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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

Oh no you did NOT post that picture to Facebook!!!

"Relationships are hard enough. But the rise of social media — where sharing private moments is encouraged, and provocative and confessional postings can help build a following — has created a new source of friction for couples: what is fair game for sharing with the world?" (NYT)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Apr 26, 2012 - 51 comments

Worker bees can leave. Even drones can fly away. The Queen is their slave.

It is well known that the US military and their allies use unmanned aerial drones overseas in wars and other operations. But there are also hundreds in operation here in the U.S., according to records the Federal Aviation Administration has recently released. Local police departments already have used them in SWAT situations, and the Department of Homeland Security has given the green light for them to deploy a drone helicopter that can supposedly taze suspects from above as well as carrying 12-gauge shotguns and grenade launchersas well as providing surveillance. Congress has paved the way for as many as 30,000 drones in the skies over the US by 2020, which has privacy advocates alarmed. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has created a map with all of the organizations that have permits to use drones within the confines of the US. [more inside]
posted by crunchland on Apr 24, 2012 - 93 comments

CISPA

The Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) is a controversial surveillance bill that proposes broad legal exemptions for the U.S. government and private companies to share "cyber threat intelligence" that go well beyond the FISA Amendments Act which legalized the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Apr 23, 2012 - 79 comments

Wirele$$tap

These Are The Prices AT&T, Verizon and Sprint Charge For Cellphone Wiretaps. After a flurry of public records requests to over 200 police departments, the ACLU has obtained a trove of documents detailing police tracking of cell phone location, call logs and more, including a price list for subscriber information from every major US carrier. [more inside]
posted by indubitable on Apr 3, 2012 - 35 comments

Supreme Court Gives Officers Unlimited Strip Search Power

In admitting that they have no expertise in running a corrections system, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that officers have unfettered authority to conduct full strip searches of any arrested individual, even for the most minor of offenses and in situations where officers lack any suspicion of contraband. The ruling comes days after the NY Times ran an analysis suggesting that the current supreme court is the most conservative court in modern history.
posted by GnomeChompsky on Apr 2, 2012 - 78 comments

"And with millions of chicks checking in daily, there's never been a better time to be on the hunt...."

A column by John Brownlee over at Cult of Mac yesterday highlighted his privacy concerns about the app Girls Around Me -- which used a mashup of FourSquare check-ins, Google Maps and Facebook public profile information to show the user women who were nearby. In response to the story, Foursquare cut off the app's API access to their data, effectively knocking it out of commission. CNET: How to prevent friends checking you into locations at Facebook Places. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 31, 2012 - 99 comments

The News Corporation scandals

Murdoch's Scandal - Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider) has investigated News Corporation for PBS Frontline [transcript]. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air [transcript]. But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK and Australia. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 28, 2012 - 58 comments

Your Kinect Is Watching You

The amazing, disturbing things your gaming console can learn about you. Consider the Kinect, the Microsoft console that sold 8 million units in its first 60 days of release. This inexpensive, book-sized panel has the ability to create a realistic, virtual likeness of the player. In doing so, it creates a delightful interface to play games—instead of hitting a button to kick a ball, you kick your foot and the digital character on screen mimics your movements. How does the Kinect produce this dazzling immersive experience? By capturing every move you make.
posted by Strass on Mar 7, 2012 - 43 comments

Background Check for the Digital Age

Employers and colleges are now asking applicants for their Facebook logins and passwords in an attempt to get around privacy settings.
posted by reenum on Mar 6, 2012 - 173 comments

Global Village People

Is Privacy Dead? A conversation. "For the entirety of human history, we have operated on small scales and in relative anonymity. Our words are heard by the few people close to us and most are quickly forgotten. We walk down the street without passers-by knowing our names or history. The internet has started to change that. Our words and actions can easily be shared with billions of people around the globe and archived indefinitely. The details of our lives can be found simply by typing our name into Google. We need to understand the risks of this type of technology so that we can fully gain its benefits. We need protections, both technical and legal, so that a small mistake cannot devastate our lives. We also need education to help us function in a world where privacy is no longer the natural state of being."
posted by Sebmojo on Mar 4, 2012 - 34 comments

Eleventh Circuit Protects Right to Encrypt Data

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit ruled yesterday [.pdf] that a citizen's refusal to decrypt encrypted drives is protected by the Fifth Amendment, at least under some circumstances. In doing so it reversed the district court's contempt order entered against a John Doe defendant after he refused to decrypt his laptop hard drive and five external hard drives in response to a subpoena. This decision arguably conflicts with an earlier decision in which a district court in Vermont required a defendant to provide the password to his encrypted drives. The Eleventh Circuit distinguishes the earlier case on the basis that the government in that case knew of the existence of the files and simply couldn't access them, while in the recent case the government did not know the names of files or even whether or not files actually existed on the encrypted drives.
posted by monju_bosatsu on Feb 24, 2012 - 89 comments

Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights

"The Obama Administration today unveiled a Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights as part of a comprehensive blueprint to protect individual privacy rights and give users more control over how their information is handled." Full 62-page PDF - Consumer Data Privacy in a Networked World: A Framework for Protecting Privacy and Promoting Innovation in the Global Digital Economy. "In addition, advertising networks announced that leading Internet companies and online advertising networks are committing to act on Do Not Track technology in most major web browsers to make it easier for users to control online tracking. Companies that represent the delivery of nearly 90 percent of online behavioral advertisements, including Google, Yahoo!, Microsoft, and AOL have agreed to comply when consumers choose to control online tracking. Companies that make this commitment will be subject to FTC enforcement." [more inside]
posted by cashman on Feb 23, 2012 - 30 comments

If you have nothing to hide, why do you have curtains on your windows?

How to Remove Your Google Search History Before Google's New Privacy Policy Takes Effect on 1 March If you want to keep Google from combining your Web History with the data they have gathered about you in their other products, such as YouTube or Google Plus, you may want to remove all items from your Web History and stop your Web History from being recorded in the future.
posted by Sebmojo on Feb 22, 2012 - 76 comments

Data Mining Your Secrets

How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did (excerpt from How Companies Learn Your Secrets (single page))
posted by meowzilla on Feb 16, 2012 - 121 comments

They don't just know where you are, but your friends too

Social apps 'harvest smartphone contacts'. While this may not come as a surprise to many, the fact that apps such as Twitter and Instagram will take the addresses from your contacts list and store them, sometimes unencrypted, has become enough of a story that two members of the US congress have sent a letter to Apple about its apps and how they access personal data. [more inside]
posted by Megami on Feb 16, 2012 - 125 comments

Fraley v. Facebook: Social Media, Privacy, and the Law

"The Fraley plaintiffs sued Facebook, alleging that its 'Sponsored Stories' feature, which displays ads on Facebook containing the names and pictures of users who have 'Liked' a product, violated California’s Right of Publicity statute. The statute forbids the commercial use of an individual’s name or likeness without consent. Integral to the plaintiffs’ claim was the assertion they had been injured because they were “celebrities” to their Facebook friends, such that their endorsements of the products in the Sponsored Stories held economic value—economic value that they were deprived of when Facebook published their Stories without their consent." - Famous for Fifteen People (Stanford Law Review): Celebrity, Newsworthiness, and Fraley v. Facebook (Citizen Media Law Project)
posted by wikipedia brown boy detective on Feb 10, 2012 - 10 comments

So Do My Heroes

The State cannot demean their existence or control their destiny by making their private sexual conduct a crime. Their right to liberty under the Due Process Clause gives them the full right to engage in their conduct without intervention of the government. - Justice Anthony Kennedy
John Geddes Lawrence, the defendant in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case that declared sodomy laws unconstitutional across the country, died on Nov. 20, according to an obituary posted by R.S. Farmer Funeral Home in Silsbee, Texas. He was 68. [more inside]
posted by rtha on Dec 28, 2011 - 33 comments

Every single day. Every game you play. Every click you make....

The concept behind VoyURL is simple: A browser plugin records your every click, which you can then choose to share publicly in a real-time feed. Their website analyzes and shows you your online history in customized infographics, to identify patterns, recommend content and help you learn more about the way you use the internet. You can see the browsing history of all users in one giant timeline or follow a specific user. The service is currently in beta, but you can slip in here or here. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Dec 16, 2011 - 35 comments

Hi Pirate!

"Hi Pirate! We got you! (In our database). You like torrents, don’t you? At least someone in your house does. It looks like you are from United States ..."
posted by jbickers on Dec 12, 2011 - 68 comments

Malls track shoppers' cell phones on Black Friday

Shopper Stalking: Starting on Black Friday and running through New Year's Day, two U.S. malls -- Promenade Temecula in southern California and Short Pump Town Center in Richmond, Va. -- will track guests' movements by monitoring the signals from their cell phones. "It's just not invasive of privacy," said Stephanie Shriver-Engdahl, vice president of digital strategy for Forest City. "There are no risks to privacy, so I don't see why anyone would opt out." (Consumers can opt out by turning off their phones.)
posted by Blake on Nov 23, 2011 - 153 comments

What's black and white and red all over(drive)?

Why Might A Publisher Pull Its eBooks From Libraries? PaidContent takes a look at Penguin's recent move to pull all of its titles from Overdrive's public library ebook program, a program that even some librarians are upset about.
posted by Toekneesan on Nov 22, 2011 - 33 comments

Facebook as Malware

Facebook has been criticized repeatedly for how it treats its users' privacy (this topic is not a stranger to MeFi), but with the introduction of OpenGraph (previously) earlier this year, some are arguing that Facebook has gone beyond general privacy concerns and has become Malware.

Now, we've shown that Facebook promotes captive content on its network ahead of content on the web, prohibits users from bringing open content into their network, warns users not to visit web content, and places obstacles in front of visits to web sites even if they've embraced Facebook's technologies and registered in Facebook's centralized database of sites on the web. [more inside]
posted by Kimberly on Nov 22, 2011 - 79 comments

"In almost all cases it is not possible to bring a civil action against" a website that hosts your nude images posted without your consent.

This past July, Forbes blogger Kashmir Hill posted a three-part series about "online defamation and involuntary nudity." The first entry focused on an offender: Hunter Moore, owner of IsAnyoneUp.com (Link is NSFW.) The second entry focused on a victim: Paul Syiek, whose company was defamed by a disgruntled ex-employee on the consumer website Rip-off Report. The third profiled a Senior Copyright attorney at Microsoft, Colette Vogele, who co-founded a side project this year to help victims: WithoutMyConsent.org. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 13, 2011 - 53 comments

When Bots Socialize for Fame and Money

The Socialbot Network - A UBC study suggests that many Facebook users will friend total strangers. Researchers said they collected 250 gigabytes of information from Facebook users by using socialbots — fake Facebook profiles created and controlled by computer code (sic). The researchers said they got the approval of UBC’s behavioural research ethics board. The data they collected was encrypted and anonymized and deleted after they completed their data analysis. [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Nov 6, 2011 - 65 comments

Espionage

There is a growing realization that U.S. cyberwar efforts resemble all its other 'war' rhetoric in being a boondogle aimed primarily at limiting its own citizens civil rights. China's breathlessly vaunted capsbilities are "fairly rudimentary" in particular (pdf, campus, previously).
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 1, 2011 - 108 comments

Government surveillance changes in India

Research In Motion has established a surveillance facility in India following a authorities applying pressure. Google, Skype, Twitter and Facebook are also under pressure to provide greater surveillance assistance. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 30, 2011 - 26 comments

Google, Wyden, Kirk, and Chaffetz

American law enforcement demands for Google users’ personal information surged by 29 percent during the past six months according to Google's transparency report. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 29, 2011 - 41 comments

Opt-out?

Visa and MasterCard have decided to start selling information about your purchasing history to advertisers. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Oct 26, 2011 - 111 comments

Disconnect co-founder: 'People will pay for tools to protect privacy'

Facebook Disconnect co-founder: 'People will pay for tools to protect privacy'
posted by nam3d on Oct 18, 2011 - 58 comments

All I want is to be left alone in my average home... But why do I always feel I'm in the twilight zone?

In August 2011, 35 ACLU affiliates filed 381 requests in 32 states with local law enforcement agencies seeking to uncover when, why and how they are using cell phone location data to track Americans. So how long do American cell phone carriers retain information about your calls, text messages, and data use? According to data gathered by the US Department of Justice, it can be as little as a few days or up to seven years, depending on your provider. (Via / More)
posted by zarq on Oct 9, 2011 - 27 comments

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