News briefs for July 3, 2018.
The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Gmail allows data companies and developers to see users' email and private details, and read entire messages. According to a related story on The Verge, while some email apps "do need to receive user consent, the consent form isn't exactly clear that it would allow humans—and not just computers—to read your emails." In addition, Google told The Verge that it gives data only to "vetted third-party developers and with users' explicit consent" and also that Google employees may read your email, but only in "very specific cases where you ask us to and give consent, or where we need to for security purposes, such as investigating a bug or abuse".
There's a new distro called Bodhi Linux Media, derived from Bodhi Linux, "a lightweight, Ubuntu-based distro that includes only a browser, a terminal emulator, and a few other system tools". For Bodhi Linux Media, creator Giuseppe Torre customized the desktop interface, "capitalizing on the fact that the operating system is fast and lean (with no random stuff running in the background)" and curated the software specifically for artists in many different digital art fields. The software includes Adobe alternatives (GIMP, Inkscape, Natron, Scribus and Synfig Studio), Ardour, Arduino IDE, Atom, Audacity, Blender, Firefox, Krita, LibreOffice, MuseScore, Open Broadcaster, Processing, Pure Data, SuperCollider and VLC. See Giuseppe's article on opensource.com for more details.
Mozilla has announced its Featured Extensions for July. This month's extensions include Midnight Lizard, which lets you "customize readability of the web in granular detail", and Black Menu for Google, which provides "easy access to Google services like Search, Translate, Google+, and more without leaving the webpage you're on". The other extensions are Authenticator for two-step verification security; Turbo Download Manager with multi-threading support; and IP Address and Domain Information, which shares "detailed information about every IP address, domain, and provider you encounter in the digital wild".
In other Mozilla news, Mozilla yesterday endorsed the Brazilian Data Protection Bill (PLC 53/2018). In summary, "The lack of a comprehensive data protection law exposes Brazilian citizens to risks of misuse of their personal data by both government and private services. This is a timely and historic moment where Brazil has the opportunity to finally pass a baseline data protection law that will safeguard the rights of Brazilians for generations to come."
The Association for Computing Machinery's US Technology Policy Committee (USACM) yesterday made "detailed recommendations to Congress for protecting personal privacy in the wake of the Facebook/Cambridge Analytica controversy". View the USACM statement to learn about its nine goals for personal privacy protection legislation. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is "the world's largest and longest -established association of computing professionals representing approximately 50,000 individuals in the United States and 100,000 worldwide".