Gmail: confidential mode

This popped up in my gmail today, that it’s possible to add certain levels of confidential handling including expiration (message to be deleted after some period of time you choose) password (send by SMS text) protected messages and other features – Below is what I could see in the pop-up window describing these features.  The […]

Privacy and Civil Rights Oversight Board

What if there were a board in the Executive branch by that name, where “The Board’s mission is to ensure that the federal government’s efforts to prevent terrorism are balanced with the need to protect privacy and civil liberties.​”    Before all you cynics weigh in, it’s at least a good thing that such a […]

DNS – what does it have to do with my privacy?

DNS is “domain name service”.  Every time you look for, click on, or connect to something like cnn.com, foxnews.com, irs.gov, or umass.edu, it is part of the overall process for your application (maybe your FireFox or Chrome browser) and computer software, to ask “the internet address book”:  a “dns server” for the actual IP address […]

Privacy and Climate Change

From the start of this blog I’ve suggested that we can all take small steps to claw back some of our privacy.  Not to swallow the entire turkey in one gulp, but take a nibble, or a healthy bite when you feel it’s right.  Here the NYT is recommending much the same thing, take one […]

Your CPAP, heart monitor, glucose meter, fitbit, applewatch, are spying on you. ?!

https://www.propublica.org/article/you-snooze-you-lose-insurers-make-the-old-adage-literally-true So there are a number of messages in this article (emphasis added by myself): start with your medical device manufacturer is not only monitoring your use  but reporting it to your insurer;  the implication is your noncompliance could be used to limit your benefits in the future –  from the article: Privacy experts said […]

Car Owners and VINs

https://carsowners.net/volkswagen/beetle/2012/ma Who owns 2012 VW Beetles in Massachusetts?   Name, address, phone number, and VIN. “Contact us” for this site shows an address in … Cyprus: Crown Corp. 83 Spyrou Kyprianou Avenue 6053 Larnaca, Cyprus How is this information available?  Probably through maintenance records (goodness, would your car dealer sell that information to 3rd party aggregators?  […]

Who can(n’t) you trust any more?

https://thehackernews.com/2018/08/facebook-vpn-app-apple-store.html Just because something claims to offer “VPN” (virtual private network) services, doesn’t mean it’s actually good for your privacy nor security.  How disappointing, but yet is this really unexpected? Facebook yesterday removed its mobile VPN app called Onavo Protect from the iOS App Store after Apple declared the app violated the iPhone maker’s App […]