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The Failure of the Most Desirable Security Control Ever

The Twitter blue checkmark started as a security control and slowly turned into social status. What happened to the security part?

Mastodon's Promising Federated Approach Will Frustrate You More Than Twitter

Mastodon is an open-source federated social media network. Twitter users are flocking to it only to find furstration.

Why is it so hard to law enforcement to track down harassers?

If you’ve been harassed online, is there any hope that the criminal will be caught?

Twitter To Add Edit Button...Finally

Twitter finally admits it’s working on an edit button. Why now?

Facebook Sets Out To Build The Multiverse...and Hopes To Hide There

Facebook commits $10B per year to build the multiverse. Earnest attempt at progress or an attempt to divert attention?

Lessons in Designing Blast Radius The Hard Way; One Mistake Crashes Facebook For Hours

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp are deeply integrating into many aspects of daily life for many communities and business. One networking misconfiguration reminded 3.5 billion users of just that.

Instagram delays launch of app for kids

On my tech column with CBC Ottawa Morning, Dr. Tracy Valliancourt and I explain the challenges with Instagram Kids and the latest research from Facebook about its impact on teens.

Twitter Shows Slow MFA Adoption, Is Security Unusable?

Twitter’s latest transparency report shows a low uptake for the multi-factor authentication feature. This is a great security control that’s easy to use. What’s going on?

These Real Apps On Google Play Are Harvesting Facebook Logins

Criminals are using real apps they’ve made and a push to remove ads to harvest Facebook credentials in order to gain more personal information to sell.

Apple vs. Facebook Battling For Your Privacy

Apple and Facebook have been battling very publicly around privacy issues. What’s really going on?

Clubhouse's Entirely Predictable Privacy and Moderation Issues

Clubhouse is the hot new social network. It’s a promising audio-only network that now boasts over 2 millions active weekly users. During this rise, it’s committed some easily avoidable and obvious mistakes around privacy and content moderation. Can they recover?

Parler Pas: Fringe Social Network Offline

Parler gets deplatformed and can’t find any organizations that want to work with it. It’s about time.

Advertising to & Tracking iOS 14 Users

Ad-tech, digital marketing, and the surveillance economy are worth billions and billions of dollars. It all hinges on the ability to target ads and you can’t target ads without tracking users and their devices.

A privacy-focused design decision by Apple for iOS 14 puts Facebook on edge and Google on notice. What is the IDFA? What happens in …

Do App Stores Help Your Privacy & Security?

Epic Games is current waging war on Apple and Google over the right to distribute apps to mobile users. There’s been a ton of excellent coverage of the issues, but it’s usually missing one key perspective; what do we as users get from the App Stores?

One Month After the Twitter Hack

On July 15th, 2020, Twitter was hit with the most visible hack of a social network of all time. 130 of the top accounts tweeted out a bitcoin scam. A month after, have we learned anything? What’s the impact of continuing to use Twitter?

Is TikTok a Threat?

The President has promised to ban TikTok in the United States for national security reasons. Is that the case? Are there real security & privacy concerns or is this purely a political move?

Should I Worry About TikTok?

Is a social network focused on dancing, lip syncing, and fun a threat to national security just because of who owns it? Is TikTok a threat to national security? Do you need to worry about it you or your family using it?

New Rules for Youtube

COPPA was passed in the US in 1998 but a recent ruling against YouTube for violating the decades old law means big changes for creators.

5 Tips for Remote Tv Appearances and Video Calls

Keeping a personal website up to date is always tricky. The technical pieces are simple, it’s be satisfied with the design and making the commitment to focus on the site when there is a ton of other, maybe more interesting work to be done. Needless to say, this is my restarting this site!

Privacy Expectations

Facebook was recently called out for listening to users audio messages on Facebook Messenger. They aren’t alone. Apple, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft all have admitted to having contractors analyze audio from their voice assitants (and Microsoft’s Skype service). What’s the impact? Do you need to worry?

Facebook's F8 & Information Management

Facebook held its annual F8 developer conference this week and—in addition to the usual product updates—they repeatedly talked about creating and enabling private spaces. What’s stopping them? 15 years of poor information management.

Facebook's Security Fail

Since May of 2016 Facebook has been prompting some new users for their email passwords. Yes, their email passwords. WTF?

Your Child's Digital Identity

You’re building out a digital identity for you kids almost from the day they are born. But it’s not just you, the clubs they belong to, schools they attend, and sports they play are all contributing. What’s the impact to your child? To their digital future?

Facebook & The Value of Privacy

Facebook continues to do anything they can to build data profiles on users. This week it was revealed that they shifted their Onavo efforts to a new “research” project where they targeted 13-35 year olds via 3rd party market research companies. Lots of questions and issues here…

Facebook's 10 Year Challenge

The 10 Year Challenge is sweeping social media right now. It’s a harmless way of looking back at yourself—and everyone else—a decade ago…or is it?

Is there something more to this challenge? Something very big brother tied to facial recognition?

The Internet Is Forever

You can’t really remove something from the internet. Not is the owner/operator really wants it out there. That’s a huge advantage and challenge for the internet community. What are the impacts of that fact?

Being An Educated Social Media User

There is a ton of news and information on social networks. There’s also a mountain of garbage. How do you sort through it all? Can you? Do we have the tools we need to make sense of the content we’re presented with?

Facebook...ugh...%$&#ing, Facebook

Facebook removes 800+ accounts this week, some with massive followings, for political content. The twist? They were US-based, not foreign. What does this mean for our use of social networks?

50 Million Facebook Accounts Hacked?!?

50 million Facebook accounts were hacked. Facebook responded quickly to the issue but could’ve done better communicating throughout. Here’s what you need to know about the hack.

Facebook, Shadow Profiles, & Data Brokers

A recent study proved that Facebook uses more information about you than you realize. Behind the scenes, Facebook compiles “shadow profiles” from various sources in order to better target ads…anyone surprised? 😔

End-to-end Encryption & WhatsApp

In the recent dust up with the founders of WhatsApp, you might have heard the term “end-to-end encryption”. What is it? What does it means for you? Why was it frustrating efforts to data mine and monetize WhatsApp?

Deep Fakes Was That Real

Is that video real? Are you sure? A new technique makes it easier than ever to create passable fake videos of prominent people. You cannot trust your eyes anymore.

Tanacon, Security, and Lack of a Threat Model

Tanacon 1.0 was an unmitigated disaster. Not only is this a reminder that physical security is critical but it’s an example of a failure to analyze risk properly (or at all).

The F8 Fallout

Facebook wrapped up it’s F8 conference this week with a series of new product announcements. In this episode, we’ll take a look and see how these announcements fit into the bigger picture.

F8 & The Future Of Facebook

Facebook is hosting it’s annual F8 conference and it appears that this will be a reserved year. Understandable given the scandals of late…

Live Streaming and Needless Complexity

Streaming. It shouldn’t be this hard…

Splitting Hairs With Facebook Testimony

Facebook was called to the carpet and showed well…because they weren’t asked the right questions

Video Streaming Options

Streaming is increasing in popularity but how easy is it to go beyond the basics?

Facebook Data Mining & The Long Weekend Round-up

After the long weekend, this episode is a bit of a round up. Nothing big jumping out but a few minor issues to address.

Facebook Data Downloads

You upload a ton of data to Facebook and in turn, Facebook generates a ton of data about you. I built a tool to take a look at Facebook’s view of you.

Privacy At Scale

As the Facebook / Cambridge Analytica scandal continues to snowball, we take a look at the larger issues. How does privacy scale? Can it scale under the current social networks? What’s next?

Facebook Data Misuse And Social Network Responsibility

Ugh. Facebook Has Allowed A 3rd Party To Harvest Millions of Credentials