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Terrorism's first win? Bye-Bye crypto.

Terrorism's first win? Bye-Bye crypto. The rubble is still burning and the Republicans are ready to strip of our right to use crypto products. Opportunists feeding off fear. That's how you win at the terrorist game.
posted by skallas on Sep 13, 2001 - 51 comments

And so it begins

And so it begins - "Federal police are reportedly increasing Internet surveillance after Tuesday's deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Just hours after three airplanes smashed into the buildings in what some U.S. legislators have dubbed a second Pearl Harbor, FBI agents began to visit Web-based, e-mail firms and network providers, according to engineers " How do you think the attacks of the 11th will affect civil liberties?
posted by jed on Sep 12, 2001 - 11 comments

To stop the credit bureaus from releasing your personal info without your knowledge, call 888-567-8688. To stop your bank, brokerage firm, credit union, etc., from doing the same, you'll need to send a letter. More info in comments.
posted by JParker on Aug 22, 2001 - 16 comments

Hands where I can see them, and turn off that tape recorder!

Hands where I can see them, and turn off that tape recorder! Today the Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld the conviction of a man for violating the commonwealth's electronic surveillance law when he secretly recorded police who pulled him over in a traffic stop. While it's generally bad to tape people without telling them, should there be an exception w/r/t to recording public officials acting in their official capacities? Or is wrong just wrong?
posted by dchase on Jul 13, 2001 - 22 comments

Yet another reason to avoid the Battlefield Earth DVD:

Yet another reason to avoid the Battlefield Earth DVD: A brand new "feature" called Regional Coding Enhancement, or RCE. Having the word "enhancement" in the title might make us think that we, the consumer, might actually benefit for this technology, but that isn't the case. The only people to benefit are the movie studios who, not content to gouge us on DVD prices (DVD's are cheaper to press than video tapes) have made it impossible to backup a DVD, or play a foreign DVD on a North American DVD player. Now, thanks to RCE, if you own a region-free DVD player, guess what? You can't play Battlefield Earth on it!
posted by johnnydark on Jul 8, 2001 - 30 comments

As if you weren't depressed enough, now the world knows you're taking Prozac
posted by fooljay on Jul 5, 2001 - 6 comments

Not embedded in your hand, just your credit card.

Not embedded in your hand, just your credit card. Your Providian VISA with Smart Chip Technology comes with a smart chip that's embedded on the front of the credit card. Soon, a smart chip will let you store information and applications that make shopping easier and more secure. Anyone here a little leary of this kind of "smart"ness? Thoughts?
posted by thunder on Jul 3, 2001 - 23 comments

The government is tracking your movements by using metal detectors and store security devices to scan anti-counterfeit threads woven into your money. Fiction or Fact
posted by willnot on Jul 3, 2001 - 7 comments

I can't put a serious link up because I don't wanna link it. . .

I can't put a serious link up because I don't wanna link it. . . I don't like the fact that if you have your address and number listed in the phone book, suddenly now if someone enters your name into Google along with the city you presumably live in: Your address and phone number come up. I use no other search engines, but I would presume the same happens there. These aren't the days of PENNSYLVANIA-65000 anymore Harrietta.
posted by crasspastor on Jun 19, 2001 - 42 comments

Some good news about Internet Explorer 6?

Some good news about Internet Explorer 6? IE6, scheduled to be released in August, will be the first browser to support a new privacy standard called Platform Privacy Preferences, or P3P, which will allow surfers to automatically determine whether a Web site collects personally identifiable information and opt out of the data collection.
posted by tranquileye on Jun 17, 2001 - 15 comments

Finally, some good news on the privacy front

Finally, some good news on the privacy front The Supreme Court today reiterated the right of privacy in the age of technology, ruling in an Oregon drug case that the police cannot use a heat-seeking device to probe the interior of a home without a search warrant. (registration required) The heat device used by the agents "might disclose, for example, at what hour each night the lady of the house takes her daily sauna and bath — a detail that many would consider `intimate,' " the majority held. daily sauna?
posted by 4midori on Jun 11, 2001 - 11 comments

ALL YOUR EMAIL ARE BELONG TO US!

ALL YOUR EMAIL ARE BELONG TO US! How serious is this threat? What precautions do you routinely take? What precautions do you think you *should* be taking? What viable options do we have today, for those of us who aren't computer programmers by profession? And how secure are they, anyway?
posted by rushmc on May 30, 2001 - 12 comments

Social Security Numbers and privacy.

Social Security Numbers and privacy. I refuse to give my number out whenever possible, but it is getting worse all the time. Thankfully I can still buy batteries and refuse to give Rat Shack my telephone number, and tell Toy R Us where to go when they ask for my zip, but this is frustrating. Wasn't this what people feared about having identification numbers in the first place?
posted by thirteen on May 14, 2001 - 41 comments

No Hiding Place

No Hiding Place "According to most experts in the field, a police state with powers of control and surveillance beyond the wildest dreams of Hitler or Stalin could now be established in Britain within 24 hours" Here's how...
posted by hmgovt on Apr 20, 2001 - 4 comments

While it's good to know that the courts seem to be behind consumer privacy, I wonder about the executive branch's stance on privacy.
posted by fooljay on Apr 17, 2001 - 1 comment

The ACLU wants to protect your privacy

The ACLU wants to protect your privacy from government electronic surveillance programs like Echelon and Carnivore. Their full page ad in today's NYT claims 4th amendment rights are being violated by the US government, which is overstepping their bounds, and nearly free of up-to-date laws. Is it to late or can anything be done to protect civilian electronic communication?
posted by mathowie on Apr 15, 2001 - 7 comments

Bush, Citing Privacy, Swears Off E-Mailing Family.

Bush, Citing Privacy, Swears Off E-Mailing Family. "He said he does not e-mail out of concern his private communications could be subject to freedom of information laws and could be made public... Bush said, however, that his administration will cooperate fully with freedom of information requests..."
posted by tranquileye on Apr 5, 2001 - 11 comments

Kill Your PC:

Kill Your PC: a new website launches concentrating on tracking online privacy and fair-use issues. They also are providing information on how to get rid of banner ads, as well as a big list of links you can use to opt-out from user-spying on the major advertising networks. Necessary consumer education, or a dangerous idea that threatens the viability of websites?
posted by matthew on Apr 4, 2001 - 3 comments

Do you use Hotmail for email? If so, it looks like Microsoft owns all your messages and can reprint or repurpose them however they like. I'd assume the ToS could be extended to cover any content on a passport-using website as well. Scary stuff, considering all the Hailstorm services on the way...
posted by mathowie on Apr 3, 2001 - 12 comments

Confidentiality.

Confidentiality. A lot of people would probably expect such a conversation to be confidential, although that is neither promised by the web site nor apparently required of their operators.

The TV news here in Melbourne covered the story this morning and skirted the subject of confidentiality, but Wired has an interesting piece. The New Zealand Herald has an edited transcript in the first of it's articles.

There's an uproar if a doctor or a priest breaks a confidence, even if it leads to a murder being solved. Why so little fuss here?
posted by southisup on Mar 29, 2001 - 6 comments


DC Police email scandal.

DC Police email scandal. The District of Columbia put computers in patrol cars and encouraged email use to help keep lengthy communication off the radio waves. Instead, a recent audit of department emails showed that many officers used it to send "racist, vulgar and homophobic messages" to each other. Further complicating matters, it appears this might create legal problems for the police -- defense lawyers can undermine officer credibility, convictions may be reviewed for civil rights violations, and the department may be subject to "hostile work environment" lawsuits. Is this a privacy violation, or just another case of employees being too dense to realize that email sent on their employer's system should never be considered private?
posted by monkey-mind on Mar 29, 2001 - 15 comments

"Companies could run into roadblocks if

"Companies could run into roadblocks if they have to treat data from European customers differently from those in the United States"
I have an idea! Don't! We need EU-level privacy here in the U.S. Why can't we have it? Can anyone tell me why our laws are better?
posted by fooljay on Mar 28, 2001 - 2 comments

Well, congratulations; you won your TiVo. So, now, are you wondering what they're doing to you with it?
posted by baylink on Mar 26, 2001 - 44 comments

Be careful what you say online.

Be careful what you say online. At least if you're in the UK, where an anonymous poster to 2 message boards now faces charges of defamation after the courts ordered the disclosure of their identity. ISP Totalise used existing law to force Motley Fool to disclose the details of an anonymous poster to their message boards alleged to have made defamatory comments. Landmark case or storm in a teacup?
posted by Markb on Mar 23, 2001 - 3 comments

JunkBusters voices concerns of Amazon's new honor pay system...

JunkBusters voices concerns of Amazon's new honor pay system... an interesting link for all of us here, as we've noticed a proliferation of blogs/personal sites (including MeFi) using the system. Do you want Amazon to know you're a MetaFillistine? Comments?
posted by silusGROK on Mar 21, 2001 - 3 comments

Beyond the bar code:

Beyond the bar code: Tags on retail products will send radio signals to their manufacturers, collecting information about consumer habits -- and raising privacy concerns. Radio tag technology is already here, used in fields such in livestock, freight-train cargo and highway tolls. The only barrier to widespread use is consumer products is price. When they can be made for a penny, expect to see them everywhere. From the March issue of MIT Technology Review.
posted by jhiggy on Feb 20, 2001 - 13 comments

The Privacy Space

The Privacy Space In every MeFi thread about personal privacy in the digital age, the comment inevitably arises: "You already have zero privacy. Get over it." The article even quotes it. But someone else in the article says, "The idea that technology and privacy are intrinsically opposed is false." Great article (from a non-techie standpoint) on the coming promises of privacy tech.
posted by Skot on Feb 15, 2001 - 4 comments

Network Solutions sells out.

Network Solutions sells out. The once-monopoly has decided to pool all their domain name registration information and sell it to the spammers of the world. From their marketing website, "Taking advantage of our position as a market leader, we have organized our pool of over 15 million registered domain names into a customer database of over 5 million unique customers. Our data service offers access to the key decision-makers behind millions of leading Web businesses."

True, there is a privacy policy, and you can try and protect yourself following their instructions, but it would seem that once the cat's out of the bag... And, what's to keep someone from purchasing the database of email addresses, fax numbers, telephone numbers, and addresses and selling them off to someone else?
posted by warhol on Feb 15, 2001 - 35 comments

We'll forget it for you wholesale.

We'll forget it for you wholesale. Privacy portal company Safe Web sells powerful anonymizing software to the CIA. Which can then use it to spy on ? As well as for protecting their agents, of course . . . ;]
posted by aflakete on Feb 12, 2001 - 1 comment

I had a nightmare once that Fidel Castro hacked into my PC. Is this nightmare now a reality? Or is this just more goofy and dangerous cyberwar hype?
posted by tranquileye on Feb 9, 2001 - 5 comments

During the Super Bowl fans were subjucted to a "computerized police lineup"

During the Super Bowl fans were subjucted to a "computerized police lineup" as they were entering Raymond James Stadium. According to law enforcement officials, it was used to "scan the crowd for pickpockets and terrorists..." Now the ACLU has demanded that public hearings about its use be held in Tampa. Were local officials using a legitimate tool of law enforcement or were they acting like Big Brother?
posted by Bag Man on Feb 1, 2001 - 26 comments

FTC ends investigation of DoubleClick

FTC ends investigation of DoubleClick and finds no evidence of wrongdoing. I don't know about you, but I feel cheated. Don't forget to opt out of their cookie-bending racket.
posted by mathowie on Jan 23, 2001 - 16 comments

Linux no longer foolproof?

Linux no longer foolproof? And a smile descened upon Redmond...
posted by mecawilson on Jan 22, 2001 - 21 comments

It's uncertain how important online privacy is to

It's uncertain how important online privacy is to President-elect George W. Bush. He indicated a general support for online privacy laws during the presidential campaign without indicating whether he leaned more toward industry self-regulation, technological solutions, legislative solutions, or some combination. A working document drafted by the Bush transition team on "technology proposals" echoes the same undefined support for online privacy. One analyst thinks his transition-appointments indicate a reference for industry self-regulation.
posted by jhiggy on Jan 19, 2001 - 0 comments

Contact information viewable with Alexa toolbar?

Contact information viewable with Alexa toolbar? Disturbing. Anyone with the Alexa toolbar installed can apparently see your address and telephone number, along with helpful information like maps to your home. This information is in the public record, but providing it instantly can only lead to more stalking incidents. You may want to follow Leia's advice and visit Alexa.com's site editor to make sure you're protected.
posted by jmcnally on Jan 11, 2001 - 16 comments

Privacy makes strides online.

Privacy makes strides online. I'm actually pretty amazed by the ruling - while I think this is a great thing, could it be used for evil?
posted by rich on Jan 9, 2001 - 3 comments

Privacy is an endangered species at work.

Privacy is an endangered species at work. Not that this is a surprise... but I'm wondering. Will we see a wave of MIS professionals who become conscientious objectors on this topic, similar to the responses engendered by 'defense' projects in the early days of computing?
posted by baylink on Jan 3, 2001 - 4 comments

Has anyone tried and tested Safe Web? Seems a lot simpler and easier (not to mention cheaper) than Anonymizer. Though you have to enter each address, so it's not for people wanting anonymity all the time. . .
posted by aflakete on Dec 20, 2000 - 6 comments

Judiciary Seeks Public Comment on Internet Access to Court Documents

Judiciary Seeks Public Comment on Internet Access to Court Documents "As federal courts make the transition from paper to electronic case files, the Judicial Conference of the United States is studying the privacy and security implications of vastly wider public access to court documents via the Internet. Public comment is sought."

Further down they tell you that it'll cost 7 cents a page, even online. From the same folks who waited years to put up Supreme Court dockets and opinions on the official site.
posted by thescoop on Nov 15, 2000 - 6 comments


ELECTION: A note of sanity on voting systems

ELECTION: A note of sanity on voting systems from Lauren Weinstein's well-worth reading Privacy Digest; it notes the inherent weak spots in all voting tally systems, and compares manual to machine and electronic ones.
posted by baylink on Nov 11, 2000 - 3 comments

Excellent, in-depth analysis

Excellent, in-depth analysis of "spyware" used by insidious and horrible software entities such as RealPlayer. Written by my hero and yours, Steve Gibson.
posted by Succa on Oct 16, 2000 - 14 comments

Invasion of privacy may be offset by cheaper insurance

Invasion of privacy may be offset by cheaper insurance If this doesn't scare the hell out of you you don't drive a car.

Sure it is an excellent idea for fleet management and for personal security.

But do we really want insurance companies to know everything about our driving habits and whereabouts? Think about it. They can dictate your rate based on your speed, and ultimately can base your claim on data collected while you were driving. Big insurance is one of the most financial powerful forces out there, next to big tobacco. They are already invasive, requiring blood samples and medicals for life policies. Imagine if they could collect the intimate details of our daily lives.
posted by daddyray on Sep 24, 2000 - 12 comments

Another innovation from Digital Convergence:

Another innovation from Digital Convergence:
In addition to having a pretty much useless product, CueCat's product-release-to-privacy-violation rate is spectacular! To quote their email:

Dear :CueCat member,
We've been alerted to a security breach in our system that may have exposed certain members' names and email addresses. As one of the members who may be susceptible, we want to explain to you how you may be affected and what we are doing to rectify the situation. (more...)
posted by anildash on Sep 17, 2000 - 1 comment

Western Union's site

Western Union's site is down, as hackers have accessed their "secure" database. Western Union's only suggestion so far is to tell all customers to cancel their credit card accounts. Is anything really secure on the internet? Do you trust amazon to hold your credit card numbers, Wells Fargo to keep your checking account private, and Kozmo employees not to pilfer your credit card numbers for fun?
posted by mathowie on Sep 10, 2000 - 8 comments

Does Amazon deserve my statistics?

Does Amazon deserve my statistics? I knew this was coming but I was hoping that it would all turn out for the better and Amazon would come to their senses. So the question is, are Wish Lists worth my data? Will ownership of my spending habits, phone number, address, credit card, browsing habits, and email address become the new price for using the Internet as a consumer?
posted by Brilliantcrank on Sep 5, 2000 - 3 comments

Amazon's new privacy policy

Amazon's new privacy policy makes any information you give them a saleable asset. I could have sworn that I saw a link to Amazon's new policy here on MeFi, but now I can't find it. Anyway, when I saw the link my first question was how the old and new policies differed. Then a friend pointed me at this CNNfn article. Whaddy think? Gives me the creeps...
posted by silusGROK on Sep 4, 2000 - 4 comments

"Keeping track of the kids is easy

"Keeping track of the kids is easy in this smart kidswear concept which incorporates GPS-driven locators and miniature camera's allowing parents to ensure they're safe, while a computer game console worn on the sleeve keeps the kids happy." As a parent, I would pay any price to avoid actually watching or playing with my child. Where do I order?
posted by rcade on Aug 16, 2000 - 20 comments

Wish I'd Said That Dept.

Wish I'd Said That Dept.
If the privacy-invaders are going to collect so much information on me, why can't they seem to USE IT?
posted by wendell on Jul 21, 2000 - 4 comments

It is time for Louis Freeh to lose his job.

It is time for Louis Freeh to lose his job. Carnivore, indeed. This has got to stop.
posted by baylink on Jul 16, 2000 - 10 comments

Fresh net-privacy hell.

Fresh net-privacy hell.
posted by aflakete on Jul 11, 2000 - 12 comments

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