Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

According to a new survey from Harris Interactive, a significant number of consumers are being more careful with online activities in the year since Edward Snowden revealed information about NSA phone and Internet surveillance. Among the poll’s findings, Harris learned that 33 percent of those 18 to 34 said they were doing less online shopping, 29 percent of people in the same age group said they had reduced online banking activity, and 24 percent of overall respondents explained they were “less inclined to use email.”

Continue reading Poll Suggests Consumers More Cautious Online Post Snowden

SXSW: Snowden Talks Digital Privacy, Pushes Better Encryption

Former NSA contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden addressed the crowd at SXSW in Austin, Texas yesterday via videoconference from Moscow. Speaking on NSA leaks and data security, Snowden urged tech firms to adopt better encryption methods to help protect users from government surveillance. He also shared privacy tips for citizens, such as encrypting your hard drive, implementing browser plug-ins that prevent online tracking, and using online network Tor, that promises anonymity. Continue reading SXSW: Snowden Talks Digital Privacy, Pushes Better Encryption

Expect an Emphasis on Privacy and Security at SXSW Festival

The SXSW Music, Film and Interactive Festival kicks off in Austin, Texas today. The interactive portion of the conference, now in its 21st year, has grown to hundreds of sessions. Privacy, security, wearable tech, the Internet of Things and 3D printing are expected to be hot topics. On Monday, the show will host a conversation between NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden (via videoconference) and Christopher Soghoian of the American Civil Liberties Union. Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, is also scheduled to speak. Continue reading Expect an Emphasis on Privacy and Security at SXSW Festival

QPlay TV Streamer from TiVo Co-Founders Expected to Debut

InVisioneer, the company created by TiVo co-founders Michael Ramsay and Jim Barton, is reportedly planning to release its anticipated QPlay video streamer very soon. While official plans have yet to be announced, an early adopter beta test is expected, based on a recently posted demo video and related documents online, including the company’s terms of service and privacy policy. The streaming box, about the size of an external hard drive, connects to a TV and is controlled via an iPad app. Continue reading QPlay TV Streamer from TiVo Co-Founders Expected to Debut

Smarthome Devices Offer Many Benefits, Raise Privacy Concerns

As was evident at CES in January, a number of smarthome products are entering the market, designed primarily for home security and automation. Most of the products include camera features and the ability to easily watch and/or record activity via apps and mobile devices. While surveillance inside the home isn’t new (think nanny cams and video security systems), the new wave of affordable devices intend to democratize and perhaps even glamorize home surveillance. For homes with multiple inhabitants, this may raise questions regarding privacy. Continue reading Smarthome Devices Offer Many Benefits, Raise Privacy Concerns

NSA Creates Website and Games to Educate Young Children

In a mission to make government agencies more understandable to children, and the general public, the National Security Agency has created a website filled with interactive games, cartoon characters and puzzles. The goal is to educate children about spying, and spark an early interest in related career paths. The CryptoKids website for “future codemakers and codebreakers” is aimed to make these occupations seem cool, and even has a section entitled “How Can I Work for NSA?” Continue reading NSA Creates Website and Games to Educate Young Children

White Paper Suggests Alternatives to the Fading Web Cookie

As more people now browse the Internet on multiple devices, Web cookies are becoming less reliable and are on their way to being phased out. The question of what will replace the technology points to companies like Google and Apple, which will likely have greater control over the technologies behind online tracking. A white paper by the Interactive Advertising Bureau puts forward possible solutions, such as device manufacturers providing data about their customers’ habits to marketers. Continue reading White Paper Suggests Alternatives to the Fading Web Cookie

Will Most Customers Pay for Apps That Protect Their Privacy?

In the past seven years since the iPhone was introduced, consumers have enjoyed free apps in exchange for their data being sold to marketers. However, a new study shows that the average consumer would rather pay a small price for their apps to keep their personal information private. A study by economists at the University of Colorado found that consumers were willing to spend a little more on apps to protect their personal data, and this amount is determined on the amount of data at stake.  Continue reading Will Most Customers Pay for Apps That Protect Their Privacy?

CES 2014: Public and Private Cloud Solutions to be Featured

At the Consumer Electronics Show next week, we expect to see a host of companies, large and small, offering backend cloud integration services. These range from the startup Active Video, with its signature HTML5-powered Cloud TV app, to the publicly-traded prime mover Akamai, offering its Terra enterprise solution. In recent months, we have reported significant cloud-related news from major players such as Amazon, Google, Oracle and Verizon. We anticipate this wave to continue in Las Vegas. Continue reading CES 2014: Public and Private Cloud Solutions to be Featured

Panel Recommends Obama Impose Restrictions on NSA Spying

A report by a panel of outside advisers has urged President Obama to place a number of restrictions on the NSA. Commissioned by President Obama back in August, the report is a response to the outrage inspired by Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing of the agency’s spying methods. The advisers are calling for greater congressional oversight and presidential approval for spying on national leaders. They also want to see the agency give up its cyber-spying on American hardware and software. Continue reading Panel Recommends Obama Impose Restrictions on NSA Spying

Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

Google has released a Glass software update that includes some substantial new features. Update XE12 provides users with the ability to snap a photo with a discreet wink, adds a lock screen function for improved security, offers options for uploading Glass-shot videos directly to YouTube, and intros Hangouts integration for messaging and chatting with friends. Additionally, the Google Play Music app is available and the long-awaited MyGlass app for iOS is being rolled out. Continue reading Google Glass Software Update Delivers Compelling Features

CES 2014: ETC Coverage Begins with Preview Series, Key Trends

In anticipation of the upcoming 2014 International CES, January 6-10, the ETC@USC will have a team of more than a dozen writers, reporters and support staff onsite in Las Vegas to provide comprehensive coverage throughout the show on emerging products and trends in the consumer electronic space that are relevant to ETC member companies, and to the entertainment industry as a whole. ETCentric will publish articles, updates via social media, and video content throughout the show. Continue reading CES 2014: ETC Coverage Begins with Preview Series, Key Trends

Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Twitter is testing a new timeline for its mobile app based on location, called “Nearby,” which shows users recent tweets that originated in the user’s vicinity. The Nearby feature has occasionally appeared on the smartphones of users who allow the service to use their location (users can also opt out of location sharing). Twitter has yet to comment on the feature, which some suggest could be attractive to advertisers, but says it experiments regularly to provide a better user experience. Continue reading Twitter Runs Location Sharing Experiment with Nearby Feature

Will iBeacon Revolutionize Interactions in the Physical World?

Apple’s iBeacon and its Bluetooth Low Energy technology may soon revolutionize the way we interact in the physical world — and it’s already built into most iPhones. The technology is growing as more retail stores install sensors to track shoppers. It is also relatively inexpensive and easy to install. And instead of people having to launch an app or whip out a credit card when they’re out and about, their phones will do it for them — automatically. Continue reading Will iBeacon Revolutionize Interactions in the Physical World?

Facebook Helps Companies Gauge Social Chatter About Media

Facebook is working on ways to give brands and media companies a better look at conversations happening on the social media service about TV, movies and media. Facebook recently launched new APIs allowing certain companies to read what people are saying about them online. The goal, of course, is to allow those companies to better engage with target audiences. But for now, the program is limited just to media brands and content producers. Continue reading Facebook Helps Companies Gauge Social Chatter About Media

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