Heads up: Microsoft is back to snooping with this month’s Win7 and 8.1 ‘security-only’ patches

Two months ago, the July Win7 security-only patch was found to install telemetry software, triggered by newly installed scheduled tasks called ProgramDataUpdater, Microsoft Compatibility Appraiser, and AitAgent. As best I can tell, Microsoft never admitted that its security-only patch dropped a telemetry component. The August security-only update didn’t include that …

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How to Use Firefox Private Network to Encrypt Your Web Traffic

Mozilla this week began piloting its own browser-based VPN service, and if you’re located in the U.S. you can start testing it for free right away. Called the Firefox Private Network, the service promises Firefox users a more secure, encrypted path to the web that prevents eavesdroppers from spying on …

European regulators to Microsoft: We’re watching you

Microsoft has built itself into the company with the world’s highest valuation, while managing to avoid (for the past several years, anyway) the attention of the U.S. Justice Department, federal regulators and Congress. Its peers, meanwhile, including Facebook, Amazon, Google and Apple, have found themselves embroiled in time-consuming and energy-sapping …

Facebook now lets you choose to turn facial recognition on or off

If you’ve ever felt spooked or confused or downright paranoid about Facebook’s facial recognition capabilities, you’re not alone. It’s long been a source of criticism by both ordinary users and privacy advocates even as Facebook has positioned it as one of their safeguards to protect you from other people using …