Tech Friday

  • Be wary of unknown tech brands:
    • The recent Cambridge Analytics/Facebook privacy scandal demonstrates that you should use caution before you share data with any company, especially unknown brands
    • This includes any technology that could access your personal data, especially any free apps you download and/or free online services
    • In many if not most cases, you are not a customer, you are the product. If you're not paying with money, you're paying with data
    • Information collected about you is becoming increasingly personal
    • Studies have shown that with as few as 3 to 5 pieces of data, you can be identified from "anonymous" data
    • Smartphones are loaded with sensors including microphones, motion sensors and cameras that can track every move
    • IoT devices like your internet-connected door bell, alarm system and other devices can collect enormous information about you and your family
    • Security firm Lookout reported that more than 4,000 Android spyware apps were launched in 2017 and at least three of them made it into Google's official Play Market
    • Don’t download every app you see in an app store just because it seems cool
    • Move slowly and cautiously and vet every device, app and platform before your use it
  • Removing titles from your Netflix history:
    • Netflix recently introduced the ability to delete titles from the "recently watched" list
    • Log into your Netflix account using a computer to edit recently watched media. You can't do it from the mobile app
    • From the drop-down menu, choose Viewing Activity
    • Titles you have watched appear on the viewing activity page, unless previously hidden
    • You can hide a title or series by clicking on the "X" beside it
    • Hidden titles no longer display in your Recently Watched or Continue Watching row
    • Additionally, Netflix will no longer use your viewing hidden titles to make recommendations, and your viewing progress will be removed
    • Hidden titles cannot be re-added unless you watch the title again
    • It can take up to 24 hours for a hidden title to be completely removed from all devices
    • This feature is not currently available for Kids profiles
    • Note that you are "hiding" items, not "deleting" them, Netflix keeps your history
    • Learn more here: https://help.netflix.com/en/node/22205
  • A study finds many apps improperly track kids:
    • A group of researchers discovered that nearly 3,400 Android apps targeting children and/or families are improperly collecting data
    • The researchers from the International Computer Science Institute tested nearly 6,000 Android apps available in the Google Play store
    • The study did not test iOS apps at this time
    • Many issues were identified:
      • 281 apps collected contact or location data without parental permission 
      • 1,100 shared identifying information with third parties
      • Up to 40% of apps transmit data without using good security measures 
      • 1,280 of the apps had Facebook connections and many of them didn't limit under 13 use 
    • The Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) currently limits data collection for children under the age of 13
    • The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is responsible for determining what constitiues a COPPA violation
    • Learn more about COPPA here: http://www.coppa.org/coppa.htm
    • You can read the full study here: https://petsymposium.org/2018/files/papers/issue3/popets-2018-0021.pdf
Brian Thomas

Brian Thomas

Based in Cincinnati, OH, the Brian Thomas Morning Show covers news and politics, both local and national, from a conservative point of view. Read more

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