5 Things to Consider when Evaluating a VPN for Privacy

· Andrew Orr · Deep Dive

Yesterday we explained what a VPN is and covered the benefits of using one. Today we’re examining how to figure out if you have a trustworthy VPN provider. In place of your ISP, your VPN provider receives your browsing data, and it’s good to shop around and compare privacy policies. Andrew Orr tells us what to look out for.

What Is A VPN, And How Can It Help You?

· Andrew Orr · Deep Dive

Now that Congress have chosen to allow ISPs to sell your data, many people are turning to VPNs to help. But you may not know how VPNs work, or how a VPN can help you browse the web safely. In this article Andrew Orr explores the technical details and gives you our VPN recommendations.

Internet Privacy and VPNs - TMO Daily Observations 2017-03-30

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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The Federal law allowing ISPs to sell our browser history without our consent passed both the House and Senate and is on its way to the White House. Dave Hamilton and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at what that means for our privacy and they explain why you might want to use a VPN.

Congress Says ISPs Can Sell Your Browser History on Party Line Vote

· Bryan Chaffin · Analysis

MacBook with a Spying Eye

The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to sell you out to ISPs. More specifically, they voted to allow your ISP to sell you, your data, and your browsing history to anyone it wants. The House did so in a largely-party line vote that saw Republicans siding with large corporations against you.

Britain's Home Secretary Pushes for Encryption Back Door

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Cellebrite's servers hit with data breach

British Home Secretary Amber Rudd says it’s time for technology companies to give law enforcement a way to decrypt private communications because terrorists shouldn’t have a way to secretly chat. Her comments come in the wake of a terrorist attack in London where five people were killed.

UK Anti-encryption Push, Woz at Startup World Cup - TMO Daily Observations 2017-03-27

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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There’s a new government call to for tech companies to let law enforcement bypass our security and encryption, but this time it’s from the United Kingdom. Bryan Chaffin and Jeff Butts join Jeff Gamet to look at the ramifications if the U.K. forces the issue, plus Bryan fills us in on Steve Wozniak’s presentation at Startup World Cup.

Breaking News: Google Home Users Upset when Google Does Google

· Bryan Chaffin · The Back Page

Google Home, Now with More Ads!™

Hey, are you a proud owner of Google Home who got all pissy when you found an ad inserted your morning summary? Well, suck it up, buttercup. Bryan Chaffin argues you’ve got no one to blame but yourself.

Google Home's Ad Responses, McDonald's and Mobile Ordering - TMO Daily Observations 2017-03-17

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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Google Home owners are angry because yesterday they got an ad to go along with their morning schedule request. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to share their thoughts on Google doing what it always does, plus they have some opinions on McDonald’s offering mobile app food ordering.

We-Vibe Tries to Buy Back Trust After Spying on Customer Vibrator Use

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

We-Vibe paying $3.75 million to settle lawsuit over collecting vibrator use data without customer consent

“Don’t kiss and tell” is a lesson Standard Innovation learned the hard—and expensive—way. The company agreed to pay out a US$3.75 million lawsuit settlement for collecting personally identifiable information about its We-Vibe vibrator users without their consent.

Comey's 'No Absolute Privacy in America' Statement is a Threat to Encryption

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

FBI backdoor and iPhone cracked screen

Absolute privacy doesn’t exist in the United States, according to FBI Director James Comey. He says the courts can compel us to testify about private and privileged communications, and that the government should be able to access our personal encrypted data.

Apple Already Patched Most CIA Hacks From Wikileaks Report

· Jeff Gamet · News

iPhone and bug

According to the Wikileaks Vault 7 information dump, the CIA has been hard at work developing hacks to get into the data on our iPhones. Most of the exploits listed in the report, however, are already patched and Apple is working on taking care of the remaining few.

Wikileaks, CIA, and iPhone Hacks - TMO Daily Observations 2017-03-08

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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With the Wikileaks report out saying the CIA developed hacking tools to get into our iPhones, John Martellaro joins Jeff Gamet to look at Apple’s security measures for our mobile devices. They also look at the negative message Apple is sending customers by not giving us solid information about the Mac, and Kelly Guimont drops by for a few minutes, too.

Amazon Goes with First Amendment to Protect Alexa Recordings

· Jeff Gamet · Analysis

Amazon Echo recordings targeted in police warrant for homicide investigation

Amazon filed a motion to block a search warrant demanding recordings from an Echo in its ongoing fight to protect user privacy. The warrant is part of a Bentonville, Arkansas homicide investigation, and Amazon says communication with the Echo and its Alexa voice interface are protected as free speech by the First Amendment.

Amazon's Echo First Amendment Rights Fight - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-24

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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Amazon thinks smart home devices shouldn’t be used for government surveillance, and is going to court to keep Echo Alexa requests out of police hands. John Martellaro and Bryan Chaffin join Jeff Gamet to look at Amazon’s argument and the impact in-home listening products are having on freedom of speech and privacy.

Vizio's Spying TVs, UAC iPhone Connectors - TMO Daily Observations 2017-02-07

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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Vizio just settled an FTC lawsuit for using their smart TVs to spy on customers. Bryan Chaffin and John Martellaro join Jeff Gamet to talk about Vizio collecting viewing data on users without permission and the settlement with the FTC. They also look at the UAC connector that’s going to let headphones connect to Lightning and USB-C.

Vizio Smart TVs Spied on You, and the FTC Settled with a Wrist Slap

· Bryan Chaffin · Editorial

Eye Spy on Your TV

Did you hear the one about the TV company that spied on its customers, sold that data to third parties, and got a slap on the wrist from the FTC? Bryan Chaffin has the details, and he’s pretty cranky about it.

TMO Background Mode: Interview with Innovation Fellow for the TechCongress Dr. Chris Soghoian

· John Martellaro · Background Mode Podcast

Dr. Chris Soghoian is an expert on the technology and politics of privacy. Most recently he’s been the Principal Technologist with the ACLU. In 2017, he’s one of three Innovation Fellows for the TechCongress where he’ll assist in federal policymaking. Chris earned his Ph.D. with a research focus on the role internet and telephone companies play in enabling government surveillance, and he’s also known for his work with the FTC and the Do Not Track initiative. Chris started life as a tech geek, and computers were always a part of his life. That led to an undergraduate degree in computer science. Then he interned at Apple and IBM. But a significant event changed his direction in life, and he gained a newfound appreciation for attorneys. Chris makes some interesting observations about today’s assaults on our privacy.

Amazon Echo, Police, and Privacy - TMO Daily Observations 2016-12-28

· Jeff Gamet · The Mac Observer's Daily Observations Podcast

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With police getting search warrants for Amazon Echo recordings questions about personal privacy are on the rise. Dave Hamilton and Kelly Guimont join Jeff Gamet to look at what Amazon’s Echo hears and records, what our other smarthome devices may be logging, and what that means for our privacy and police investigations.