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EPIC – DOD Advises Military Personnel to Avoid DNA Home Test Kits, Citing Privacy

The Department of Defense is warning military personnel against using home DNA test kits, citing the privacy risks that the tests pose. “These [direct-to-consumer] genetic tests are largely unregulated and could expose personal and genetic information,” reads a DOD memo circulated to servicemembers.

EPIC – DOD Advises Military Personnel to Avoid DNA Home Test Kits, Citing Privacy

You can read the full memo here.

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The Firefox Frontier: New Year, New Rights: What to know about California’s new privacy law

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) expands the rights of Californians over their data. Starting in 2020, Californians have the right to know what personal information is being collected, access it, see with whom their data is being shared, and opt-out of the sale of that data.

Source: Mozilla

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The Fight Against Government Face Surveillance: 2019 Year in Review

In May of [2019], San Francisco became the first city in the United States to ban local government use of face surveillance technology.San Francisco’s ban was enacted with overwhelming support from the City’s Board of Supervisors as part of the city’s Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance. The Stop Secret Surveillance Ordinance banned the use of face surveillance by local government. It also provided the Community Control of Police Surveillance (CCOPS) protections that had already been adopted in neighboring Oakland and Berkeley—and close to a dozen other cities nationwide. By October, Berkeley and Oakland followed suit, amending their existing CCOPS laws to include outright bans on their own city agencies using face surveillance technology. 

Source: Electronic Frontier Foundation

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ProtonMail Releases Calendar in Beta

Protonmail, a Swiss-based, end-to-end encrypted email service, has introduced a calendar in beta:

ProtonCalendar uses end-to-end encryption to keep all your events’ sensitive information private and secure. The event title, description, location, and participants for every event are encrypted on your device before they reach our servers, so that no third party (including ProtonMail) can see the details of your events. Only you will know your plans.

ProtonCalendar is available to all paid ProtonMail accounts using using the ProtonMail Version 4.0 beta.

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Privacy Resources

I am not a privacy expert. I have found the following to be useful sources of information about privacy and am sharing them to help other people:

That One Privacy Site: The site has excellent VPN reviews. The site also has valuable information about email providers.

Privacy Tools: Provides knowledge and tools to protect your privacy against mass surveillance.

Techlore YouTube Channel: Useful privacy-related tutorials in plain English.

The Complete Privacy and Security Podcast is a weekly podcast that helps listeners to maintain their privacy in the digital age.

Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University: The Center brings “together the sharpest, most thoughtful people from around the globe to tackle the biggest challenges presented by the Internet.”

ProtonMail: Encrypted Email and VPN provider in Switzerland

Tutanota: Encrypted Email provider in Germany

Tutanota Guide to Leaving Google

Secure Messaging Apps Comparison

Choosing a Linux Distribution

Encryption Tools

But see also:

If your main worry is that hackers could gain access to your email, then you should rely on Gmail. To be clear, for a majority of users, the threat of hackers trying to break into their emails looking for a way to make a quick buck is more real than the threat of a government investigating them as part of a crime. With the proliferation of phishing attempts and the threat of hackers obtaining your password via hacks of other services, this is what the average consumer should be worried about.

Google has one of the best teams of security engineers in the world. Moreover, the company has several strong security mechanisms for users to protect their account.

Vice: Gmail vs ProtonMail: Which is More Secure?

I have never heard of a successful hack of Gmail.