IRS Is Trying To Deanonymize Privacy Coins Like Monero And Zcash

irs is trying to deanonymize privacy coins like monero and zcash


IRS privacy coin crackdown

Shehan Chandrasekera

2020 has been a year with a lot of turmoil but regulators’ attempt to crackdown on cryptocurrency has not slowed down whatsoever (350,000 Aussie Crypto Users Are Receiving Tax Warning Letters, The IRS Is Hiring Consultants To Crack Down On Cryptocurrency Tax Evasion). A new listing posted on the government’s official contracting website on June 30, 2020, shows that the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) of the IRS is hiring private contractors to get more visibility into privacy coins transactions used in illicit activities. According to the request for information posted, the CID is looking for technological solutions that will help trace privacy coins, layer 2 off-chain protocol networks, and side chains.

Snippet from RFI – Pilot IRS Cryptocurrency Tracing

Shehan Chandrasekera

What Are Privacy Coins?
Privacy coins like Monero, Zcash, Dash and others allow execution of fully anonymous transactions. This in contrast to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, which are not anonymous. Privacy coins achieve varying degrees of anonymity by obfuscating the transacted amount, wallet addresses, identity of both sender and receiver, and the transaction trail. Full anonymity is sometimes abused for illegal activities such as tax evasion, money laundering, and other non-financial crimes. However, it is important to note …



Researchers use AI to highlight Zoom’s privacy risks

researchers use ai to highlight zoom’s privacy risks


It’s relatively easy to extract personal information including face images, age, gender, and names from public screenshots of video meetings, according to Ben-Gurion University researchers. The coauthors of a newly published study say a combination of image processing, text recognition, and forensics enabled them to cross-reference Zoom data with social network data, demonstrating that meeting participants might be subject to risks they aren’t aware of.
As social distancing and shelter-in-place orders motivated by the pandemic make physical meetings impossible, hundreds of millions of people around the world have turned to video conferencing platforms as a replacement. (In April, Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and Google Meet passed 75 million, 300 million, and 100 million users respectively.) But as the platforms come into wide use, security flaws are emerging — some of which enable malicious actors to “spy” on meetings.
This latest work sought to explore the privacy aspects at play when attending Zoom conference sessions. The researchers first curated an image data set containing screenshots from thousands of meetings by using Twitter and Instagram web scrapers, which they configured to look for terms and hashtags like “Zoom school” and “#zoom-meeting.” They filtered out duplicates and posts lacking images before training and using an algorithm …


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VFS Global Implements a Custom Privacy Program with OneTrust

vfs global implements a custom privacy program with onetrust


LONDON, July 6, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — OneTrust, the largest and most widely used privacy, security and trust software, today announced VFS Global, the world’s largest travel visa outsourcing and technology services specialist for governments and diplomatic missions worldwide selected OneTrust to power its privacy program. VFS Global implemented a range of OneTrust modules, including the OneTrust DataGuidance Regulatory Research platform, Assessment Automation, Cookie Consent, Data Mapping, Consumer Rights (DSAR), and Universal Consent and Awareness Training to operationalize their privacy program.Read the case study: VFS Global’s Journey to Implementing a Custom Privacy Program with the Full OneTrust PlatformVFS Global is a business to government outsourcing company that provides visa application services to 64 client governments in 144 countries worldwide. Processing millions of visa applications a year, privacy is a core component of VFS Global’s business allowing the company to build trust between their client governments as well as the customers applying for a visa.VFS Global operates in multiple jurisdictions, and the privacy team needed a solution that allowed them to quickly source relevant information and updates for the legal requirements of specific territories in which they conduct business. VFS Global chose OneTrust because it is a centralized tool to manage the local requirements …


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The iOS clipboard saga is a testament to Apple’s privacy-first approach

the ios clipboard saga is a testament to apple’s privacy-first approach


Apple’s approach of making privacy one of its main selling points isn’t new, but it’s come to the forefront again with the ongoing iOS clipboard saga.
For some context, Apple announced iOS 14 at WWDC in June and, shortly afterwards, made the beta available to developers. This included the iOS clipboard privacy feature.

What this does is alert the user when an app tries to copy clipboard information. Something, it turns out, apps appear to do constantly.
TikTok was the first of these to cause a stir:

Okay so TikTok is grabbing the contents of my clipboard every 1-3 keystrokes. iOS 14 is snitching on it with the new paste notification
— Jeremy Burge (@jeremyburge) June 24, 2020

The company — owned by the Chinese firm, Bytedance — fixed this snooping in an update on June 27, three days after it was first brought to the public’s attention. In a statement, TikTok said it was originally copying the iOS clipboard in order to “identify repetitive, spammy behaviour.”
But this was only the start.
Over the following days, rafts of companies have had to apologize and resolve to fix their iOS clipboard-copying apps. This includes Reddit:

UPDATE: Seems like …


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Advertisers upset over iOS 14’s new privacy protection

advertisers upset over ios 14’s new privacy protection


When Apple presented this autumn’s iOS and iPadOS upgrades at June’s WWDC event, a lot of time was spent explaining what the company intends to do to protect users’ personal privacy.
In addition to exposing apps that sneakily copy your clipboard, the OS updates introduce the requirement that developers ask for permission before tracking users’ surfing activities.
However, the Reuters news agency now reports that a group of European advertisers, some of which are supported by Google and Facebook, are strongly critical of Apple’s new privacy features; the advertisers claim they present “a high risk of user refusal” because apps have to ask for tracking consent twice. This, in turn, could lead to reduced revenue for developers.
Apple, however, disputes this and says apps have to ask for permission only once. Furthermore, the company provides a free developer tool that can be used to monitor the success of advertising campaigns without asking for permission. The tool uses anonymous aggregated data rather than identifiable user data, which is why it bypasses the need for consent.
The final public versions of iOS 14.0 and iPadOS 14.0 will be released some time this autumn. You can get them now by installing the beta.
This article …


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Pardon the Intrusion #21: What does the privacy label say?

pardon the intrusion #21: what does the privacy label say?


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Welcome to the latest edition of Pardon The Intrusion, TNW’s bi-weekly newsletter in which we explore the wild world of security.

It’s 2020 and Apple is stepping up its privacy game.
At the WWDC developers conference held a few weeks ago, Apple highlighted a slew of new security and privacy features that have been added to the upcoming iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur operating systems.
There’s a handy list here, but the one feature that caught my attention the most was the introduction of privacy summaries for third-party apps.
There’s no denying that most of us don’t bother to read privacy policies and terms of service agreements when signing up for a service. They are long, boring, and mired in obtuse legalese, as if deliberately designed to keep you in the dark.
Apple’s proposed solution to deal with this problem is labels — similar to nutritional information on food packaging — that clearly describe how apps use your data. Of course, the idea of a privacy-focused “nutrition label” is not new. But Apple’s approach also has a problem in that it requires app developers to self-report what information they collect …


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Safeguarding your privacy during COVID-19 and the proper way for employers to collect information | East Idaho News

safeguarding your privacy during covid-19 and the proper way for employers to collect information | east idaho news


Stock imageIDAHO FALLS – As businesses reopen, employees and customers are participating in procedures to help protect everyone’s health. But as you take part in these steps, knowing how your information is protected is essential. Navigating this type of health management is uncharted territory for businesses, and while they are doing the best they can, most are charting their own course. “Safeguarding privacy is important for business,” said Better Business Bureau NW+P CEO Tyler Andrew. “Protecting personal information applies to both customers and employees and can be done in a way that also creates a safer place to work in the era of COVID-19.” Tracking and contact-tracing solutions are being considered and implemented throughout the country to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. High-tech solutions include smartphone applications that employees can download, which will track and store proximity data or use other means to determine location. If a user is diagnosed with COVID-19, data collected by the smartphone app can be used to trigger notifications to other employees (and outsiders) who have crossed paths (within six feet) with the infected person. While tracing apps are sophisticated, not all employers want or need such technology. Businesses are being encouraged …


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Security isn’t privacy, and you can have one without the other – Up News Info

security isn’t privacy, and you can have one without the other – up news info


Source: Jerry Hildenbrand / Android CentralWe all tend to equate security with privacy. I’m not talking about public security, where there is debate over encryption and why Apple and Google won’t just hand everything over to the FBI, I’m talking about our personal digital security.Security is really an easy subject to understand once you break it down to its core: your electronic devices — whether they be a phone, a laptop, a smart doorbell, or anything else — should only be operable and accessible by you. If I can pick up your phone and rifle through its contents or see the video your Ring Doorbell collects, something, somewhere isn’t secure.It could be as simple as you haven’t used any available tools to set up personal security like a lock screen on your phone, or it could be an existing exploit that allows me to connect remotely. In the end, all that matters is that if I can get into your stuff, it’s not secure.Security is easy to understand if you break it down: only you can use or access your digital devices.Privacy is a bit different. Privacy is protecting our personal data through …


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DeChambeau confronts cameraman, bemoans lack of privacy

dechambeau confronts cameraman, bemoans lack of privacy


Bryson DeChambeau confronted a cameraman on the course Saturday during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit for capturing his angry reaction after a bad shot.According to the Golf Channel’s Will Gray, DeChambeau was “running a little hot,” complaining that the cameraman was following him too long and that capturing his reaction could damage his image. Further, DeChambeau said golfers are entitled to “have our times of privacy” on the course.After a poor bunker shot on No. 7 at Detroit Golf Club resulted in a bogey, DeChambeau had a “testy discussion” with the cameraman on his way to the tee box at No. 8, according to Gray.”I mean, I understand it’s his job to video me, but at the same point, I think we need to start protecting our players out here compared to showing a potential vulnerability and hurting someone’s image. I just don’t think that’s necessarily the right thing to do,” DeChambeau told reporters after his round. “As much as we’re out here performing, I think it’s necessary that we have our times of privacy as well when things aren’t going our way. I mean, we’re in the spotlight, but if somebody else is …


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Bryson DeChambeau confronts cameraman, says privacy should be respected

bryson dechambeau confronts cameraman, says privacy should be respected



Nick Piastowski

July 4, 2020

Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot on the 9th hole at Detroit Golf Club on Saturday.

Getty Images

Bryson DeChambeau had just over 19 feet to the pin on his third shot on the par-5 7th hole at Detroit Golf Club. He blasted his ball out of the sand. It went 19 feet past the hole. 

CBS viewers saw the 38-foot journey. 

They didn’t see what was happening back at the start. Nor should they have, DeChambeau said.

DeChambeau, according to the Golf Channel’s Will Gray, “took a Sergio slash” at the bunker during the third round of the Rocket Mortgage Classic, a reference to Sergio Garcia’s bunker blowup during the 2019 Saudi International, in which Garcia took four swipes at a bunker after hitting his ball out. On Saturday, the CBS camera showed DeChambeau’s swing and the ball’s path, then paused for a brief second while panning back to the bunker – likely when DeChambeau was showing his frustration – before continuing back to DeChambeau, who was out of the bunker by that point.

Gray photographed DeChambeau talking to the cameraman when DeChambeau was finished with the hole. DeChambeau said after his round he believed …


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