Amazon is collecting palm prints, Google is letting politicians spam your Gmail, Facebook gives data to police about "illegal" abortion

Amazon is collecting palm prints, Google is letting politicians spam your Gmail, Facebook gives data to police about "illegal" abortion

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Quick Bits

A back-to-school checklist for online safety (Mozilla)

  • Mozilla, the creator of Firefox, gives you some tips to help make sure you or you and your kids are set to make the school year safe online. The best tip, which is #1 on the list, is to either update your passwords or switch over to a password manager

ByteDance gets deeper into the healthcare sector with Amcare Healthcare acquisition (Neowin)

  • TikTok parent company ByteDance acquired Amcare Healthcare. This comes after Amazon recently announced it bought a healthcare company too. ByteDance, like Amazon, wants to gobble up all the data they can to leverage and use it for future products.

Former Twitter employee found guilty of spying for Saudi Arabia (TechCrunch)

  • One of Twitter's employees was found guilty of taking cash and luxury goods from the Saudi government for collecting personal information on Twitter users that the government found of interest. There was previously another Twitter employee caught doing the same, but fled to Saudi Arabia safely.

FEC says Google can let political campaigns dodge Gmail's spam filters

The FEC is allowing Google to let political spam through to your main inbox.

You may be wondering why I called the emails spam before seeing any of the emails. If you have ever made a political donation of any kind, you know the destruction your email inbox gets from other candidates trying to get ahold of a potentially donating constituent. It was like fighting hydra, you unsubscribe to one, and you get 2 more emails from different candidates. It is ridiculous.

Where it gets weird, is Google has to approve the PACs or political parties to make sure they are who they say they are. The Republicans kept crying foul that Google censored them when most Republicans in office can hardly operate their iPhone with font the size of their age. This is Google's way of trying to make it fair to them.

Luckily, it seems like Google will let you mark them as spam once, and then they will automatically go to your spam folder. But the fact that an email is most likely spam will get through is a bit concerning. Let's hope politicians will use this power responsibly...


Amazon begins large-scale rollout of palm print-based payments

Amazon is collecting palm prints to allow you to check out at the same speed as tapping your phone or credit card in hopes they can collect more information about you.

Every week, I report on another facet of your life that Amazon can think of to collect data on to add to their ever-growing rolodex of personal information. This time it is palm prints that you can use to check out at Whole Foods locations.

I don't see much of an angle here that could benefit users. It will take a comprable amount of time to use some form of digital phone wallet, or by just tapping your card. I guess the benefit is you don't need your wallet? or you won't have to take your phone or wallet out of your pocket? I don't see it catching on besides at Amazon-owned or affiliated businesses.

It has already taken criticism and taken out of use at one of the spots that weren't affiliated with Amazon, so that is good news.

Next week's issue: Amazon collects your footprint to pay for Amazon-owned private beaches.


Facebook turns over mother and daughter’s chat history to police resulting in abortion charges

Facebook gave police a teenager's private chats about an abortion she had, which cops then used to seize her phone and computer, resulting in her and her mother being charged with multiple felonies and misdemeanors.

Last week I reported on how data broker's lists of pregnant women can be used against them in post-Roe states where abortion is illegal. We now see this in action. Even before Roe v. Wade, Nebraska outlawed abortion after the 22nd week of pregnancy, and is fully illegal in certain cities.

Facebook has previously not said whether or not it would give data to law enforcement regarding abortion instances. Now we know they will.

You need to assume your data, public or private, on social networks will be used in some way, whether you like it or not. Make sure what you have on your profile is okay with being passed to the highest bidder or revealed in the latest data breach.


In Other News


Interesting Find

noclip - Noclip lets you fly through abandoned worlds of old videogames. It is fun to re-explore these worlds in a detached camera you played as a kid when you could only beat the level to see what comes next.


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