How to make sure Google automatically deletes your data on a regular basis
Jun24

How to make sure Google automatically deletes your data on a regular basis

Google is making it easier to delete the data it collects about you — though you might still have to do a little work to enable the feature. The company announced on Wednesday that auto-delete will be the default setting for user account activity settings. That said, this “default” setting only applies to new accounts or existing accounts that now turn on data retention after having it disabled. And the default auto-delete time still...

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Apple is finally making it easy to hide from trackers
Jun22

Apple is finally making it easy to hide from trackers

Apple is cracking down on what it allows other companies to know about you. The company announced on Monday that iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur will feature a host of improved privacy features that will give users better control over their data and knowledge over what apps and websites know about them. This is great for users who don’t like the idea of, say, a period tracker app sending their data to a company they’ve never heard of. It’s...

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How protesters are turning the tables on police surveillance
Jun12

How protesters are turning the tables on police surveillance

The way the Buffalo Police Department tells it, 75-year-old Martin Gugino “was injured when he tripped and fell” during a June 4 protest. This statement was quickly contradicted when footage from a nearby journalist’s phone showed that Gugino fell after two police officers pushed him. The man’s head hit the ground with a sickening crack and blood poured out of his ear. Most of the officers then walked on by him. The video swiftly went...

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Members of Congress want to know more about law enforcement’s surveillance of protesters
Jun10

Members of Congress want to know more about law enforcement’s surveillance of protesters

Members of Congress want more information on the deployment of surveillance resources and technologies amid ongoing anti-police brutality demonstrations across the country. In a Tuesday letter sent to leaders at several federal agencies, including Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the FBI, officials demanded that those agencies “cease any and all surveilling of Americans engaged in peaceful protests.” They pointed to several...

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Facebook Messenger will now try to fight scammers without reading your messages
May21

Facebook Messenger will now try to fight scammers without reading your messages

Facebook Messenger is rolling out a new tool to prevent scammers and imposters on its platform. The company will use artificial intelligence to help identify these potential bad actors and provide safety notices to users about messages from shady accounts. This represents the latest example of Facebook employing automation to address its myriad content moderation problems. The company also says it brings Messenger closer to being...

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Why Instagram’s co-founders made a site to track how fast the coronavirus is spreading
Apr21

Why Instagram’s co-founders made a site to track how fast the coronavirus is spreading

Over the weekend, Instagram co-founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger launched rt.live, a website that calculates how fast the coronavirus is spreading in each state. This might seem like a surprising move for two people who became rich and famous for building a photo-sharing app. Then again, they also know a thing or two about metrics and algorithms. While the numbers of cases and deaths are important metrics, these figures lag...

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