Stories by Caitlin McGarry

Twitter reportedly drops plan to encrypt direct messages

End-to-end encryption is widely considered the best defense against a surveillance dragnet, but the tech companies that many of us interact with on a daily basis--Facebook, Google, Twitter--have been slow to offer protections for users. The Verge reported Wednesday that Twitter, which had reportedly planned to encrypt direct messages, has dropped the project to focus on more pressing matters.

Caitlin McGarry | 19 Mar | Read more

Assange at SXSW: 'Who really wears the pants in the administration?'

Julian Assange doesn't use the blustering rhetoric you might expect from the founder of the activist publishing group WikiLeaks. Assange is responsible for leaking documents that have changed America's political landscape-- State Department cables and Iraq War logs--yet to a South by Southwest audience on Saturday, he spoke quietly and matter-of-factly even when uttering the most inflammatory statements.

Caitlin McGarry | 09 Mar | Read more

Surprise, surprise: Privacy groups still mad about Facebook ads

Facebook ads are an endless cause of controversy. Some of the social network's ad formats use your likes as brand endorsements that show up in other users' feeds. Last summer, Facebook had to fork over $20 million to settle a class-action suit over its Sponsored Stories ads, but privacy groups are now saying that settlement isn't good enough.

Caitlin McGarry | 13 Feb | Read more

Uber's latest legal challenge, a wrongful death suit, should give passengers pause

At 8 p.m. on New Year's Eve, a driver fatally hit 6-year-old Sofia Liu as she walked with her mother and brother in a San Francisco crosswalk. Car accidents happen all the time in major cities, but this is different: The driver was in between fares as a contractor for Uber. Liu's family this week filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the transportation app in California Superior Court.

Caitlin McGarry | 28 Jan | Read more

Help Grandma with her Facebook settings using AVG's new privacy tools

You're completely mastered your social networks' privacy settings. Facebook? Check. Twitter? Locked down. Google+? Deleted. (Just kidding! Sort of.) But then Facebook removes a setting and Instagram adds messaging, disrupting the delicate ecosystem of privacy protections you've worked so hard to create. Security firm AVG says they have the cure with PrivacyFix, free software that lets you manage privacy settings across all your social networks from a centralized dashboard.

Caitlin McGarry | 27 Jan | Read more