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ICYMI: July 27 - Aug 2

ICYMI: July 27 - Aug 2

ICYMI is posted every Monday recapping privacy news over the last week from around the web.

Following security breach, report says Twitter contractors have been caught spying on accounts in the past

The controls were so porous that at one point in 2017 and 2018 some contractors made a kind of game out of creating bogus help-desk inquiries that allowed them to peek into celebrity accounts, including Beyonce’s, to track the stars’ personal data including their approximate locations gleaned from their devices’ IP addresses, two of the former employees said.
[...] Spying on accounts happened so often that members of Twitter’s full-time security team in the U.S. struggled to keep track of the intrusions, according to the two former employees. While some of the contractors were caught and fired, others started beating the formal logging system by creating fraudulent tickets that claimed something was wrong with a user account, only to grab that complaint themselves to resume their escapade, according to the employees.

Add it to the pile of other companies who have had employees access user accounts.  This isn't even the first time this has happened to Twitter specifically.

Data isn’t just being collected from your phone. It’s being used to score you.

CoreLogic and TransUnion say that scores they peddle to landlords can predict whether a potential tenant will pay the rent on time, be able to “absorb rent increases,” or break a lease. Large employers use HireVue, a firm that generates an “employability" score about candidates by analyzing “tens of thousands of factors,” including a person’s facial expressions and voice intonations. Other employers use Cornerstone’s score, which considers where a job prospect lives and which web browser they use to judge how successful they will be at a job.

Brand-name retailers purchase “risk scores” from Retail Equation to help make judgments about whether consumers commit fraud when they return goods for refunds. Players in the gig economy use outside firms such as Sift to score consumers’ “overall trustworthiness.” Wireless customers predicted to be less profitable are sometimes forced to endure longer customer service hold times.

Auto insurers raise premiums based on scores calculated using information from smartphone apps that track driving styles. Large analytics firms monitor whether we are likely to take our medication based on our propensity to refill our prescriptions; pharmaceutical companies, health-care providers and insurance companies can use those scores to, among other things, “match the right patient investment level to the right patients.”

There's an app, erm, score for that