Online Privacy

FTC Approves Children\'s Safe Harbor Program

[This one] comes from Newsbytes via the Washington Post...
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has approved its first Children\'s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) safe harbor program - the Council of Better Business Bureau\'s Children\'s Advertising Review Unit (CARU). [more...]

The Millenium Digital Commerce Act

David Dillard and Rob Yates were kind enough to allow me to reprint this great article that was originally published in law resources such as a law technology discussion group. They cover the ever touchy area of online privacy and internet law. For anyone interested in internet legislation and law this is a must read. If you think what you are doing on the internet is private, think again!

\"These security and privacy concerns are real and must be addressed when building our online communications systems. It is not only a matter of security, but private and confidential communications are what your clients expect. And they will soon expect that they can execute those never-ending agreements, contracts, corporate minutes, consents, correspondence, and other documents requiring a signature with a click of a mouse. And they will. Law firms would be prudent to anticipate business clients\' needs to assure their clients don\'t click elsewhere.\" -- Read More changes their privacy policy has changed its privacy policy, writes ALA Councilor Mark Rosenzweig on the Anarchist Librarians list.

\"They state that they will indeed sell [your] information to whomever they wish... Why is this a library issue? Because libraries have traditionally and
correctly defended the privacy of our patrons records. Now we promote in our libraries behavior which jeopardizes that privacy...\"

Read on for the full text of Councilor Rosenzweig\'s letter. -- Read More

Taking aim at online anonymity had this on Saturday May 27, but today CNET picked up on it as well.Seagram Chairman Edward Bronfman made a silly little Speech at The Real Conference San Jose, California on May 26, 2000, in which he said that you should not be allowed to have online anonymity.\"As citizens, we have a right to privacy. We have no such right to anonymity.\" Is there a difference online? If this line of thinking catches on, we could be in trouble. -- Read More

Web Privacy Report has released what they call the most comprehensive report ever done on web privacy standards. While more sites than ever are posting privacy policies and a large number ask for consumer permission regarding data usage, other sites still leave the door open to share user data without consent or are silent on their practices.
Only 3.5 percent commit to never share personally-identifiable information with third parties, nor use such data to contact a user without permission. -- Read More

tool offers privacy without crippling browsing habits

In a folow up to our What Banner Ads are saying about us story, CNN has this in depth story on one company, IDcide, that has developed a cure for this by providing a browser plug-in that discriminates between first-party (coming from the site you\'re visiting) and third-party (coming from other servers) cookies. The tool, called the Privacy Companion, can provide varying levels of security -- either blocking no cookies, just third-party cookies, or all cookies. -- Read More

What are banner ads saying about us?

Richard M. Smith has written an excellent piece on what companies can learn about you from banner ads. He writes:

I have been tracking over the last couple of months, what information is being sent from my own computer to DoubleClick ad servers. I chose to focus on DoubleClick because they are largest provider of banner ads
on the Internet. Their servers currently send out more than a billion banner ads every day according to a recent company press release.
I used a packet sniffer to do
the monitoring. I found more than a dozen examples from different Web sites of information being transmitted to DoubleClick that most people who consider rather
sensitive. All this information can be tied to me, because all transmissions to the DoubleClick ad servers also include the same unique ID number in a DoubleClick
cookie. I found both personally identifiable information and transactional data being sent to DoubleClick servers.

Personal data I saw being sent to DoubleClick servers included:

My Email address
My full name
My mailing address (street, city, state, and Zip code)
My phone number

Read on, it\'s scary... -- Read More

New law could let software makers snoop.

The Andover News Network has a scary story on a new law under consideration in VA that would give manufacturers of software access to your hard drive. The law would allow software makers to place a self-destruct feature in the software, AND even go in your computer to shut it off if they have reason to believe you violated your user agreement.
Read the entire article Here

Check out for more info. -- Read More

Privacy in Cyberspace

The ABA (American Bar Asscociation) has an interesting
\"Facts About Privacy and Cyberspace\" Handbook posted on
their website in PDF format. It talks about interesting
topics like:
What information is collected by Government Agencies?
What can happen if someone\'s privacy isn\'t protected?
Is deleted Email really gone?
and Is this a problem in Cyberspace?

They really do a good job covering a wide range of privacy
topics. Check out the
ABA Website For the entire report

U.S. Govt Wants to trace you on the net

According to Wired, the little privacy we have on the internet may be too much.

The ease of hiding one\'s identity on the Net is giving police migraines and justifies providing broad new powers to law enforcement, the White House says in a forthcoming report.
The federal government should take steps to improve online traceability and promote international cooperation to identify Internet users, according to a draft of the report commissioned by President Clinton. -- Read More

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