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Lucy Kellaway's 'History of Office Life'

A series of BBC News Magazine articles on the office as workplace: (i) How the office was invented; (ii) The ancient Chinese exam that inspired modern job recruitment (previously); (iii) The invention of the career ladder; (iv) The arrival of women in the office; (v) Do we still need the telephone?; (vi) Are there too many managers?; (vii) The era of the sexually charged office; (viii) The decline of privacy in open-plan offices; (ix) How the computer changed the office forever and (x) Why did offices become like the home?—by columnist Lucy Kellaway. [more inside]
posted by misteraitch on Aug 2, 2013 - 22 comments

"Promises to get data retention, privacy policies in place later."

On July 30th, the Oakland City Council unanimously voted to accept $2 million in federal funds to create a 24/7 "Domain Awareness Center" that would "link surveillance cameras, license-plate readers, gunshot detectors, Twitter feeds, alarm notifications and other data into a unified 'situational awareness' tool for law enforcement." [more inside]
posted by brundlefly on Aug 1, 2013 - 53 comments

If your suffering leads to our suffering, you may be liable for damages.

The new documentary "Terms And Conditions May Apply," about the privacy overreach of major tech companies, presents its trailer on a cleverly written page of terms and conditions.
posted by mark7570 on Jul 11, 2013 - 11 comments

Why not?

After a six-month hiatus, Surveillance Camera Man (previously) is back with a new video, and a site of his own. (via waxy) [more inside]
posted by progosk on Jul 11, 2013 - 55 comments

Mail Covers for everybody.

Concerned about privacy and government surveillance? Not even snail-mail is safe: With Mail Isolation Control and Tracking, the US Postal Service is now photographing the exterior of every piece of paper mail in the United States, and storing the data indefinitely.
posted by anemone of the state on Jul 3, 2013 - 100 comments

Alternatives to Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, etc.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored by the FBI and NSA, with Dropbox "coming soon." So what can you do? Use some alternatives. As Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo, told NPR: "we made the choice to just not track people so there is nothing to turn over."
posted by filthy light thief on Jun 26, 2013 - 118 comments

At least you know it's recording...

The end of Summer 2013 should see the release of Memoto, a wearable camera that takes a picture of what's in front of you every thirty seconds 24/7. Billed as an unobtrusive observer for lifebloggers, it is also being touted as a legal witness and an alibi provider. An interview that asks Memoto's CEO about privacy. (warning: interview filmed in shaky-cam)
posted by Tell Me No Lies on Jun 23, 2013 - 38 comments

Privacy in an age of publicity

The Secret History of Privacy. "Something creepy happened when mystery became secular, secrecy became a technology, and privacy became a right..." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 17, 2013 - 26 comments

The Challenge to European Data Rights

The Council of the European Union recently released a proposal to amend the General Data Protection Regulation. Scaling back from becoming the most strict privacy regulation in the world, the amendment greatly favors corporate interests while reducing the rights of data subjects. [more inside]
posted by ChipT on Jun 17, 2013 - 8 comments

I do not expect to see home again.

I will be satisfied if the federation of secret law, unequal pardon and irresistible executive powers that rule the world that I love are revealed even for an instant."
posted by bitmage on Jun 9, 2013 - 1038 comments

Where Looks Don’t Matter and Only the Best Writers Get Laid

How the feminist internet utopia failed, and we ended up with speculative realism. Contemporary mass culture equates anonymity with secrecy or downright negative intent, not harmless experimentation. Who lies about who they are online? Pedophiles, scammers, hackers, bullies, Wikileaks. Anonymity has turned from thrilling to terrifying. 1:1 self-to-body ratio is a moral mandate. It’s no wonder that nailing down objective reality seems so attractive.
posted by Cash4Lead on Jun 7, 2013 - 34 comments

A bad day for privacy.

Washington Post: NSA and FBI are mining data from nine major tech companies in formerly secret program. Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube, Apple are being monitored, with Dropbox "coming soon". The program, called PRISM, is reportedly the most prolific contributor to the President's Daily Brief.
posted by brentajones on Jun 6, 2013 - 415 comments

The FBI, the NSA and your phone records in 2013.

Glenn Greenwald has produced a secret court order requiring Verizon to hand over to the NSA "telephony metadata" of all local and international calls either originating or terminating in the United States on an "ongoing, daily basis," and further barring Verizon from disclosing to the public the fulfillment of this request or the existence of the court order itself. The ACLU refers to the practice as "beyond Orwellian." Direct link to the court order available here. [more inside]
posted by phaedon on Jun 6, 2013 - 488 comments

Inside joke! Obscure meme reference!

The Pew Internet And American Life Project has a new report out on Teens, Social Media, and Privacy. danah boyd comments:
My favorite finding of Pew’s is that 58% of teens cloak their messages either through inside jokes or other obscure references, with more older teens (62%) engaging in this practice than younger teens (46%).
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 5, 2013 - 51 comments

"The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed"

Photographer Arne Svenson has sparked a bit of controversy with his recent show "The Neighbors," about which he says, "I turned to the residents of a glass-walled apartment building across the street from my NYC studio. The Neighbors don’t know they are being photographed; I carefully shoot from the shadows of my home into theirs. I am not unlike the birder, quietly waiting for hours, watching for the flutter of a hand or the movement of a curtain as an indication that there is life within." [more inside]
posted by taz on May 17, 2013 - 323 comments

Based on your history, we know you are interested in cephalopods.

I turned around to face an approaching figure. It was Larry Page, naked, save for a pair of eyeglasses. “Welcome to Google Island. I hope my nudity doesn’t bother you. We’re completely committed to openness here. Search history. Health data. Your genetic blueprint. One way to express this is by removing clothes to foster experimentation. It’s something I learned at Burning Man,” he said.
posted by Horace Rumpole on May 17, 2013 - 30 comments

Facebook Home. Universally unpopular?

Facebook Software Updates in Real Life: Parody [SYTL 2min 20sec] 'Facebook Updates in Real Life' illustrates that not all of the mobile user base is happy with the current 'Facebook Home' improvements. [more inside]
posted by Faintdreams on May 14, 2013 - 53 comments

Some big Internet companies, privacy, and the government

EFF's Who Has Your Back? for 2013. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published the 2013 edition of their analysis of how well your private data is protected from the government by about a dozen big internet companies. Also available as pdf. Focused on the US, but may apply elsewhere, too.
posted by at home in my head on May 1, 2013 - 13 comments

Dystopian Future (and present)

Panopticon is a documentary which details how our concept of privacy is altered by the modern surveillance state.
posted by antonymous on Apr 30, 2013 - 12 comments

Transcript of secret meeting between Julian Assange and Eric Schmidt

On the 23 of June, 2011 a secret five hour meeting took place between WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, who was under house arrest in rural UK at the time and Google CEO Eric Schmidt. We provide here a verbatim transcript of the majority of the meeting; a close reading, particularly of the latter half, is revealing.
[more inside]
posted by palbo on Apr 25, 2013 - 40 comments

"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

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