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Google Adds New Option to 'Auto-Delete' Your Location History and Activity Data

Google Adds New Option to 'Auto-Delete' Your Location History and Activity Data

May 02, 2019Swati Khandelwal
Google is giving you more control over how long you want the tech company to hold on to your location history and web activity data. Google has introduced a new, easier, privacy-focused auto-delete feature for your Google account that will allow you to automatically delete your Location History and Web and App Activity data after a set period of time. Google's Location History feature, if enabled, allows the company to track locations that you have visited, while Web and App Activity tracks websites you have visited and apps you have used. Until now, Google allowed you to either altogether disable the Location History and Web and App Activity feature or manually delete all or part of that data, providing no controls for regular deletion so that users can manage their data efficiently. However, an AP investigation last year revealed that even if you turn off the Location History feature in all your accounts, Google services on Android and iPhone devices continue to trac
Congress Asks Google 10 Questions On Its Location Tracking Database

Congress Asks Google 10 Questions On Its Location Tracking Database

April 24, 2019Mohit Kumar
U.S. Congress has sent an open letter to Google CEO Sundar Pichai asking for more information about its Sensorvault database that’s reportedly being used by law enforcement agencies to solve crime cases. Last week, we reported a story based upon NY Times findings that revealed how using a "geofence" warrant, authorities obtain location history of all devices from Google's Sensorvault database that pass through a crime scene over a certain time period. For those unaware, Google maintains Sensorvault database over nearly the past decade which contains precise location information from hundreds of millions of smartphones around the world and shares it with authorities to help in criminal cases. However, Google does not share identifiable information on all devices after receiving a warrant. Instead, authorities have to first narrow down their list of suspects using the location history data, only after which Google shares further information about a few selected u
Google Helps Police Identify Devices Close to Crime Scenes Using Location Data

Google Helps Police Identify Devices Close to Crime Scenes Using Location Data

April 15, 2019Swati Khandelwal
It's no secret that Google tracks you everywhere, even when you keep Google's Location History feature disabled. As revealed by an Associated Press investigation in 2018 , other Google apps like Maps or daily weather update service on Android allows the tech giant to continuously collect your precise latitude and longitude. According to Google, the company uses this location-tracking features with an intent to improve its users' experience, like "personalized maps, recommendations based on places you've visited, help finding your phone, real-time traffic updates about your commute, and more useful ads." Moreover, it's also known that Google could share your location data with federal authorities in criminal investigations when asked with a warrant. Google 'SensorVault' Database Help Police Solve Crimes But what many people weren't aware of is that Google also helps federal authorities identify suspects of crimes by sharing locati
New Attacks Against 4G, 5G Mobile Networks Re-Enable IMSI Catchers

New Attacks Against 4G, 5G Mobile Networks Re-Enable IMSI Catchers

February 25, 2019Mohit Kumar
At NDSS Symposium 2019, a group of university researchers yesterday revealed newly discovered cellular network vulnerabilities that impact both 4G and 5G LTE protocols. According to a paper published by the researchers, " Privacy Attacks to the 4G and 5G Cellular Paging Protocols Using Side Channel Information, " the new attacks could allow remote attackers to bypass security protections implemented in 4G and 5G, re-enabling IMSI catching devices like " Stingrays " to intercept users' phone calls and track their location. Here below, we have described all the three attacks, how they work, what are their impacts, and why you should be concerned about these attacks. ToRPEDO Attack — Location Verification, DoS, Inject Fake Alerts Short for "TRacking via Paging mEssage DistributiOn," TorPEDO is the most concerning attack that leverages paging protocol, allowing remote attackers to verify a victim device’s location, inject fabricated paging mess
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