Tech Today: March 11, 2021

Tech Today: March 11, 2021

Here’s what you need to know about what’s happening in tech today:

Opt Out now! T-Mobile to sell your web history
On April 26, T-Mobile is going to start selling the info they have about your web browsing to third parties. This data includes “your web and device usage (like the apps installed on your device) and interactions with our products and services for our own and 3rd party advertising”
Yikes, right? Even though the company also says the data they sell “is not tied to your name or information that directly identifies you,” de-anonymization isn’t difficult given enough data. And they’ll have plenty.
To opt out, try going here and then here. As expected, the company isn’t making this easy.

Immigrant rights activists take Clearview AI to court
Clearview AI, that awful company that takes photos of people from across the Internet – without their permission – and gives government and private companies a facial recognition tool to match against them, is getting taken to court in California. Four human and immigrant rights activists, as well as Mijente Support Committee and NorCal Resist Fund, claim that Clearview “has built the most dangerous facial recognition database in the nation by illicitly collecting over three billion photographs of unsuspecting individuals” as part of the company’s “quest to create a cyber surveillance state”.

Schools not equipped for cyber attacks
A report from the K-12 Cybersecurity Resource Center says that there were 408 publicly disclosed security incidents in 2020, 18% more than in 2019 and “the highest number since it began tracking incidents in 2016.” Among the incidents are data breaches, viruses and malware and more. The move to virtual learning for COVID-19 shows that most school systems were simply not prepared, and many – especially among poor communities – did not have the resources to handle the move to online instruction.

OVH fire reminds us: The cloud is someone else’s computer
A devastating fire at web hosting company OVH has fully destroyed one of its datacenters in Strasbourg, France and partially damaged another next to it. The company took another two datacenters offline temporarily as a precaution.
Thankfully, OVH and the local government have both said that no staff or firefighters were hurt during the fire.
The data in the damaged buildings, though, is likely gone for good. This is a good reminder that “the cloud” is someone else’s computer – and computers break, buildings burn, accidents and disasters happen. Just having your info in the cloud isn’t enough. Make sure to keep good backups in multiple locations.