Surveys show growing concerns about online privacy
People on both sides of the Atlantic are coming around to what we at Abine have known for some time: you can’t take privacy for granted on the web.
Three-quarters of Irish adults believe online privacy is important, new Microsoft research says. And nearly 90 percent think foreign governments must respect Ireland’s privacy laws when doing business in the country.
Privacy worries appear to be mounting stateside, too. Pew’s Internet and American Life Project reported last week that 91 percent of American adults agree that they have lost control over how companies access and use their personal information.
Wyoming may become 11th state to enshrine privacy in its constitution
Wyoming may join 10 other states in establish consumer privacy protection in its constitution, the Washington Post reports.
A member of Wyoming’s legislature is sponsoring a bill that would require state law enforcement officials to prove the necessity of violating a citizen’s privacy before doing so.
“I think the problem is a general societal erosion of privacy rights,” the lawmaker, Chris Rothfuss, said.
WhatsApp implements end-to-end encryption in Android app
Messages sent in WhatsApp’s Android messaging app are now fully encrypted, the company announced this week.
The encryption technology – open-source software called Textsecure – requires a client-side key to de-encrypt messages, meaning that WhatsApp communications on Android are now all but uncrackable.
WIRED called the move “by some measures the world’s largest-ever implementation of this standard of encryption in a messaging service.” The technology will be rolled out to WhatsApp’s iOS app at a later date.
Automakers join in privacy pledge
More and more cars are being equipped with advanced connectivity technology like 4G data services – but there’s no need for drivers to worry that their privacy will be compromised.
That’s what automakers are asserting, at least. A coalition of 19 car companies sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission promising that they wouldn’t release drivers’ location data to law enforcement without a warrant – or that they’d sell that data without drivers’ express consent.
In response to the move, US Senator Ed Markey questioned the companies’ motives for collecting data at all.
“Consumers [do not have] a choice whether sensitive information is collected in the first place,” he said.
Harsh words for Uber on privacy practices
Ridesharing company Uber irked the media this week when an executive proposed digging up personal information about a journalist – and now a member of Congress is calling for scrutiny into Uber’s privacy policies.
US Senator Al Franken, in a letter to the company (PDF), dubbed its seeming disregard for media members’ privacy “troubling”.
Franken went on to say that he had “serious concerns” about the “scope, transparency and enforceability of Uber’s policies”.
Uber raised eyebrows last month when news broke of its “God View” rider-tracking tool.