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ICYMI: Jan 4 - Jan 10

ICYMI: Jan 4 - Jan 10

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


Technitium Mesh is a secure, anonymous, peer-to-peer (p2p), open source instant messenger designed to provide end-to-end encryption.

I don't advocate or recommend using the newest, hottest app on the block (aka Mesh) but I do like to bring attention to new services so we can follow their development. Who knows, maybe in time, we can add it to our stockpile of messaging services.

Standard Notes Completes Penetration Test and Cryptography Audit

The implementation of the latest advances in encryption technology make Standard Notes more robust, powerful, and secure than ever. These new releases are backed by two new security audits conducted by two of the world’s leading cryptography research and testing firms: Cure53 and Trail of Bits. We engaged with Cure53 to conduct a penetration test of our entire ecosystem, including our cross-platform applications and server. Cure53 conducted a rigorous and thorough test, lasting multiple weeks, that helped ensure confidence in our ecosystem by finding any vulnerabilities in our environment. We also engaged with Trail of Bits to audit our new encryption release. This entailed auditing our specification, algorithms, and code implementation of the shared library we use in our applications to sync data and perform encryption and key generation.

What many see as the best note taking app (for privacy) just got better

Privacy, schmivacy: 2 in 3 Americans don’t care if their smart devices are recording them

The report by Safety.com finds 66.7 percent of U.S. residents over 18 wouldn’t have a problem finding out a home gadget is listening in on what’s going on inside their home. Researchers polled nearly 1,100 people between the ages of 18 and 64 during December of 2020.

While tech companies repeatedly assure the public smart devices are not spying on their owners, not everyone is convinced of this. That feeling is particularly prevalent among older adults. The survey finds baby boomers are much more concerned about digital devices recording their conservations than Millennials or young adults in Generation Z. Adults in Generation X are split on the issue.

The poll also finds women are more unnerved about smart devices than men are, by a margin of seven percent. Unsurprisingly, residents in tech-dominant cities and regions are more accepting of potentially being recorded than Americans in communities with less high-tech development.

Privacy is one of those things that's difficult to really quantify because it's an intangible risk. You can't see the immediate repercussions of letting all of these companies collect your data but the risks are very real.

Tutanota builds their own captcha to replace Google's

We love open source so much, we have built our own captcha - instead of just using Google's!


WhatsApp Privacy Policy, Terms of Service Update Makes Facebook Data Sharing Mandatory

The most notable changes that exist on both updated privacy policy and terms of service are around how WhatsApp shares information with Facebook and its subsidiaries.

“The information we share with the other Facebook Companies includes your account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address, and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section entitled ‘Information We Collect' or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent,” WhatsApp noted in a dedicated FAQ section detailing the information it shares with Facebook's companies.

Prior to the latest update, existing users were provided with the option to choose not to have their WhatsApp account information shared with Facebook. This, however, seems to be not the case this time.

WhatsApp is already the worst of the worst when it comes to privacy and communication but it seems they really want to solidify that number one spot. If you're a WhatsApp user or are looking for a private communications service, take a peek over here.

Want to join the discussion?  Check out this post, and others, over at the CupWire subreddit and leave a comment.