Illustration of Big Tech firms

Four misleading claims tech CEOs told Congress

July 30th, 2020 in Privacy

On Wednesday, the CEOs of four massive tech companies — Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon — testified before a congressional investigation about those companies’ anti-competitive practices. The CEOs were eager to portray their companies as under constant threat from competitors. However, the congressional subcommittee raised multiple examples of the companies using their power to spy on, …

An illustration of the Chinese government using TikTok to watch its users.

TikTok and the privacy perils of China’s first international social media platform

July 23rd, 2020 in Privacy

TikTok, the video-sharing platform owned by the Chinese social media giant ByteDance, is one of the most popular social media services in the world, with an estimated 800 million users. However, its zealous data collection, use of Chinese infrastructure, and its parent company’s close ties to the Chinese Communist Party make it a perfect tool …

An illustration of protesters protecing their privacy.

The Proton guide to privacy at protests

June 17th, 2020 in Privacy

From Hong Kong to Minneapolis, protesters around the world are standing up for their human rights. The right to peaceful assembly and protest are bedrocks of democracy, and we support everyone’s ability to exercise these rights. We created ProtonMail to protect people’s privacy and freedom from encroaching surveillance. For this reason, activists around the world …

Illstration of the surveillance represented by user data requests.

Massive corporate databases become government tools of surveillance

June 16th, 2020 in Privacy

The number of data requests the US government sent to Google has increased 510% since 2010. US government requests to Facebook have also increased 364% since the beginning of 2013. The databases of private companies are increasingly being used to monitor individuals with little transparency into the process. In 2013, when Edward Snowden revealed the …

An illustration of COVID-19 contact tracing apps.

What you need to know about contact tracing apps and privacy

May 15th, 2020 in Privacy

Nearly all public health experts say we will have to employ testing and tracing on a massive scale to combat the spread of COVID-19. This has led a number of countries and tech companies to develop coronavirus contact tracing apps for smartphones. The idea is that such an app would allow someone who tested positive …

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The truth about anonymized data

April 30th, 2020 in Privacy

Many companies that handle personal information reassure their users by saying that all the data is “anonymized.” If you don’t know any better, that sounds reassuring. However, the method most companies use to anonymize data and the size of modern databases make it easy for attackers to re-identify individuals. From medical records to cell phone …

An illustration of Zoom's attendee attention tracking.

Using Zoom? Here are the privacy issues you need to be aware of

March 20th, 2020 in Privacy

Zoom has seen a flood of new users as the COVID-19 outbreak forces more and more employees to transition to working from home. Zoom’s big selling point is its near-frictionless video calls. However, new users should be aware of the company’s privacy practices. By looking through its privacy policy and some of its support documents, …

An illustration of political campaigns sharing voter data.

Political campaigns and your personal data

March 13th, 2020 in Privacy

During this American presidential election campaign season, politicians have scored points calling out tech companies for abusing the personal data of their users. Yet many political campaigns are engaged in very similar practices.  Political campaigns are now sophisticated data operations that collect mass amounts of personal information from their supporters and potential voters. Their methodology …

why users pay for protonmail

Privacy isn’t free. Here’s why that’s a good thing.

February 25th, 2020 in Privacy

Every once in a while, we are asked the question, why should I pay for ProtonMail when I can use Gmail for free? Or why should I pay for ProtonMail when there are cheaper email services available? This is actually a good question worthy of a deeper discussion.  Google isn’t actually free First, it’s important …

An illustration of different smart devices that make up the Internet of Things.

The privacy risks of the Internet of Things

February 11th, 2020 in Privacy

The Internet of Things has come a long way since the turn of the century when it was a buzzword used by futurists and entrepreneurs. Although not yet as ubiquitous as some predicted a decade ago, Internet-connected devices have crept into many aspects of our daily lives. Now, with everything from vacuum cleaners to climate …

illustration of Android privacy

How to stay private when using Android

December 13th, 2019 in Privacy

The smartphone is one of the most invasive devices ever invented. It’s easy to forget that, of course, because we are so familiar with them, and they are so useful. But while you might value your smartphone for the convenience it gives you, tech companies value it for an entirely different reason: it is collecting …

illustration of a private Internet browser

Most secure browser for your privacy in 2020

December 9th, 2019 in Privacy

Your web browser is the vehicle that carries you around the Internet to your desired websites. As such, it knows precisely what sites you have visited, how long you spent browsing them, and what you clicked on (or almost clicked on). Anyone who has access to your web browser can have a window into your …

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