This story was updated with further information about the user data collected by the app.
Opera Software takes its VPN campaign to iOS with a free, unlimited virtual private network app. Launched Monday, the new app follows Opera’s debut in late April of a free, built-in virtual private network in the beta version of its PC and Mac browsers. Opera’s VPN services are offered by SurfEasy, a Canadian VPN provider that Opera acquired in early 2015.
Microsoft surprised the world last month when it filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Justice, alleging that the frequent practice of attaching gag orders to search warrants for customer data violates the U.S. Constitution.
On Monday, CEO Satya Nadella told a group of tech luminaries why the company did so: Microsoft has a strong view on its privacy promises to users, and the company will fight to prevent government overreach that, in its view, compromises the principles of privacy.
Governments have a compelling need to help preserve public safety, but Microsoft wants to make sure that users’ privacy is also preserved, Nadella said.
We now know the tradeoff for free Windows 10: Microsoft wants data about what you do with your device. But you don't have to send everything you do back to Redmond.
You can control the data you send back, and how often, by delving into Windows 10's privacy settings (we've taken you here before) and looking specifically at Feedback frequency and Diagnostic and usage data. The former is typically just an automated survey, but the diagnostic component actually peers into your machine.
These features comprised the Customer Experience Improvement Program, or CEIP, in previous versions of Windows—and they were voluntary. In Windows 10 they've become mandatory, but you can control some aspects.
When it comes to online privacy, Mozilla’s open-source Firefox browser is probably the best choice for keeping your data away from prying eyes. Even though Mozilla does have some behavior-based advertising on its new tab page, it’s still by far the browser maker that most respects your right to browse unmolested.
Nevertheless, Firefox does require several tweaks if you want to avoid privacy-invading tactics like ad tracking. Here's a rundown of the basic steps you can take in this browser.
Do not track and tracking protection
If you're concerned about privacy and security, you've already done a lot to avoid online tracking. You probably use an extension like Privacy Badger and have enabled the questionably effective Do Not Track setting in your browser. But what have you done about the URLs in your address bar? Yes, you can be tracked via the URLs in your browser. A new add-on for Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox called Pure URL aims to fix that.