Tag Archives: Privacy

Apple releases iOS 14 and new Apple Watches

Apple announced the release of iOS 14, new Apple Watches, and other products and services at its September 2020 event.

iOS 14 has several new features, including a new Translate app with 11 languages, digital versions of car keys, and  Home app for smart home management.

iOS 14 also shows if an app is using the camera or phone. A green indicator will appear if an app is using the device’s camera, and an orange indicator will appear if the microphone is in use. App settings for hardware use can be changed under Settings > Privacy.   Apps running on iOS14 will also be required to obtain permission to track users starting in early 2021.

Apple has provided a list of compatible devices for iOS 14 and iPadOS.

New watches include the Apple Watch 6 Series and Apple Watch SEWatch OS 7 also includes sleep tracking and other health related features.

Facebook app will have more privacy features

Facebook will prompt its users to review their privacy settings within the next few weeks as part of a rollout of new and revised privacy features:

Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp AMCA data security incident

Quest Diagnostics issued a statement that billing collections service American Medical Collection Agency (AMCA) had potential unauthorized activity on AMCA’s web payment page, which could have compromised the data of about 11.9 million Quest patients.  Lab results were not affected by this incident.  Quest Diagnostics is continuing their investigation.

Update: LabCorp also revealed in an SEC filing that AMCA also had 7.7 million of their customer records affected in a similar incident.

Data breach lists and identity theft victim resources

Some of the more comprehensive lists of known data breaches include:

Identity theft victims can receive advice from these websites:

Companies that track U.S. consumer data

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), a U.S. government agency that enforces federal consumer financial laws, publishes a list of companies that track data of U.S. consumers.  The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) requires companies to give consumers copies of their personal data reports.  The CFPB also lists options on how to obtain a personal credit score.

Some of the more relevant companies on this list include:

LexisNexis has a free personal report available which shows data compiled from various public sources. Chex Systems also has a report available for consumers.

An online dispute can be filed with Equifax, Experian, TransUnion, and LexisNexis if there are errors in a credit file.

Google expedites shutdown of Google+ consumer version

Google will move the shutdown date of the consumer version of its Google+ (Google Plus) social network from August 2019 to April 2019.  Google still plans to support Google+ for enterprise customers.

Update: Google+ will no longer be available for consumer (personal) accounts on April 2, 2019.  Google also provided instructions on downloading Google+ data and deleting a Google+ account.

This announcement was a follow-up to their October 2018 security notice on Google+.

New DMCA government rules allow third party repairs of some technology products

The U.S. Copyright Office issued a new ruling effective October 28th 2018 that allows exceptions to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 (DMCA).  Section 1201 of the DMCA was used by some companies to restrict consumer and third party use of products containing software, including smartphones, computers, motor vehicles, and home appliances. This ruling allows greater legal protection for consumers and third party companies to repair and diagnose rightfully owned technology products.

Answers to some frequently asked questions on this ruling can be found at www.copyright.gov/1201/2018/faqs.html.  General information on U.S. copyright laws is available at www.copyright.gov/help/faq/index.html.

Digital rights groups such as the Repair Association and the Electronic Frontier Foundation have issued their own responses regarding this ruling.