Masked Phone: Stop giving away your real phone number

donotcallAt Abine, our #1 priority is helping consumers keep their private information private. In addition to Abine Blur’s Masked Emails and Masked Cards feature, one of the cool premium features included with a Blur subscription is Masked Phone.

Just like Masked Emails and Masked Cards, we recommend that you give out your Masked Phone number online—or in person—whenever you’re uncomfortable giving out your real phone number. The Masked Phone number that you receive from us acts as a ‘forwarding’ phone number that will forward all calls and text messages to your real phone number, without sacrificing your privacy or being forced to give your phone number to slimy companies who will sell your phone number to the highest bidder. Read More

Why is it O.K. for Facebook to force users to watch ads?

FacebookFacebook announced recently that it’s forcing users to watch ads even if they have ad-blockers installed in their web browsers by disabling the blocking.  

The social media giant is stirring controversy by saying that it will serve ads to users with ad-blockers turned on.  It’s estimated that about 20% of U.S. web browser users have added an ad-blocker to their browsers.  That’s starting to look like a lot of lost revenue.   Read More

Pokémon Go, Privacy and Virtual Payments


TL;DR: playing Pokémon Go is probably not a great idea if you’re at all concerned about your or your child’s privacy.

The phenomenon of the “augmented reality” game Pokémon Go has been a big topic of conversation around the world.  The game relies on real-world physical locations that you can visit – and while there, use the App on your phone to play for virtual prizes.  Like most freemium games, you can also pay to speed up or enhance your character and capabilities by spending real money.

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Abine on Apple’s ‘differential privacy’: should you care?

apple-sign-wwdc-2016-2If you’re a fan of Apple or use any of their products, then you’ve likely been following the recent news at Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference. One of the new “features” that’s been getting press is Apple’s announcement that they’ll begin using technology known as “Differential Privacy” with iOS 10 in order to continuously improve the iOS user experience.

Although Apple typically never shares their OS secrets, they did provide the following explanation about differential privacy: Read More

Mary Meeker, bankers, and VC’s have nothing to say about online privacy

mary meekerIn Ms. Meeker’s time-honored annual tome of macro statistics and themes getting “re-imagined” online privacy has, for the first time, deserved some attention.  After illustrating the global slowdown in new smartphone purchases and Internet users, Ms. Meeker dedicates a slide to “Growth of Ad Blockers” (and a handful more talking about what kinds of advertising are working) and, finally, by page #207, she talks about the data privacy debate, listing events like Snowden and the Apple / US DOJ encryption battle.  The next several slides detail survey results about consumer privacy concerns and end with a suggestively rhetorical question: “Do people care about privacy or do they care about WHO has their data?”  Read More