Secure Chat App ‘Signal’ Announces Default Disappearing Messages

· Andrew Orr · Link

Signal default disappearing messages

Signal, a messaging app that uses end-to-end encryption, introduced a feature to let you have all of your messages disappear by default.

Until now, disappearing messages had to be enabled on a per-conversation basis, but for those who want to take ephemerality to the fullest, Signal now supports the ability to preconfigure all conversations you initiate with a default timer.

We’ve also added the ability to set custom timer durations on your conversations, so that some content can be gone in 60 seconds and others can exist for 18 minutes or 4 weeks.

EFF Shares Statement on Apple Scanning for Illegal Content

· Andrew Orr · Link

Surveillance camera spying on people

This week we discovered that Apple plans to localize its scanning efforts to detect child sexual abuse material. The move has been widely criticized and the Electronic Frontier Foundation has shared its statement on the matter.

All it would take to widen the narrow backdoor that Apple is building is an expansion of the machine learning parameters to look for additional types of content, or a tweak of the configuration flags to scan, not just children’s, but anyone’s accounts. That’s not a slippery slope; that’s a fully built system just waiting for external pressure to make the slightest change.

The Rise of QR Codes has Privacy Experts Worried

· Andrew Orr · Link

QR code on smartphone

The popularly of QR codes has risen due to the pandemic, since it enables touchless interactions. But they can be used for tracking and advertising.

But the spread of the codes has also let businesses integrate more tools for tracking, targeting and analytics, raising red flags for privacy experts. That’s because QR codes can store digital information such as when, where and how often a scan occurs. They can also open an app or a website that then tracks people’s personal information or requires them to input it.

Apple Book Sale: ‘How to Disappear’ is Only a Dollar

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

This one caught my eye as I was browsing for sales on BookBub (seriously, use BookBub). How to Disappear is the authoritative and comprehensive quide for people who seek to protect their privacy as well as for anyone who’s ever entertained the fantasy of disappearing-whether actually dropping out of sight or by eliminating the traceable evidence of their existence. The author, Frank Ahearn, was a skip tracer, people who specialize in locating others.

Apple Book Sale: ‘How to Disappear’ is Only a Dollar

Catholic Publication Used Location Data Against a Priest

· Andrew Orr · Link

Grindr app logo

Catholic media publication The Pillar used location data from gay dating app Grindr to track the movements of a priest, then publicly outed him for “improper behavior.”

It wasn’t clear who had collected the information about Burrill. USCCB spokespeople declined to answer questions Tuesday about what it knew about the information-gathering and what its leadership feels about it, except to say the USCCB wasn’t involved. They also declined to comment on whether they knew if Burrill’s alleged actions were tracked on a private or church-owned phone.

This is a good example of how our data can be used against us, and not just by advertisers.

A Glimpse Into the World of Mobile Advertising IDs and Their Use

· Andrew Orr · Link

Mobile advertising IDs

Motherboard gives us a brief look into mobile advertising IDs (MAIDS) and how they can be used to unmask your identity.

All BIGDBM USA data assets are connected to each other,” Mack added, explaining that MAIDs are linked to full name, physical address, and their phone, email address, and IP address if available. The dataset also includes other information.

DuckDuckGo Launches Free Email Protection Service

· Andrew Orr · Link

DuckDuckGo email protection

Privacy search engine DuckDuckGo has launched an Email Protection Service to protect against email trackers. You can get a free, personalized address that will forward emails to your regular inbox.

We remove hidden trackers from incoming emails sent to this address, then forward them to your regular inbox for safer reading. This means if you use an email service like Gmail or Yahoo, it’s no problem! Emails sent to your Personal Duck Address will arrive there as usual so you can read your email like normal, in any app or on the web, worry-free.

Google Adds Tool to Quickly Delete Your Last 15 Minutes of Searches

· Andrew Orr · Link

Delete 15 minutes of google search history

Google is adding new protections for your search history like quick deletion, requiring verification to access the My Activity section, and more.

You can also try out a new way to quickly delete your last 15 minutes of saved Search history with the single tap of a button. This feature is available in the Google app for iOS, and is coming to the Android Google app later this year.

You could also just turn disable your search history altogether, too.