Amazon’s Ring Is the Largest Civilian Surveillance Network the US Has Ever Seen

The Guardian reported:

In a 2020 letter to management, Max Eliaser, an Amazon software engineer, said Ring is “simply not compatible with a free society.” We should take his claim seriously.

Ring video doorbells, Amazon’s signature home security product, pose a serious threat to a free and democratic society. Not only is Ring’s surveillance network spreading rapidly, it is extending the reach of law enforcement into private property and expanding the surveillance of everyday life. What’s more, once Ring users agree to release video content to law enforcement, there is no way to revoke access and few limitations on how that content can be used, stored, and with whom it can be shared.

28 Groups Demand Facebook Stop Intimidating WhatsApp Users

Public Citizen reported:

A coalition of 28 groups across the globe May 14 sent a letter to Facebook demanding the company stop intimidating WhatsApp users to accept extended data collection, originally set to take effect on May 15.

Instead of forcing users to immediately accept new terms, Facebook is now pestering WhatsApp users to accept its policy change by May 15 or, under a new opaque timeframe, within a few weeks. WhatsApp will continually remind users to accept the new privacy policy and gradually degrade or remove core features of the app for those who do not — such as removing access to their personal chat list and deactivating message notifications. The company has not said when it plans to start restricting features.

Californians Back Proof of COVID Vaccine or Negative Test at Workplaces, Other Venues

Los Angeles Times via MSN reported:

As California’s businesses reopen, a majority of state residents are in support of allowing entertainment venues require proof that their patrons are vaccinated or have tested negative for COVID-19, and for some employers to require vaccinations of workers, according to a statewide poll conducted by UC Berkeley’s Institute of Governmental Studies that was funded in part by The Times.

CDC Chief Said Change on Mask Guidance Not Due to Public Pressure

Politico reported:

On Thursday, the CDC changed course on its COVID guidelines and said that fully vaccinated Americans can now gather with other individuals without masks — both indoors and outdoors — even if some of those people in their group are unvaccinated.

Just weeks earlier, the White House was still urging the public to not let its guard down and to continue to adhere to its strict guidelines — masks included.

And as host Chris Wallace noted, Walensky was still arguing as of Wednesday night that even those who have been fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks indoors — a stark contrast to Thursday’s CDC announcement. But Walensky said the decision was based on data and science.

Apple Faces Dilemma Over Chinese Censorship and Surveillance

Axios reported:

China is home to most of Apple’s manufacturing and accounts for a significant and growing share of its sales. At the same time, doing business in China requires the company to make significant concessions that run counter to the company’s positioning as a protector of the “human right” of privacy.

Between the lines: Apple says that it’s simply following local laws in China, as it does elsewhere. However, China’s “local laws” require granting the government access to a great deal of user content, as well as severely limiting what can be said about a wide range of issues, from Taiwan and Tibet to mentions of the 1989 Tiananmen Square uprising.

EufyCam Users Should Turn off Their Security Cams Immediately

Gizmodo reported:

In the latest privacy woe to hit security cam owners, folks using Anker’s EufyCam products are reporting unwarranted access to random people’s camera feeds. Eufy hasn’t addressed any specific issues but acknowledged there’s a bug and a fix.

On Reddit and across multiple Eufy community forums, users are describing being logged into stranger’s cameras, giving them full access not only to a live feed of a stranger’s personal property but their cloud storage and admin controls, too. Right now, the majority of users reporting this security snafu seem to be based in Australia and New Zealand. While Gizmodo wasn’t able to independently verify the issue, one EufyCam user confirmed to AppleInsider that it hit their system as well.

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