside from the value of the stolen information on the black market, there’s also a potential for blackmail. “If any high profile, public figures or politicians have been using AdultFriendFinder, they might consider how the details they entered there could be used against them,” says Tim Erlin, director of IT security and risk strategy for Tripwire.

and in Tech Industry news…

  • Microsoft Debuts Touch-Controlled Office Apps for Android Phones [NewsFactor]
    Long gone are the days when Microsoft’s Office applications were available only on PCs running Windows. Microsoft continued its cross-platform evolution on Tuesday with the debut of a preview version of Office for Android phones.
  • Courting App Makers to Unlock Your Car’s Powerful Data Trove [MIT Technology Review]
    Startups like San Francisco-based, Automatic, are trying to interest developers in gadgets that plug into your car, hoping to power a new wave of mobile apps. Selling diagnostic-port dongles they hope to take advantage of the data that so many cars already collect to power smartphone apps that do everything from automatically splitting the cost of gas with friends to keeping an eye on how your teenager is doing behind the wheel.“The car is a computer, and we have always been frustrated about the fact that it’s an expensive computer we use but it really can’t do much,” Kote says. “We think it can do a lot more, and that’s what we’ve been working toward.”

and finally,

  • Microsoft’s HoloLens Will Put Realistic 3-D People in Your Living Room [MIT Technology Review]
    Microsoft is using its HoloLens technology to place photorealistic virtual 3-D people in your real world. With this technology, you could watch an acrobat tumble across your living room floor or witness your niece take some of her first steps. You could walk around the imaginary people just as if they were real, your viewpoint changing seamlessly as if they were actually there. Microsoft calls it video holograms. The technology uses 100 cameras to capture a performance from many different angles. Software uses the different viewpoints to create a highly accurate 3-D model of the person performing, resulting in a photo-real appearance displayed using HoloLens, in your current surroundings.

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