Archive for July 4, 2020

Pizza Pizza Gave Cops Customer’s Personal Info Without A Warrant….. Wow

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 4, 2020 by itnerd

One of the biggest pizza operations in Canada is Pizza Pizza. But they seem to have dropped themselves into it big time as the Toronto Star has discovered. Apparently according to the Toronto Star, Toronto Police while investigating gangs in the city, trolled customer information using Pizza Pizza’s databases without going for a warrant first. And Pizza Pizza simply complied:

Amid a major criminal investigation that announced dozens of arrests last year, the popular pizza chain voluntarily searched its internal data and handed over customers’ personal information to Toronto police investigators, the Star has learned. 

Officers used the technique in Project Kraken, an investigation into guns, gangs and drugs that resulted in more than 70 arrests last June. Seven of those charged were tow truck operators, police said at the time. The accused are awaiting trial.

During the investigation, Toronto police obtained telephone numbers from phone intercepts. Officers then took those numbers to Pizza Pizza to get any matching customers’ names.

None of the accused were identified using the technique. Rather, it was used to identify people associated with targets of the investigation. It is not clear how many people were identified. 

Two sources connected to the case told the Star police used the technique. The Star is not identifying the sources because they can’t publicly speak about material that is part of disclosure.

Well, that is something that doesn’t sit well with me. And I am sure that if you have used Pizza Pizza it doesn’t sit well with you either. The cops won’t say anything about this. But Pizza Pizza says this:

The Star also asked Pizza Pizza for comment. In an emailed response, the company said it is “committed to protecting the Personal Information provided by customers. Our Privacy Policy details how we protect and use customer data in the fulfilment of customer orders.”

Pizza Pizza’s privacy policy states the company “reserves the right to access and/or disclose Personal Information where required to comply with applicable laws or lawful government requests.”

Customers, the policy states, consent with every order made to the “collection, use and disclosure of your information by Pizza Pizza in accordance with” its policy terms.

So, what that tells me is the following:

  1. If you use Pizza Pizza’s online services to order a pizza for pickup or delivery. Then your personal information could be subject to being handed over to someone in law enforcement of government.
  2. Pizza Pizza clearly doesn’t require a warrant to hand that info over.

I have the Pizza Pizza app on my iPhone, and this is enough for me to delete it off my iPhone and not use their services again. Now Pizza Pizza may not care about that. But they will care about this:

In response to Star queries, a spokesperson for the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada said the office could not comment on this specific scenario involving Pizza Pizza because it had not examined it “in detail.”

I read that as this might get a serious look by the Ontario Privacy Commissioner. And I hope it does as this behavior by Pizza Pizza is simply unacceptable.

Microsoft Forces Chrome Based Version Of Edge Upon Users…. And You Can’t Uninstall It…. WTF??

Posted in Commentary with tags on July 4, 2020 by itnerd

Microsoft is up to its old tricks again. This time they are using Windows Update to force feed the Chrome based version of the Microsoft Edge browser onto your computer. And if that isn’t bad enough, you can’t uninstall it. Here’s the details from The Verge:

If I told you that my entire computer screen just got taken over by a new app that I’d never installed or asked for — it just magically appeared on my desktop, my taskbar, and preempted my next website launch — you’d probably tell me to run a virus scanner and stay away from shady websites, no?

But the insanely intrusive app I’m talking about isn’t a piece of ransomware. It’s Microsoft’s new Chromium Edge browser, which the company is now force-feeding users via an automatic update to Windows.

Seriously, when I restarted my Windows 10 desktop this week, an app I’d never asked for:

  1. Immediately launched itself
  2. Tried to convince me to migrate away from Chrome, giving me no discernible way to click away or say no
  3. Pinned itself to my desktop and taskbar
  4. Ignored my previous browser preference by asking me — the next time I launched a website — whether I was sure I wanted to use Chrome instead of Microsoft’s oh-so-humble recommendation.

This is really low. Even for a company who is known for having a habit of doing things that can be considered to be incredibly shady. And this sort of scumbaggery has gotten them into trouble in the past. Here’s the mind blowing part. They aren’t even trying to hide it as they admit to what they are doing here. Talk about ballsy.

Now Microsoft will argue that they are updating users from the old Edge browser to the new Edge browser. And if they simply left it at that, I would be cool with this. But to then auto launch and try to get you to switch browsers is not cool. After all, users should have the choice to use whatever browser they want. This is where I think that someone like the US Government or the EU needs to educate Microsoft that this sort of behavior is not acceptable, and perhaps force them to moderate their behavior.