Latest news and features from theguardian.com, the world's leading liberal voice
  1. Our personal health history is too valuable to be harvested by the tech giants | Eerke Boiten

    Action to prevent deeper access to our private lives and data is more essential than ever

    Health data paints a rich picture of our lives. Even if you remove your name, date of birth and NHS number to “anonymise” yourself, a full health history will reveal your age, gender, the places where you have lived, your family relationships and aspects of your lifestyle.

    Used in combination with other available information, this may be enough to verify that this medical history relates to you personally and to target you online. Consequently, whenever the NHS shares health data, even if it is anonymised, we need to have confidence in who it goes to and what they can do with it.

    When data about us influences a credit rating or a hiring decision, we are unlikely ever to find out

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  2. Google software glitch sent some users' videos to strangers

    Bug affected users of Google Takeout exporting from Google Photos in late November

    Google has said a software bug resulted in some users’ personal videos being emailed to strangers.

    The flaw affected users of Google Photos who requested to export their data in late November. For four days the export tool wrongly added videos to unrelated users’ archives.

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  3. Will we just accept our loss of privacy, or has the techlash already begun? | Alan Rusbridger

    Not so long ago we searched Google. Now we seem quite happy to let Google search us

    Probably too late to ask, but was the past year the moment we lost our technological innocence? The Alexa in the corner of the kitchen monitoring your every word? The location-betraying device in your pocket? The dozen trackers on that web page you just opened? The thought that a 5G network could, in some hazily understood way, be hardwired back to Beijing? The spooky use of live facial recognition on CCTV cameras across London.

    With privacy there have been so many landmarks in the past 12 months. The $5bn Federal Trade Commission fine on Facebook to settle the Cambridge Analytica scandal? The accidental exposure of a mind-blowing 1.2 billion people’s details from two data enrichment companies? Up to 50m medical records spilled?

    We gleefully carry surveillance machines in our pockets and install them in our homes

    Related:Cybercrime laws need urgent reform to protect UK, says report

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  4. Jeff Bezos met FBI investigators in 2019 over alleged Saudi hack

    Amazon founder interviewed as FBI conducts inquiry into Israeli firm linked to malware

    Jeff Bezos met federal investigators in April 2019 after they received information about the alleged hack of the billionaire’s mobile phone by Saudi Arabia, the Guardian has been told.

    Bezos was interviewed by investigators at a time when the FBI was conducting an investigation into the Israeli technology company NSO Group, according to a person who was present at the meeting.

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  5. Boris Johnson gets final warning with Huawei 5G verdict imminent

    Former senior government figures voice security fears as PM chairs meeting of NSC

    Former ministers have sounded their final warnings to Boris Johnson about the Chinese telecoms firm Huawei ahead of his expected decision on whether it will play a part in the UK’s 5G network.

    The prime minister will chair a meeting of the national security council (NSC) later on Tuesday before making a judgment on the firm’s future in the country after months of concern around security, including from the US president, Donald Trump.

    5G is the next generation mobile phone network and it promises much higher connection speeds, lower latency (response times) and to be more reliable than the creaking 4G networks we have now.

    Huawei is a Chinese telecoms company founded in 1987. US officials believe it poses a security risk because the Chinese government will make the firm engineer backdoors in its technology, through which information could be accessed by Beijing. Donald Trump has banned US companies from sharing technology with Huawei and has been putting pressure on other nations to follow suit.

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