Security

18 stories
hide and seek
4 Talking Points: Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith on privacy, technology, Edward Snowden
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It's been about 17 months since Edward Snowden leaked details about the National Security Agency's tracking practices, information that triggered a firestorm of investigations into the US government's access to private data and the way technology companies secured and shared consumer information. On Tuesday, Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith spoke at Harvard's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, facing an audience that included some of the loudest critics of the NSA's activities in the US. Read More
LEDs, Irish 3D Love
Daily Brief: Prelert gets $7.5 million, BeON Kickstarts, and Web Summit kicks off in Dublin
BeOn Burglar Deterrent bulbs would have made Home Alone less interesting. Courtesy BeON Home
It's been a very active two-week period for fundraising among Boston's tech companies, and there are no signs of that slowing down at all. -Framingham-based Prelert, a company that develops advanced analytics software that helps enterprises with the early detection of possible data loss, announced $7.5 million in new funding today led by Intel Capital. Read More
tech today
Three tech things: Egg-freezing at Apple and Facebook, password-killing wristbands, the smart lock that's disrupting keys
Smarlock-August
Everyone is talking about August's new "Smart Lock" device that lets you enter your house with your smartphone, and the reception is mixed. The good: It’s simple to install, you get notifications about who goes in and out. A bonus: The Smart Lock knows when you are close—geofencing!—and unlocks when you walk up to it. The bad: It doesn't always work. Read More
Putting up walls
Facebook apologizes to drag queens, but politics of online identity and privacy persist
shutterstock_mask
Two weeks ago, Facebook began suspending the accounts of members of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag and community service organization. Members who'd been active on Facebook under their stage names were locked out until they registered with their legal names. For those members who wanted to keep their stage identities separate from the rest of their lives, at least online, Facebook's actions threatened to tear down a critical wall of privacy. After attempted discussions with Facebook, a whole lot of media (and social media) attention, and a Change.org campaign that's collected more than 36,300 signatures, on Wednesday Facebook's chief product officer Chris Cox apologized to the group. Read More
Forget your password
Can the fitness-tracking Apple Watch offer a healthy alternative to passwords?
Via Apple
Apple showed off its Apple Watch today and demonstrated how it's also a sophisticated fitness and health tracker that measures your heart rate, various activity levels, and syncs with your phone. Apple, the company that once held your photos and emails and contacts, can now collect a whole other kind of additional private data that's even closer to your skin—heart rate, movement patterns, sleeping patterns, and more. They also have a unique opportunity to use that very same information for security. But will they take it? Read More
Bad Hack
What you need to know about the celebrity photo hack
<a href="http://www.shutterstock.com/pic-155696531/stock-photo-young-male-thief-stealing-data-from-computer.html?src=5VwuqpGT-fVTRgzBQhlUpg-1-18">Image of "stealing data" via Shutterstock</a>
Over the weekend, a whole bunch of private photographs, many of them featuring nude or semi-clothed celebrities, ended up finding their way to the Internet. And, after a day of outrage from many (and some expected immature joy from others) on Twitter, Reddit, and similar websites, the question of how images from some very private cloud accounts could be made public is taking a central position in the discussion. Read More
What stays in vegas
When casinos gather data, the customer also wins
(Shutterstock)
Personal data about customers is increasingly valuable to businesses, and casinos are among the most voracious data gatherers of them all. But unlike others, the gambling industry goes the extra mile to reward patrons for sharing their personal information. That’s one surprising lesson from “What Stays in Vegas,” a new book about how businesses everywhere—and the gambling and entertainment industry in particular—collect and use data about their customers.  Read More
Tapping into Boston talent
Security startup Lookout will add Boston office after naming local exec CEO
Lookout chief executive Jim Dolce.
Interesting string of events for Lookout, a San Francisco startup that focuses on security for mobile devices... In March, the company named former Verivue and Akamai executive Jim Dolce as CEO. Last week, the company added $150 million in new funding. And in October, the company plans to open its first U.S. office outside of the Bay Area, in downtown Boston. Read More
Party Photos
Boston Calling attendees were guinea pigs in IBM surveillance pilot
Via Dig Boston
A new three-part series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 forthcoming) from Dig Boston is looking at how IBM lured the city into trialling a new model of a "smarter city": One that watched and listened to its citizens, seeking out suspicious activity while tracking faces and clothing, tying together tweets and hundreds of cameras in a system the current administration ultimately found no "practical value" in. Read More
Guardians of the (Data) Galaxy
Verdasys becomes Digital Guardian, focuses on protecting data even after a security breach
Digital Guardian
Verdasys Systems has long been known in the security space for its Digital Guardian product; so much so, in fact, that the company is officially rebranding under the name of its banner product. Starting on Tuesday, the company will be known at Digital Guardian by Veradys. Read More