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    Me Too! Google Play Store to add privacy information for all Android apps

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · 14:08

Google announced the introduction of a privacy information section on the entries of Android applications listed in its Google Play Store digital distribution service starting with Q1 2022.

"Today, we're pre-announcing an upcoming safety section in Google Play that will help people understand the data an app collects or shares, if that data is secured, and additional details that impact privacy and security," Suzanne Frey, Product VP for Android Security and Privacy, said.

We've just seen with Apple's roll out that only around 4% of users opted to enable the tracking in their settings. Apple defaulted it to disabled, so it will be interesting to see what default Google chooses, and whether they will have that option. It would be rather pointless having privacy labels without some way the user can choose to opt out. Seeing a majority of free Android apps are advert driven it will also be interesting to see how this shifts that ecosystem.


#technology #privacy #tracking #android

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    Teaching Cybersecurity to Children / Schneier · 13:36 · 1 minute

A new draft of an Australian educational curriculum proposes teaching children as young as five cybersecurity:

The proposed curriculum aims to teach five-year-old children — an age at which Australian kids first attend school — not to share information such as date of birth or full names with strangers, and that they should consult parents or guardians before entering personal information online.

Six-and-seven-year-olds will be taught how to use usernames and passwords, and the pitfalls of clicking on pop-up links to competitions.

By the time kids are in third and fourth grade, they’ll be taught how to identify the personal data that may be stored by online services, and how that can reveal their location or identity. Teachers will also discuss “the use of nicknames and why these are important when playing online games.”

By late primary school, kids will be taught to be respectful online, including “responding respectfully to other people’s opinions even if they are different from personal opinions.”

I have mixed feeling about this. Norms around these things are changing so fast, and it’s not likely that we in the older generation will get to dictate what the younger generation does. But these sorts of online privacy conversations are worth having around the same time children learn about privacy in other contexts.

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    WhatsApp scraps May 15 deadline for its controversial privacy policy - Was NOT failure to 'educate' users, but too many users now understand risks of external metadata sharing

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · 13:14


#technology #privacy #detelewhatsapp

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    A 'vehicle forensics kit' can reveal where you’ve driven, what doors you opened, and who your friends are

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · 2 days ago - 14:08

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBT) purchased technology that vacuums up reams of personal information stored inside cars, according to a federal contract reviewed by The Intercept, illustrating the serious risks in connecting your vehicle and your smartphone.

The contract, shared with The Intercept by Latinx advocacy organization Mijente, shows that CBP paid Swedish data extraction firm MSAB $456,073 for a bundle of hardware including five iVe “vehicle forensics kits” manufactured by Berla, an American company. A related document indicates that CBP believed the kit would be “critical in CBP investigations as it can provide evidence [not only] regarding the vehicle’s use, but also information obtained through mobile devices paired with the infotainment system.”

Well this is an interesting new attack angle on smartphones and just shows the goalposts keep shifting.


#technology #privacy #surveillance #iVe #forensics

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    Signal used its Ad account on Instagram to show you your personal data it can see, and Facebook promptly shut it down and disabled their Ad account

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · 2 days ago - 14:06

Signal explained how it went down in a blog post Tuesday. The idea was to post ads on Instagram which use the data an online advertiser may have collected about users, and basically show the user what that data might be for them.

However, Facebook wasn't having it, and shut down both the campaign and Signal's ad account. It's unclear which rule or guideline, exactly, Signal has breached in order to get banned.


#technology #instagram #facebook #privacy #signal

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    AirTag review: They work great—maybe a little too great / ArsTechnica · 2 days ago - 12:00

Apple's AirTag is not a revolutionary new product. Rather, it's a significant refinement of an idea that, up until now, has been fairly niche. It works very, very well, but it works so well it seems to undermine Apple's attempts to focus its products on privacy and security.

We spent several days testing AirTags in different situations, and we found that they work stunningly well—at least in a dense urban environment with iPhones all around.

I can't imagine recommending any of the preceding attempts at this concept over AirTags if you have an iPhone. (Sadly, Android users are quite literally left to their own devices—in more ways than usual, as you'll see later in this review.)

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    Android 11 Custom ROM List – Unofficially Update Your Android Phone Because Even The Old Samsung Galaxy S III Can Get The Latest Updates!

    Danie van der Merwe · / gadgeteerza-tech-blog · 3 days ago - 12:49

It's just not true at all that most older phones cannot be updated regularly to the latest versions of Android. Manufacturers choose not to support those devices as they want to sell a new phone to you.

But 3rd party custom ROMs do exist for older phones and often give you the choice of whether to install the Google apps or not. Apart from getting the latest features (hardware permitting) and patches, these ROMs are often include extra features that you don't see in standard Android, and you also usually have a more privacy orientated OS.

The downside is you usually have to do a manual flashing the first time, but after that most ROMs will auto update just like standard Android does.

The site below lists the phones that can install these custom ROMs.


#technology #android #customrom #obsolescence #privacy