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ICYMI: July 12 - July 18

ICYMI: July 12 - July 18

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


A Facebook engineer abused access to user data to track down a woman who had left their hotel room after they fought on vacation, new book says

The engineer, who is unnamed, tapped into the data to "confront" a woman with whom he had been vacationing in Europe after she left the hotel room they had been sharing, the book said. He was able to figure out her location at a different hotel.

Another Facebook engineer used his employee access to dig up information on a woman with whom he had gone on a date after she stopped responding to his messages. In the company's systems, he had access to "years of private conversations with friends over Facebook messenger, events attended, photographs uploaded (including those she had deleted), and posts she had commented or clicked on," the book said. Through the Facebook app the woman had installed on her phone, the book said, the engineer was also able to see her location in real time.



At the time, more than 16,000 employees had access to users' private data, the book said.

Weird. It’s almost as if this story has played out a few times before


Facebook and its advertisers are ‘panicking’ as the majority of iPhone users opt out of tracking

The new prompt from Apple Inc., which arrived in an iOS software update to iPhones in early June, explicitly asks users of each app whether they are willing to be tracked across their internet activity.  Most are saying no, according to Branch, which analyzes mobile app growth. People are giving apps permission to track their behavior just 25% of the time, Branch found, severing a data pipeline that has powered the targeted advertising industry for years.

I’m slightly surprised that the percentage hovers around 25% but I’ll take that over a forced 100% any day


The new ProtonMail has passed its independent security audit

Like all Proton applications, the new ProtonMail is open source, and anyone can inspect its code for themselves on GitHub.

Prior to their release, the source code of both the new ProtonMail and Proton Calendar underwent an extensive security audit. We are happy to announce the final report was overwhelmingly positive, and the audit uncovered no major issues or security vulnerabilities.

ProtonMail putting their money where their mouth is to back up their claims.  Good news all around. Here’s a direct link to the audit: PDF