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Android lawsuit ceases to function

Android lawsuit ceases to function
July 17, 2015

By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty

Google won the dismissal of a lawsuit by Android users who said the company violated its privacy policy by disclosing their names, email addresses and account locations to third parties without permission, to boost ad revenue. Judge Paul Grewal said the users failed to show that Google transmitted their own personal data or that they would suffer economic harm if it occurred. Grewal had allowed plaintiffs to pursue breach of contract and fraud claims, assuming they showed that the data-sharing caused economic harm by depleting their battery power and bandwidth. But the judge said the plaintiffs abandoned that argument in their amended complaint. As a result, he said the plaintiffs lacked standing to sue, having “managed something somewhat unusual: They pleaded themselves out of a case.” Source: Reuters

Millions and millions of hacks ago …

Nine major cyber attacks targeting the personal data of millions of Americans were carried out against federal and private computer networks in the past year, says an internal report by the Department of Homeland Security. The report by the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center said two incidents involved “millions” and “hundreds of thousands” of stolen personal records respectively in what appears to be a coordinated campaign. A U.S. defense contractor also was hit by the data breaches. The report did not identify the hackers, but stated that they were conducted by sophisticated attackers. The report indicates that the Chinese-origin cyber attacks against Office of Personnel Management networks is part of a larger-scale operation targeting the personal data for intelligence or military purposes. Source: Free Beacon


Point me in the direction of safety

Security company Agari’s “State of Email Trust Report” says the travel industry is one of the most vulnerable industries to hacker attacks, with points and miles the issue of the day. “Criminals have discovered that they can monetize all those wonderful airline and hotel points,” said Patrick Peterson, Agari CEO. Hacking methods have not changed, only the target (miles and points vs. money) has. A person gets an email that offers a free flight voucher or a coupon for a discount ticket and clicks through to what they think is the company’s website, although it is actually a carefully crafted replica. They enter in their personal information, handing scammers their user names, passwords and access to points/miles. In addition, those who use the same user name or password anywhere else on the Web now could be looking at possible identity theft. Source: Travel Pulse


What a long, strange trip it’s been

The Electronic Frontier Foundation, the digital world’s top watchdog when it comes to privacy and free expression, has marked 25 years on the job. Its first major case was one in which the U.S. Secret Service, hunting a stolen document, raided a company’s computers, computers that also were used to run an online bulletin board, and read and deleted those users’ messages. The company thought that the government overstepped its warrant. The situation inspired former Lotus president Mitch Kapor, Sun Microsystems employee John Gilmore, and John Perry Barlow, cattle rancher and Grateful Dead lyricist to form the EFF and represent Steve Jackson Games and their users against the Secret Service. Source: CSO Online

Buy cyber coverage no matter how small you are

The managing principal of Amy Stewart Law doesn’t sell cyber insurance, but she specializes in making sure legal clients have adequate insurance protection. And these days, she’s advising all her clients to have insurance specifically protecting against technology-related damage, whether it’s caused by an absent-minded employee or someone sinister. “We’re a seven-attorney boutique law firm, and we have cyber insurance,” Stewart says. She has coverage protecting her firm from confidential client information finding its way into exploitative hands. Any company that uses email, takes credit card payments, stores customer information, has outside vendors, or simply has a website is vulnerable. “Getting coverage under traditional policies is becoming increasingly more difficult as insurers use exclusions on traditional policies to push coverage over to cyber,” Stewart says. Source: The Dallas Morning News

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Putting privacy higher on priority list

Facebook users’ rising interest in security and privacy concerns in the past 18 months has prompted the company into a more public discussion. The social-network giant has come under scrutiny for its privacy and security policies after document leaks by whistleblower Edward Snowden indicated the company let the National Security Agency access user data. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has denied the company’s involvement, but the company now releases a regular report noting the requests it receives for data from national governments. In a visit to Ireland, Facebook’s global deputy chief privacy officer Stephen Deadman and director of security Jennifer Henley outlined initiatives on the privacy and security side that they say benefit Facebook users and the wider security community. “We feel we have a very robust front door policy for governments to demand information from us,” Henley says. “We heavily scrutinize every request that comes in.” Source: The Irish Times


I want it all, and I want it now

Gigya’s “The 2015 State of Consumer Privacy & Personalization” report shows that consumers disagree with themselves when it comes to what they value more—personalization or privacy. While 96 percent of respondents say they’re worried about their data privacy, they simultaneously are frustrated by nonrelevant email messages, advertisements and other more generalized contact information that isn’t specifically tailored to their interests. The only way for companies to send these targeted ads is by violating the privacy consumers say they value. Source: Digital Trends

No child left without a cyber amendment

The Senate rewrite of No Child Left Behind would require the secretary of education to submit a report to Congress on the state of cybersecurity higher education. The provision is an attempt to address the chronic shortage of cyber workers nationwide, frequently cited as a reason the country’s digital defenses are struggling to catch up to hackers. The upper chamber passed an overhaul of the 13-year-old education bill. With its vote, Congress transferred more decision-making power back to state and local authorities. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., got her cybersecurity provision tacked on as an amendment during discussion of the bill. Source: The Hill

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All you can eat, more than you can pay

Multiple customers have lost up to $20,000 after using their credit and debit cards at Houma’s Dynasty Buffet from June 26 through July 3, the Terrebonne, La., Sheriff’s Office said. Detectives are still counting up the total combined loss. An investigation revealed that 20 victims had been wrongfully charged for purchases ranging from $300 to $1,000 at retail stores in Houma, Slidell, Denham Springs and Baton Rouge, Capt. Dawn Foret said. Source: WWL-TV New Orleans

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