When researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden announced at the Where 2.0 Conference in Santa Clara a few weeks ago that iPhones and 3G iPads are storing records of where their users are and where they’ve been, the news created quite a stir. Google also stores a similar list on Android devices, so naturally questions have swirled in the last few weeks around how both Apple and Google are… → Read More
It’s time for the much-awaited part two of our sit down with Internet big-thinkers Reid Hoffman and Tim O’Reilly. We invited the two in the studio last week to talk about what Hoffman has called “Web 3.0″– the use of an explosion of data being collected about our real lives online.
Last week, we talked about the undeniably scary aspects of Web 3.0– data and privacy and how we can trust… → Read More
Netflix, the Internet darling, has come under fire from various privacy advocates. The company has been the subject of five (!) separate lawsuits in the past two months, all of which center on some of its privacy policies. The lawsuit alleges that Netflix holds onto customer data like rental habits and credit card numbers long after people had cancelled their membership. → Read More
Besides the radical new interface, one of the bigger features of Internet Explorer 9 is its “do not track” feature. At the name suggests, it lets you decide, either manually or by subscribing to a pre-compiled list, which sites you exclude from tracking your Web browsing. So if you visit a site that employs a third-party ad service that tracks your every move—why is that… → Read More
Here’s a fascinating privacy debate for y’all to chew on this Friday afternoon. A public official in Australia was sacked after it was discovered that he had searched for “knockers” on his work-provided computer. The computer had been running monitoring software, Spector360, that took screenshots every 30 seconds, so it found him looking for “knockers” even though he had deleted his… → Read More
Parts of Europe have been, for whatever reason, more wary of Google’s Street View service than others. The occasional lawsuit hasn’t prevented the march of progress, though Italy’s new regulations may cause more of a hassle than the occasional grumpy homeowner. The Privacy Authority President, Francesco Pizzetti, described the outrage:
“There has been strong alarm and also hostility in a lot of… → Read More
What a time to be alive, particularly for those of you in the UK. The Government has resurrected plans to store every single e-mail sent, Web site visited, and telephone call made. This, of course, is a direct contradiction of what the ruling Coalition (Cameron’s Conservative Party and Clegg’s Liberal Democrats) had previously stated, that it would “end the storage of internet and email records… → Read More
Another day, another Facebook privacy scandal. At this point accusing Facebook of violating its users’ privacy is like accusing the sun of being hot, or of accusing Leo Messi of being good. Why bother? But a study put together by TRUSTe, the “leading Internet privacy services provider,” says that teenagers today, generally speaking, know what they’re doing when it comes to protecting… → Read More
Here’s an interesting tidbit for you: whenever an iOS device connects to a Wi-Fi network, it automatically makes a connection back to the mothership. While the URL looks harmless, the potential for abuse is staggering. Of course, is anyone really surprised that Apple wants to check up on you whenever you use one of their devices? → Read More
Location-based service Echo Echo recently posted the above image to their blog in a (successful) attempt to garner some media attention as the debate around online privacy continues to rage.
In the wake of an… → Read More
There’s a fun and charming story on Advertising Age about a woman and her friends having a fun and charming dinner together. All is well and good until Facebook Places, the new location-based service that promises to revolutionize something or other, spoils the fun. It seems that people don’t exactly want their exact location broadcast to all of their Facebook friends, especially without their… → Read More
George Orwell’s novel 1984 begins with Winston Smith, the main character, seeing posters saying BIG BROTHER IS WATCHING YOU. In 2010, that could be replaced with FACEBOOK IS WATCHING YOU. Or rather, YOUR FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK ARE WATCHING YOU. You and your friends can now post where you are and share this information, if you so chose.
Less than one hour after Facebook struck the ceremonial gong, signaling the official birth of Places, the ACLU of Northern California was ready to cry foul play.
In a 429-word post titled, “Facebook Places: Check This Out, Before You Check In,” the ACLU branch rips the new feature for a perceived lack of user control, complaining (in dramatically bold font) that “in the world of Facebook Places… → Read More
Google’s in an odd bind these days. It’s far and away the biggest Internet company out there, and with that size and position comes great responsibility, to echo the sentiment found in Spider-Man. It drew heat yesterday—and rightly so—for joining forces with Verizon to help draw up “rules” for the Internet, as if the Internet needs rules be successful. Now the Wall Street… → Read More
Google has been cleared of any wrongdoing relating to Wi-Fi snooping in the UK. Well, partially cleared. The country’s Information Commissioner’s Office, whose job is to “uphold information rights in the public interest, promoting openness by public bodies and data privacy for individuals,” has said that “it is unlikely that Google will have captured significant amounts of personal data”… → Read More
http://vimeo.com/moogaloop.swf?clip_id=13648673&server=vimeo.com&show_title=1&show_byline=1&show_portrait=1&color=ff9933&fullscreen=1 I doubt anybody is going to keep this Firefox plugin installed for very long (the point is made after a few minutes), but big red boxes and airhorns blasting you in the face are a good way of saying “HEY. Your information is being… → Read More
You know, I’m somewhat conflicted when it comes to this Google story. Yesterday it emerged that France had discovered that Google’s Street View cars had surreptitiously collected private citizens’ passwords and other sensitive data. Today we’ve learned that several states here in the U.S., led by Connecticut, plan to investigate Google over this whole Wi-Fi fiasco. Normally you don’t want giant… → Read More