Robert Heaton

Software Engineer /
One-track lover / Down a two-way lane

Send me your privacy abuse tipoffs

07 Feb 2020

My favorite hobby is investigating abuses of privacy by tech companies.

I’ve exposed shenanigans by HP printers, Wacom drawing tablets, and Stylish, a browser extension with over two million users. Stylish was expunged from the Chrome and Firefox stores until it removed the worst of its violations. HP battened down the hatches and weathered the Twitter storm and seem to be doing fine. It still remains to be seen how the Wacom story will end.

However, I only use so many products. There must be entire dumpsters full of heinous misconduct that I’m missing. I’m therefore asking you, dear reader, to send me tipoffs about any software or hardware that smells like it’s doing something it shouldn’t. For example:

  • If you see an overly-aggressive privacy policy (like HP and Wacom)
  • If you notice a feature that seems open to abuse (like WhatsApp status messages)
  • If you think of an imaginative exploit of otherwise benign functionality (like Tinder trilateration)
  • Or if you simply have a weird feeling about a product

Please do get in touch with even your vaguest suspicions. I’ll reply quickly to let you know if I think there might be a blog post to be written about your information. Your identity will be held in the strictest confidence, unless you explicitly tell me that you’d like to be publicly credited for the original find, in which case it obviously won’t.

My contact details are:

I’m under no illusions that any of this will make any company change the way that it acts, but I do hope that we can help some consumers make some more informed purchasing decisions and have some good clean fun along the way.

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