Filed under: Privacy issues

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Yahoo to keep search records for 18 months

Yahoo has made a big about-face by extending the amount of time it will keep user search records to 18 months from 90 days. Get the full story »

Illinois man denies taking military data to China

An Illinois man pleaded not guilty Thursday to taking restricted military data from his former job at a New Jersey technology company and presenting it at two conferences in China last fall. Get the full story »

Google to toughen privacy policy, undergo audits

Google Inc. has agreed to implement a comprehensive privacy policy and undergo 20 years of independent audits as part of a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission in connection with charges that it used deceptive tactics and violated promises to customers when launching its Buzz social network last year. Get the full story »

France fines Google over Street View data grab

France’s online privacy watchdog said Monday it has fined Google Inc.  100,000 euros, or around $144,000, for unfair data collection from wireless networks through the company’s Street View mapping service and localization program Latitude.

Last May, Google disclosed that the camera-equipped cars it uses to take pictures for Street View, which has provided panoramic views of city streets since it was launched in 2007, had for several years inadvertently collected personal data from unsecured wireless networks across the world. The revelation prompted scrutiny from authorities in a number of countries, including France and the United Kingdom. Get the full story »

Conn. won’t seek data in Google privacy probe

Connecticut’s attorney general said Friday that Google Inc.  won’t have to hand over user data it collected from unsecured wireless networks as part of his office’s probe of the Internet giant’s privacy snafu.

Atty. Gen. George Jepsen said his office reached a deal with the Internet company that allows him to begin settlement negotiations over whether Google violated state law. Get the full story »

Zuckerberg’s Facebook page hacked

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s fan page was hacked Tuesday — a high-profile breach on a site that constantly faces scrutiny about its handling of its members’ private data.

The message that appeared on Zuckerberg’s page under his name read: “Let the hacking begin: If Facebook needs money, instead of going to the banks, why doesn’t Facebook let its users invest in Facebook in a social way? Why not transform Facebook into a ’social business’ the way Nobel Price winner Muhammad Yunus described it? What do you think? #hackercup2011″ Get the full story »

Facebook acts to make users’ data more secure

Facebook says it has disabled a feature that let users share their address and phone number with external Web sites and applications after criticism from security experts.

Facebook said in a blog post Tuesday that it is changing the feature to ensure that users share information only when they want to. Users, for example, could share their address with applications such as shopping Web sites for easier access. Get the full story »

Facebook to provide access to users’ data

Facebook has quietly opened the door for app developers to request a user’s addresses and phone numbers.

The most popular social media site in the world announced the move on its Facebook Developer blog, in a post Friday night by developer liaison Jeff Bowen.

So far, Facebook has failed to mention the change on its general announcement blog for users or any other network-wide methods. The company has dealt with privacy concerns for years, with a focus of criticism being third-party app makers’ access to user data.

For Facebook users, this means address and phone numbers listed in their profile will be given to a developer who requests such information by way of the “Request for Permission” dialog box that pops up when a user begins the process of adding an application to their profile.

Apple sued over privacy issues with Apps

Apple Inc. allowed personal information from users of applications for its iPad and iPhone devices to be transmitted to advertising networks without the users’ knowledge, according to a lawsuit brought against the technology giant last week, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday. Get the full story »

Apple sued over privacy of iPhone, iPad apps

Bloomberg News | Apple Inc. has been sued over claims that some of its iPhone and iPad apps, including Pandora and, transmit users’ personal information to advertisers.

Gawker breach spreads to Twitter

A spam attack on Twitter shows why it’s wise to use different passwords for Internet accounts.

Twitter said Monday that hackers broke into an unspecified number of accounts and sent spam promoting acai berry drinks. Twitter says the passwords came from a  breach at Gawker Media, which runs Gawker, Gizmodo and other technology and media sites. People who used the same passwords for both sites were vulnerable. Get the full story »

WikiLeaks backers attack MasterCard, Visa sites

Credit card giants MasterCard and Visa came under intense cyber attack Wednesday as supporters of WikiLeaks retaliated for moves against Julian Assange after the release of U.S. diplomatic cables that angered and embarrassed Washington.

The Swedish prosecution authority, whose arrest order for Assange over accusations of sexual offenses led a British court to remand the 39-year-old WikiLeaks website founder in custody, also said it had reported an online attack to police. Get the full story »

Microsoft plans ‘do not track’ feature in browser

Microsoft plans to introduce a new “tracking protection” feature in the next version of its Internet Explorer browser, which will let users filter out sites they don’t want to share information with. Get the full story »

Feds check wrong person’s e-mail in spam probe

It’s the online equivalent of police breaking down the wrong door.

Court documents show that a typo caused federal investigators in Milwaukee to go through an innocent person’s e-mail account as they tried to track down an alleged Russian spammer.

An FBI agent says in a search-warrant affidavit that as soon as he discovered his mistake he stopped reviewing the e-mails, sealed them and sought a new search warrant for the correct address. Get the full story »

Google pays just $1 to end lawsuit over Street View

Google admitted to trespassing, but will pay just $1 to resolve a lawsuit over its use of photos of a couple’s Pennsylvania home for its Street View mapping service.

The agreement ends a case brought by Aaron and Christine Boring, who said the Internet search company violated their privacy by photographing their Pittsburgh home and swimming pool without their permission. They said the home sits on a street clearly marked “Private Road.”

“Google could have just sent us an apology letter in the very beginning, but chose to try to prove they had a legal right to be on our land,” the couple said in a statement. “We are glad they finally gave up.” Get the full story »