Nextdoor App Sends Letters on Users' Behalf Without Consent

Nextdoor is a social network that lets you see things that are going on in your local neighborhood. Dutch police have issued warnings about the app recently, saying that the company sent letters on users’ behalf.

We talked to a woman whom we’ll refer to as W.H., as she wishes to remain anonymous. Letters in her neighborhood were delivered with her as the sender. The letters were asking the receivers to install the app and join the community. W.H. did not send those letters, but she was a user of the Nextdoor app. And she remembered receiving an email from Nextdoor asking whether she would like to invite the people in her neighborhood.

Ugh. Possible lawsuit?

Comparing Apple Card's Privacy to Other Credit Cards

Geoffrey Fowler compared an Amazon credit card with Apple Card to see which one is more private. The knee jerk response is to say Apple, and it’s true that Apple does have more privacy than others. But when it comes to the Apple Card, that privacy only appears under certain circumstances.

Despite a federal privacy law covering cards, I found that six types of businesses could mine and share elements of my purchase, multiplied untold times by other companies they might have passed it to. Credit cards are a spy in your wallet — and it’s time that we add privacy, alongside rewards and rates, to how we evaluate them.

Bottom line: Neither Apple nor Goldman Sachs collects or shares your data. But retailers and card networks like Mastercard can still collect and sell your purchase data.

Google Privacy Sandbox Probably Won't Protect Your Privacy

Advertising company Google wants to build a “Google privacy sandbox” as a way to improve personalized ads while attempting to remove the “personalized” part.

The goal of these proposals is to promote a dialog on ways browsers could advance user privacy, while still ensuring publishers can earn what they need to fund great content and user experiences, and advertisers can deliver relevant ads to the right people and measure their impact.

Or, if you want to support websites with ads while also protecting your privacy, stick to Safari.

Apple Blocks Spying Kazakhstan Root Certificate

The Kazakhstan government is trying to spy on citizens with a government-issued root certificate for websites. Apple, Google, and Mozilla are blocking it in their browsers.

The root certificate in question, labeled as “trusted certificate” or “national security certificate,” if installed, allows ISPs to intercept, monitor, and decrypt users’ encrypted HTTPS and TLS connections, helping the government spy on its 18 million people and censor content.

Once installed, the certificate allowed the Kazakh government to decrypt and read anything a user visiting popular sites—Facebook, Twitter, and Google, among others—types or posts, including intercepting their account information and passwords.

Apple's Privacy Rule for Kids Apps Delayed

At WWDC 2019, Apple announced stricter rules for kids apps. Developers of these apps aren’t allowed to use analytics within them. Ads would also be limited. Apple is now delaying the rule to give developers more time.

Apple says it is making the move in part to better protect users’ privacy by shielding children from data trackers, a move that has been lauded by some privacy advocates. But some developers say they fear that the new rules won’t protect kids — possibly exposing them to more adult apps — and could pointlessly reduce their businesses.

Maybe don’t make preying on kids your business model?

Meet the Professor Behind Netflix's 'The Great Hack'

David Carroll sued Cambridge Analytica after news broke that it used Facebook user data for targeted political advertising. Netflix’s The Great Hack tells his story, and Business Insider interviewed him.

My pursuit is a highly individualized narrative, which obscures the reality that it’s a story about all of us. Quitting your Facebook account doesn’t do anything. You can try to do the work of going through all your settings and being really hygienic about your data, but it’s only going to reduce the scope of data leaking all over the place. It’s certainly not going to have a total effect that people might want.

I’m putting this on my list to watch.

Some Companies Don't Like iOS 13 Location Privacy Feature

App developers wrote a letter to Apple saying how much they don’t like iOS 13 location privacy rules, accusing the company of anti-competitive behavior.

We understand that there were certain developers, specifically messaging apps, that were using this as a backdoor to collect user data. While we agree loopholes like this should be closed, the current Apple plan to remove [access to the internet voice feature] will have unintended consequences: it will effectively shut down apps that have a valid need for real-time location.

The letter was signed by Tile CEO CJ Prober; Arity (Allstate) president Gary Hallgren; CEO of Life360, Chris Hullsan; CEO of dating app Happn, Didier Rappaport; CEO of Zenly (Snap), Antoine Martin; CEO of Zendrive, Jonathan Matus; and chief strategy officer of social networking app Twenty, Jared Allgood.

A helpful list of all the apps I’ll never download. I hope Apple does more when it comes to privacy.