Google's initiative to put privacy and security back into the hands of users through a revised permission system has received generally positive responses. It's no secret that this approach closely matches the way iOS prompts users for access to things like the contacts or location. Aside from the possibility that permission requests could become annoying with too much frequency, this has proven to be a pretty effective approach. However, since the announcement, one sticking point seems to have emerged around access to the Internet. Read More
As Googler Andy Bohm notes on G+, Google's Privacy team didn't appear on stage during the I/O keynote this year, but that doesn't mean the team didn't have anything awesome to talk about. Specifically, Google has launched a revitalized account management interface. The new My Account page injects privacy and security settings with simple navigation, easily understood explanations, and tons of awesome illustrations to walk users through checking, changing, and otherwise managing their account/privacy settings.
Chances are your Google account has a lot of information about you, and managing that information is important, so it's nice to see continued efforts from Google to make that process easier to understand and execute (Google's privacy checkup took me <60 seconds before finishing this post). Read More
As we expected, Android M will have a revamped permission system. No longer will apps ask for a bunch of permissions at installation time. Instead, apps will ask for important permissions the first time they need them. You can also change permission settings via an AppOps-like interface.
In the latest update on NSA documents leaked by Edward Snowden, The Intercept is reporting on the surveillance establishment's efforts to use the Google Play Store to distribute spyware. Another fun fact from the data dump is that these agencies found and exploited a security hole in the ultra-popular UC Browser for years until an activist group informed its developers about it just about a month ago.
The information comes from a set of slides distributed to agency specialists in 2012 discussing plans for the use of mobile devices in surveillance. These initiatives were a cooperative between the so-called "Five Eyes" countries: USA, UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Read More
BitTorrent brought an alpha version of its Bleep private messaging client to Android last year, and today it's officially launching on all major platforms including Android. Bleep doesn't require an account to sign up and all your messages are encrypted with local keys so no one else can access your data.
The Galaxy S6 is the hottest Android phone on the market right now, but it's not perfect. Some owners of this device have started reporting a bug that prevents them from dismissing a Samsung terms and conditions popup. Oh, it goes away at first, but then it takes over the screen again several minutes later.
A brand new update to YouTube just started rolling out, and it gives users just a little more control over their privacy. The latest version adds a new option called "Pause watch history" so users can prevent new videos from joining their previously watched list. This joins an existing option to pause search history and two commands to clear the history from either list. Now we've got an easy way to keep prying eyes from discovering that we watch cartoons during lunch breaks.
The toggle for Pause watch history is located under the overflow menu -> Settings -> Privacy. Once it is enabled, videos you watch will not be added to your history. Read More
A new report from Bloomberg claims Google is about to revamp the way privacy is handled in Android apps. The changes would allow users to approve permissions individually for things like the camera, location, or the contact list. With Android M expected at I/O later this month, it seems like a perfect time to make this happen. It's long overdue.
Whether you subscribe to the whole debate on the lack of (and need for) privacy on a personal user level or not, there's no denying that security is crucial in the enterprise. That's the premise behind Silent Circle's new Blackphone announcements today at MWC. The company, which recently purchased Geeksphone to gain full control over its products, has unveiled its plans to foray into the enterprise with a complete suite of devices and services.
The Blackphone 2, which will be available in the second half of 2015, is an upgraded version of the first generation Blackphone. It has switched to a larger 5.5" 1080 display with a bigger battery, faster octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, and 32GB of storage. Read More
With the myriad of ways nefarious types are able to get their hands on passwords these days, often times whether your information gets stolen is completely out of your hands. Rather than changing their sign-in credentials every time another leak or hack happens, many folks trust their online security to password managers such as LastPass. Dashlane is an alternative that can also get the job done, and for the next week, you can snag a premium account free for six months over at sharewareonsale.com. A yearly subscription currently goes for $39.99.
Dashlane relies on AES-256 encryption to protect your data, which it backs up and automatically syncs across your various devices if you have a premium account. Read More