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We always find interesting privacy related articles as we travel the web. If you have a story about privacy our users might like, get in touch with us.

65% of major US banks have failed web security testing


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letsbecarefuloutthereWebsites run by some of the largest banks in the US have scored the poorest in a new security and privacy analysis audit. The non-profit Online Trust Alliance (OTA) Alliance anonymously audited more than 1,000 websites, ranking their security and privacy practices.

None of the sites investigated knew about the test.

In the firm’s Online Trust Audit & Honor Roll for 2017 many US banks were among the worst for security and privacy. The industry had both the most failing grades and the least “Honor Roll” recipients.

For firms to receive the Honor Roll award, they must achieve an overall score of 80% or higher across three categories: consumer protection, security and privacy. A failure in any of the three squashes its chance entirely.


The average cost of a data breach is now $4 million


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But the cost to a company's reputation goes much higher.

The average data breach cost has grown to $4 million, representing a 29 percent increase since 2013, according to the Ponemon Institute. According to the study, leveraging an incident response team was the single biggest factor associated with reducing the cost of a data breach – saving companies nearly $400,000 on average (or $16 per record). In fact, response activities like incident forensics, communications, legal expenditures and regulatory mandates account for 59 percent of the cost of a data breach. Part of these high costs may be linked to the fact that 70 percent of U.S. security executives report they don’t have incident response plans in place.


Lack of Online Privacy Has Chilling Effect


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encryptionThe constant threat of breaches, surveillance, and online data collection stopped almost half of American households from doing business and expressing opinions online last year, according to a new survey from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

Using 2015 census data, a new analysis from the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) finds that out of 41,000 internet-using households (representing a total of around 19 million), 45 percent claimed they've refrained from banking, buying stuff, posting on social media, or talking about controversial topics online over the last year. The reasons people gave for the chilling effects vary, but a significant majority (63 percent) cited identity theft, followed by credit card fraud, corporate data collection, government surveillance, and other factors.

It seems that the constant drip of data from privacy breaches causes more hesitation in online commerce.


Detecting ad blockers could be breaking EU law


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adblockerIn an unusual twist in the never-ending privacy war it seems that detecting that a user is using an ad-blocker could be illegal under EU law. Alexander Hanff, a privacy campaigner, received a letter from the EC confirming that the publishers' mechanism to detect ad blockers requires access to people's personal data. For websites to legally access your personal data, you must have given permission, according to The Register.

It follows from this that people must give consent before publishers detect whether or not they are using an ad blocker. Most publishers that are using ad-blocker detection software do not appear to be doing this. Therefore, according to Hanff, they are breaking the law.


'Nuclear Weapon' ad-blocking and tracking prevention software


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shineGoogle and Yahoo have accused ad-blocking software Shine of destroying the relationship between advertisers and consumers, after an executive from the company called its solution a "nuclear weapon" threatening the industry.

"Shine is the single biggest threat in the history of's a stellar opportunity to reset the relationship with consumers," Roi Carthy (CMO) of Shine Technologies said.


90% Of Top Websites Are Leaking Personal Data


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Privacy DripsThe vast majority of websites you visit are sending your data to third-party sources, usually without your permission or knowledge. That’s not exactly breaking news, but the sheer scale and ubiquity of that leakage might be.  Tim Libert, a privacy researcher with the University of Pennsylvania, has published new peer-reviewed research that sought to quantify all the “privacy compromising mechanisms” on the one million most popular websites worldwide.

His conclusion? “Findings indicate that nearly 9 in 10 websites leak user data to parties of which the user is likely unaware.”


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