The US District Court of Illinois recently rejected the dismissal argument that Path, the social networking service, put on the table, costing them the first round in their mobile spam lawsuit.
The company has been accused of sending SMS messages to consumers without first inviting them to join their service, and the recent ruling to toss their dismissal argument allows the class-action lawsuit filed by Illinois resident Kevin Sterk to proceed.
Filed in March 2013, Sterk’s complaint alleges that the social networking service violated TCPA laws by sending SMS ads using auto dialers without first getting permission from recipients. In his complaint Sterk alleges that an unsolicited text was sent to him by Path telling him that another Path user wanted to show him photos on the service’s website, and that the same message also had a link to that website with instructions on how to register and join.
Posted in Announcements, Legal, Mobile Devices, Mobile Social, Mobile Spam, Platforms, Privacy, Resources, Smartphones, SMS / Text
According to a recent report from mHealthWatch, fitness apps continue to rank among the biggest threats – either real or perceived – to user privacy.
As many fitness app developers continue to look for ways to link their tracking capabilities to users’ health conditions, many concerns for user privacy naturally arise.
While general and anonymous dietary and fitness habits may not be something that a typical individual will protest against being shared with others, the data these habits generate are of interest to many.
Posted in mHealth, Mobile Apps, Privacy
In what proved to be one of the most intense and undeniably awkward statements put forward in the press on behalf of Chinese state media, leading U.S. tech companies like Google, Apple and Microsoft are being taken to task this week.
According to those behind the new report, these companies deserve to be punished “severely.” Why? Chinese media sources allege that these “pawns” of the U.S. government are actively stealing secrets from the Chinese. As a result, we’re told that they threaten the cyber-security of China.
“U.S. companies including Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, etc. are all coordinating with the PRISM program to monitor China,” the People’s Daily published. “To resist the naked Internet hegemony, we will draw up international regulations, and strengthen technology safeguards, but we will also severely punish the pawns of the villain. The priority is strengthening penalties and punishments, and for anyone who steals our information, even though they are far away, we shall punish them!”
Posted in Mobile Devices, News, Platforms, Privacy
A new report from there Electronic Frontier Foundation, a digital-privacy group, reveals that a growing number of communications companies have “taken new steps in the past year to shed light on government requests and lobby Washington to say more.”
“This seems to be one of the legacies of the Snowden disclosures: The new transparency around mass surveillance has prompted significant policy reforms by major tech companies,” the report reads.
One of the companies to enjoy the biggest turnaround among those taking greater steps to protect consumer privacy is Apple.
Posted in Announcements, Infographics, News, Platforms, Privacy, Technology
AOL Mail was hacked a few weeks ago and users are still seeing emails arrive in their inbox from spoofed email accounts. It was quite a feat to hack AOL Mail as they are a well-established and highly secure email provider. Nonetheless, approximately 1% of AOL Mail account holders were affected by the security breach.
The security breach affected not only AOL Mail users, but the hacker “scrapped” account holders email address books, meaning that the spoofed emails are being received by individuals who hold accounts with all major email providers.
Posted in Announcements, Mobile Spam, News, Privacy, Technology
In an extremely rare public talk (via the web, of course) Edward Snowden, the infamous NSA leaker and current fugitive from the United States, told a transfixed tech conference audience this week here at SXSW 2014 that the U.S. government’s surveillance of its citizens is a problem that needs to be “fixed.”
Speaking via teleconference, Snowden addressed thousands of audience members for the first time since fleeing the United States in June 2013. He fled with thousands of secret government documents stolen from the National Security Agency, where he was a contractor, in tow.
The documents in his possession show that the NSA has been conducting secret monitoring of phone and Internet behavior of Americans in the name of national security.
Posted in Legal, News, Platforms, Predictions, Privacy
New reports show that Internet users are taking more and more steps to safeguard their privacy and that fully 25% of all Internet users worldwide are now using Internet privacy tools to protect their personal information from being recorded or tracked in some way.
The report from GlobalWebIndex estimates that 28% of Internet users, which equates to approximately 415 million people, are now using tools that “cover their online tracks” when using the internet. The survey also found that 56% of internet users are under the impression that their personal privacy is being eroded by Internet use.
The study involved approximately 170,000 users and found that, among 11% of them, the anonymity software Tor was being used to protect them from spying, in particular the NSA. It was also found that the highest increase in use of these tools was in Indonesia, Vietnam and India.
Posted in Announcements, Mobile Devices, News, Platforms, Privacy