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Your Privacy Round Up: February

Heather Parry

By Heather Parry

23 February 2017

We all know that it’s important to stay informed, especially when it comes to things like online security. But with so much information to take in, it can be hard to keep up with what’s going on in the privacy world.

That’s why we’re bringing you a monthly round-up of the biggest privacy news—the stuff you really shouldn’t miss.

Check out the privacy headlines this month, and stay informed.

Signal launches a new update—that poses a security threat to users

Encrypted messaging app Signal this week unveiled a new beta update to introduce video calling and better call quality to the app—and to introduce support for Callkit, an iOS 10 feature that allows Signal calls to be answered from the lock screen. However, Calllkit may allow users’ call data, including who they called and how long the call lasted, to be synced to iCloud, posing a threat to the privacy and security that Signal users value so highly.

EU data protection watchdogs voice concerns about privacy settings of Windows 10

A group comprising 28 EU authorities responsible for enforcing data protection law this week raised questions about Windows processing of user data, despite the company announcing changes to the installation process. It’s said that users lack control over the way Microsoft gather and process their information. In July 2016, France ordered the company to stop collecting excessive user data. However, watchdogs remain unsatisfied with Microsoft’s response.

WhatsApp allegedly working on a feature to track users’ location in real time

Live Location Tracking is reportedly in development for a future WhatsApp update, and will allow users to track the location of their friends for periods of 1, 2 or 5 minutes—or indefinitely. While details remain murky, privacy advocates have voiced concerns as to the implications of such a feature.

US considers a Congressional Review Act Repeal of Consumer Privacy making it illegal to protect your privacy online

The FCC recently expanded privacy laws to broadband providers, meaning ISPs and phone companies need your permission to use sensitive information you reveal through your online activity. However, Congress is currently considering a rarely-used Congressional Review Act to repeal this move. If this goes ahead, its possible that no federal agency will be allowed to protect online consumer privacy. You can write to your representative here, to voice your concerns.

We’ll bring you another privacy round up at the end of next month.

Until then, stay safe online.

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