Odds and Ends 

Seven reasons not to trust Facebook to play cupid

This week Facebook has launched a major new product play, slotting an algorithmic dating service inside its walled garden as if that’s perfectly normal behavior for an ageing social network. Insert your [dad dancing GIF of choice] right here. Facebook getting into dating looks very much like a mid-life crisis — as a veteran social network desperately seeks a new strategy to stay relevant in an age when app users have largely moved on from social network ‘lifecasting’ to more bounded forms of sharing, via private messaging and/or friend groups…

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23andMe’s Pharma Deals Have Been the Plan All Along

Since the launch of its DNA testing service in 2007, genomics giant 23andMe has convinced more than 5 million people to fill a plastic tube with half a teaspoon of saliva. In return for all that spit (and some cash too), customers get insights into their biological inheritance, from the superficial—do you have dry earwax or wet?—to mutations associated with disease. What 23andMe gets is an ever-expanding supply of valuable behavioral, health, and genetic information from the 80 percent of its customers who consent to having their data used for…

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Security News This Week: Maybe Go Ahead and Make Your Venmo Private

This week started with a controversial, widely derided meeting between President Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and ended with… an invite for round two! And yes, all manner of craziness managed to happen in between. That includes yet more denials on Trump’s part that Russia interfered—and continues to—with US democracy, a stance that has serious repercussions, however many times he walks it back. The Putin press conference performance also prompted concern across the aisle, as senators Marco Rubio and Mark Warner cast it as a major setback in efforts…

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All the Ways iOS 12 Will Make Your iPhone More Secure

The annual iOS refresh is on the way—Apple has previewed it, beta testers have installed it, and the rest of us should get iOS 12 when iPhones arrive in September. While features such as winking 3-D emoji and screen-time limits for your apps might take much of the attention when the software arrives, iOS 12 is a major step forward in one other crucial area: smartphone security. It's something Apple has always prided itself on, with its tightly locked App Store and full device encryption, but iOS 12 is going…

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Facebook Bug Made Up to 14 Million Users’ Posts Public for Days

Facebook has found itself the subject of another privacy scandal, this time involving users' privacy settings. A glitch caused up to 14 million Facebook users to have their new posts inadvertently set to public, the company revealed Thursday. The bug, which reportedly occurred while Facebook was testing a new feature, went live on May 18. Facebook told CNN, which first reported the issue, that it began rolling out a fix on May 22. The bug was fully corrected by May 27. If some of your posts have been affected by…

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Apple Just Made Safari the Good Privacy Browser

Apple announced a slew of new software features at its Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, including an augmented reality upgrade and animojis that can stick out their tongues when you do. But the company's latest desktop and mobile operating systems contain a more subtle, yet more radical, innovation. The newest version of Apple's Safari browser will push back hard against the ad-tracking methods and device fingerprinting techniques that marketers and data brokers use to monitor web users as they browse. Starting with Facebook. The next version of Safari will explicitly…

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Data Protection Standards Need to Be Global

Whether it is Cambridge Analytica gaining access to private information on up to 87 million Facebook users, or the large-scale data breaches at Equifax or Yahoo, alarmingly loose standards for the use and protection of customer data continue to fuel a backlash against large tech companies. More importantly, these events demonstrate the need for a global set of consumer data principles. WIRED OPINION ABOUT Kai Keller (@kaimkeller) is a global leadership fellow at the World Economic Forum and leads the organization's work at the cross-section of innovation and financial stability. The…

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How private is your DNA? Police tap genealogy websites to find suspected ‘Golden State Killer.’

Do you know where your DNA data is?Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Library RM Think twice before you send companies your spit.  A suspected serial killer was caught when investigators compared his DNA to samples collected by ancestry websites. SEE ALSO: Facebook’s richer than ever, despite data privacy scandals Services like 23andMe and Ancestry have become popular by using DNA from users who want to learn more about their family history. But few people think the DNA samples they send in might be used by law enforcement.  On Tuesday, Joseph James…

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If Congress Doesn’t Understand Facebook, What Hope Do Its Users Have?

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg received a less than warm welcome in Washington, DC, where he testified before a joint hearing of two Senate committees Tuesday. Among the crowds of spectators lining up to watch Zuckerberg get grilled were members of the activist group CodePink, wearing oversized sunglasses with the words, "Stop Spying," written across them. Another group wore t-shirts with the hashtag #DeleteFacebook scrawled on them in red Sharpie. "What many young people feel about Facebook is they’ve kind of turned on us," said Emmanuel Sessegnon, as he waited to…

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Beyond Facebook: Its High Time for Stronger Privacy Laws

In the wake of the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica debacle, we’re hearing a lot of new and interesting ideas about how to solve the so-called Facebook problem: Let’s classify Facebook as a monopoly and break it up. Let’s declare it a public utility and regulate it like electricity or phone service. Let’s force Facebook to reveal exactly how its algorithm works so there’s greater transparency and accountability. WIRED OPINION ABOUT Jessica Rich is the vice president of advocacy for Consumer Reports and served as the director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau…

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Are you ready? This is all the data Facebook and Google have on you | Dylan Curran

The harvesting of our personal details goes far beyond what many of us could imagine. So I braced myself and had a look Want to freak yourself out? Im going to show just how much of your information the likes of Facebook and Google store about you without you even realising it. Google knows where youve been Google stores your location (if you have location tracking turned on) every time you turn on your phone. You can see a timeline of where youve been from the very first day you…

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Apple’s Tim Cook Calls for More Regulations on Data Privacy

Cook speaks at Beijing forum following Facebook controversy Situation is so dire well-crafted regulation is needed: Cook Forum in Beijing on Saturday. His comments will ramp up pressure on Facebook Inc. and other technology companies that rely on the huge reams of data gathered from billions of people to power their products, services and sales. Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg belatedly apologized for failing to better control its customers’ data following reports that it let Cambridge Analytica amass information on 50 million users. The social network’s shares have tumbled 14 percent following the…

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A Hurricane Flattens Facebook

Two weeks ago, Facebook learned that The New York Times, Guardian, and Observer were working on blockbuster stories based on interviews with a man named Christopher Wylie. The core of the tale was familiar but the details were new, and now the scandal was attached to a charismatic face with a top of pink hair. Four years ago, a slug of Facebook data on 50 million Americans was sucked down by a UK academic named Aleksandr Kogan, and wrongly sold to Cambridge Analytica. Wylie, who worked at the firm and…

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Apple, Google CEOs Bring Star Power as China Promotes Censorship

Apple Inc.’s Tim Cook and Google’s Sundar Pichai made their first appearances at China’s World Internet Conference, bringing star power to a gathering the Chinese government uses to promote strict online censorship. Apple’s chief executive officer gave a surprise keynote at the opening ceremony on Sunday, calling for future internet and AI technologies to be infused with privacy, security and humanity. The same day, Politburo member Wang Huning called for more aggressive government involvement online to combat terrorism and criminals online, even calling for a global response team to go…

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Heres What the World’s Central Banks Really Think About Bitcoin

Eight years since the birth of bitcoin, central banks around the world are increasingly recognizing the potential upsides and downsides of digital currencies. The guardians of the global economy have two sets of issues to address. First is what to do, if anything, about emergence and growth of the private cryptocurrencies that are grabbing more and more attention — with bitcoin now surging toward $10,000. The second question is whether to issue official versions. Following is an overview of how the world’s largest central banks (and some smaller ones) are approaching…

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