All Data privacy stories

Ina Fried, author of Login
Updated Apr 5, 2021 - Technology

ACLU says it shares user data with Facebook, a frequent target of criticism

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg testifying to a House panel. Photo: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The American Civil Liberties Union is raising eyebrows after updating its privacy policy to note that it is sharing data with Facebook, one of the companies whose policies it often criticizes.

Why it matters: The move shows that even many organizations that don't like Facebook nonetheless find it an effective way to reach people online.

Personal data of 500 million users surfaces in leak that Facebook calls "old"

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg remotely testifying before a House Judiciary Subcommittee in July 2020. Photo: Mandel Ngan/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

A leaker said Saturday they are providing personal information on 533 million Facebook users, including phone numbers, locations, birthdates and other data.

The latest: Though the data is resurfacing, the issue connected to the leaked data was "found and fixed" in August 2019, a Facebook spokesperson told Axios in a statement.

Ina Fried, author of Login
Apr 2, 2021 - Technology

Scoop: Group wants Spotify to abandon effort to predict mood, gender

Photo illustration: Lorenzo Di Cola/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Digital civil rights group Access Now is sending a letter to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek imploring the company to abandon a technology it has patented to detect emotion, gender and age using speech recognition, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: While many of us in theory want our computers to understand who we are and what we want, the industry too often doesn't think through how its innovations will affect different kinds of people or what harm its collection of data can cause.

Mar 24, 2021 - Technology

Slack rolls back parts of its new DM feature over harassment concerns

Photo: Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Slack rolled out its private-message-anyone feature Wednesday and immediately faced backlash.

The big picture: The company now says it's removing the ability to include a message with a request to connect to prevent harassment and abuse.

Mar 12, 2021 - Technology

Sen. Bill Cassidy: Congress should balance privacy and medical data

Photo: Axios

Congress is considering legislation that would make data gathered from people's smart gadgets, such as watches, be treated as private health information, yet still be used for medical research, Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) told Axios on Friday in a virtual event.

Why it matters: Data from smart devices can be instrumental in achieving medical advances but also pose privacy concerns. Cassidy noted that health insurers could use unregulated information from such gadgets to deny coverage to a person whose data indicates they may have a medical condition.

Privacy laws push online ads beyond tracking

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech giants, under pressure of new privacy laws, are dismantling some of the engines that drive targeted online advertising — even as consumers are doing more shopping online than ever, thanks to the pandemic.

Driving the news: Tuesday, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam signed a new privacy law allowing consumers to opt out of having their data processed for targeted advertising. Meanwhile, Google made clear that after it finishes phasing out third-party cookies over the next year, it won't introduce other forms of identifiers to track individuals as they browse the web.

Cyber CEO: Next war will hit regular Americans online

Any future real-world conflict between the United States and an adversary like China or Russia will have direct impacts on regular Americans because of the risk of cyber attack, Kevin Mandia, CEO of cybersecurity company FireEye, tells "Axios on HBO."

What they're saying: "The next conflict where the gloves come off in cyber, the American citizen will be dragged into it, whether they want to be or not. Period."

The risks and rewards of charging state-backed hackers

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Last week’s stunning indictment of three North Korean hackers laid bare both the advantages and drawbacks of the U.S. government’s evolving strategy of using high-profile prosecutions to publicize hostile nation-state cyber activities.

Why it matters: Criminal charges can help the U.S. establish clear norms in a murky and rapidly changing environment, but they may not deter future bad behavior and could even invite retaliation against U.S. intelligence officials.

Jan 28, 2021 - Technology

Big Tech at war over privacy

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The world's biggest tech firms are at each other's throats over how to manage data privacy, an issue that will shape the internet economy for years to come.

Why it matters: Absent any U.S. government intervention, tech companies are introducing rules that favor their own ideals and business models, sometimes at their peers' expense.

Fertility app settles probe into data sharing with Facebook, Google

Illustration: Flo

A fertility app with more than 100 million customers on Wednesday settled a Federal Trade Commission investigation into allegations that it shared health information with Google, Facebook and other companies without users' consent.

Details: The FTC said Flo promised users of its Flo Period & Ovulation Tracker app that their health information would be kept private, but instead shared data, including whether a user was pregnant, with companies that provided marketing and analytics services.