Online Privacy

"We Own You" - Confessions of an Anonymous Free to Play Producer

Every time you play a free to play game, you just build this giant online database of who you are, who your friends are and what you like and don’t like. This data is sold, bought and traded between large companies I have worked for. You want to put a stop to this? Stop playing free games. Buy a game for 4.99 or 9.99. We don’t want to be making games like this, and we don’t want another meeting about retention, cohorts or churn.

From "We Own You" - Confessions of an Anonymous Free to Play Producer | TouchArcade

'Dissent,' a New Type of Security Tool, Could Markedly Improve Online Anonymity

Researchers at the Dissent Project are building a new kind of anonymity tool that, when used in conjunction with the Tor anonymity network, could significantly improve online anonymity.

Unlike Tor's onion routing architecture, which routes internet traffic through a series of "onion layers" to obscure your identity, Dissent implements a dining cryptographers network, or DC-net, which makes possible cryptographically-provable anonymity.

From 'Dissent,' a New Type of Security Tool, Could Markedly Improve Online Anonymity | Motherboard

What We Talk About When We Talk About Ad Blocking

So he’s not just sitting around waiting for that to happen. Spanfeller said he’s already looking at potential workarounds, whether that involves hiding content until people turn off their ad blockers (“But we’ll say it nicer than that”) or asking users to pay if they don’t want to see ads. He acknowledged that those tactics might anger readers — but, well, those are readers he’s not making money from anyway, so he’s not sure they provide much value.

“Are people pissed when they walk into a store and they don’t get a car for free?” he asked.

From What We Talk About When We Talk About Ad Blocking | TechCrunch

Ashley Madison, Organizational Doxing, and the End of Online Privacy

Most of us get to be thoroughly relieved that our emails weren't in the Ashley Madison database. But don’t get too comfortable. Whatever secrets you have, even the ones you don’t think of as secret, are more likely than you think to get dumped on the Internet. It's not your fault, and there’s largely nothing you can do about it.

Welcome to the age of organizational doxing.

From Ashley Madison, Organizational Doxing, and the End of Online Privacy - The Atlantic

Is it futile to un-Google?

For regular folks, like me that want to make stuff and get work done, it is not an easy feat to do so with 100% privacy. To keep private you should spend a lot of time and work on it to setup and maintain the complicated systems. You have to change burner phones all the time and live like Harold from Person of Interest.

From Is it futile to un-Google? - Tasos Sangiotis

Data is not an asset, it’s a liability

Here’s a hard truth: regardless of the boilerplate in your privacy policy, none of your users have given informed consent to being tracked. Every tracker and beacon script on your web site increases the privacy cost they pay for transacting with you, chipping away at the trust in the relationship.

From Richie | Data is not an asset, it’s a liability

How To Secure Your Library's Social Media Presence

The ALA lost control of its Facebook page over the weekend so this seems like a pretty good time to review IT Security! Any size small or midsized organization is difficult, if not impossible to secure. It's very easy to overlook things and leave ourselves vulnerable to things like this.

Who/Why: That person that did it, it's probably their job. They're most likely professionals, either they get paid by others, or this is the life they've carved out for themselves. If you're lucky enough to have a considerable numbers of followers/friends, you'll be a target eventually. Chances are good it's not personal, it's just business. These people are probably just trying to make money. It may also be you're just a small step in a much larger campaign.

How: Mostly likely one of three ways. One of the people with the login credentials gave it away. Either they had their email account compromised, or maybe one of their devices was hacked. It could be someone used an infected public network and gave it away without knowing it. It could be someone was “spear fished” and replied to an email that looked like it came from someone else. Maybe someone lost a password in another compromise and that same password was reused.

Review Your Settings: Take a look at all the security and privacy settings. Now. And again every few months. Facebook has an especially wide range of settings you can change. Those controls are all there for you to limit risk, control who can see what on your profiles, and make things better for you. There are settings in there to help you recover from a comprimied account as well.

Passwords: Make them LONG, at least 20 characters. Make sure you know who has access and how they are storing those passwords. Every single accounts needs a long, strong, unique, rare password. Better yet, a different email account for every account as well. Change that password monthly. Checkout all the different password managers out there, I use LastPass, but there are many more.

Be suspicious: Funny looking emails or links in social media are DANGEROUS. If you're not 100% sure of the source, either ask or just hit delete.

Stay in control: Know who in the library has access to what. Your library needs to have control over who is posting what. The more people that have logins, the less secure things become. Try HootSuite or other managers and you can give access without giving away the credentials.

Who and what else has access: Check those 3rd party apps that have been authorized and make sure you know what they can do and why. Get rid of everything you don't need.

Know what to do if your account is compromised: Both Twitter (https://support.twitter.com/articles/31796) And Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/hacked) have pages devoted to this.

Welcome to the Speakularity, Where Everything You Say Is Transcribed and Searchable

We are going to start recording and automatically transcribing most of what we say. Instead of evaporating into memory, words spoken aloud will calcify as text, into a Record that will be referenced, searched, and mined. It will happen by our standard combination of willing and allowing. It will happen because it can. It will happen sooner than we think.

From Welcome to the Speakularity, Where Everything You Say Is Transcribed and Searchable

The Library Digital Privacy Pledge of 2015

The Pledge for Libraries:
1. We will make every effort to ensure that web services and information resources under direct control of our library will use HTTPS within six months. [ dated______ ]
2. Starting in 2016, our library will assure that any new or renewed contracts for web services or information resources will require support for HTTPS by the end of 2016.

From The Library Digital Privacy Pledge of 2015 - Google Docs

The Illusion of Online Privacy

Enjoying true privacy is difficult in today's digital age, but it won't get easier if people give up on their right to a few personal secrets, Reitman says.  

"People are starting to be so frustrated about privacy that they believe they can't get anything better," she says. "We have to push back against that idea.“

From The Illusion of Online Privacy - US News

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