Apparently so. Users of Google Docs found themselves blocked from accessing their own documents with Google telling them they were blocked for “violating terms of service” with Google.
People had critical documents needed for meetings, university assignments and more – blocked.
By later in the day, Google has fixed the problem but their explanation indicates Google Docs does scan all of our documents. It is unclear what Google does with the scanning of our document content, other than scanning it for unclear violations of terms of service.
This issue should now be resolved and you should be able to access your files.
For more details, this morning, we made a code push that incorrectly flagged a small percentage of Google Docs as abusive, which caused those documents to be automatically blocked. A fix is in place and all users should have full access to their docs. Protecting users from viruses, malware, and other abusive content is central to user safety. We apologize for the disruption and will put processes in place to prevent this from happening again.
Google Docs Community
Source is Google support https://support.google.com/docs/forum/AAAABuH1jm0PImCWRuosbY/?hl=en
New tests reveal that while one privacy-invading feature was removed in an app update, the app still shares precise geolocation coordinates with advertisers.
Source: Despite privacy outrage, AccuWeather still shares precise location data with ad firms | ZDNet
This is done without the user’s consent.
Accuweather says it uses one’s location data to provide local weather forecasts but it appears the primary purpose is to optimize ad revenue. A side effect is that a dossier of our movement is constantly maintained by corporations.
With Android, if you use the GPS location features of the phone for any purpose what so ever, Google logs your location in the cloud. You cannot opt out of this – your choice is to use location services and be surveiled by Google, or not to use any GPS location features.
We now use an offline Garmin navigation product which presumably is not logging our location as it is only connected to the Internet a few times per year to update the software. But we really don’t know – may be Garmin is also logging our location albeit with a months long delay.
Source: Silicon Valley escalates its war on white supremacy despite free speech concerns – The Washington Post
Tech companies have long argued they are not responsible for the content posted by others on their platforms. Under this view, a tech company is not responsible if someone posts threats to kill others or instructions for building a bomb or details on how to hack into government computers.
Companies have stood behind this principle, especially in regards to users posting defamatory content to online forums. They have argued that they are not responsible for the content and that it would be impossible for them to police the content of their forums.
Now however, the tech companies, including social media companies, are arguing that they can and do police all speech on their platforms. This implies that they do, in fact, control and have responsibility for the speech on their platform. These actions are likely to emerge in future anti-defamation suits filed against online tech firms and they could find themselves liable for all types of infringing speech conducted on their platforms.
Tech companies can certainly condemn offensive speech. But censoring offensive speech puts tech companies into a area that may have legal ramifications.
Related from St. Louis Dispatch:
“A law that can be directed against speech found offensive to some portion of the public can be turned against minority and dissenting views to the detriment of all. The First Amendment does not entrust that power to the government’s benevolence. Instead, our reliance must be on the substantial safeguards of free and open discussion in a democratic society.” — Justice Anthony Kennedy
In other words, Tor:
Solari said Winner’s laptop also contained software that could enable her to access online black-markets and buy items — such as a fake ID or passport — without revealing her identity or location.
Source: Accused NSA leaker wanted to ‘burn the White House down’ | New York Post
They can make the same allegation about encryption. Attempting to protect your medical, financial and educational records is a sign of nefarious intent?
Every journalist in existence, if they are any good at all, has Tor on their computer. So do private industry analysts reviewing competitor’s products and government policy plans. Tor is a browser that assists with anonymous browsing and accessing web sites as it hides one’s true IP address from the destination web server. There are numerous and valid reasons to use Tor to access publicly available information.
“WannaCrypt” is the malware that attacked and encrypted computer contents, globally, and then wormed its way through networks to other unpatched Windows computers.
The threat was so large and damaging, that Microsoft has released patches for no longer supported operating systems Windows XP, Windows Server 2003 and Windows 8. Of interest, according to Microsoft, the WannaCrypt malware exploited a previously patched vulnerability in Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 and did not have any impact on systems running Windows 10.
For information see the Microsoft blog.
234 Android apps have been identified as using your phone to monitor TV advertising effectiveness:
The apps silently listen for ultrasonic sounds that marketers use as high-tech beacons to indicate when a phone user is viewing a TV commercial or other type of targeted audio. A representative sample of just five of the 234 apps have been downloaded from 2.25 million to 11.1 million times, according to the researchers, citing official Google Play figures. None of them discloses the tracking capabilities in their privacy policies.
Source: More Android phones than ever are covertly listening for inaudible sounds in ads | Ars Technica
Look around your home or office. To the left is a new Amazon Echo. To the right, your Siri-enabled iPhone. Across the hall is a Nest thermostat.And each device is collecting data on you, your habits, and your lifestyle – every minute.
Source: Five Big Privacy Risks Posed by Data Analytics | Bill McCabe | Pulse | LinkedIn