Security News

10 fundamental rights for crypto users

Plus, a new parking app wants to track your browser activity and a new iMessage feature safeguards kids

Cryptocurrency exchange Binance released a series of advertisements that push for more regulation in the crypto world and the establishment of 10 fundamental rights for all crypto users. “Crypto belongs to all of us,” Binance posted. “But there's still work to be done if we want this breakthrough innovation to become part of our daily lives. Like seat belts in a car, a more regulated crypto market provides greater protections for everyday users.” Binance says that these 10 fundamental rights, which starts with “Every human being should have access to financial tools like crypto” should be put in place to “welcome the next billion users.” The company also urged policymakers and regulators to support a global framework that protects users without limiting growth and innovation. 

Avast Security Evangelist Luis Corrons commented that while protecting users is always a good idea, this one is backed by company interest as well. “One of the big issues with cryptocurrencies is that they can be stolen,” he said. “We have seen this several times over the last few years, and when that happens, the owner loses everything. That scares people. In most countries, if you have money in a bank, you are protected up to a certain amount. But that's not the case with cryptocurrency. Binance’s business is based on trading cryptocurrencies, so they are of course interested in having rules that protect people. This way, people can overcome that fear, and Binance can broaden the amount of potential customers.” For more on this story, see ZDNet.  

Metropolis Technologies hides data mining in parking app

A new parking app developed by Metropolis Technologies claims to have “re-engineered the legacy parking experience from the ground up,” but a look at its 4,000-word privacy policy reveals that users must agree to deeply invasive online tracking across multiple devices. A Los Angeles Times article reported the story when shoppers at a Hollywood Trader Joe’s were told to download an app, register for service, and then use that to pay for their parking in the store’s garage. The privacy policy says it reserves the right to monitor “pages that you visit before, during and after” using the online parking validation app. It also says that the company engages in “cross-device tracking,” which means it tracks your online activity no matter which device you use. A Trader Joe’s spokesperson commented this has nothing to do with the store, it’s just the parking policy of their building.

“Plant a tree for every pet picture” goes viral

An Instagram post using the new “Add Yours” sticker informed users that a tree would be planted for every pet photo posted, but the post quickly got out of control. Over three million users responded, but the company behind the post, Plant A Tree Co, says they deleted their original post after 10 minutes because “We immediately realized the post would grow too big and that we didn’t have the resources to plant that many trees.” Confusing matters further, many claim that Plant A Tree Co is actually a cadre of scammers who have launched similar empty campaigns in the past, according to Pedestrian. The Plant A Tree Co website does not include any information about the company itself, where it is based, or what it actually does. 

iMessage feature to warn kids of nude imagery in beta test

Apple announced this month that it will begin beta testing an iMessage feature designed to protect children from sending and receiving nude images. It’s part of a planned series of Apple features designed to prevent child exploitation. The feature will analyze attachments in messages sent to users labeled as children to determine if the attachments contain nudity. Apple claims message encryption will remain intact through the analysis process. When the content is flagged, the child user is notified that the photo could be sensitive and asked to choose whether or not they want to view it. No matter what they choose, they are then asked if they want to alert an adult they trust about the photo. For more on this story, see CNET

This week’s ‘must-read’ on The Avast Blog

For years, it’s been a best practice to have separate systems and devices for work and home. Findings from a new survey carried out by Avast underscore the fact that companies and employees aren’t following this best practice at an alarming rate.