Ask Slashdot: Where Can I Find “Nuts and Bolts” Info On Cookies & Tracking Mechanisms?

New submitter tanstaaf1 writes: I was thinking about the whole tracking and privacy train-wreck and I’m wondering why specific information on how it is done, and how it can be micromanaged or undone by a decent programmer (at least), isn’t vastly more accessible? By searching, I can only find information on how to erase cookies using the browser. Browser level (black box) solutions aren’t anywhere near good enough; if it were, the exploits would be few and far between instead everywhere everyday. Read below for the rest of tanstaaf1’s question.

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Wealth of Personal Data Found On Used Electronics Purchased Online

An anonymous reader writes: After examining 122 used mobile devices, hard disk drives and solid state drives purchased online, Blancco Technology Group and Kroll Ontrack found 48% contained residual data. In addition, 35% of mobile devices contained emails, texts/SMS/IMs, and videos. From the article: “Upon closer examination, Blancco Technology Group and Kroll Ontrack discovered that a deletion attempt had been made on 57 percent of the mobile devices and 75 percent of the drives that contained residual data. Even more compelling was the discovery that those deletion attempts had been unsuccessful due to common, but unreliable methods used, leaving sensitive information exposed and potentially accessible to cyber criminals. The residual data left on two of the second-hand mobile devices were significant enough to discern the original users’ identities. Whether it’s a person’s emails containing their contact information or media files involving a company’s intellectual property, lingering data can have serious consequences.”

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Hulbee Bags $9M To Grow Its Pro-Privacy Search Engine

Hulbee Swiss-based semantic search company Hulbee, which launched a consumer search engine in the U.S. this August, has closed a $9 million angel funding. It’s positioning its consumer search offering as a pro-privacy alternative to mainstream search engines like Google, with a pledge that unlike those guys it does not track users. Read More

Boarding Pass Barcodes Can Reveal Personal Data, Future Flights

An anonymous reader writes: Security experts have warned that barcodes contained on airplane boarding passes could offer a detailed stream of information to malicious individuals, including data on travel habits and future flight plans. Brian Krebs explained yesterday that by using an easily available online barcode reader, attackers can retrieve a person’s name, frequent flyer number, and record locator — information needed to access an individual’s account and details of past and upcoming flights, phone numbers, and billing information, along with options to change seats and cancel flights.

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Europe’s highest court just issued a ruling that has Facebook scrambling



The European Union’s highest court ruled on Tuesday that U.S. law isn’t enough to protect European users’ online privacy when it comes to sites like Facebook, Twitter and Google

A trade program known as “Safe Harbor” allowed American companies operating in Europe to send data on European users back to the U.S. The agreement let companies bypass the EU’s data protection requirements, which are typically tougher than those in the U.S. But that will no longer be the case after Tuesday’s ruling.

While the decision has some American tech companies scrambling, it’s a huge win for one man in particular. Maximilian Schrems, an Austrian law student who was once called the “thorn in Facebook’s side,” sued Facebook in Ireland last year for sharing Europeans’ data with the NSA through the agency’s PRISM program that Edward Snowden exposed. Read more…

More about Facebook, Europe, Law, Privacy, and Surveillance

Europe’s Top Court Strikes Down ‘Safe Harbor’ Data-Transfer Agreement With U.S.

google-servers-datacenter The European Court of Justice has today declared invalid the Safe Harbor data-transfer agreement that has governed data flows from European users of U.S. cloud services to the U.S. for processing. “The Court of Justice declares that the Commission’s U.S. Safe Harbour Decision is invalid,” the ECJ said in a statement today, reported by Reuters. Some 4,000+ U.S. companies… Read More

Ask Slashdot: Best Country For Secure Online Hosting?

An anonymous reader writes: I’ve recently discovered that my hosting company is sending all login credentials unencrypted, prompting me to change providers. Additionally, I’m finally being forced to put some of my personal media library (songs, photos, etc.) on-line for ready access (though for my personal consumption only) from multiple devices and locations… But I simply can’t bring myself to trust any cloud-service provider. So while it’s been partially asked before, it hasn’t yet been answered: Which country has the best on-line personal privacy laws that would made it patently illegal for any actor, state, or otherwise, to access my information? And does anyone have a recommendation on which provider(s) are the best hosts for (legal) on-line storage there?

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Stolen Patreon User Data Dumped On Internet

After the personal data breach at crowd-funding site Patreon reported a few days ago, there’s some worse news: the information isn’t just in limbo any more; Patreon reported Saturday that the compromised information has been leaked in the form of a massive data dump. (The slightly good news is that no credit card information was leaked.)

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Can You Hear Me Now?

554281668_27f80808f2_b It’s been a pretty big week for tech + privacy, with Apple overhauling the privacy-related info it pushes out to users — sharpening its pro-privacy positioning as a marketing differentiator for its devices and services. And NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden stepping into the public arena by joining Twitter as, well, himself — with the verified account status to prove it. Read More

From Kodak To Google, How Privacy Panics Distort Policy

Privacy When a new technology comes out, people are generally good at seeing through the hype that is associated with it. Many technological inventions, after all, are not immediately revolutionary — despite what clever marketers might want you to believe. However, people are often bad about seeing through the outsized claims from another type of clever marketer: professional privacy advocates… Read More