Several Android Apps Transmitting Sensitive Data to Facebook without Permission, ExTiX Linux Announces Version 19.1 Build 181228, Peppermint 9 Respin-2 Released, Nextcloud Founder's 2019 Predictions and Some Security Updates

News briefs for January 3, 2019.

A recent Privacy International report reveals that "at least 20 out of 34 popular Android apps are transmitting sensitive information to Facebook without asking permission, including Kayak, MyFitnessPal, Skyscanner and TripAdvisor". According to the story on Engadget, "The concern isn't just that apps are oversharing data, but that they may be violating the EU's GDPR privacy rules by both collecting info without consent and potentially identifying users. You can't lay the blame solely at the feet of Facebook or developers, though. Facebook's relevant developer kit didn't provide the option to ask for permission until after GDPR took effect. The social network did develop a fix, but it's not clear that it works or that developers are implementing it properly."

A new version of ExTiX Linux Live DVD—19.1, build 181228—was released yesterday. According to the author, "The best thing with ExTiX 19.1 is that while running the system live (from DVD/USB) or from hard drive you can use Refracta Tools (pre-installed) to create your own live installable Ubuntu system. So easy that a ten year child can do it!" You can download ExTiX 19.1 from SourceForge.

The Peppermint team yesterday announced the release Peppermint 9 Respin-2. This is a bug-fix release, and it fixes three issues in the installation routine. If you have already installed Peppermint 9 Respin successfully (released December 21, 2018), there is not need to re-install this version. See the Release Notes for more information.

Nextcloud founder Frank Karlitschek posted a look back at 2018 and thoughts on the future for 2019. He predicts that "2019 will be a very good year for privacy, open source and decentralized cloud software. Maybe even the mainstream breakthrough of federated and decentralized internet services!" He also writes "I think 2019 could be the year where open source, federated and self-hosted technology hits mainstream, taking on the proprietary, centralized data silos keeping people's personal information hostage. Society becoming more critical about data collection will fuel this development. If you want to make a difference then join Nextcloud or one of the other project that develop open source decentralized and federated solutions. I think 2019 is the year were we can win the internet back!"

Security updates were posted this week for Debian, Fedora, openSUSE and Red Hat. See LWN for links.

Jill Franklin is an editorial professional with more than 17 years experience in technical and scientific publishing, both print and digital. As Executive Editor of Linux Journal, she wrangles writers, develops content, manages projects, meets deadlines and makes sentences sparkle. She also was Managing Editor for TUX and Embedded Linux Journal, and the book Linux in the Workplace. Before entering the Linux and open-source realm, she was Managing Editor of several scientific and scholarly journals, including Veterinary Pathology, The Journal of Mammalogy, Toxicologic Pathology and The Journal of Scientific Exploration. In a previous life, she taught English literature and composition, managed a bookstore and tended bar. When she’s not bugging writers about deadlines or editing copy, she throws pots, gardens and reads. You can contact Jill via e-mail, ljeditor@linuxjournal.com.

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