569 posts tagged with privacy.
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Facebook is just going to do whatever the f— it wants to me. And to you.

Violet Blue, a technology journalist and sex blogger, describes how she has been locked out of her Facebook account and cannot access it without providing a government ID.
Last weekend, as I sat locked out of my Facebook account ‘for security reasons’ (and you tagged me in something, not knowing I can’t respond), my friend’s boss Mark Zuckerberg spoke at the United Nations. He talked about plans to expand Facebook use into refugee camps, and made no pretensions about how this would be used to benefit his company. I personally know what this will do. [...] De-anonymizing refugees usually precedes murder on a grand scale.
[more inside]
posted by Rangi on Oct 3, 2015 - 97 comments


Does your lifestyle prevent you from qualifying for insurance discounts? Do you lack sufficient time for exercise or have limited access to sports facilities? Maybe you just want to keep your personal data private without having to pay higher insurance premiums for the privilege? Unfit Bits provides solutions. Check out their website for more
posted by rebent on Sep 27, 2015 - 40 comments

Of course I'd like to sit around and chat... but someone's listening in

Fresh from The Intercept (that fearless vanguard of journalism helmed by Glenn Greenwald and Laura Poitras): disturbing documents exposing the unfathomable reach of the United Kingdom's GCHQ in its quest for total awareness of global internet traffic. A hundred billion user actions logged per day. A "Black Hole" database of 1.1 trillion logs. Frightening programs like KARMA POLICE, MEMORY HOLE, and MUTANT BROTH that correlate the kilo-crore corpus -- IP addresses, cookies, forum posts, search histories, emails, and passwords all compiled and cross-referenced into a real-time "diary" that gives penetrating insight into the relationships, beliefs, and desires of every web user on the planet. Internal documents suggest only widespread encryption can threaten the regime -- a movement the UK is determined to subdue (previously). [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi on Sep 26, 2015 - 92 comments

The Apocalypse Will Not Be Digitized

Life After A Total Hack. "A short story about the biggest fear you don’t even know you have," by Jon Methven. LinkedIn, eHarmony and Last.fm were all "hacked wide open this week [June 6, 2012] .. But what would happen to us if everything got compromised?" [more inside]
posted by Devika on Sep 24, 2015 - 34 comments

I Presume You Mean Computers And So Forth?

"I found this collection of outtakes in my archive. I shot these interviews on the streets of New York in the late 70s when I was doing a documentary on the coming of the information age." - Man on the street interviews with New Yorkers in 1979 about science, technology, corporate influence, computers, and paperwork. (SLYT 5:45)
posted by The Whelk on Sep 23, 2015 - 17 comments

The only thing I don't want to do is to raise the white flag.

What can we do about the privacy threat posed by online ad networks? And how much trust should we place in Silicon Valley to design the future of our society? What Happens Next Will Amaze You: Slides from a recent talk by (Mefi's own) Maciej Cegłowski.
It's no accident how much the ad racket resembles high-frequency trading. A small number of sophisticated players are making a killing at the expense of everybody else. [...] I don't believe there's a technology bubble, but there is absolutely an advertising bubble. When it bursts, companies are going to be more desperate and will unload all the personal data they have on us to absolutely any willing buyer. And then we'll see if all these dire warnings about the dangers of surveillance were right.
[more inside]
posted by teraflop on Sep 22, 2015 - 103 comments


Lawyers for Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson recently sent a cease and desist letter (pdf) to CafePress. The reason? To halt sales of all unauthorized Ben Carson For President products, based on the "Digital Millennium Copyright Act, The Lanham Act, Federal Trademark Infringement, Federal Copyright Infringement, state misappropriation and privacy laws." [more inside]
posted by 1367 on Sep 21, 2015 - 56 comments

"We Own You"

Confessions of an Anonymous Free to Play Producer
posted by Artw on Sep 17, 2015 - 48 comments

Tor, libraries, and the Department of Homeland Security

First Library to Support Anonymous Internet Browsing Effort Stops After DHS Email
In July, the Kilton Public Library in Lebanon, New Hampshire, was the first library in the country to become part of the anonymous Web surfing service Tor. The library allowed Tor users around the world to bounce their Internet traffic through the library, thus masking users’ locations. ... After a meeting at which local police and city officials discussed how Tor could be exploited by criminals, the library pulled the plug on the project.
[more inside]
posted by metaquarry on Sep 10, 2015 - 67 comments

click click, clickclick click

How the way you type can shatter anonymity—even on Tor [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 6, 2015 - 64 comments

When Microsoft's "Family Safety" is unsafe

Microsoft accounts have a feature called family accounts. And with Windows 10, Microsoft automatically emails parents a weekly activity report that includes all websites visited by the child, time spent in apps, etc. if they have a family account set up. [more inside]
posted by floatboth on Aug 25, 2015 - 120 comments


Following up on their promise last month to release the data they hacked from Ashley Madison (the online infidelity-enablement site) hackers have released a ship-load personal information on ASM users. The hackers claim it is more of an attack on the shady business practices of the corporation than the users. (Though in contrast to other hacks, it looks like ASM managed to do a better job of storing passwords semi-securely). But certainly a lot of people's private issues are now public, including 10,000 folks with government emails, and many writers are warning: "Don't be smug, this is only the beginning. And Wired has some useful advice on checking out if you or a loved one is among the hacked data: Don't.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Aug 19, 2015 - 396 comments

Windows 10 enjoys your sweet, delicious data

Do you own one of the 14 million computers already running Windows 10? If so, it might be a good time to review your privacy settings. [more inside]
posted by selfnoise on Jul 31, 2015 - 156 comments

"Facebook Messenger defaults to sending a location with all messages."

...the first thing I noticed when I started to write my code was that the latitude and longitude coordinates of the message locations have more than 5 decimal places of precision, making it possible to pinpoint the sender’s location to less than a meter.
Stalking Your Friends with Facebook Messenger
posted by griphus on May 27, 2015 - 79 comments

Librarians as privacy warriors

Watch very closely for the removal of this sign.
posted by Athanassiel on May 11, 2015 - 35 comments

China announces it is scoring its citizens using big data

China rates its own citizens - including online behaviour: "The Chinese government is currently implementing a nationwide electronic system, called the Social Credit System, attributing to each of its 1,3 billion citizens a score for his or her behavior. The system will be based on various criteria, ranging from financial credibility and criminal record to social media behavior. From 2020 onwards each adult citizen should, besides his identity card, have such a credit code." [more inside]
posted by kliuless on May 5, 2015 - 77 comments

How private DNA data led Idaho cops on a wild goose chase

... and linked an innocent man to a 20-year-old murder case. Analysis by the EFF of the case of Michael Usry, a New Orleans filmmaker whose father's DNA profile in a non-profit DNA database, which he had been assured would remain private, dragged him into a grisly unsolved murder case. [more inside]
posted by daisyk on May 3, 2015 - 40 comments

If you are not paying for it et cetera

"Do Not Track is a personalized web series about privacy and the web economy. If you share your data with us, we'll show you what the web knows about you."
posted by no mind on Apr 21, 2015 - 36 comments

"He who has access to information controls the game."

1966 BBC documentary predicts challenges of electronic privacy. BBC's 1966 documentary "California 2000", besides being a fascinating flashback in itself, features an amazingly prescient interview with internet pioneer Paul Baran, in which he warns of the risks of government centralized use -- and misuse -- of state-run digital surveillance, 24 years before the EFF was founded.
[more inside]
posted by markkraft on Apr 10, 2015 - 24 comments

"I would want the dickpic program changed."

John Oliver explores the topic of government surveillance in the context of the June 1st deadline to reauthorize the Patriot Act and the ongoing Edward Snowden case.
posted by Kattullus on Apr 6, 2015 - 108 comments


The Puppets return for a lesson in computers and being a clever smart boy in DON'T HUG ME I'M SCARED 4.
posted by The Whelk on Apr 1, 2015 - 27 comments

Facebook is tracking us all, even non facebook users

Facebook tracks the web browsing of everyone who visits a page on its site even if the user does not have an account or has explicitly opted out of tracking in the EU, extensive research commissioned by the Belgian data protection agency has revealed.
posted by marienbad on Mar 31, 2015 - 63 comments

The Heart of the Matter

Patients should be allowed to access data generated by implanted devices. After losing his health insurance, Hugo Campos has written an article detailing his frustrations with self-care: "I can’t access the data generated by my implanted defibrillator. That’s absurd."
posted by domo on Mar 24, 2015 - 48 comments

"https://https..." is not from Department of Redundancy Department

Don't want some random hacker looking over your shoulder when you surf U.S. federal government websites? You may be in luck!

Today the White House announced a proposal — https://https.cio.gov/ — to make all public-facing U.S. government websites use HTTPS across the board within two years. Want to give your two cents on the idea? Forget writing a letter, make a pull request! [more inside]
posted by metaquarry on Mar 17, 2015 - 36 comments

Wikimedia v. NSA

Today, the Wikimedia Foundation is filing suit against the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the United States. The lawsuit challenges the NSA’s mass surveillance program, and specifically its large-scale search and seizure of internet communications — frequently referred to as “upstream” surveillance.
posted by pashdown on Mar 10, 2015 - 39 comments

One Last Ride

How Parks and Recreation Took Aim at Silicon Valley​ (Laura Hudson at Wired): ​
"​Over the course of the season, Leslie remarks on how the character of the town has morphed since the arrival of Gryzzl, with juice bars, yoga studios, and pet hotels popping up across Pawnee. “Everything has changed. This town is going to be unrecognizable in 10 years,” she says wistfully. One episo​​de revolves entirely around trying to save their perennial waffle hangout J.J.’s Diner; thanks to the surging housing market, the property has been bought out by a perfume magnate who plans to flip it for profit.

​"​If that sounds reminiscent of the housing crisis that’s currently plaguing San Francisco—and displacing large numbers of long-time residents—it should. Rental prices in the tech hub city are currently in the highest the nation, with the median price of a one-bedroom apartment hovering at more than $3,400 a month. Meanwhile, local establishments like the Lexington Club (the J.J.’s Diner of lesbian bars) are getting ​​sold to new owners."
[more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Feb 25, 2015 - 37 comments

Once Again, You're The Product

It’s 2015—when we feel sick, fear disease, or have questions about our health, we turn first to the internet. According to the Pew Internet Project, 72 percent of US internet users look up health-related information online. But an astonishing number of the pages we visit to learn about private health concerns—confidentially, we assume—are tracking our queries, sending the sensitive data to third party corporations, even shipping the information directly to the same brokers who monitor our credit scores.
posted by chavenet on Feb 25, 2015 - 57 comments

People are nowhere to be found

'The Cloud' and Other Dangerous Metaphors. What’s notable about dominant data metaphors is that they consistently compare data to naturally occurring physical resources. And just as the history of resource exploitation in America—from westward expansion through the Gold Rush, and beyond into modern-day debates about water and air rights—involves the appropriation of resources that belonged to someone else, online data collection policy treats personal information as a natural, inexhaustible good—ripe for exploitation in the name of economic growth and private gain.
posted by Sebmojo on Jan 21, 2015 - 24 comments

Deep Lab

Deep Lab is "a congress of cyberfeminist researchers, organized by STUDIO Fellow Addie Wagenknecht to examine how the themes of privacy, security, surveillance, anonymity, and large-scale data aggregation are problematized in the arts, culture and society."

The Documentary
The Lectures
The Book
posted by I-baLL on Jan 20, 2015 - 7 comments

"...not a reliable way for a user to express their desire..."

Late last year, a number of outlets reported that both AT&T and Verizon Wireless were injecting customer-identifiable, permanent tracking cookies into web requests. After this activity was made public, AT&T ceased injecting the cookies, claiming that they were only testing the practice. Verizon, however, did not. Now, computer scientist and lawyer Jonathan Mayer at Stanford University has reported that Verizon's advertising partner The Turn is using these super cookies to re-instate tracking cookies after a user clears their browser cache. [more inside]
posted by tocts on Jan 15, 2015 - 101 comments

Something cold about this investigation

Locals couldn’t understand why police hunting the murderer of a 13-year-old girl were taking DNA samples of elderly women. A high profile Italian murder investigation exposes the secrets of more than one family, with controversial collateral damage. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia on Jan 13, 2015 - 26 comments

Possible Supreme Court cases that could rein in the NSA in 2015

If the Supreme Court tackles the NSA in 2015, it’ll be one of these five cases. Detailed, thoughtful piece with lots of links from Ars Technica.
posted by mediareport on Jan 3, 2015 - 23 comments

Does not apply to Google, Apple, or Facebook.

It looks like "Do Not Track" is in trouble.
posted by pjern on Dec 27, 2014 - 79 comments

Doxxing Defense

A list of resources on how to scrub a lot of personal information off of the internet
posted by Renoroc on Dec 1, 2014 - 35 comments

interview with filmmaker Laura Poitras

A nicely lengthy interview with documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras. Poitras was one of the key figures involved in the revealing of Edward Snowden as the NSA whistleblower; she has a film (Citizenfour) opening this week. Poitras discusses her role as a documentary filmmaker, as well as her unique perspectives on the War on Terror, NSA surveillance, her status as a high-profile dissenter, and being on the receiving end of government harrassment.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Nov 11, 2014 - 19 comments

Industry and government say "Collect Everything".

"Sometimes, society gets it wrong... When that happens, strong privacy protections—including collection controls that let people pick who gets their data, and when—allow the persecuted and unpopular to survive."

What happens when we let industry and government collect all the data they want.

posted by anemone of the state on Nov 9, 2014 - 21 comments

MI5, MI6 and GCHQ 'spied on lawyers', breached lawyer-client privilege

British intelligence agencies have policies allowing staff to access confidential communications between lawyers and their clients, official documents have revealed. The guidance was disclosed for the first time at a tribunal which examines complaints against MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.
posted by marienbad on Nov 6, 2014 - 13 comments

The Issue Formally Known As Privacy

Should you be terrified of your new TV? With the release of Amazon Echo (or Jibo for the kids), passive monitoring devices are about to go mainstream. Meanwhile, Is Privacy Becoming a Luxury Good?
posted by gwint on Nov 6, 2014 - 87 comments

If everyone sees your dickpic hanging in a gallery except you is it art?

In light of Dries Verhoeven's public art of his Grindr interactions (since cancelled), Arne Svenson's show, "The Neighbors" (previously) and Future Femme's piece, Show Me More: A collection of DickPix, and amid questions of legality and ethics, the Guardian examines art, consent and privacy.
posted by frimble on Oct 30, 2014 - 11 comments

a man's home is his castle, a woman's body has never been wholly her own

"Trust Women" is a popular motto in the pro-choice movement. It sounds a little sentimental, doesn't it? Part of that old sisterhood-is-powerful feminism it is fashionable to mock today. But "Trust Women" doesn't mean that every woman is wise or good or has magical intuitive powers. It means that no one else can make a better decision, because no one else is living her life, and since she will have to live with that decision—not you, and not the state legislature or the Supreme Court—chances are she is doing her best in a tight spot.
How Pro-Choicers Can Take Back the Moral High Ground: an excerpt from essayist and poet Katha Pollitt's latest book, Pro: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. [more inside]
posted by divined by radio on Oct 29, 2014 - 39 comments

I know who you are and I saw what you did.

How secure is public wi-fi? A lot less than you probably imagine.
posted by Obscure Reference on Oct 20, 2014 - 52 comments

"Mess with the best, Die like the rest!"

JPMorgan Chase Says More Than 76 Million Accounts Compromised in Cyberattack [New York Times]
"The breach is among the largest corporate hacks, and the latest revelations vastly dwarf earlier estimates that hackers had gained access to roughly 1 million customer accounts."

posted by Fizz on Oct 2, 2014 - 122 comments

The next big thing is privacy

The way you beat an incumbent is by coming up with a thing that people want, that you do, and that your competitors can’t do.
Ind.ie is the same. They have, rather excellently, found a way of describing the underlying message of open source software without bringing along the existing open source community. [more inside]
posted by xcasex on Sep 29, 2014 - 57 comments

Privacy matters even with Tory ministers

Last Saturday, Tory cabinet minister for civil society Brooks Newmark resigned on the eve of the publication about his sexting habits. Allegedly he had sent unsolicited dirty pictures to a woman he thought was a Conservative Party activist, but was in fact an undercover reporter for the Sunday Mirror. Good, you may think, another scumbag who doesn't know the meaning of consent uncovered, but was this really the case, or was this actually a borderline criminal sting operation on the Mirror's part? [more inside]
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 29, 2014 - 68 comments

The real problem with Big Data and ubiquitous surveillance

The question is not so much “do you trust the CIA/NSA/MI6/etc?”. It’s “Do you trust every single sysadmin working for these organisations? Every single analyst? Every single middle manager?”
posted by MartinWisse on Sep 24, 2014 - 23 comments

"Nothing fades away anymore."

The Solace of Oblivion by Jeffrey Toobin [The New Yorker] "In Europe, the right to be forgotten trumps the Internet."
posted by Fizz on Sep 22, 2014 - 22 comments

(watch very closely for removal of this title)

Radical Librarianship: how ninja librarians are ensuring patrons' electronic privacy [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 15, 2014 - 38 comments

Reddit: Somalia Of The Internet

In response to criticism over the banning of infamous subreddit TheFappening, where private photographs of women (both celebrities and not) were being circulated, Reddit chief Yishan Wong released a controversial op-ed stating that Reddit considers itself "not just a company running a website where one can post links and discuss them, but the government of a new type of community." T.C. Sottek, writing for The Verge, asserts that if this is the case, then Reddit is assuredly a failed state. [more inside]
posted by NoxAeternum on Sep 12, 2014 - 272 comments

"The present I was in right then didn’t make a lot of sense."

A Day of Speaking Truth to Power - Quinn Norton visits the Office of the Director of National Intelligence
posted by the man of twists and turns on Sep 3, 2014 - 20 comments


Here's how one small company is slowly, surely beating its way into the most monopolized category in technology: Inside DuckDuckGo, Google's Tiniest, Fiercest Competitor.
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Sep 1, 2014 - 66 comments

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