Submitted by Blake on October 28, 2012 - 7:16pm
Angry Birds, a popular mobile app, is among the seemingly innocuous programs that are raising privacy concerns by collecting personal information that is used to focus advertising. When Jason Hong, an associate professor at the Human Computer Interaction Institute at Carnegie Mellon University, surveyed 40 users, all but two were unaware that the game was noting and storing their locations so that they could later be the targets of advertising.
Submitted by Blake on October 18, 2012 - 2:00pm
With the fate of our beloved internet economy allegedly at stake, perhaps it's a good time to examine what Do Not Track is. How did the standard come to be, what does it do, and how does it stand to change online advertising? Is it as innocuous as privacy advocates make it sound, or does it stand to jeopardize the free, ad-supported internet we've all come to rely on?
Submitted by Blake on October 16, 2012 - 1:18pm
The company this month began offering reports to marketers showing what Verizon subscribers are doing on their phones and other mobile devices, including what iOS and Android apps are in use in which locations. Verizon says it may link the data to third-party databases with information about customers' gender, age, and even details such as "sports enthusiast, frequent diner or pet owner."
"We're able to view just everything that they do," Bill Diggins, U.S. chief for the Verizon Wireless marketing initiative, told an industry conference earlier this year. "And that's really where data is going today. Data is the new oil."
However, ads make Facebook and Google free to use. Says Christopher Soghoian, principal technologist with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy and Technology Project: "When you pay a company $80 a month, they have no business monetizing the data they're collecting."
Submitted by Blake on October 16, 2012 - 7:23am
The new iPhone operating system comes with three things that make tracking easier for advertisers and reduce the likelihood that you'll opt out.
iOS 6 comes in a default "tracking on" position. You have to affirmatively switch it off if you do not want advertisers to see what you're up to.
The tracking control in iPhone's settings is NOT contained where you might expect it, under the "Privacy" menu. Instead, it's found under "General," then "About," and then the "Advertising" section of the Settings menu.
The tracking control is titled "Limit Ad Tracking," and must be turned to ON, not OFF, in order to work. That's slightly confusing — "ON" means ads are off! — so a large number of people will likely get this wrong.
Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/ifa-apples-iphone-tracking-in-ios-6-2012-10#ixzz29Sb00EeQ
Submitted by Blake on October 15, 2012 - 8:09am
The "I Know..." series of blog posts shows relatively simple tricks [malicious] websites can use to coax a browser into revealing information that it probably should not. Firewalls, anti-virus software, anti-phishing scam black lists, and even patching your browser was not going to help.
Fortunately, if you are using one of today’s latest and greatest browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, etc.), these tricks, these attack techniques, mostly don’t work anymore. The unfortunate part is that they were by no means the only way to accomplish these feats.
Submitted by Blake on August 28, 2012 - 9:59am
IT World has a nice write up on a new service called Priveazy [ https://www.priveazy.com/ ] that helps Netizens wade through the maze of privacy settings we are presented with on a daily basis.
Submitted by Blake on August 14, 2012 - 8:27am
TechCrunch sure knows how to write a headline. They cover a bit on a new project called TOS;DR. The site aims to give more power to users by summarizing terms of service, flagging potential issues and rating apps on a scale from A (the best) to E (the worst).
Submitted by Blake on August 13, 2012 - 12:42pm
If most websites can’t get password storage right, you can also bet they can’t get storage of the actual content you are trusting them with right, either. The private documents that you stored with your favorite cloud service are probably not encrypted in a way that only your account can decrypt, if they’re encrypted at all. The mobile app or website you use to access those documents may send your password and your files “in the clear,” enabling that shady-looking person on the other side of the café to snoop on you. They may advertise that they use encrypted connections but then disable verification in the mobile app so as to “not complicate the interface.” Someone could hijack your connection and the app would never notify you of the error. I have seen all of these problems in real-world cloud apps used by thousands of people.
Submitted by Blake on August 13, 2012 - 11:48am
Here are the researcher’s conclusions:
•The market has produced few realistic, privacy-protective alternatives to the dominant privacy-invasive online services.
•Greater transparency and consent requirements could help, but only if consumers can make decisions that align with their preferences.
•The gulf between private-sector information demands and consumer preferences suggest that better disclosures and choice mechanisms will only preserve the status quo.
•Aggressive interventions are necessary to create incentives for firms to reduce collection of personal information.
•Privacy tradeoffs are not clear; consumers need the ability to change their minds and walk away from a service.
Submitted by Blake on June 12, 2012 - 7:34am
Facebook Does What It Wants
Facebook users were given the opportunity to decide if the social network should keep its existing Statement of Rights and Responsibilities (SRR) and Data Use Policy or change it to the updated version which was introduced in May this year.
Voting took place from June 1 through to June 8 and saw around 297,883 people -- approximately 87% of all voters who participated -- opt to keep Facebook’s existing SRR and Data Use Policy.
Despite voters’ overwhelming preference for the former policy, Facebook said the number of users who voted was too small to be representative of the entire Facebook community and said it would go ahead with the proposed changes.
Submitted by Blake on June 9, 2012 - 1:45pm
How [People Are Using] Twitter [To] put an end to [Their Own] private lives
But is it really that clear? How do you know, for example, whether your own beliefs about privacy might go out of the window in the heat of an acrimonious split-up, or sexual boastfulness, or spurned humiliation? Say that you could swear on your life that you wouldn't spill the beans in public, no matter what.
Could you guarantee the same discretion on your partner's behalf?
Submitted by Blake on May 16, 2012 - 8:17am
Staying Off Facebook Won't Protect Your Privacy
Stay away from social networks and people won't know who you're hanging out with or what you're doing, right? Wrong. When it comes to social networking, a recent study suggests, you can run but you can't hide.
A paper published last month in the journal PLoS One shows how researchers were able to learn about nonmembers of social networks based on information their friends posted online. Using machine-learning models, German researchers Emöke-Ágnes Horvát, Michael Hanselmann, Fred A. Hamprecht and Katharina A. Zweig were able to predict whether two nonmembers of a social network knew each other based on information shared by a mutual contact on the network.
Submitted by Blake on May 7, 2012 - 3:04pm
Facebook & your privacy
Who sees the data you share on the biggest social network?
To find out, we queried Facebook and interviewed some two dozen others, including security experts, privacy lawyers, app developers, and victims of security and privacy abuse. We dug into private, academic, and government research, as well as Facebook’s labyrinthian policies and controls. And we surveyed 2,002 online households, including 1,340 that are active on Facebook, for our annual State of the Net report. We then projected those data to estimate national totals.
Submitted by Blake on May 3, 2012 - 2:57pm
How to Muddy Your Tracks on the Internet
There are no secrets online. That emotional e-mail you sent to your ex, the illness you searched for in a fit of hypochondria, those hours spent watching kitten videos (you can take that as a euphemism if the kitten fits) — can all be gathered to create a defining profile of you.
Your information can then be stored, analyzed, indexed and sold as a commodity to data brokers who in turn might sell it to advertisers, employers, health insurers or credit rating agencies.
Submitted by Blake on May 2, 2012 - 8:05am
Collusion Browser Plugin Shows You Who's Tracking You on the Web
Once installed, Collusion works much like its Firefox counterpart, except with better tracking detection and some UI changes Chrome users will appreciate. The map is completely empty. As you browse, you'll see the sites you visit start to appear on the map, and if they drop tracking cookies on your computer you'll see them in red. Hover over any of the circles on the map to read more about the site, and whether it's a known tracker. If you already have privacy extensions installed, you'll likely see fewer circles on your map. Either way, you'll probably see lots of interconnected circles
Submitted by Blake on May 2, 2012 - 8:04am
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.
Submitted by Blake on April 30, 2012 - 1:26pm
Submitted by Blake on April 24, 2012 - 10:04am
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.
Submitted by Blake on March 12, 2012 - 12:27pm
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).
Submitted by Blake on March 2, 2012 - 7:45am
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."