Softcard Won’t Do It for Google: How to Get Digital Wallets Right

tappy-waveBoth Google and Softcard (AT&T / Verizon / T-Mobile) have spent a lot of dough (over $1bn) on mobile wallets with comparatively little to show for their investment. Despite this, there is a sense that after Apple Pay’s launch in October 2014, this long-awaited market opportunity is upon us. We at Abine believe it is – but we see two critical issues big payments competitors need to address.

What are those issues?

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Privacy News of the Week

small__8074467800Airline frequent fliers targeted by hack

Some members of the American Airlines AAdvantage and United Airlines MileagePlus frequent-flier programs saw their accounts get hacked this week.

Neither airline’s website was actually hacked. Rather, a small number of usernames and passwords were stolen from elsewhere and used at the MileagePlus and AAdvantage sites.

The hackers succeeded in booking award travel on a few of the accounts they accessed. Those accounts will be credited for the miles that were used, the AP reports. Read More

Is Blur the Best Password Manager for Me?

small__8229504229Blur is many things – a tracker blocker, an identity shield and a password manager.

Until late 2014, tracker blocking and password management were handled by DoNotTrackMe and MaskMe, respectively. With Blur, we rolled DNTM and MM into one suite, which means you only need a single login to manage and mask your identity – on both desktop and mobile.

Perhaps you’re interested primarily in the password management side of Blur. What makes Blur unique as a password manager – and how can you get started using it? Read More

The Week in Privacy

small__4383737447Writers express concern about government spying

Writers, editors and translators around the globe are tweaking what they publish and censoring themselves in response to government surveillance, a new survey shows.

The nonprofit PEN American Center polled more than 700 writers in fall 2014, in countries classified as “free”, “partly free” and “not free”. While respondents in the “not free” nations reported more self-censorship and were more worried about surveillance, a significant number of writers in “free” countries are concerned with privacy as well, PEN American Center executive director Suzanne Nossel said.

“The idea that we are seeing some similar patterns in free countries to those we’ve traditionally associated with unfree countries is pretty distressing,” she observed. Read More

New Year, Masked You

small__8255322598It’s taken some highly publicized hacks, and more than 300 million compromised accounts in 2014, but the nation is finally paying attention to digital privacy. The question is, what can an individual person do about privacy protection?

While it’s true that there are more digital threats than ever – private hackers in Russia, government-affiliated hacker groups in Syria and China and even our own government – it’s also easier than it’s ever been to secure one’s identity.

Yep, you can continue to shop online, create accounts on websites, subscribe to email lists and so on. The solution is masking – and it’s available today in Blur. Read More