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Technology 23 September 2019

The Week in Internet News: IoT Devices Could Put Privacy at Risk, Study Says

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

A real privacy headache: Internet of Things devices potentially expose consumer information to other parties, according to a recent study featured on Vice.com. Many IoT devices collect and share a wealth of information including the IP address, usage habits, and location data. That data is then often shared with “a laundry list” of third parties.

Encryption objections: ISP trade groups are objecting to a plan by Google to a new encryption regime for domain name lookups in its Chrome browser and Android operating system, Broadcasting and Cable reports. The plan would give Google too much power, the groups have told U.S. lawmakers.

Moving to the country: Microsoft and Nextlink Internet have unveiled a plan to bring broadband to millions of people living in the rural U.S., WindowsCenteral.com says. The Microsoft Airband Initiative’s goal is to extend broadband access to more than 3 million unserved U.S. residents by mid-2022, with more areas covered by 2024.

The FBI wants in: The U.S. FBI tried to get the operators of encrypted phone carrier Phantom Secure to create a backdoor, as a way to spy on the Sinaloa drug cartel, Vice.com reports. The company was accused of catering its services to criminals. In early 2018, the FBI and its partners arrested the carrier’s CEO and shut down the company.

Regulations needed? Lawmakers need to take off the rose-color glasses and take a harder look at social media and Internet regulation, a U.S. senator has said, according to Broadcasting and Cable. Lawmakers need to take “more pessimistic, or at least realistic,” look at social media, big tech, and the Internet, said Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat.

Crypto targeting: Bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallets are increasingly being targeted by malware, Forbes.com says. A new piece of malware, called InnfiRAT is a so-called remote access trojan. That means it’s able to steal sensitive information stored on a device including bitcoin and cryptocurrency wallet data.

Read IoT Privacy for Policymakers and find out how you can take steps to help safeguard privacy and trust in IoT.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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