Is Apple Really Going After Substack? — Media+

· Charlotte Henry · Media+

The Mac Observer's Media+ Podcast Logo

Journalist and author Chris Stokel-Walker joins host Charlotte Henry to discuss Apple’s forthcoming Mail Privacy Protection and its implications for the e-mail newsletter market. They also discuss the history, and future, of TikTok.

Colorado Becomes Third State to Pass Privacy Law

· Andrew Orr · Link

Colorado state flag

Lawmakers in Colorado passed the Colorado Privacy Act, and now Senate Bill 190 needs Governor Jared Polis’ signature.

Consumer advocates said the measure could have gone further to protect people. One change allows consumers to universally opt out of ad-based tracking instead of having to make that request for each website or company. But the act also lets advertising companies keep tracking consumers if they ask for consent first.

Should You Digitize Your ID With iOS 15?

· Andrew Orr · Link

iOS 15 driver’s license example

One of the updates to Apple Wallet in iOS 15 is letting people scan their driver’s license. But is that a good thing?

One major question is how Apple users and law enforcement like TSA agents will actually interact with these digital IDs. If your driver’s license is on your phone, you could potentially have to present your fully unlocked device to a law enforcement agent in a transaction like a traffic stop or at airport security. That could, in turn, expose you to incidental search of your data, social media accounts, or anything else the agent flicks to.

TikTok Will Collect Biometric Data From US Users

· Andrew Orr · Link

biometrics eye tracking

TikTok updated its privacy policy on Wednesday, adding a new section about collecting biometric data from users. This data includes “faceprints and voiceprints.”

The statement itself is vague, as it doesn’t specify whether it’s considering federal law, states laws, or both. It also doesn’t explain, as the other part did, why TikTok needs this data. It doesn’t define the terms “faceprints” or “voiceprints.” Nor does it explain how it would go about seeking the “required permissions” from users, or if it would look to either state or federal laws to guide that process of gaining consent.

PayPal Cancels Customer Who Donates to Tor Browser

· Andrew Orr · News

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) reports that a PayPal has shut down the account of a person who had recently donated to the privacy browser Tor.

Firefox 89 Gets Design Overhaul and ‘Total Cookie Protection’ Feature

· Andrew Orr · Link

Firefox browser version 89

Mozilla has released Firefox version 89 on Tuesday, bringing a new design for desktop users and a privacy feature called Total Cookie Protection added to private browsing.

We’ve enhanced the privacy of the Firefox Browser’s Private Browsing mode with Total Cookie Protection, which confines cookies to the site where they were created, preventing companies from using cookies to track your browsing across sites. This feature was originally launched in Firefox’s ETP Strict mode.

More information on Total Cookie Protection can be found on Mozilla’s blog.

Facebook Can Get Location Data From Your Photos

· Andrew Orr · Link

Location data

iOS users can limit their location exposure to apps that ask for it, but your location is leaking in another area: Your photo metadata.

I took a photo with my iPhone and then uploaded that to my Facebook account. I used Facebook’s app on my iPhone, the same app that has been told “never” to access my location, the same account that knows I have this switched off. But Facebook still collects the location tag from that photo, along with my IP address.

It’s important to note that Facebook and other companies have had this ability for years. This is not, as the Forbes article implies, a response to iOS 14.5 App Tracking Transparency. The app I use to view and edit metadata is Metapho.

Livestream Recording: Ending Child Surveillance

· Andrew Orr · Cool Stuff Found

On Thursday I joined a livestream from Fight for the Future. Parents and experts talked about the dangers of social media and how many of these companies spy on kids the same way they spy on adults. For kids it also happens in schools with tools like proctor software. With the launch of, parents and privacy advocates alike want to fight back. You can watch the livestream recording below.

Livestream Recording: Ending Child Surveillance

New Apple 'Tracked' Ad Shows App Tracking Transparency in Real Life

· Charlotte Henry · Cool Stuff Found

Apple has released a new ad emphasizing its privacy credentials. It shows a man going about his daily life and every company he interactions with following him. It’s a humorous way of showing how App Tracking Transparancy works.  The soundtrack is cleverly chosen too – Mind Your Own Business by Delta 5.