Online Privacy

Campus Library Computers Seized

RobertR writes \"Middle Eastern men whispering at library computers was sufficient to call the police in Naples, Florida. Here\'s The Story \"

Don\'t panic, No suspicious or terrorism-linked information was discovered on the Edison Community College computer hard drives seized by Collier County sheriff\'s deputies earlier this week.

$5,000 - $20,000 a Month to Spy on Patron Web Use.

Rather than use
software to block legal websites (because of concerns of a lawsuit), a
Florida county commission is considering using software costing between
$5,000 - $20,000 a month to spy on patrons websurfing via their library
card to find out if patrons visit any \"known pornographic site.\"
won’t end porn access at library:
Commission considers monitoring
software.\" -By Pamela Smith Hayford

Survey: Opt-Out Is a Cop-Out

Here\'s A Sad Story from Wired that says Americans have plenty of complaints about a recently enacted law that requires customers to opt-out if they want to keep financial institutions from sharing their data.

Top items on the grievance list: opt-out notices hidden in thick junk mailings, confusing legal language and the potential for invasive sales tactics.
Your personal information is up for sale to the higest bidder.

Want privacy? Take action Has An Editorial by Dan Gillmore that says the businesses building the next generation of digital services are indifferent, if not hostile, to everything but their immediate bottom lines. I\'d say you can easily add some businesses providing services like databases, opacs and ejournals to this list. He also says legislative agendas frequently run counter to public wishes that conflict with business demands.Our rights, and money, are being legislated away.

Public Internet computers vulnerable to hackers

Cabot writes \"According to this CBC Story checking your e-mail at an Internet café or public place could mean the loss of your privacy. Some experts warn your confidential messages could be easily accessed.\"

It\'s always important to think about who else might have access to that computer you are using, not leave files behind, make sure you have a secure connection and so on.

Finding Pay Dirt in Scannable Driver\'s Licenses

Not 100% library related, but, The NYTimes has a Scary Story on the information people can get off of your drivers license. A bar owner found that he could build a database of personal information, providing an intimate perspective on his clientele that can be useful in marketing.

A good story for to answer the ol\' question \"Why do we worry about patron privacy?\"

\"You swipe the license, and all of a sudden someone\'s whole life as we know it pops up in front of you,\" said Paul Barclay, the bar\'s owner. \"It\'s almost voyeuristic.\"

Netscape Navigator snoops

Susanna writes \"Here\'s a story from Newsbytes, via the Washington Post, regarding Netscape Navigator\'s new browser version, and how it\'s snooping on searches done by its users at various search engines. \"

NY Times Source Database Hacked

From MSNBC...
\"A computer security researcher accessed internal New York Times computer networks this week through the Internet and managed to view hundreds of sensitive Times files. Among them: a database of 3,000 Times op-ed page contributors. The file contained Social Security numbers and other personal information belonging to luminaries like James Carville, James Baker, Larry Lessig, and Robert Redford. The researcher also got phone numbers for William F. Buckley Jr., Rush Limbaugh, Warren Beatty and Jimmy Carter. In a statement, the New York Times said it is investigating the problem.\" More

California sells birth data to Web site

The birth records of more than 24 million Californians have been sold by the state and posted on the Internet, offering easy access to critical information needed to create fake identities.
Full Story is at

Google, Others Dig Deep -- Maybe Too Deep

From CNET:

Search-engine spiders crawling the Web are increasingly stumbling upon passwords, credit card numbers, classified documents and even computer vulnerabilities that can be exploited by hackers.

The problem is not new, security analysts say: Ever since search robots began indexing the Web years ago, Web site administrators have found pages not meant for public consumption exposed in search results.

But a new tool built into the Google search engine to find a variety of file types in addition to traditional Web documents is highlighting and in some cases exacerbating the problem. With Google\'s new file-type search tool, a wide array of files formerly overlooked by basic search engine queries are now just a few clicks from the average surfer--or the novice hacker . . .

More with thanks to Metafilter. Here\'s the MeFi thread.


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