Spotify Wants to Track Your Location so Friends Don't Use a Family Plan

In more location tracking news today, Spotify wants to track yours because non-family members sometimes use Family Plans *gasp!*.

“The changes to the policy allow Spotify to arbitrarily use the location of an individual to ascertain if they continue to reside at the same address when using a family account, and it’s unclear how often Spotify will query users’ devices for this information,” said Christopher Weatherhead, technology lead for UK watchdog group Privacy International, adding that there are “worrying privacy implications.”

iOS 13 Forced Facebook to Admit it Collects Your Location Data

Yes, I know how shocked you are folks. As it turns out, Facebook lied about yet another thing: It totally collects your location data, and admitted that fact itself in a blog post.

For years the antisocial media giant has claimed it doesn’t track your location, insisting to suspicious reporters and privacy advocates that its addicts “have full control over their data,” and that it does not gather or sell that data unless those users agree to it.

Then, late on Monday, Facebook emitted a blog post in which it kindly offered to help users “understand updates” to their “device’s location settings.”

You may have missed the critical part amid the glowing testimony so we’ll repeat it: “… use precise location even when you’re not using the app…”

Quote from a TMO reader: “Hoping that FB will somehow become secure is as much magical thinking as expecting a wild pig to perform the role Juliet for Bolshoi.”

NSA Publishes Threatening Letter Calling for Encryption Backdoors

Glenn S. Gerstell, general counsel for the National Security Agency (NSA) published a letter in the New York Times, writing about how a “digital revolution threatens to upend our entire national security infrastructure.” He thinks backdoors into encryption is one answer (of course he doesn’t use the word backdoor), as well as the agency collecting even more data from citizens. Read his letter by clicking the link below, then read this take by Nefarious Laboratories.

Make no mistake, this letter is a thinly-veiled threat to every major corporation around the globe: provide the U.S. government with access to all of your data or else, “there is another path, and it is the one taken by authoritarian regimes around the world”.

Mozilla VPN Launches Under Test Pilot Program

Firefox Private Network is a Mozilla VPN launching under its old Test Pilot program. It’s available as a beta today for U.S. users with a Firefox account.

In a nutshell, the Firefox Private Network extension will provide a “secure, encrypted path to the web” to protect the user’s Wi-Fi connection and data contained within the Firefox browser. One of the scenarios Mozilla thinks Firefox Private Network will be useful for is when connecting to the internet through public Wi-Fi hotspots, as it will shield personal information and conceal what websites a user is visiting.

Google Built Fake Webpages Called 'Push Pages' to Defy GDPR

As part of Google’s DoubleClick/Authorized Buyers advertising system, the company created hidden webpages for advertisers that violate its own policies.

Google Push Pages are served from a Google domain (https://pagead2.googlesyndication.com) and all have the same name, “cookie_push.html”. Each Push Page is made distinctive by a code of almost two thousand characters, which Google adds at the end to uniquely identify the person that Google is sharing information about. This, combined with other cookies supplied by Google, allows companies to pseudonymously identify the person in circumstances where this would not otherwise be possible.

Google Bans Apple Card From Advertising Platform

Google doesn’t want customers to use virtual card numbers, and that includes the one Apple Card uses. An anonymous person writes about their experience.

Last week I received my Apple Card and decided to use it on my Google Ads account for another project. Getting a little bit of daily cash back for my meager ad spend was attractive. Within a couple of hours of updating my payment method my account had become suspended for suspicious payment activity.

I’m writing this to warn anyone else that intended to use the card online that you may experience… difficulties. And if you’re planning on using the Apple Card for anything important, think again.

It makes sense, on the premise that tracking companies like Google would oppose private measures like the Apple Card. I assume other virtual cards like Privacy.com would suffer the same fate.

Amazon's Surveillance Company Partners With 400 More Police Forces

Ring, the Amazon-owned surveillance company that sells doorbell cameras, is partnering with 400 more police forces across the U.S.

The partnerships let police automatically request the video recorded by homeowners’ cameras within a specific time and area, helping officers see footage from the company’s millions of Internet-connected cameras installed nationwide, the company said. Officers don’t receive ongoing or live-video access, and homeowners can decline the requests, which Ring sends via email thanking them for “making your neighborhood a safer place.”

Previous Ring coverage: Here, and here.