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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

Logging out of Facebook is not enough

Logging out of Facebook is not enough - Nik Cubrilovic demonstrates how, even after logging out, Facebook tracks every page you visit on sites that integrate Facebook services [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Sep 27, 2011 - 123 comments

Why the world is scared of hacktivists

They’re watching. And they can bring you down: Why the world is scared of hacktivists. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 25, 2011 - 94 comments

A Renegotiation of the Social Contract

Journalist Ben Hammersley gives the UK's cybersecurity specialists his view of how the Internet is changing the world: "We expect everything. And we expect it on our own terms."
posted by kristi on Sep 10, 2011 - 28 comments

you can have my nym when you pry it from my cold dead signature file

The "nymwars" rage on. Despite a passionate post on their own public policy blog earlier this year, outlining all of the reasons that Google is a strong supporter of the use of pseudonyms on the internet, Google is continuing to take an uncharacteristically draconian approach to the use of pseudonyms on Google+. Google+ users with pseudonyms not only risk losing access to Google+, but also access to other Google services including Picasa and Google Reader as well. Naturally, this is a significant inconvenience for users who are known primarily by their pseudonyms, and a more significant inconvenience to users who use pseudonyms to protect the physical safety of themselves and their families. [previously] [more inside]
posted by luvcraft on Aug 26, 2011 - 152 comments

Backdoor, yeah, yeah, snicker, snicker.

You may already be screwed. And not in the good way you were hoping for. MeFi kink favourite, FetLife has been ignoring a longstanding security and privacy compromise. (nsfw)
posted by rodgerd on Aug 9, 2011 - 63 comments

The logical conclusion of our relationship to computers: expectantly to type “what is the meaning of my life” into Google.

It’s for your own good—that is Google’s cherished belief. If we want the best possible search results, and if we want advertisements suited to our needs and desires, we must let them into our souls. James Gleick writes about 'How Google Dominates Us' for the New York Review of Books. [more inside]
posted by WalterMitty on Aug 1, 2011 - 61 comments

... and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has supposedly started holding closed door meetings on extending the FISA Amendment Act to again extend the NSA's domestic warrantless wiretapping program. [more inside]
posted by jeffburdges on Jul 28, 2011 - 38 comments

"...nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself..."

Public interests will be harmed absent requiring defendants to make available unencrypted contents in circumstances like these. Failing to compel Ms. Fricosu amounts to a concession to her and potential criminals (be it in child exploitation, national security, terrorism, financial crimes or drug trafficking cases) that encrypting all inculpatory digital evidence will serve to defeat the efforts of law enforcement officers to obtain such evidence through judicially authorized search warrants, and thus make their prosecution impossible.

The "if you were innocent, you'd have nothing to hide" argument rears its head, in a big way. [more inside]
posted by fifthrider on Jul 11, 2011 - 215 comments

The continued tragedy of Argentina's Dirty War

Ernestina Herrera de Noble heads up The Clarin Group and the Clarin newspaper (in Spanish), the largest in Argentina. She is the mother of two adopted children, Felipe and Marcela, heirs to the Clarin Group fortune. She has been a controversial figure for much of her life. Currently, her paper stands in staunch opposition to the administration of President Cristina Kirchner, who in 2009 successfully pushed through legislation forcing the Clarin group to sell off some of its holdings. President Kirchner recently announced she will be seeking a second term. However, Mrs. Herrera de Noble's legacy will probably rest on the suit brought against her by the Grandmothers of the Plaza del Mayo, forcing her children to submit DNA samples to ascertain whether they are the children of detainees killed by the military during Argentina’s “Dirty War”. The siblings and their mother have fought to avoid DNA testing, claiming it is a violation of their privacy, but there are families who claim that Felipe and Marcela are the natural born children of women pregnant when they were detained and subsequently disappeared. Ernestina insists that the adoptions were “legal”, and her children stand by her side. If a genetic link is proven to former detainees, Mrs. Herrera de Noble may face a criminal investigation.
posted by msali on Jun 22, 2011 - 30 comments

"F.B.I. Agents Get Leeway to Push Privacy Bounds"

The Federal Bureau of Investigation is giving significant new powers to its roughly 14,000 agents, allowing them more leeway to search databases, go through household trash or use surveillance teams to scrutinize the lives of people who have attracted their attention.
posted by Trurl on Jun 13, 2011 - 46 comments

"Personhood" laws and reproductive rights

45 years ago yesterday, the Supreme Court ruled in Griswold v. Connecticut that birth control (for married women) was legal and that the US Constitution guaranteed privacy to women seeking reproductive services. That privacy ruling was instrumental in subsequent cases [pdf]regarding the legality of birth control and pregnancy termination. And while many states are pushing through new termination restrictions; some states are now pushing through "Personhood" laws that grant constitutional rights to zygotes and fetuses. These laws ban abortion without exception, ban certain forms of birth control, ban in-vitro fertilization, and forbid the treatment of pregnancy complications such as ectopic pregnancies. The legislations are being marketed by a "Conceived by Rape" bus tour. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on Jun 9, 2011 - 121 comments

Selling doctors on patient gag orders

"It's completely unethical for doctors to force their patients to sign away their rights in order to get medical care." Ars Technica dissects doctor "privacy" agreements that seek to limit patients' ability to post online reviews by making them sign the copyright of any future reviews over to the doctor, in exchange for vague (and possibly illusory) extra privacy protection. Doctored Reviews offers info and tools for fighting "anti-review contracts," whose language comes primarily from an "anti-defamation protection program" sold by a company called Medical Justice. Sources quoted in the article express doubts that this kind of "privacy blackmail" would hold up in court, with some wondering if Medical Justice is actively deceiving doctors by selling them a product that won't work as advertised. [more inside]
posted by mediareport on May 24, 2011 - 30 comments

Every one a little lawyer.

“Watching the video I thought that it was wise of Major League Baseball to combine this sort of sentimental moment with mass speculative litigation. It kept brand values strong. I felt strangely grateful that I could have a moment to remember that afternoon. Surprised by the evidence of both copyright violation and father-daughter affection.” —Paul Ford, “Nanolaw with Daughter” [more inside]
posted by kipmanley on May 15, 2011 - 26 comments

That Syncing Feeling

Christopher Soghoian, who exposed the latest Facebook PR move, is now filing an FTC complaint (pdf) against Dropbox on the grounds that they gained unfair competitive advantage by lying about how files are encrypted and who has access to them. Dropbox explains how safe your files are.
posted by swift on May 13, 2011 - 44 comments

Egg on their Facebooks

Last Friday, USA Today reported that two people from PR firm Burson-Marsteller had been contacting various news outlets and bloggers, pushing a story about how Google's "Social Circle" gmail feature violates users' privacy. The pitch was made on behalf of an unnamed client that The Daily Beast now confirms was Facebook. [more inside]
posted by zarq on May 12, 2011 - 104 comments

GPS Tracking

Battle Brews Over FBI’s Warrantless GPS Tracking. How to Check Your Car for a GPS Tracker. FBI Vehicle-Tracking Device: The Teardown. Video: The Dissection of an FBI Bumper-Beeper. Previously.
posted by homunculus on May 9, 2011 - 81 comments

Ahoy, eh!

The Canadian Pirate Party is official, registered, and running 10-12 candidates in the current federal election. The recent debate over usage-based billing convinced at least one of its candidates of its potential appeal to voters. They are unabashedly an issue-based party, whose platform deals with intellectual property, privacy, net neutrality, and government access/openness. [more inside]
posted by kevinsp8 on Apr 20, 2011 - 13 comments

Big Steve is Watching You?

iPhones Found to Track Your Movements, Keep Record Security researchers have discovered that without any input from the user, iPhones permanently record the movements of their owners. Download an open-source app (Mac) here to reveal your own geo history.
posted by modernnomad on Apr 20, 2011 - 380 comments

Please step away from the cell phone, Sir.

Should Cops Be Allowed to Scan Your Phone During a Traffic Stop? In Michigan, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has filed a complaint [PDF letter here] alleging that Michigan State Police officers used forensic cellphone analyzers to snoop in drivers' cellphones during routine traffic stops. [Before they fulfill an ACLU FOIA request, the MSP wants a $272,340 deposit up front to cover their costs of retrieving analyzer data, which is obtained without the cellphone owner's knowledge.]
posted by cenoxo on Apr 19, 2011 - 97 comments

Can You See Me Now?

"The results were astounding. In a six-month period — from Aug 31, 2009, to Feb. 28, 2010, Deutsche Telekom had recorded and saved his longitude and latitude coordinates more than 35,000 times. It traced him from a train on the way to Erlangen at the start through to that last night, when he was home in Berlin. Mr. Spitz has provided a rare glimpse — an unprecedented one, privacy experts say — of what is being collected as we walk around with our phones."
posted by Scoop on Mar 26, 2011 - 45 comments

"She signed up a year ago, under the old privacy policy, and hasn't logged in since 2010. And now I know what dildo she uses."

In a move reminiscent of Facebooks Beacon program, Etsy's new People Search feature has exposed account details, including purchase histories and real names, of its buyers and sellers. Here's how to opt out.
posted by lalex on Mar 14, 2011 - 61 comments

Corporations, Don't Take It Personally

Today the Supreme Court in ruled 8-0 in FCC v. ATT that corporations have no "personal privacy" exemption under the Freedom of Information Act. The opinion ended the speculation that the Supreme Court would use this case to take yet another step towards equating corporations with actual people. For links to the various briefs, lower court decisions, and a summary of the underlying facts and opinion, visit the SCOTUSblog. [more inside]
posted by Muddler on Mar 1, 2011 - 93 comments

Moooom, Daaaad, Google's being weird again!

Google's Doodle-4-Google program, where kids can design a variation of the company's homepage logo, is creating a bit of stir this year with the requirement of the child's social security number. [more inside]
posted by Brandon Blatcher on Feb 23, 2011 - 37 comments

Your apps are watching you

Your apps are watching you
posted by peacay on Dec 18, 2010 - 79 comments

Bring It On.

An anonymous hacking outfit called "Gnosis" has infiltrated Gawker Media, hijacking the front page and leaking the company's internal chat logs, source code, and content databases along with the usernames, email addresses, and passwords of over 1.3 million users (including Gawker staff). The attack, which was motivated by what the group describes as the "outright arrogance" with which the company's bloggers taunted anonymous imageboard 4chan (semi-previously), affects every site in the Gawker network, including Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Jezebel, Deadspin, Jalopnik, and io9. While most of the leaked passwords are encrypted, more than 200,000 of the simpler ones in the torrent file have been cracked, and the links between account names and email addresses are in plaintext for all to see. Since the integrity of Gawker's encryption methods remains in doubt, it is recommended that anyone who has ever registered an account on any Gawker property change their passwords immediately, especially if the same log-in information is used for other services.
posted by Rhaomi on Dec 12, 2010 - 312 comments

The fundamental problem is that terrorism is innovative while TSA policy is reactive

A Nude Awakening - The TSA and Privacy. An insightful article about the TSA and fundamental freedoms from the Oklahoma Daily Student newspaper. via
posted by blue_beetle on Dec 6, 2010 - 48 comments

All the better to see you with, my dear...

Microsoft Kinect (née Project Natal) is sure to be a monster hit this season, and no surprise: Microsoft hopes to disthrone Nintendo's Wii and are supporting the platform with a $500 million marketing budget, larger than the marketing budget for the launch of the original Xbox. However, privacy experts are raising concerns over recent comments made by Xbox CFO Dennis Durkin at at an investors' conference:
“We can cater which content we present to you based on who you are,” Durkin said. “How many people are in the room when an ad is shown? How many people are in the room when a game is being played? When you add this sort of device to a living room, there’s a bunch of business opportunities that come with that.”
One example given was that the Kinect could identify sports jersey worn by players and deliver ads specific to their team. The Kinect platform works with its array of video- and infrared cameras, 3D depth sensors, and stereo microphones, all attached to a motorized platform which can follow players' movements. [more inside]
posted by 2bucksplus on Nov 15, 2010 - 116 comments

Can you imagine 50 people a day, I said 50 people a day? Friends, they may think its a movement.

Nov. 24 is National Opt-out Day from airport back-scatter scanners Time to call BS on TSA's kabuki theater of airport security: "As public anger grows over the TSA's body scanners and intrusive new airport pat-down procedure, a Web site is urging travelers to "opt out" from the body scanners and instead choose to have a pat-down in public view, so that everyone can "see for themselves how the government treats law-abiding citizens." OptOutDay.com declares November 24 to be the day when air travelers should refuse to submit to a full body scan and choose the enhanced pat-down -- an option many travelers have described as little short of a molestation."
posted by TDIpod on Nov 10, 2010 - 395 comments

Spaced out

"I measure my life in terms of my relationship with Star Wars" - The Guardian interviews Simon Pegg, star of Spaced, Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and the forthcoming Paul (trailer).
posted by Artw on Oct 20, 2010 - 47 comments

Does it start now?

"Better people than I have sacrificed more than their careers, their livelihood, for the cause of freedom. Americans need to wake up and stand up." Michael Roberts, a pilot for ExpressJet, refused to enter the millimeter wave machine. TSA called the police and sent him home. [more inside]
posted by peachfuzz on Oct 20, 2010 - 142 comments

Facebook. Privacy. Again.

The Wall Street Journal's What They Know blog is charged with determining what information marketers are capable of learning about internet users through tracking technology. This weekend, they took aim at Facebook, after their investigation discovered that many popular apps on the social-networking site, including those by Zynga, have been transmitting identifying information in the form of User ID's to dozens of advertising and Internet tracking companies, even if a user has enabled strict privacy settings. Additional analysis. Response post on Facebook's Developer Blog. Forbes' blogger Kashmir Hill asks if the WSJ is overreacting, and Techcrunch notes that the severity and risks of UID transferral are still being debated.
posted by zarq on Oct 18, 2010 - 56 comments

We don't need you to type at all

"With your permission you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches," [Google CEO Eric Schmidt] said. "We don't need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you've been. We can more or less know what you're thinking about... We can look at bad behavior and modify it." The Atlantic's editor James Bennet discusses with Schmidt how lobbyists write America's laws, how America's research universities are the best in the world, how the Chinese are going all-out in investing in their infrastructure, how the US should have allowed automakers to fail, and ultimately Google's evolving role in an technologically-augmented society in this broad, interesting and scary interview (~25 min Flash video) [via]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Oct 4, 2010 - 55 comments

Lay down your sword and shield / Down by the riverside

Rutgers freshman Tyler Clementi committed suicide this week after his sexual encounter with another young man was broadcast online by his roommate via hidden webcam. Afterwards, Clementi probably started this thread at justusboys.com [NSFWish ads] (screencaps here) asking for help in coping with the incident. His last contact with the world was a Facebook status update reading simply: "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." Many thousands have acknowledged his passing on several different FB tribute pages. Another page cries out for the roommate, Dharun Ravi, and his accomplice Molly Wei, to be charged with more than just "invasion of privacy." Previously, related.
posted by hermitosis on Sep 30, 2010 - 339 comments

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