Maybe those ads won’t follow you around any more

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Facebook will introduce a new privacy control setting after negotiations with the Irish data protection commissioner. The social networking giant will allow people to opt out of “interest-based” advertising using a new control in its settings. The move, Facebook says, is a result of discussions with Irish regulators and will apply internationally. Interest-based ads are ads that appear in a user’s Facebook timeline based on other websites or apps that the user has visited. Up to now, Facebook users have had to go looking for opt-outs using phone settings or by visiting the Digital Advertising Alliance’s website on a PC. Now, the social networking giant will allow users to switch off the ad-tracking function within Facebook’s settings. Source: The (Dublin) Independent

Settling company business

sh_phishing email scams_750Identity theft attackers are expanding from targeting individuals to targeting companies. Business identities are harvested using methods such as email phishing/spear-phishing attacks. Attackers seek access to a company’s secure inner network to steal intellectual property or sensitive financial information. With the advent of “open computing” trends introduced with cloud apps and the use of personal devices, organizations allow workers to connect to company networks from anywhere at any time, which makes hackers harder to fight. Businesses should consider centralized threat monitoring, policy definition and enforcement infrastructure that allows end-to-end visibility across on-premises systems and cloud applications by rolling up intelligence from multiple security tools, enterprise systems and business applications. Source: CSO Online

That secret’s not so secret any more

An audit has found lapses in internal systems used by the Secret Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The Department of Homeland Security also needs to establish a cyber training program for analysts and investigators, the audit said, with officials from several agencies blaming short-term budget allocations from Congress for their training cuts. “We identified vulnerabilities on internal websites at ICE and USSS that may allow unauthorized individuals to gain access to sensitive data,” according to the report by the Office of the Inspector General for DHS. The websites are used by ICE and Secret Service agents to report investigation statistics, case tracking and information sharing, it said. Source: AOL News

Don’t share my picture

Sixteen Minnesota cities have petitioned the state for a temporary declaration that police body-camera data be presumed private in most instances. It’s the latest move to put limits around footage collected by the small devices that more police officers are wearing to record their interactions with the public. “Body-worn camera technology presents privacy concerns of a nature not previously anticipated or foreseen,” the cities write in the application, noting the volumes of data captured that cities could be expected to sort through to comply with public records requests. Gov. Mark Dayton’s administration, which will decide on the request, rejected a similar request last winter and said it was an issue better suited for state lawmakers. The Legislature deadlocked in the spring, so city officials want to wall off the data while lawmakers revisit the topic next year. Source: The St. Paul Pioneer Press

Spreading the wealth of information

sh_cyber share_280The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office is using funds from one of the largest bank settlements to found an international cybersecurity threat-sharing organization, the office announced. The Global Cybersecurity Alliance will be developed with $15 million of the $447 million PNB Paribas paid last year to settle claims that it flouted U.S. sanctions. The nonprofit is designed to allow governments and companies to share cyber threat data in real time. Calling the alliance a “voluntary clearinghouse,” Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance said that the group will help ease the flow of information across a currently Balkanized security environment. London’s police department and the nonprofit Center for Internet Security will jointly spearhead the initiative with Vance’s office. The group says it has attracted Aetna, American Express, Barclays Bank, Citibank, U.S. Bank and others as members. Source: The Hill

Yes, we need privacy, Microsoft exec says

Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith says in a blog post that privacy in technology needs significant reform. Specifically, Smith speaks to the inadequacy of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which was passed in 1986 and which he considers archaic. “Certainly, anyone who uses the Internet today—which, of course includes a few billion people—would agree that privacy is a serious issue,” he said. Smith supports significant changes to current law that would severely restrict law enforcement’s access to information stored in cloud services that reside outside of U.S. borders. To that end, he’s pushing a recently introduced bill, the Law Enforcement Access to Data Abroad Act (LEADS), that would explicitly define how law enforcement agencies can gain access to such electronic information. Source: WinBeta

Watch where—and how—you’re going!

sh_auto production_280Two U.S. senators have asked the world’s biggest automakers for information on what they’ve done to protect cars from being hacked, following the first car recall over a cyber bug. Sens. Edward Markey, D-Mass., and Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., wrote to 18 automakers asking about efforts taken to secure vehicles, including 2015 and 2106 models. They asked automakers how they test electronic components and communications systems to ensure attackers cannot gain access to onboard networks. Concerns about auto cybersecurity have grown since researchers gained remote control of a moving Jeep, prompting Fiat Chrysler to recall some 1.4 million vehicles for a software update. Source: Reuters

Come on, say it’s settled

Facebook is hoping a federal appeals court will approve a $20 million settlement of a sweeping privacy challenge to its use of social-media images in advertising features. In a case raising concerns about the use of teenagers’ images in social media ads, Facebook on Thursday will urge a federal appeals court in San Francisco to leave intact a hard-fought settlement of a class-action brought on behalf of Facebook users that centered on claims that the now-abandoned “Sponsored Stories” ad feature violated privacy rights. While lawyers who led the privacy case against Facebook strongly defend the deal’s terms, a group of parents—backed by the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen—has intervened to block a settlement approved in 2013. Public Citizen argues that the settlement still makes it too easy for Facebook to use the images of minors without parental consent, violating privacy laws in at least seven states, including California. Source: The San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News

Text messages can’t be used against you

sh_text message_220The British Columbia Court of Appeal has struck a blow for Internet privacy at the expense of freeing a man accused of drug trafficking because of his text messages. It is believed to be the first Canadian appellate court ruling on the expectation of privacy in texts that have been delivered, even when sent for criminal purposes. “(It) seems to me that the social norm is to expect that text messages remain private communications between the sender and recipient,” wrote Justice Harvey Groberman. “In ordinary circumstances, the sender and recipient expect the record to be transitory, and not to be shared.” Groberman concluded texts were analogous to ephemeral cellphone conversations: They are private communications intended only for the recipient. In effect, then, they should be accessed by police only under the authority of a search warrant. Source: The Vancouver (Canada) Sun

Do they have coverage for this?

A storage device containing the personal details of thousands of Lloyds Premier Account holders was stolen from one of the bank’s partners. The device was taken from RSA Insurance, which provides emergency home insurance for Premier Account holders, on July 30. RSA confirmed the theft in a statement on its website. The box contained names, address, account numbers, and sort codes of customers. RSA says it is contacting affected customers and working with investigators. It also is offering identity protection for two years. The data breach only affects Lloyds Premier customers who opened an account from 2006 to 2012, then made a claim on the home insurance policy. Source: Business Insider