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Online Privacy

Privacy is at a crossroads. Choose wisely.

We already put legal limits on financial, medical, military, transportation, telecommunications and agriculture technology. Why not online tracking? With digital technology making its way into more parts of our lives, and with our data quickly becoming more and more valuable, of course there should be some limits on online tracking!

From Privacy is at a crossroads. Choose wisely. — Medium

San Jose: Public library gets $35k for online privacy literacy prototype

"This is a new direction," said Erin Berman, community programs administrator for technology and innovation for San Jose Public Library. "We've done programmatic things before, but we're trying to broaden the scope and have a real understanding of privacy."

From San Jose: Public library gets $35k for online privacy literacy prototype - San Jose Mercury News

Uncle Sam and the Illusion of Privacy Online - The Atlantic

All of this is a reminder of one of the core principles of modern communication: that nothing is private on the Internet. But it also raises a question about the real nature of the privacy threat. Law enforcement requests are only part of the picture. The NSA, for instance, has used Facebook in its plans to hack computers on a mass scale, according to The Intercept. As Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg put it in a blog post last year: "This is why I've been so confused and frustrated by the repeated reports of the behavior of the U.S. government. When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we're protecting you against criminals, not our own government."

From Uncle Sam and the Illusion of Privacy Online - The Atlantic

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers a fantastic, touching speech about why online privacy matters

Apple CEO Tim Cook delivers a fantastic, touching speech about why online privacy matters
History has shown us that sacrificing our right to privacy can have dire consequences. We still live in a world where all people are not treated equally. Too many people do not feel free to practice their religion or express their opinion, or love who they choose. A world in which that information can make the difference between life and death. If those of us in positions of responsibility fail to do everything in our power to protect the right of privacy, we risk something far more valuable than money, we risk our way of way of life. Fortunately, technology gives us the tools to avoid these risks and it is my sincere hope that by using them and by working together, we will.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/tim-cook-on-online-privacy-2015-2

Library trades users' privacy for slick search capability

Library trades users’ privacy for slick search capability [PDF Link To Central City Extra]
BiblioCommons’ critics insist, however, that that increased functionality comes at a steep price: Some aspects of
the site open the door to users’ personal data being turned over to a foreign firm to do with as it chooses, they say. The Library Commission encouraged this jaundiced view when it killed one three-letter word from its privacy
policy that had been in place since 2004.

Get your loved ones off Facebook.

The issue here isn't what we have to hide, it's maintaining an important right to our freedom -- which is the right to privacy, and the right to have a say in how information about us is used. We've giving up those rights forever by using Facebook.

http://saintsal.com/facebook/

Washington DC's Public Library Will Teach People How to Avoid the NSA

%u200BLater this month, the Washington DC Public Library will teach residents how to use the internet anonymization tool Tor as part of a 10 day series designed to shed light on government surveillance, transparency, and personal privacy.

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/washington-dcs-public-library-will-teach-people-how-to-avoi...

Someone's Reading that ebook Along with You, Could Be the NSA

Via ars Technica : Adobe's ebook reader sends your reading logs back to Adobe in plain Text. Doesn't this go against a basic rule of librarianship?

How Ninja Librarians are Ensuring Patrons' Electronic Privacy

Librarians in Massachusetts are working to give their patrons a chance to opt-out of pervasive surveillance. Partnering with the ACLU of Massachusetts, area librarians have been teaching and taking workshops on how freedom of speech and the right to privacy are compromised by the surveillance of online and digital communications -- and what new privacy-protecting services they can offer patrons to shield them from unwanted spying of their library activity.

Library Patrons Are At Risk

One of the authors of this Boing Boing article, Alison Macrina, is an IT librarian at the Watertown Free Public Library in Massachusetts, a member of Boston's Radical Reference Collective, and an organizer working to bring privacy rights workshops to libraries throughout the northeast. Librarians know that patrons visit libraries for all kinds of online research needs, and therefore have a unique responsibility in helping keep that information safe. It's not just researchers who suffer; our collective memory, culture, and future are harmed when writers and researchers stop short of pursuing intellectual inquiry.

In addition to installing a number of privacy-protecting tools on public PCs at the Watertown library, Alison has been teaching patron computer classes about online privacy and organized a series of workshops for Massachusetts librarians to get up to speed on the ins and outs of digital surveillance.

Unwitting AddThis Experiment With Tracking Technology That Is Difficult To Block

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20140721/14523127960/tons-sites-including-whitehousegov-ex...
ProPublica has a new story about the rise of "canvas fingerprinting," a new method of tracking users without using cookies. It's a method that is apparently quite difficult to block if you're using anything other than Tor Browser. In short, canvas fingerprinting works by sending some instructions to your browser to draw a hidden image -- but does so in a manner making use of some of the unique features of your computer, such that each resulting image is likely to be unique (or nearly unique). The key issue here is that the popular "social sharing" company AddThis, which many sites (note: not ours) use to add "social" buttons to their website, had been experimenting with canvas fingerprinting to identify users even if they don't use cookies. As ProPublica's Julia Angwin notes, it's very difficult to block this kind of thing -- and tons of sites make use of AddThis -- including WhiteHouse.gov (whose privacy policy does not seem to reveal this, saying it only uses Google Analytics as a third party provider).

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