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"what kind of surveillance society we should be fighting for"

Practical Ethics: Enlightened Surveillance?
Surrendering on surveillance might be the least bad option – of all likely civil liberty encroachments, this seemed the less damaging and hardest to resist. But that’s an overly defensive way of phrasing it – if ubiquitous surveillance and lack of privacy are the trends of the future, we shouldn’t just begrudgingly accept them, but demand that society gets the most possible out of them.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Apr 18, 2013 - 23 comments

 

ReCISPA

The TechNet trade association has been lobbying for CISPA, a bill the EFF describes as a “misguided cybersecurity bill that would create a gaping exception to existing privacy law while doing little to address palpable and pressing online security issues” (previously). Google's Eric Schmidt signed TechNet's letter supporting CISPA. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 17, 2013 - 67 comments

IRS Claims Authority to Read Your E-Mail Without A Warrant

The ACLU reports that the IRS claims in an internal document that it has the authority to access citizens' online communications without a warrant. The IRS claimed in a 2009 document that "the Fourth Amendment does not protect communications held in electronic storage, such as email messages stored on a server, because internet users do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications." It still retains that position even after the 2010 case of US v Warshak which determined that citizens have a reasonable expectation of privacy in such communications. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Apr 11, 2013 - 50 comments

First Person Shooter

When it hits you, no matter how much you expect it, it comes as a surprise — a literal shock, like a baseball bat swung hard and squarely into the small of your back. That sensation — which is actually two sharp steel barbs piercing your skin and shooting electricity into your central nervous system — is followed by the harshest, most violent charlie horse you can imagine coursing through your entire body. With the pain comes the terrifying awareness that you are completely helpless. You cannot move. You lose control of almost everything and the only place you can go is down, face first to the floor. That’s what it feels like to be hit with a Taser.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Apr 5, 2013 - 74 comments

Home, my Facebook's taking me Home, my Facebook's taking me Home

Facebook announces Facebook Home, a layer of apps for Android that turns your phone into a Facebook hub. The Verge has a review with pictures – they seem to like it. But Om Malik fears that Facebook Home destroys any notion of privacy for its users:
So if your phone doesn’t move from a single location between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. for say a week or so, Facebook can quickly deduce the location of your home. Facebook will be able to pinpoint on a map where your home is, whether you share your personal address with the site or not. It can start to build a bigger and better profile of you on its servers. It can start to correlate all of your relationships, all of the places you shop, all of the restaurants you dine in and other such data. The data from accelerometer inside your phone could tell it if you are walking, running or driving. As Zuckerberg said — unlike the iPhone and iOS, Android allows Facebook to do whatever it wants on the platform, and that means accessing the hardware as well.

posted by Rory Marinich on Apr 5, 2013 - 183 comments

"Most of the big chains are trying video analytics"

How stores spy on you: Many retailers are snooping more than ever Gaze trackers are hidden in tiny holes in the shelving and detect which brands you’re looking at and how long for each. There are even mannequins whose eyes are cameras...Cisco is testing a system [that] automatically detects your mobile device and connects you to the retailer’s free Wi-Fi network. "Once the customer gets on the network, he has opted in, and the privacy concerns are allayed..." [via] [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Mar 28, 2013 - 51 comments

Why the collision of big data and privacy will require a new realpolitik

Why the collision of big data and privacy will require a new realpolitik:
The paper, entitled Unique in the Crowd: The privacy bounds of human mobility, took an anonymized dataset from an unidentified mobile operator containing call information for around 1.5 million users over 14 months. The purpose of the study was to figure out how many data points — based on time and location — were needed to identify individual users. The answer, for 95 percent of the “anonymous” users logged in that database, was just four.

posted by stoneweaver on Mar 26, 2013 - 17 comments

You Are What You See

Google Glasses are being tested by tech writers as we speak. But are they a good thing? The long awaited Project Glass is nearly here. There are articles about them here, here, and here among many others. But is it a good thing? Questions are being asked both about safety and about privacy. Everything good, bad and ugly about the online world is about to get more intense. Are you ready?
posted by BillW on Mar 25, 2013 - 218 comments

The Internet is a surveillance state

Welcome to a world where Google knows exactly what sort of porn you all like, and more about your interests than your spouse does.
posted by T.D. Strange on Mar 16, 2013 - 70 comments

The Files Will Get Out

Mitt Romney's damning '47 Percent' video and the new politics of privacy
posted by Artw on Mar 14, 2013 - 112 comments

Cypherpunk Rising

Cypherpunk rising: WikiLeaks, encryption, and the coming surveillance dystopia by R. U. Sirius. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 9, 2013 - 40 comments

Right to privacy

The Arkansas House voted today to override Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe’s veto of the earliest abortion ban in the nation, 12 weeks of pregnancy, just weeks after voting to override a similar veto on a law banning abortions after 20 weeks. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 6, 2013 - 63 comments

Student Data to Be Legally Given (and then Sold) to Capitalist Ventures

via Reuters A joint venture sponsored in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a vast student database including personal information on students grades K through 12 will be shared with corporations selling "personalized" educational software. Information can include social security numbers, presence of learning disabliities, or anything else school officials choose to share with any companies involved in this venture.
posted by DMelanogaster on Mar 6, 2013 - 88 comments

Privacy vs. Pseudonymity

"Pop quiz: what is the favorite social networking site of Americans under age 25? If you guessed Facebook you are way behind the eight-ball, because Tumblr now enjoys more regular visits from the youth of America." Tumblr is not what you think. "Tumblr provides its users with the oldest privacy-control strategy on the Internet: security through obscurity and multiple pseudonymity [... it] proves that the issue is less about public vs. private and more about whether you are findable and identifiable by people who actually know you in real life."
posted by Rory Marinich on Feb 19, 2013 - 78 comments

U.S. Chamber of Commerce influence in European Parlement

E.U. Data Protection Directive has many proposed amendments that MEPs cut and pasted directly from American right-wing lobbyists group and ALEC member the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (previously). [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Feb 12, 2013 - 25 comments

"It's the biggest privacy breach in our time, and it’s legal"

Your employer may share your salary, and Equifax might sell that data. "The Equifax credit reporting agency, with the aid of thousands of human resource departments around the country, has assembled what may be the most powerful and thorough private database of Americans’ personal information ever created, containing 190 million employment and salary records covering more than one-third of U.S. adults. Some of the information in the little-known database, created through an Equifax-owned company called The Work Number, is sold to debt collectors, financial service companies and other entities."
posted by coupdefoudre on Jan 31, 2013 - 39 comments

Mark Zuckerberg's Hoodie

It is June 2, 2010 and Mark Zuckerberg is sweating. He’s wearing his hoodie—he’s always wearing his hoodie—and he’s on stage and either the lights or the questions are too hot. … “Do you want to take off the hoodie?” asks Kara Swisher.
“I never take off the hoodie.”
The varied cultural resonances of an unassuming garment.
posted by the mad poster! on Jan 29, 2013 - 157 comments

"Islamic men interested in men who live in Tehran"

Actual Facebook Graph Searches.
posted by spitefulcrow on Jan 22, 2013 - 70 comments

The world is a better place with you in it, Clarice

At last night's Golden Globe Awards, actress Jodie Foster was presented with the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement award. During her speech, the notoriously private actress touched on the very notion of privacy, her sexuality, and the difficulty of being a public person with a normal life. Reactions have been mixed. [more inside]
posted by mudpuppie on Jan 14, 2013 - 205 comments

Facebook: human decency optional

Facebook's privacy settings even confuse former Facebook marketing director Randi Zuckerberg.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Dec 26, 2012 - 55 comments

Do Not Disturb: Grandma’s Having Sex

Adults over 50 are the fastest growing demographic for online dating sites, according to a recently [sic] study from UCLA’s department of psychology. Yet while older adults often value companionship over passion and marriage, experts say frisky behavior by seniors should never be underestimated. “I hesitate to generalize that they’re only having gentle, intimate moments,” says Melanie Davis, co-president of the national Sexuality and Aging Consortium. “Older adults can have really hot sex.” But not, typically, in long-term care facilities.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey on Dec 21, 2012 - 34 comments

You’re not anonymous

Sumit Suman recently visited a site, did not sign up for anything, did not connect via social media, but got a personal email from the site the next day. Here’s how they did it.
posted by Foci for Analysis on Dec 12, 2012 - 52 comments

Nothing to hide?

Why Privacy Matters, Even If You Have Nothing To Hide, by Daniel J. Solove
The nothing-to-hide argument pervades discussions about privacy. The data-security expert Bruce Schneier calls it the "most common retort against privacy advocates." ... To evaluate the nothing-to-hide argument, we should begin by looking at how its adherents understand privacy. Nearly every law or policy involving privacy depends upon a particular understanding of what privacy is. The way problems are conceived has a tremendous impact on the legal and policy solutions used to solve them.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Dec 9, 2012 - 67 comments

Know your product? No, You're Product!

The European Commission is resisting pressure from US firms and public bodies designed to derail its privacy proposals, which include a limited 'right to be forgotten' that would allow users to demand their data be removed from Internet sites. Facebook claims it would actually harm privacy by requiring social media sites to perform extra tracking to remove data which has been copied to other sites. Google says it's unworkable. Others say it would be a threat to the American right to free speech. Big Data hates the idea because privacy is bad. Meanwhile, advertising may soon follow you from one device to the next -- privately. (Via) [more inside]
posted by Mezentian on Dec 6, 2012 - 52 comments

If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to fear.

Facewatch is the National low level crime reporting and image sharing system for businesses. (Vimeo)

One UK-based firm has combined facial recognition and CCTV technology to give businesses the ability to identify and track "repeat offenders" on-site. With endorsements from Philadelphia's police commissioner, the Chief Crown Prosecutor of London and Crimestoppers among others, the technology gotten its fair share of press. (And yes, there's an app for that.)
posted by beaucoupkevin on Nov 20, 2012 - 19 comments

The age of the password has come to an end...

Mat Honan of Wired has a covetableTwitter username (@mat). Recently hackers tore his digital world apart in an attempt to commandeer it. Now he reflects: The age of the password has come to an end; we just haven’t realized it yet. And no one has figured out what will take its place. What we can say for sure is this: Access to our data can no longer hinge on secrets—a string of characters, 10 strings of characters, the answers to 50 questions—that only we’re supposed to know. The Internet doesn’t do secrets. Everyone is a few clicks away from knowing everything.
posted by rongorongo on Nov 16, 2012 - 75 comments

Directions to Last Visitor

Directions to Last Visitor is an online installation by Charles Broskoski. (via)
posted by shakespeherian on Nov 13, 2012 - 20 comments

Just taking a video.

Surveillance Camera Man (SL Vimeo) is a man who acts like a surveillance camera. However, he is not ceiling-mounted like most surveillance cameras. He takes video of people in public and private places. Most people have a problem with him, creating conflict. One person actually likes him.
posted by ignignokt on Oct 29, 2012 - 68 comments

Verizon: Can you track me now?

Verizon draws fire for monitoring app usage, browsing habits: Verizon Wireless has begun selling information about its customers' geographical locations, app usage, and Web browsing activities. 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." [more inside]
posted by jaduncan on Oct 16, 2012 - 19 comments

Do not fold, bend, spindle, or mutilate

Schools in Missouri, Maryland, and other states are using fingerprint scans and RFID chips to track students as a means to speed up service in the cafeteria and to track student whereabouts in and around school. [more inside]
posted by gauche on Oct 16, 2012 - 83 comments

To the heavens and hell

If I Fly a UAV Over My Neighbor's House, Is It Trespassing? "The wide availability of UAV technology (combined with HD video) scrambles my sense of what is right. Specifically, it points out how much of our sense of privacy is intimately connected up with our expectations of our property rights. Drones - as flying, seeing objects - scramble our 2D sense of property boundaries, and along the way, make privacy much more complicated." [more inside]
posted by paleyellowwithorange on Oct 12, 2012 - 67 comments

Plurality

Plurality... in 2023, the Grid knows who you are and where you go at all times. A short near future sci-fi movie (15 min).
posted by crunchland on Oct 4, 2012 - 23 comments

Electronic surveillance skyrockets in the US

The Justice Department, after a legal battle with the ACLU to avoid having to admit it, recently released documents showing that the federal government’s use of warrantless “pen register” and “tap and trace” surveillance has multiplied over the past decade. But the Justice Department is small potatoes. Every day, the NSA intercepts and stores 1.7 billion emails, phone calls, texts, and other electronic communications. [more inside]
posted by Sleeper on Oct 3, 2012 - 82 comments

Nymwar. Nymwar never changes.

Facebook takes the next step in the Nymwars [background explaination link]: now FB now actively prompts your friends to anonymously snitch on your use of the 'wrong' name/nym accounts.
posted by jaduncan on Sep 22, 2012 - 131 comments

WoW indeed

Steganographic information (account ID, a timestamp and the IP address of the current realm) is secretly embedded in World of Warcraft screen shots. Via Schneier.
posted by unSane on Sep 13, 2012 - 34 comments

use value vs. exchange value

What Is Value? What Is Money? (via via) [more inside]
posted by kliuless on Sep 1, 2012 - 15 comments

The effects of modern mapping

How Google and Apple's digital mapping is mapping us "Digital maps on smartphones are brilliantly useful tools, but what sort of information do they gather about us – and how do they shape the way we look at the world?"
posted by peacay on Aug 29, 2012 - 44 comments

The Bully Pulpit

Late last month, after vocally anti-gay evangelical author and blogger Jonathan Merritt's essay defending Chick-Fil-A appeared in The Atlantic, Azariah Southworth outed Merritt on his blog. An interview with Merritt about his sexual orientation. Follow-up column from Southworth: Why I outed a Christian star. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 13, 2012 - 237 comments

Fault Lines: Controlling the Web

In Fault Lines: Controlling the Web, the Al Jazeera English documentary series Fault Lines, "looks at the fight for control of the web, life in the digital age and the threat to cyber freedom, asking if US authorities are increasingly trying to regulate user freedoms in the name of national and economic security."
posted by ob1quixote on Aug 9, 2012 - 3 comments

TS;DR

Terms of Service; Didn't Read examines ToS and Privacy Policies for you, rating them from a user rights perspective.
posted by Memo on Aug 8, 2012 - 13 comments

Tell The Man to get out of your Face(book)

Illinois (joining Maryland) bans employers from requesting applicant or employee social networking passwords. [more inside]
posted by Eyebrows McGee on Aug 1, 2012 - 65 comments

In the Public Interest....

Earlier this year, six scientists and doctors filed a lawsuit against the US Food and Drug Administration alleging that the FDA had secretly monitored their personal e-mail accounts after they (legally) warned Congress that the "agency was approving medical devices that they believed posed unacceptable risks to patients." The agency said it had done so to "investigate allegations that the employees had leaked confidential information to the public." At the time, the FDA indicated their computer monitoring was limited to five scientists. But now, the New York Times is reporting that "what began as a narrow investigation" "quickly grew in mid-2010 into a much broader campaign to counter outside critics of the agency’s medical review process.". [more inside]
posted by zarq on Jul 15, 2012 - 29 comments

If you've got nothing to hide

"Now we have three former NSA officials confirming the basic facts. Neither the Constitution nor federal law allow the government to collect massive amounts of communications and data of innocent Americans and fish around in it in case it might find something interesting. This kind of power is too easily abused. We're extremely pleased that more whistleblowers have come forward to help end this massive spying program." - the EFF announces that three former employees of the NSA have come forward to testify in their lawsuit against the NSA over the domestic spying program.
posted by crayz on Jul 8, 2012 - 31 comments

Don't You Know Who I Am?

In 2011 Malaysia Airlines introduced what is believed to be the world's first airline integration with Facebook. In February Air France KLM announced its Meet And Seat program, allowing customers to scan other passengers' social media profiles. to select or reject seatmates. (Previously). It prompted safety and privacy concerns, while others said it showed how a company "gets" social media. In June airBaltic announced it would trial SeatBuddy to make trips more pleasant by seating like-minded people next to each other. Now, British Airways has decided to use the Internet to create dossiers on its customers, including using Google images to find pictures of passengers so that staff can approach them as they arrive at the terminal or plane. The Know Me service will initially be limited to first class passengers and other 'captains of industry'. So-called 'social seating' is part of an emerging trend to marry data-mining with customer service.
posted by Mezentian on Jul 7, 2012 - 79 comments

The Holy Grail of Publishing - Metrics!

Your e-book is reading you. How publishers are using e-books to gain valuable information about consumers.
posted by antonymous on Jul 2, 2012 - 69 comments

Challenging the Surveillance State

"If the government is able to learn what we speak about, and know who we're talking to, and know what it is that we're planning, it makes any kind of activism extremely difficult, because secrecy and privacy are prerequisites to effective activism. "
Glenn Greenwald on challenging the surveillance state: (1 - 2 - 3 - 4).
posted by dunkadunc on Jul 1, 2012 - 48 comments

Cisco called, they want their Internet back

Introducing Cisco Connect Cloud! Now available mandatory for Linksys Smart Wi-Fi Routers, Cisco Connect Cloud gives you almost anybody anytime, anywhere access to your home network.
posted by flabdablet on Jun 30, 2012 - 67 comments

Abine Googlesharing

Stop data collection by Google: Abine introduces Googlesharing for Firefox [beta].
posted by Rykey on Jun 25, 2012 - 37 comments

"It may be easier to be private than anyone thinks," Patton says.

Meet Your Neighbor, Thomas Pynchon, From the November 11, 1996 issue of New York Magazine.
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 4, 2012 - 43 comments

UK Police to practice their own form of "phone hacking"

Met Police to extract suspects' mobile phone data [BBC] The Metropolitan Police, covering Greater London, are set to expand their search powers by making it standard practice to swipe contact details, call logs, and texts off of the mobile phones of anyone in custody - and retain that data - regardless of whether the suspect ends up charged with a crime or not. Clearly not everyone is over the moon about this, seeing it as the latest sign of the steady erosion of communications privacy in the UK and a potential breach of human rights law.
posted by LondonYank on May 17, 2012 - 43 comments

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