Online Privacy

Do Not Track: an uncertain future for the web's most ambitious privacy initiative

With the fate of our beloved internet economy allegedly at stake, perhaps it's a good time to examine what Do Not Track is. How did the standard come to be, what does it do, and how does it stand to change online advertising? Is it as innocuous as privacy advocates make it sound, or does it stand to jeopardize the free, ad-supported internet we've all come to rely on?

Verizon draws fire for monitoring app usage, browsing habits

The company this month began offering reports to marketers showing what Verizon subscribers are doing on their phones and other mobile devices, including what iOS and Android apps are in use in which locations. Verizon says it may link the data to third-party databases with information about customers' gender, age, and even details such as "sports enthusiast, frequent diner or pet owner."

"We're able to view just everything that they do," Bill Diggins, U.S. chief for the Verizon Wireless marketing initiative, told an industry conference earlier this year. "And that's really where data is going today. Data is the new oil."

However, ads make Facebook and Google free to use. Says Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project: "When you pay a company $80 a month, they have no business monetizing the data they're collecting."

Apple Turns on iPhone Tracking in iOS6

The new iPhone operating system comes with three things that make tracking easier for advertisers and reduce the likelihood that you'll opt out.

iOS 6 comes in a default "tracking on" position. You have to affirmatively switch it off if you do not want advertisers to see what you're up to.
The tracking control in iPhone's settings is NOT contained where you might expect it, under the "Privacy" menu. Instead, it's found under "General," then "About," and then the "Advertising" section of the Settings menu.
The tracking control is titled "Limit Ad Tracking," and must be turned to ON, not OFF, in order to work. That's slightly confusing — "ON" means ads are off! — so a large number of people will likely get this wrong.

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ifa-apples-iphone-tracking-in-ios-6-2012-10#ixzz29Sb00EeQ

Simple tricks websites can use to fingerprint you

The "I Know..." series of blog posts shows relatively simple tricks [malicious] websites can use to coax a browser into revealing information that it probably should not. Firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-phishing scam black lists, and even patching your browser was not going to help.

Fortunately, if you are using one of today’s latest and greatest browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.), these tricks, these attack techniques, mostly don’t work anymore. The unfortunate part is that they were by no means the only way to accomplish these feats.

I Know…

Managing your online privacy just got a whole lot Eazier

IT World has a nice write up on a new service called Priveazy [ https://www.priveazy.com/ ] that helps Netizens wade through the maze of privacy settings we are presented with on a daily basis.

Putting An End To The Biggest Lie On The Internet

TechCrunch sure knows how to write a headline. They cover a bit on a new project called TOS;DR. The site aims to give more power to users by summarizing terms of service, flagging potential issues and rating apps on a scale from A (the best) to E (the worst).

Between You and Me This Isn't Private

If most websites can’t get password storage right, you can also bet they can’t get storage of the actual content you are trusting them with right, either. The private documents that you stored with your favorite cloud service are probably not encrypted in a way that only your account can decrypt, if they’re encrypted at all. The mobile app or website you use to access those documents may send your password and your files “in the clear,” enabling that shady-looking person on the other side of the café to snoop on you. They may advertise that they use encrypted connections but then disable verification in the mobile app so as to “not complicate the interface.” Someone could hijack your connection and the app would never notify you of the error. I have seen all of these problems in real-world cloud apps used by thousands of people.

Survey says: People do care about their privacy

Conclusions
Here are the researcher’s conclusions:

•The market has produced few realistic, privacy-protective alternatives to the dominant privacy-invasive online services.
•Greater transparency and consent requirements could help, but only if consumers can make decisions that align with their preferences.
•The gulf between private-sector information demands and consumer preferences suggest that better disclosures and choice mechanisms will only preserve the status quo.
•Aggressive interventions are necessary to create incentives for firms to reduce collection of personal information.
•Privacy tradeoffs are not clear; consumers need the ability to change their minds and walk away from a service.

Facebook To Users: Too Bad So Sad

Facebook Does What It Wants

Facebook users were given the opportunity to decide if the social network should keep its existing Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) and Data Use Policy or change it to the updated version which was introduced in May this year.

Voting took place from June 1 through to June 8 and saw around 297,883 people -- approximately 87% of all voters who participated -- opt to keep Facebook’s existing SRR and Data Use Policy.

Despite voters’ overwhelming preference for the former policy, Facebook said the number of users who voted was too small to be representative of the entire Facebook community and said it would go ahead with the proposed changes.

How Twitter is putting an end to our private lives

Better Title:
How [People Are Using] Twitter [To] put an end to [Their Own] private lives

But is it really that clear? How do you know, for example, whether your own beliefs about privacy might go out of the window in the heat of an acrimonious split-up, or sexual boastfulness, or spurned humiliation? Say that you could swear on your life that you wouldn't spill the beans in public, no matter what.

Could you guarantee the same discretion on your partner's behalf?

[Thanks Derrick!]

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