Online Privacy

Online Privacy

Privacy Concerns with Facebook Applications

The Wikinomics blog has a post about potential privacy concerns that result from using Facebook applications:

"...many people do not realize that by adding these applications, they’re giving the applications (and therefore the application’s developer(s)) access to their personal information — irrespective of any privacy settings that a user may choose."

Anti-terror Threat to Librarian Role Now Seen in UK

The U.K.'s The Bookseller reports that "Police forces are requesting information on the library borrowing records of individuals under police surveillance.

The requests are understood to centre on areas with a high Muslim population. John Pateman, head of libraries in Lincolnshire, criticised the development, saying it went against library ethics and could damage community cohesion. “It concerns me. Public libraries are one of the last public spaces where people don’t have to justify themselves,” he said.

Warwickshire head of li­braries Ayub Khan said that librarians “right across the country” had seen instances where the police have asked for library records—“not just books, but also access to records of the internet sites individuals have visited”. Another librarian confirmed direct experience of such a police request.

Librarians’ concerns come after controversy in the US, where surveillance in libraries became a major public issue following the passing of the 2001 US Patriot Act. "

What a librarian can teach you about privacy

Over On Computer World Mark Hall Writes: Let's face it: When it comes to keeping data secure, there's plenty that IT can learn from librarians. Just as ALA members ensure that their patrons' reading habits remain strictly private by establishing privacy audits, so, too, can CIOs audit their systems to ensure that customer and employee data is protected, says Caldwell-Stone. Privacy audits keep customer and employee content under wraps and can protect companies from embarrassing revelations. Librarians have been trained to consider privacy ramifications surrounding access to content. They guard those rights vigorously and are a great example for CIOs designing secure systems. Just ask them. Quietly, of course.

Bill Would Outlaw Targeted Web Ads

Gary Price pointed the way to This One on a recently drafted bill in NY that would require Web advertising companies, such as AOL, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo, to get a Web surfer's permission before tracking Web movements and displaying ads based on those movements.

WorldCat.org and User Privacy?

<p>While browsing blogs during the NCAA Tourney today, I came across a reference to a book that I thought would be good for my library (academic business school), so I hopped over to WorldCat.org after not seeing it in our online catalog.</p> <p>I started to register and save the page, but saw this in the abbreviated <a href="http://www.oclc.org/worldcat/policies/terms/">Terms of Service</a> dialog:</p> <blockquote>A.

The Privacy Toolbox: 100 Guides and Resources for Keeping Your Personal Information Safe

Today’s online culture of banking, blogging, social networking and shopping makes it easier than ever for those with nefarious intentions to steal your personal information. Social Security numbers, credit cards and online passwords are all at risk if you don’t keep your personal information secure both online and off. While there is no way to make identity theft a non-issue, there are a number of things that you can do to help ensure that your data is as secure as it possibly can be. Here are 100 places to start researching how to keep your information away from prying eyes.

Gossip web site on college campuses

This is an interesting article on what is basically a gossip site geared toward college students. It's also kinda of scary at whats being posted on there and the owners response from requests by his alma mater. I am impressed with the actions of the students in taking a stand.

Google Health is coming

Google Health is coming soon. Phil Bradley posts this screenshot of the page. Kinda of creepy that Google (sorry, the all knowing one) is moving in this direction. It's still about making information accessible , as outlined in this post, but I'm not sure I'd want Google to be the one doing this.

Anonymity and the Netflix Dataset

Very intersting post by Bruce Schneier on anonymous data.

Like everything else in security, anonymity systems shouldn't be fielded before being subjected to adversarial attacks. We all know that it's folly to implement a cryptographic system before it's rigorously attacked; why should we expect anonymity systems to be any different? And, like everything else in security, anonymity is a trade-off. There are benefits, and there are corresponding risks.

Kindling

Amazon Kindle - Will Your Library Buy it for Patrons?

Taxonomy upgrade extras: 

The Future of Internet Immune Systems

madcow sent over a link to Cory Doctorow's "The Future of Internet Immune Systems:

We're designing more and more automated defenses for the Internet, systems that shut you down or block you if you appear to be doing something naughty, but the problem is that while the defenses are automatic, the appeals process is decidedly manual.

Wholesale Surveillance Predates 9/11

A November 2, 2007 National Journal article titled, "NSA Sought Data Before 9/11" details the efforts of the Bush Administration to get pretty much all communications traffic back in February 2001. At least one telephone company, Qwest, refused:

Another source said that the NSA wanted to analyze the calls, e-mails, and other transmissions crossing Qwest's lines, to detect patterns of suspicious activity. Telecom carriers routinely monitor their networks for fraudulent activity, the former White House official noted, and so the companies "have an enormous amount of intelligence-gathering" capability. They don't have to target individual customers to "look for wacky behavior," or "groups communicating with each other in strange patterns." That information could augment intelligence that the NSA and other agencies were gathering from other sources, the former official said.

Qwest's then-chief executive officer, Joseph Nacchio, rejected the NSA's request. "He didn't want to go along with that," and his refusal was not greeted warmly in the intelligence community, the former White House official said. Another source, a former high-ranking intelligence official, said that other companies, both before and after 9/11, had less of a problem complying with government requests if they were accompanied by a legal order. The ex-official added that some companies were willing to offer data and to assist the government "as necessary" on a voluntary basis, without a court order.

Your First Girlfriend and Other Things Search Engines Store about You

Computer World reports on what user data is saved by the major search engines, and the possibility of personally-identifying information being discovered.

Google to cut back on how long it keeps search history

On Tuesday, Google announced that it would reduce the length of time it saves users' search history, from 24 months to 18 months. This is in response to recent criticism about its privacy practices, including the recent study by Privacy International. The International Herald Tribune has the story.

Google: The Search Engine that Knew Too Much

Forbes reports that a study by Privacy International ranked Google last among online companies in user information protection. Google issued a statement in response saying that the study was based on "numerous inaccuracies and misunderstandings about Google's products and services."

Anti-War Activists Tracked in Libraries by DOD

Kelly writes "The IHT headline says: 'Newly disclosed documents show U.S. Defense Department tracked anti-Iraq war activities.' According to this article, 'An anti-terrorist database used by the Defense Department in an effort to prevent attacks on military installations included intelligence tips about antiwar planning meetings held at churches, libraries, college campuses and other locations, newly disclosed documents show.'"

She's Dunn

mdoneil writes "Patricia Dunn the Chairman of HP who orchestrated the spying mission on Board members to uncover a leak of company information to the media is on her way out.


Dunn, who hired private dicks to obtain phone records of Directors ostensibly through pretexting — lying to the telcos — will be replaced by the non-executive president (whatever the heck that means) of HP in January.


So don't worry about your government spying on you, be wary of employers hiring professional liars to get your personal information by lying to the phone company, a practice that they seem to think is legal.


There is no fine line between legal, ethical, moral, and OK in my book. If it does not seem fair don't do it. Dunn is a fine example of corporate morality. She and Ken Lay should have hooked up before he died, they would make quite the couple."

AOL Fires Data Leak Project Managers

Search Engines WEB writes "AOL announced the resignation of its chief technology officer today, following two weeks of intense criticism from privacy advocates after members of its research staff released hundreds of thousands of its customers' personal Web search queries. The researcher and a manager overseeing the project were dismissed, according to an AOL employee who did not want to be identified because the company does not comment publicly on personnel matters.

AOL also said it planned to beef up data privacy protections, reconsider the length of time that it holds onto the millions of search queries that customers make every day, and re-educate its own employees about the sensitivity of personal data.

D.C. 'Privacy' Event to Honor Librarians

The American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and Campaign for Reader Privacy is sponsoring an event on September 28 in Washington DC to honor George Christian, executive director of Connecticut's Library Connection and three board members who fought an FBI subpoena of customer records. The librarians and press corps, some of whom had their phones tapped (such as Brian Ross of ABC) will be present.

On that same subject, the ACLU, who defended the four librarians, is offering all libraries FREE DVD copies of 'Freedom Files', which includes a report on the Library Connection incident. The ten episode series Freedom Files series also includes shows entitled: Women's Rights, Youth Speak, Religious Freedom, Voting Rights, and The Supreme Court, among others.

UK Schoolchildren are Being Fingerprinted

Anonymous Patron writes "icLiverpool: Kids across Merseyside are being fingerprinted in the classroom, it was claimed last night.

Five schools in Liverpool, Knowsley, St Helens and Warrington are said to be among hundreds in the country to use a new biometric system.

The Government says the method is mainly used for accessing school libraries, but critics last night described it as a "big brother system"."

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