Staying Off Facebook Won't Protect Your Privacy
Stay away from social networks and people won't know who you're hanging out with or what you're doing, right? Wrong. When it comes to social networking, a recent study suggests, you can run but you can't hide.
A paper published last month in the journal PLoS One shows how researchers were able to learn about nonmembers of social networks based on information their friends posted online. Using machine-learning models, German researchers Emöke-Ágnes Horvát, Michael Hanselmann, Fred A. Hamprecht and Katharina A. Zweig were able to predict whether two nonmembers of a social network knew each other based on information shared by a mutual contact on the network.
Facebook & your privacy
Who sees the data you share on the biggest social network?
To find out, we queried Facebook and interviewed some two dozen others, including security experts, privacy lawyers, app developers, and victims of security and privacy abuse. We dug into private, academic, and government research, as well as Facebook’s labyrinthian policies and controls. And we surveyed 2,002 online households, including 1,340 that are active on Facebook, for our annual State of the Net report. We then projected those data to estimate national totals.
How to Muddy Your Tracks on the Internet
There are no secrets online. That emotional e-mail you sent to your ex, the illness you searched for in a fit of hypochondria, those hours spent watching kitten videos (you can take that as a euphemism if the kitten fits) — can all be gathered to create a defining profile of you.
Your information can then be stored, analyzed, indexed and sold as a commodity to data brokers who in turn might sell it to advertisers, employers, health insurers or credit rating agencies.
Collusion Browser Plugin Shows You Who's Tracking You on the Web
Once installed, Collusion works much like its Firefox counterpart, except with better tracking detection and some UI changes Chrome users will appreciate. The map is completely empty. As you browse, you'll see the sites you visit start to appear on the map, and if they drop tracking cookies on your computer you'll see them in red. Hover over any of the circles on the map to read more about the site, and whether it's a known tracker. If you already have privacy extensions installed, you'll likely see fewer circles on your map. Either way, you'll probably see lots of interconnected circles
20 Companies Who Sell Your Data (& How To Stop Them)
Meet the data brokers. There’s a whole industry full of companies who make their money buying and selling our personal information. The FTC is working on busting this dark racket wide open, but in the meantime, they’re out there. Who are they? Can we stop them? Read on to find out.
Locking Down Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn Accounts:
"As part of my promise to Yuri, I present to you four documents that you can share with your coworkers, friends, family, and strangers. Please share the URL to this entry and encourage them to help themselves, and help others."
Do Personal Analytics Make Google Less Creepy?
Unquestionably, there are abuses of user data that go too far. But the truly troubling stories have a halo effect. Early adopter culture is hardening against the idea of any kind of data collection about users. But cultural norms are always changing. Isn't it possible that there are some kinds of data collection that could be valuable to users?
Google itself has begun trying to change the norms around this. It created a new opt-in monthly account activity report that provides Google users with some basic analytics about their Googling habits.
how do we explain patron privacy in a world of target markets?
Let me tell you: there is no organization in the world LESS likely to use your email address for anything other than automated overdue notices. We won’t even email you when it might be helpful — we won’t email you about library closings. We won’t look at your card record to see if you have kids and start emailing you about story times and summer reading. We will not ever sell your email information to anyone, and, at least in theory, our databases are much more secure than, say, those of some newsletter you sign up for online (I’m not actually sure about that last point, but it should be the case).
I'm Being Followed: How Google—and 104 Other Companies—Track Me on the Web
"There's nothing necessarily sinister about this subterranean data exchange: This is, after all, the advertising ecosystem that supports free online content. All the data lets advertisers tune their ads, and the rest of the information logging lets them measure how well things are actually working. And I do not mean to pick on The New York Times. While visiting The Huffington Post or The Atlantic or Business Insider, the same process happens to a greater or lesser degree. Every move you make on the Internet is worth some tiny amount to someone, and a panoply of companies want to make sure that no step along your Internet journey goes unmonetized."
RSA 2012: Bruce Schneier on the Threat of "Big Data, Inc."
"I mean Big Data as an industry force, like we might talk of Big Tobacco or Big Oil or Big Pharma," Schneier told an overflow crowd of attendees. "I think the rise of Big Data is as important a threat in the coming years, one we should really look at and start taking seriously."