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Please don’t buy this: smart doorbells

Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday are over, the two shopping holidays were just precursors to the larger Christmas season—a time of year when online packages pile high on doorsteps and front porches around the world. According to some companies, it’s only logical to want to protect these packages from theft, and wouldn’t it just so happen that these same companies have the perfect … [Read more...]

“Data as property” promises fix for privacy problems, but could deepen inequality

In mid-November, Democratic presidential hopeful Andrew Yang unveiled a four-prong policy approach to solving some of today’s thornier tech issues, such as widespread misinformation, technology dependence, and data privacy. Americans, Yang proposed, should receive certain, guaranteed protections for how their data is collected, shared, and sold—and if they choose to waive those rights, they should … [Read more...]

Malwarebytes teams up with security vendors and advocacy groups to launch Coalition Against Stalkerware

Today, Malwarebytes is announcing its participation in a joint effort to stop invasive digital surveillance: the Coalition Against Stalkerware. For years, Malwarebytes has detected and warned users about the potentially dangerous capabilities of stalkerware, an invasive threat that can rob individuals of their expectation of, and right to, privacy. Just like the domestic abuse it can enable, … [Read more...]

Stalkerware’s legal enforcement problem

Content warning: This piece contains brief descriptions of domestic violence and assault against women and children. In the past five years, only two stalkerware developers, both of whom designed, marketed, and sold tools favored by domestic abusers to pry into victims’ private lives, have faced federal consequences for their actions. Following a guilty plea in court, one was ordered to pay … [Read more...]

ACCESS Act might improve data privacy through interoperability

Data privacy is back in Congressional lawmakers’ sights, as a new, legislative proposal focuses not on data collection, storage, and selling, but on the idea that Americans should be able to more easily pack up their user data and take it to a competing service—perhaps one that better respects their data privacy. The new bill would also require certain tech companies, including Facebook, … [Read more...]

Stalkerware developer dealt new blow by FTC

Last week, the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) interpreted its broad consumer protection mandate to file a first-of-its-kind enforcement action against the developer of three mobile stalkerware applications. The developer was banned from further selling the apps unless significant changes were made in design and functionality. The FTC’s required changes address notification procedures and … [Read more...]

Why all organizations must better protect sensitive data

About two weeks ago, National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) kicked off with a new message stressing personal responsibility for users keeping themselves safe online: “Own IT. Secure IT. Protect IT.” NCSAM asked users to consider best practices for both securing their own devices and protecting sensitive data. But personal responsibility in cybersecurity extends beyond … [Read more...]

Insurance data security laws skirt political turmoil

Across the United States, a unique approach to lawmaking has proved radically successful in making data security stronger for one industry—insurance providers. The singular approach has entirely sidestepped the prolonged, political arguments that have become commonplace when trying to pass federal and state data privacy laws today. In California, for example, Big Tech lobbying groups have … [Read more...]

CEOs offer their own view of a US data privacy law

Last week, the chief executives of more than 50 mid- and large-sized companies urged Congress to pass a national data privacy law to regulate how companies collect, use, and share Americans’ data. Buried deep within the chief executives’ recommendations for such a law, presented as a policy framework for guidance, was a convenient proposal: Private individuals should not be allowed to sue … [Read more...]

5 simple steps to securing your remote employees

As remote working has become standard practice, employees are working from anywhere and using any device they can to get the job done. That means repeated connections to unsecured public Wi-Fi networks—at a coffee shop or juice bar, for example—and higher risks for data leaks from lost, misplaced, or stolen devices. Think about it. Let’s say your remote employee uses his personal smart … [Read more...]