Australia Takes Facebook to Court Over Privacy Violations

Australia’s privacy regulator is taking Facebook to court over Cambridge Analytica. It could impose a fine of AUD$1.7 million (US$1.1 million) for every privacy violation.

“Facebook failed to take reasonable steps to protect those individuals’ personal information from unauthorised disclosure,” the Australian commissioner’s office said.

Big companies like Facebook need fines in the billions of dollars for them to start paying attention.

Utah is Now a Surveillance State Thanks to This Company

A surveillance company called Banjo has partnered with Utah state authorities to enable a dystopian panopticon.

The lofty goal of Banjo’s system is to alert law enforcement of crimes as they happen. It claims it does this while somehow stripping all personal data from the system, allowing it to help cops without putting anyone’s privacy at risk. As with other algorithmic crime systems, there is little public oversight or information about how, exactly, the system determines what is worth alerting cops to.

New App ‘MyPrivacy’ Gives You a VPN, Photo Vault, Password Manager, More

MyPrivacy is a new app from the makers of MyPermissions. It’s an all-in-one tool that gives you a VPN, password manager, private browser, photo vault, social permissions manager, and app lock. It requires a subscription of up to US$99/year. The privacy policy also looks decent. It mentions both “military-grade” and “NSA-grade” encryption, which likely refers to AES-256. There are certainly cheaper solutions out there but having everything in one app is convenient.

When You Download Facebook Data, it Doesn’t Show Everything

Facebook isn’t being completely truthful about the data available in its “Download Your Information” feature. Some information is left out.

Privacy International recently tested the feature to download all ‘Ads and Business’ related information (You can accessed it by Clicking on Settings > Your Facebook Information > Download Your Information). This is meant to tell users which advertisers have been targeting them with ads and under which circumstances. We found that information provided is less than accurate. To put it simply, this tool is not what Facebook claims. The list of advertisers is incomplete and changes over time.

As Privacy International points out, this is in violation of GDPR because Facebook doesn’t let you see all of the advertisers that have your data.

Firefox Enables Encrypted DNS by Default

Starting today, Firefox will begin rolling out support for encrypted DNS over HTTPS for U.S.-based users.

We’re enabling DoH by default only in the US. If you’re outside of the US and would like to enable DoH, you’re welcome to do so by going to Settings, then General, then scroll down to Networking Settings and click the Settings button on the right. Here you can enable DNS over HTTPS by clicking, and a checkbox will appear.

You can choose between Cloudflare and NextDNS. As I mentioned in my roundup of DNS services, I’ve been using NextDNS for the past couple weeks and I love it.

Google Search Reveals Private WhatsApp Groups

Google indexes links to WhatsApp group invites that may be private, meaning people can find and join them.

Motherboard used a number of specific Google searches to find invite links to WhatsApp groups. Some of the groups appear to not be overly sensitive or for a particular audience. Many of the links on Google lead to groups for sharing porn.

But others appear to be catered to specific groups. Motherboard entered one WhatsApp group chat that described itself as being for NGOs accredited by the United Nations. After joining, Motherboard was able to see a list of all 48 participants and their phone numbers.