Online Privacy

The Birth And Death Of Privacy: 3,000 Years of History Told Through 46 Images

Privacy, as we understand it, is only about 150 years old.
Humans do have an instinctual desire for privacy. However, for 3,000 years, cultures have nearly always prioritized convenience and wealth over privacy.
Section II will show how cutting edge health technology will force people to choose between an early, costly death and a world without any semblance of privacy. Given historical trends, the most likely outcome is that we will forgo privacy and return to our traditional, transparent existence.

From The Birth And Death Of Privacy: 3,000 Years of History Told Through 46 Images — The Ferenstein Wire — Medium

When The News Reads You Back: Why Journalists Need to Stand Up for Reader Privacy

The Ethics of Reader Privacy
This isn’t just a business issue, it is an ethical issue about how we relate to the communities we serve. And for readers, it’s much more than just an issue of agreeing to view ads, knowing that ads allow them to view free content. Libert and Pickard agree, writing that publishers have to “consider the ethics of tracking users and their outsize role in widely reviled annoyances such as increasing page load times, invading privacy, sucking up data on limited plans and imposing distracting animations and sounds on the viewer.”

From When The News Reads You Back: Why Journalists Need to Stand Up for Reader Privacy — Thoughts on Media — Medium

Know Your Online Privacy

The what and why of this report should be quite clear: we are leaving massive footprints on the internet and have little knowledge of how it’s used. Ranking Digital Rights has made the full data available for download, including researchers’ comments and responses from the corporations where available. We were pleased to partner with Ranking Digital Rights and Beekeeper Group to develop a set of web tools to communicate and explore the data.

The Guardian have put together some extensive coverage of the report. It’s worth a read. Also worth a shout-out is the Mapbox privacy statement, which we think should be a model.

From Know Your Online Privacy — Development Seed

The Privacy And Security Questions Raised By Connected Toys

It’s important to remember that the introduction of Hello Barbie is just one part of a new interactive landscape in which nearly everything kids do is recorded and uploaded somewhere. Some parents have balked at such networked omnipresence, refusing to post any photos or otherwise identifying information of their kids online.

Eventually, every child is going to grow up to have a digital footprint, if they don’t already. For parents, deciding whether to limit that cache of identifying data—be it Facebook photos or voice data collected by Hello Barbie—is a personal choice, one that they shouldn’t be taking lightly.

From Is Hello Barbie every parent’s worst nightmare?

Libraries need to protect patron data as they turn high-tech.

The extent of libraries’ reliance on third-party services raises the question of survival. A library that is no longer in control of how its data is managed creates a false sense of safety for its patrons. A library that cannot preserve the integrity of data flows within and between its walls imperils the trust that patrons have for this long-standing institution.

From Libraries need to protect patron data as they turn high-tech.

Google Searches Put Consumers at Risk

The effect may be a more pleasant online experience for someone who is perceived to have more income. In the same way that startups have put a premium on cutting out human interaction for those who can afford it, adlessness can be a luxury for those who choose to buy ad blockers so their webpages load faster. But distinct ad landscapes aren’t just about seeing more elegant corporate messages, or encountering fewer pop-up ads—or even none at all. Companies and individuals are working together to target consumers on a personal level, to use their most vulnerable Google searches against them.

“Fraudsters buy this data,” Waller said. “It’s easy to access, easy to buy, easy to find. They use it sometimes for really shocking, outright fraud and theft. Sometimes it’s a little more subtle than that.”

From Google Searches Put Consumers at Risk - The Atlantic

Telcos Selling What You Thought Was Your Private Cell Phone Data

SAP's Consumer Insight 365 ingests regularly updated data representing as many as 300 cellphone events per day for each of the 20 million to 25 million mobile subscribers. SAP won't disclose the carriers providing this data. It "tells you where your consumers are coming from, because obviously the mobile operator knows their home location," said Lori Mitchell-Keller, head of SAP's global retail industry business unit.
There is a lot of marketer interest in that information because it is tied to actual individuals. For the same reason, however, there is potential for resistance from privacy advocates.
"The practices that carriers have gotten into, the sheer volume of data and the promiscuity with which they're revealing their customers' data creates enormous risk for their businesses," said Peter Eckersley, chief computer scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy watchdog. Mr. Eckersley and others suggest that anonymization techniques are faulty in many cases because even information associated with a hashed or encrypted identification code can be linked back to a home address and potentially reidentified by hackers.

From The $24 Billion Data Business Telcos Don't Want to Discuss | Digital - Advertising Age

Obfuscation: how leaving a trail of confusion can beat online surveillance

Most of us, most of the time, use immensely popular technologies without masks or noise. We post in what you might call corruptible silence. On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google, we document our personal spaces, our frailties, our desires, questions and answers. We are naked, exposed and eminently traceable, now and into the future, by an ever-increasing range of data-hungry agents. To concerned citizens living this reality, and to thoughtful designers of technology, what Brunton and Nissenbaum offer is a compelling moral defence and some ready-to-hand tools for a small, distributed revolution of resistance.

From Obfuscation: how leaving a trail of confusion can beat online surveillance | Technology | The Guardian

We Say We Want Privacy Online, But Our Actions Say Otherwise

As consumers spend an increasing amount of their time in cyberspace, companies are developing techniques to maximize the marketing capabilities afforded by cookies and other online surveillance tools. Yet companies first need to understand how consumers think about their privacy online, which isn’t entirely rationally. In an upcoming chapter of the Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Psychology, I draw on insights from behavioral psychology and the social sciences to explain the prevalence of the privacy paradox; I have summarized the reasons for consumers’ inconsistent views about privacy below

From We Say We Want Privacy Online, But Our Actions Say Otherwise

Internet Companies: Confusing Consumers for Profit

The ubiquitous blue “Like” or “Share” buttons that you see all over the Internet are hiding an ugly secret. Starting this month, Facebook will use them to track your visit to every Web page that displays the buttons—even if you don’t click on anything. Facebook will use the data it collects to build a detailed dossier of your browsing habits, meticulously logging every site you visit, so it can finally learn those last few details about your life that it doesn’t already know. And there’s nothing you can do about it, short of staying totally logged out of the social media site or tracking down and installing a special browser extension to protect from this kind of sneaky behavior.

From Internet Companies: Confusing Consumers for Profit | Electronic Frontier Foundation


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