Prosecutors reveal extraction of data from protesters' phones

(Mar 24, 2017) Court papers reveal prosecutors are extracting data from more than 100 cellphones obtained through arrests during President Donald Trump’s inauguration, BuzzFeed reports. Prosecutors said they received search warrants to take data from the phones, including information from individuals who were not indicted in any crime related to the inauguration protests. Despite all the phones having been locked, the filing indicates the government was successful in accessing the phones’ data. The government ... Read More

Privacy issues surround the rapidly growing legal marijuana industry

(Mar 24, 2017) JD Supra runs down the data privacy issues surrounding the rapidly growing legal marijuana industry. While several states have legalized marijuana, it is still illegal at a federal level. Consumers are pushing back against data collection efforts out of fear the information will make its way to the hands of employers or the government. Several medical marijuana databases have been breached as well, including incidents in both Nevada and Washington state. Tech companies are beginning to realize t... Read More

Toronto photographer accused of posting revealing photos, contact info

(Mar 24, 2017) Ren Bostelaar, a popular Toronto photographer, has been accused of posting revealing photos and contact information of women he knows, online, the Toronto Star reports. The photos appeared on the infamous website, 4chan, with Bostelaar admitting he participated in 4chan threads, specifically /b/, a place where nude photos are commonly shared. Toronto police confirmed Bostelaar is under investigation for criminal harassment after a complaint was made. Bostelaar said “the photographs he posted had... Read More

Sexual violence victims removed from data collection program

(Mar 23, 2017) After criticism, the Ministry of Social Development said it will not collect the information of sexual violence victims for the first year of a new data collection scheme measuring the effectiveness of agency-funded programs, Stuff reports. New Zealand Privacy Commissioner John Edwards was reviewing this policy, the report states. While a manager from Marlborough Women's Refuge said she was pleased that the government had rethought elements of the policy, she also expressed concerns over potenti... Read More

Experiment chronicles effect of constant surveillance in the home

(Mar 23, 2017) CNN reports on the Helsinki Privacy Experiment, a project designed to explore the long-term psychological effects of constant surveillance in a home environment. The results of the experiment, published five years ago, found while the majority of the participants expressed privacy concerns, such as the possibility of releasing the footage to the public, or the video would be edited in a way to intentionally misrepresent them, the subjects eventually got used to the surveillance. By the end of th... Read More

House Oversight Committee grills FBI over facial recognition

(Mar 22, 2017) The House Oversight Committee held a two-hour hearing Wednesday exploring privacy and security issues around the deployment and use of facial recognition technology. Though the panel featured witnesses from government, industry, and civil society, much of the discussion turned on the Federal Bureau of Investigation's use of and access to nearly 412 million face images from various databases and its apparent difference of opinion with a Government Accountability Office report that was critical of... Read More

Podcast on Richard Simmons' whereabouts raises privacy issues

(Mar 22, 2017) Former "Daily Show" producer Dan Taberski's podcast, "Missing Richard Simmons," has drawn criticism for what some call an intrusive dive into the '80's fitness guru's whereabouts, mental health and sexuality, Vox reports. Simmons himself generated intrigue after disappearing from the public eye in 2014, initially causing speculation about his well-being; it was this concern that Taberski said served as the impetus for his podcast, which he continued with, undeterred, even when Simmons confirmed ... Read More

This mortgage company aims to put user privacy first

(Mar 17, 2017) The founders of Arrive Home Mortgage have always been looking for ways to transform the mortgage industry. Throughout many conversations, they found the best way to accomplish this was to always keep the consumers' best interest in mind. When looking into their competition, their team saw some unsettling trends in ways online mortgage companies were delivering information to consumers. In this post for Privacy Tech, Ryan Chiavetta talks with AHM Chief Operating Officer Brock Rauch to discuss wha... Read More

BeLoanReady mortgage app puts user privacy ahead of sales

(Mar 17, 2017) The founders of Arrive Home Mortgage have always been looking for ways to transform the mortgage industry. Throughout many conversations, they found the best way to accomplish this was to always keep the consumers' best interest in mind. While looking into their competition, the Arrive Home Mortgage team saw some unsettling trends in ways online mortgage companies were delivering information to consumers. "We started looking at those options and one of the big takeaways we had very early was i... Read More

Emma Watson to take legal action after pictures leak online

(Mar 16, 2017) Actress Emma Watson has said that she is planning to take legal action after reports surfaced that private photos of her had leaked online, Reuters reports. While blog posts and other social media outlets have said they were nude pictures of the actress, Watson denied those claims. "Photos from a clothes fitting Emma had with a stylist a couple of years ago have been stolen," her publicist said in a statement. "They are not nude photographs. Lawyers have been instructed and we are not commenting... Read More