Online Privacy

How Big a Problem Is It for Google and Facebook That Consumers Don’t Trust Them?

People don't trust them.
According to a survey just released by consultancy Prophet, neither Facebook nor Google is among the top 10 most relevant brands as ranked by consumers. Nor are they in the top 50. In fact, Facebook barely made the top 100. That's not because consumers don't find these platforms useful or even inspirational—they do. But when it comes to faith and confidence in what happens to people's personal information, everything falls apart.
"These platforms are so enjoyable—Facebook is in the top 20 to 30 brands in making people happy, and it meets an important need," said Jesse Purewal, associate partner at Prophet. "But being able to depend on it? It's not a brand people trust."

From How Big a Problem Is It for Google and Facebook That Consumers Don’t Trust Them? | Adweek

The state of privacy in America | Pew Research Center

After the June 2013 leaks by government contractor Edward Snowden about National Security Agency surveillance of Americans’ online and phone communications, Pew Research Center began an in-depth exploration of people’s views and behaviors related to privacy. Our recent report about how Americans think about privacy and sharing personal information was a capstone of this two-and-a-half-year effort that examined how people viewed not only government surveillance but also commercial transactions involving the capture of personal information.

Here are some of the key findings that emerged from this work:

From The state of privacy in America | Pew Research Center

NISO Releases a Set of Principles to Address Privacy of User Data in Library, Content-Provider, and Software-Supplier Systems

The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has published a set of consensus principles for the library, content-provider and software-provider communities to address privacy issues related to the use of library and library-related systems.  This set of principles developed over the past 8 months focus on balancing the expectations library users have regarding their intellectual freedoms and their privacy with the operational needs of systems providers. 
 
The NISO Privacy Principles, available at http://www.niso.org/topics/tl/patron_privacy/, set forth a core set of guidelines by which libraries, systems providers and publishers can foster respect for patron privacy throughout their operations.  The Principles outline at a high level basic concepts and areas which need to be addressed to support a greater understanding for and respect of privacy-related concerns in systems development, deployment, and user interactions.  The twelve principles covered in the document address the following topics: Shared Privacy Responsibilities; Transparency and Facilitating Privacy Awareness; Security; Data Collection and Use; Anonymization; Options and Informed Consent; Sharing Data with Others; Notification of Privacy Policies and Practices; Supporting Anonymous Use; Access to One’s Own User Data; Continuous Improvement and Accountability.
 
The Preamble of the Principles notes that, "Certain personal data are often required in order for digital systems to deliver information, particularly subscribed content. Additionally, user activity data can provide useful insights on how to improve collections and services. However, the gathering, storage, and use of these data must respect the trust users place in libraries and their partners. There are ways to address these operational needs while also respecting the user’s rights and expectations of privacy."
 
"Working collaboratively through a set of open meetings and discussion forums, a team of librarians, publishers and systems providers crafted these principles,” said Todd Carpenter, NISO's Executive Director.  “This fact distinguishes this effort from other privacy-related efforts in our community.  By working together to deeply grasp the foundational nature of respect for patron privacy among suppliers as well as to understand the operational needs and product development process among the library community, the team was able to come to a nuanced understanding of the related issues.  This joint effort allowed for the creation of a balanced set of principles, which achieve the common goal of providing the best possible user experience built from its core with respect for privacy.”
 
Organizations and individuals are encouraged to provide public comments on the NISO Privacy Principles, as well as register their support for the principles, on the NISO website.  Additional work in the coming year is envisioned to make these high-level principles operational for publishers, content-providers and software suppliers.
 

Everything you need to know about encryption: Hint, you’re already using it.

In a televised address on Sunday, President Obama even alluded to the issue, saying he "will urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice." And now, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is calling for a commission on encryption and security threats.

So let's take a step back and talk about this technology and why it's in the spotlight.

From Everything you need to know about encryption: Hint, you’re already using it. - The Washington Post

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

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