Online Privacy

20 Companies Who Sell Your Data (& How To Stop Them)

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

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?

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?

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).

How Google and 104 Other Companies Track You on the Web

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."

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."

Obama Administration Sides with Consumers in Online Privacy Debate

Obama Administration Sides with Consumers in Online Privacy Debate
Among the key points, as outlined in the report's executive summary:

1.Individual Control: Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.
2.Transparency: Consumers have a right to easily understandable and accessible information about privacy and security practices.
3.Respect for Context: Consumers have a right to expect that companies will collect, use and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
4.Security: Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
5.Access and Accuracy: Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data is inaccurate.
6.Focused Collection: Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
7.Accountability: Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

Everyone's Trying to Track What You Do on the Web: Here's How to Stop Them

Everyone’s Trying to Track What You Do on the Web: Here’s How to Stop Them

The adage goes, "If you're not paying for a service, you're the product, not the customer," and it's never been more true. Every day more news breaks about a new company that uploads your address book to their servers, skirts in-browser privacy protection, and tracks your every move on the web to learn as much about your browsing habits and activities as possible. In this post, we'll explain why you should care, and help you lock down your surfing so you can browse in peace.

A Response to Seth Godin's "The Illusion of Privacy"

A Response to Seth Godin's "The Illusion of Privacy"
"In the end, Seth has propagated a lie that many before him have told. He's just a big public figure. Privacy is hard, you can't knee jerk it. Online/electronic privacy is an active field of research, and improvements should be supported not put down with tired throw-away lines. What's more, technical ways of doing this are available and should be investigated, no matter their surprise value."

The complex interplay of social media and privacy

The complex interplay of social media and privacy

But assessing the price of admission to join the super-networked, digital class is not so simple; even experts on the issue admit that they don't have a full picture of the way personal information is collected and used on the Internet. But here are some basic guidelines to keep in mind.

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