Submitted by Blake on February 24, 2016 - 1:21pm
Over the past few months, we have been approached by groups leading a charge to recognize patron security and privacy as an important part of library purchasing responsibility. The facts are that many of the platforms licensed by libraries today do not prioritize and sometimes neglect basic steps to ensure libraries can protect patron security and privacy. The reason is simple: Libraries do not demand it.
From LIBRARIES NEED TO PRIORITIZE PATRON PRIVACY & SECURITY IN A DIGITAL WORLD — Medium
Submitted by Blake on February 10, 2016 - 12:26pm
Congress could soon vote on a bill that would require law enforcement agencies to get a search warrant from a judge to obtain emails, photographs and other documents Americans have stored online. This important legislation would update the law to reflect how people use the Internet today.
Under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, government agents need a warrant if they want access to email stored on the servers of companies like Google and Yahoo, but only if the messages are less than 180 days old. For older messages and other digital files, law enforcement officials can issue subpoenas to technology companies without going to a judge.
From Congress Starts to Get Serious About Online Privacy - The New York Times
Submitted by Blake on January 21, 2016 - 7:28pm
People don't trust them.
According to a survey just released by consultancy Prophet, neither Facebook nor Google is among the top 10 most relevant brands as ranked by consumers. Nor are they in the top 50. In fact, Facebook barely made the top 100. That's not because consumers don't find these platforms useful or even inspirational—they do. But when it comes to faith and confidence in what happens to people's personal information, everything falls apart.
"These platforms are so enjoyable—Facebook is in the top 20 to 30 brands in making people happy, and it meets an important need," said Jesse Purewal, associate partner at Prophet. "But being able to depend on it? It's not a brand people trust."
From How Big a Problem Is It for Google and Facebook That Consumers Don’t Trust Them? | Adweek
Submitted by Blake on January 21, 2016 - 8:38am
After the June 2013 leaks by government contractor Edward Snowden about National Security Agency surveillance of Americans’ online and phone communications, Pew Research Center began an in-depth exploration of people’s views and behaviors related to privacy. Our recent report about how Americans think about privacy and sharing personal information was a capstone of this two-and-a-half-year effort that examined how people viewed not only government surveillance but also commercial transactions involving the capture of personal information.
Here are some of the key findings that emerged from this work:
From The state of privacy in America | Pew Research Center
Submitted by Blake on December 14, 2015 - 2:34pm
The National Information Standards Organization (NISO) has published a set of consensus principles for the library, content-provider and software-provider communities to address privacy issues related to the use of library and library-related systems. This set of principles developed over the past 8 months focus on balancing the expectations library users have regarding their intellectual freedoms and their privacy with the operational needs of systems providers.
The NISO Privacy Principles, available at http://www.niso.org/topics/tl/patron_privacy/, set forth a core set of guidelines by which libraries, systems providers and publishers can foster respect for patron privacy throughout their operations. The Principles outline at a high level basic concepts and areas which need to be addressed to support a greater understanding for and respect of privacy-related concerns in systems development, deployment, and user interactions. The twelve principles covered in the document address the following topics: Shared Privacy Responsibilities; Transparency and Facilitating Privacy Awareness; Security; Data Collection and Use; Anonymization; Options and Informed Consent; Sharing Data with Others; Notification of Privacy Policies and Practices; Supporting Anonymous Use; Access to One’s Own User Data; Continuous Improvement and Accountability.
The Preamble of the Principles notes that, "Certain personal data are often required in order for digital systems to deliver information, particularly subscribed content. Additionally, user activity data can provide useful insights on how to improve collections and services. However, the gathering, storage, and use of these data must respect the trust users place in libraries and their partners. There are ways to address these operational needs while also respecting the user’s rights and expectations of privacy."
"Working collaboratively through a set of open meetings and discussion forums, a team of librarians, publishers and systems providers crafted these principles,” said Todd Carpenter, NISO's Executive Director. “This fact distinguishes this effort from other privacy-related efforts in our community. By working together to deeply grasp the foundational nature of respect for patron privacy among suppliers as well as to understand the operational needs and product development process among the library community, the team was able to come to a nuanced understanding of the related issues. This joint effort allowed for the creation of a balanced set of principles, which achieve the common goal of providing the best possible user experience built from its core with respect for privacy.”
Organizations and individuals are encouraged to provide public comments on the NISO Privacy Principles, as well as register their support for the principles, on the NISO website. Additional work in the coming year is envisioned to make these high-level principles operational for publishers, content-providers and software suppliers.
Submitted by Blake on December 8, 2015 - 8:26pm
In a televised address on Sunday, President Obama even alluded to the issue, saying he "will urge high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice." And now, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee is calling for a commission on encryption and security threats.
So let's take a step back and talk about this technology and why it's in the spotlight.
From Everything you need to know about encryption: Hint, you’re already using it. - The Washington Post
Submitted by Blake on November 26, 2015 - 9:22am
Privacy, as we understand it, is only about 150 years old.
Humans do have an instinctual desire for privacy. However, for 3,000 years, cultures have nearly always prioritized convenience and wealth over privacy.
Section II will show how cutting edge health technology will force people to choose between an early, costly death and a world without any semblance of privacy. Given historical trends, the most likely outcome is that we will forgo privacy and return to our traditional, transparent existence.
From The Birth And Death Of Privacy: 3,000 Years of History Told Through 46 Images — The Ferenstein Wire — Medium
Submitted by Blake on November 22, 2015 - 9:54am
The Ethics of Reader Privacy
This isn’t just a business issue, it is an ethical issue about how we relate to the communities we serve. And for readers, it’s much more than just an issue of agreeing to view ads, knowing that ads allow them to view free content. Libert and Pickard agree, writing that publishers have to “consider the ethics of tracking users and their outsize role in widely reviled annoyances such as increasing page load times, invading privacy, sucking up data on limited plans and imposing distracting animations and sounds on the viewer.”
From When The News Reads You Back: Why Journalists Need to Stand Up for Reader Privacy — Thoughts on Media — Medium
Submitted by Blake on November 18, 2015 - 8:37am
The what and why of this report should be quite clear: we are leaving massive footprints on the internet and have little knowledge of how it’s used. Ranking Digital Rights has made the full data available for download, including researchers’ comments and responses from the corporations where available. We were pleased to partner with Ranking Digital Rights and Beekeeper Group to develop a set of web tools to communicate and explore the data.
The Guardian have put together some extensive coverage of the report. It’s worth a read. Also worth a shout-out is the Mapbox privacy statement, which we think should be a model.
From Know Your Online Privacy — Development Seed
Submitted by Blake on November 16, 2015 - 9:55am
It’s important to remember that the introduction of Hello Barbie is just one part of a new interactive landscape in which nearly everything kids do is recorded and uploaded somewhere. Some parents have balked at such networked omnipresence, refusing to post any photos or otherwise identifying information of their kids online.
Eventually, every child is going to grow up to have a digital footprint, if they don’t already. For parents, deciding whether to limit that cache of identifying data—be it Facebook photos or voice data collected by Hello Barbie—is a personal choice, one that they shouldn’t be taking lightly.
From Is Hello Barbie every parent’s worst nightmare?
Submitted by Blake on November 11, 2015 - 11:36am
The extent of libraries’ reliance on third-party services raises the question of survival. A library that is no longer in control of how its data is managed creates a false sense of safety for its patrons. A library that cannot preserve the integrity of data flows within and between its walls imperils the trust that patrons have for this long-standing institution.
From Libraries need to protect patron data as they turn high-tech.
Submitted by Blake on November 3, 2015 - 3:14pm
The effect may be a more pleasant online experience for someone who is perceived to have more income. In the same way that startups have put a premium on cutting out human interaction for those who can afford it, adlessness can be a luxury for those who choose to buy ad blockers so their webpages load faster. But distinct ad landscapes aren’t just about seeing more elegant corporate messages, or encountering fewer pop-up ads—or even none at all. Companies and individuals are working together to target consumers on a personal level, to use their most vulnerable Google searches against them.
“Fraudsters buy this data,” Waller said. “It’s easy to access, easy to buy, easy to find. They use it sometimes for really shocking, outright fraud and theft. Sometimes it’s a little more subtle than that.”
From Google Searches Put Consumers at Risk - The Atlantic
Submitted by Blake on October 27, 2015 - 3:09pm
SAP's Consumer Insight 365 ingests regularly updated data representing as many as 300 cellphone events per day for each of the 20 million to 25 million mobile subscribers. SAP won't disclose the carriers providing this data. It "tells you where your consumers are coming from, because obviously the mobile operator knows their home location," said Lori Mitchell-Keller, head of SAP's global retail industry business unit.
There is a lot of marketer interest in that information because it is tied to actual individuals. For the same reason, however, there is potential for resistance from privacy advocates.
"The practices that carriers have gotten into, the sheer volume of data and the promiscuity with which they're revealing their customers' data creates enormous risk for their businesses," said Peter Eckersley, chief computer scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy watchdog. Mr. Eckersley and others suggest that anonymization techniques are faulty in many cases because even information associated with a hashed or encrypted identification code can be linked back to a home address and potentially reidentified by hackers.
From The $24 Billion Data Business Telcos Don't Want to Discuss | Digital - Advertising Age
Submitted by Blake on October 25, 2015 - 3:42pm
Most of us, most of the time, use immensely popular technologies without masks or noise. We post in what you might call corruptible silence. On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google, we document our personal spaces, our frailties, our desires, questions and answers. We are naked, exposed and eminently traceable, now and into the future, by an ever-increasing range of data-hungry agents. To concerned citizens living this reality, and to thoughtful designers of technology, what Brunton and Nissenbaum offer is a compelling moral defence and some ready-to-hand tools for a small, distributed revolution of resistance.
From Obfuscation: how leaving a trail of confusion can beat online surveillance | Technology | The Guardian
Submitted by Blake on October 17, 2015 - 9:15am
As consumers spend an increasing amount of their time in cyberspace, companies are developing techniques to maximize the marketing capabilities afforded by cookies and other online surveillance tools. Yet companies first need to understand how consumers think about their privacy online, which isn’t entirely rationally. In an upcoming chapter of the Cambridge Handbook of Consumer Psychology, I draw on insights from behavioral psychology and the social sciences to explain the prevalence of the privacy paradox; I have summarized the reasons for consumers’ inconsistent views about privacy below
From We Say We Want Privacy Online, But Our Actions Say Otherwise
Submitted by Blake on October 14, 2015 - 7:25pm
The ubiquitous blue “Like” or “Share” buttons that you see all over the Internet are hiding an ugly secret. Starting this month, Facebook will use them to track your visit to every Web page that displays the buttons—even if you don’t click on anything. Facebook will use the data it collects to build a detailed dossier of your browsing habits, meticulously logging every site you visit, so it can finally learn those last few details about your life that it doesn’t already know. And there’s nothing you can do about it, short of staying totally logged out of the social media site or tracking down and installing a special browser extension to protect from this kind of sneaky behavior.
From Internet Companies: Confusing Consumers for Profit | Electronic Frontier Foundation
Submitted by Blake on October 14, 2015 - 10:16am
How many people read online privacy warnings? Few probably do. Long, detailed and technical privacy notices are the current answer to one of the greatest privacy issues of our time: websites collect information about us all the time and we frequently allow it without really knowing or understanding the conditions. JRC scientists have found that web design, and the information shown on the screen, does influence how and whether a user discloses personal data.
From Web design plays a role in how much we reveal online
Submitted by Blake on October 5, 2015 - 9:12pm
Learn about privacy topics and generate a custom privacy toolkit geared towards your online needs. Toolkits include links, tips, and resources that empower you to customize your online identity. Email or print your privacy toolkit for future use.
From Virtual Privacy Lab | San José Public Library
Submitted by Blake on September 18, 2015 - 1:22pm
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
Submitted by Blake on September 16, 2015 - 3:58pm
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