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Blippy does that!

Want to share your credit card purchases with your friends on facebook? Blippy does that. Want to share your credit card numbers with everyone? Blippy also does that.
posted by Brent Parker on Apr 23, 2010 - 180 comments

Human flesh search engines in China.

Human flesh search engines in China. Sometimes it's cute. Mostly it's not. [more inside]
posted by availablelight on Mar 16, 2010 - 45 comments

Finding patients like me

Do you have a life-changing medical condition? Patientslikeme (mentioned previously in a 2008 post on mood conditions) is a way for you share information online with other people who have the same condition. Some of the conditions with groups established already are epilepsy, depression, and Multiple Sclerosis. Started by 3 MIT engineers who had personal experiences with ALS (Lou Gherig's disease), the site is funded by partnerships with healthcare providers who have access to anonymised data about the member base. The stated goal in their Openness Policy is to speed up the pace of research and help fix the broken (US) health system. The Privacy Policy has a plain-English description of what happens to information that members share.
posted by harriet vane on Mar 16, 2010 - 15 comments

A person...loses a reasonable expectation of privacy in emails...after the email is sent to and received by a third party.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit rules that once emails have been received by a third party, no Fourth Amendment protection applies to any copies. In Rehburg v. Paulik, among other claims, Charles Rehburg alleged a violation of his constitutional rights by the improper subpoena of his emails from his ISP. Last week, the Eleventh Circuit ruled against him: [more inside]
posted by PMdixon on Mar 15, 2010 - 46 comments

Netflix Contest Over Due to Privacy Concerns

Netflix has ended the $1 million Next Big Thing contest, which would have rewarded a team to improve their recommendation engine. [more inside]
posted by mccarty.tim on Mar 13, 2010 - 67 comments

Oregon professor discovers secret FBI plot

Dr. John Hall, a tenured Portland State University professor of economics, is now on administrative leave pending an investigation into his incrimination of Zachary Bucharest, a 30 year old veteran of the Israeli army, as a potentially armed and dangerous FBI informant and agent provocateur in front of his Economics 445/545 class. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Mar 7, 2010 - 90 comments

Cybarmageddon!

Cyberwar Hype Intended to Destroy the Open Internet. "The biggest threat to the open internet is not Chinese government hackers or greedy anti-net-neutrality ISPs, it’s Michael McConnell, the former director of national intelligence..." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Mar 2, 2010 - 29 comments

Orphans and Street no more

Changes to Orphan Works copyright legislation in the US began to crumble in 2008 when the NPPA and a grassroots initiative finally gained momentum. Still, the ASMP has a FAQ outlining their position on the 2008 Orphan Works bill stating that it is inevitable legislation and they should take advantage of a favourable congress to retain as positive a position for photographers as possible.

It seems that new laws are close to coming into effect in the UK government seemingly nationalising orphan works and in a separate action (same article) banning non-consentual photography making street photography essentially impossible. [via]

Previously
posted by michswiss on Feb 25, 2010 - 18 comments

Your upload has been queued for screening - Expect it to go live within the next 12 - 24 months

In 2006 some Italian teenagers filmed themselves assaulting a youth with Down Syndrome and uploaded the video to Google Video Italia. It was pulled from the site within hours, but that did not satisfy the Italian Down Syndrome support group named Vivi Down, who filed a complaint that resulted in a two-year investigation. That lead to charges and indictment of four Google executives, who were never aware of the video until after it had been removed, for violating Italy’s privacy code. Today the Italian court ruled that three of the four - chief legal officer David Drummond, global privacy counsel Peter Fleischer and former CFO George Reyes - are guilty, and sentenced them to 6 months to a year of jail-time. The fourth, Arvind Desikan, former head of Google Video in London, was acquitted. [more inside]
posted by BeerFilter on Feb 24, 2010 - 78 comments

Anonymous Buzzkill

A worrisome set of posts from Princeton University's 'Freedom to Tinker" Blog:
In many situations, it may be far easier to unmask apparently anonymous online speakers than they, I, or many others in the policy community have appreciated. Today, I'll tell a story that helps explain what I mean. Second post: what BoingBoing knows about John Doe. Third, and most concerning post: The traceability of an online anonymous comment. Related post: a well researched review of the privacy concerns around the roll-out of, and push-back against, Google Buzz.
posted by Rumple on Feb 18, 2010 - 41 comments

Student observed plagiarizing 1984

A lawsuit alleges that the Lower Merion School District has been spying on students through webcams on school issued laptops. According to the complaint no indication was giving to the parents or students that this activity was possible. The spying program was only revealed when a student was informed by the school that they had witnessed improper behavior through the webcam and saved photographic evidence.
posted by furiousxgeorge on Feb 18, 2010 - 273 comments

All tweets going forward will be "I'm home. Yup, definitely home."

PleaseRobMe.com tells you when people on Twitter are advertising that they are not at home. [more inside]
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Feb 17, 2010 - 84 comments

All Your Online Lives Are Belong To Us

'It's optional if you want to remain anonymous, but what's the point anymore?' A new generation doesn't mind sharing every detail of their lives online. So familiar online companies increasingly don't bother letting you control privacy options from the start, and make it difficult to detach. Are the privacy-concerned folks mostly older individuals who don't see the benefits of connectedness? Or are the people who share just about everything lined up with a pro-corporate culture pushed by marketers? [more inside]
posted by cashman on Feb 16, 2010 - 128 comments

Your facebook is an open book.

Think your Facebook profile's private? A complaint brought to the Federal Trade Commission urges you to think again. While you think on it, here's a concise primer on how to make sure your Facebook profile (should you have one) is as private as you think it is.
posted by ocherdraco on Jan 22, 2010 - 45 comments

Another Peek Inside Facebook

Conversations About the Internet #5: Anonymous Facebook Employee. [more inside]
posted by SpringAquifer on Jan 13, 2010 - 66 comments

Mozilla exec recommends you Bing it from now on

"If you have something that you don't want anyone to know, maybe you shouldn't be doing it in the first place." (SLYT) Because of this statement, made by Google CEO Eric Schmidt, Mozilla's director of community development Asa Dotzler has informed readers of his personal blog how to change Firefox's default search engine from Google to Bing. This is a pretty interesting stance coming from someone who works for a company that not only directly competes with Microsoft (the owners of Bing), but also derives a huge amount of its revenue from support from Google. (via)
posted by Nyarlathotep on Dec 11, 2009 - 77 comments

8 Million Reasons for Real Surveillance Oversight.

8 Million Reasons for Real Surveillance Oversight. "Sprint Nextel provided law enforcement agencies with its customers' (GPS) location information over 8 million times between September 2008 and October 2009. This massive disclosure of sensitive customer information was made possible due to the roll-out by Sprint of a new, special web portal for law enforcement officers."
posted by chunking express on Dec 3, 2009 - 41 comments

The 1st Ammendment, the Internet, and a Served Debt

Wikipedia is being sued for publishing the names of two convicted killers. Wolfgang Werlé and Manfred Lauber killed well-known German actor Walter Sedlmayr in 1990. They were convicted of the crime in 1993 and sentenced to prison, and recently released. Under German law, publishing the name of a criminal after he has served his sentence is considered an undue infringement of privacy, and is illegal. Accordingly, the German Wiki removed the names of the killers off the page discussing the murder --- but the English language version of wiki, based in the US and operating under the First Ammendment, has not. Now the killers' lawyer has sued the Wikimedia foundation to get them to remove the names. [more inside]
posted by Diablevert on Nov 13, 2009 - 153 comments

Google answers data transparency concerns with Dashboard

This morning, Google launched a new feature called "Google Dashboard" that lets users view (and in some cases control,) what data is being stored on a range of more than 20 Google services, including Gmail, Calendar, Docs, Web History, Orkut, YouTube, Picasa, Talk, Reader, Alerts and Latitude. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Nov 5, 2009 - 59 comments

What Does DHS Know About You?

What Does DHS Know About You? A lot. [more inside]
posted by chunking express on Oct 5, 2009 - 50 comments

Google Street View

Google Street View is currently taking pictures in and around my home village. Google Japan has released a rather cute animated video explaining how the whole process works. Its main aim seems to be to respond to all the criticism regarding privacy issues. It's still cute, though.
posted by Matthias Rascher on Sep 18, 2009 - 9 comments

Web browser history detection

What the Internet knows about you. "This project was started by a small group of Web developers and security researchers in order to highlight the problem of Web browser history detection -- a problem which can dramatically affect the Web and hurt many people, if not solved quickly. Our direct goal is to educate the mainstream public and show them the direct consequences of allowing this aspect of Web browser behavior, as well as provide some solutions which mitigate the problem. However, since there are no existing satisfactory solutions, our other objective is to point the attention of browser developers to this issue and strongly encourage them to implement the necessary and long-overdue fixes." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Sep 3, 2009 - 45 comments

Canada Reigns In Facebook

Facebook agrees to privacy changes [Flash video | article]. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Aug 27, 2009 - 43 comments

And like that... he's gone

Gone Forever: What Does It Take to Really Disappear?
posted by homunculus on Aug 17, 2009 - 98 comments

Canada getting all up in your Facebook

In response to a complaint by law students at the University of Ottawa in May of 2008, the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada has found that Facebook is operating contrary to the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act. In other words, Facebook is breaching Canadian privacy law. Facebook has pledged to work with the Canadian government on this issue, and has 30 days to comply; if the Commissioner remains unsatisfied with their progress, they may take the case to Federal Court to force compliance.
posted by stinkycheese on Aug 1, 2009 - 45 comments

Because human operators are used...

Voicemail-to-text firm Spinvox strenuously denied accusations that they infringed privacy standards by actually having the voicemails transcribed by human operators in low-wage countries. [more inside]
posted by Skeptic on Jul 29, 2009 - 49 comments

Google Pedicab

Everybody knows about the Google Van now, some love it, some hate it, but it has become an assumed condition now that, if you're near a street, Google Maps might have your picture (I'm at work!). Living further off the path might seem like a solution to avoid detection, but Google has stepped off the roadway and into more scenic routes with the Google Tricycle. Being unpowered and smaller allows Google to get their 360° photographs from vantage points other than the curb in front of your house. Google Street Views won't just include streets anymore: they plan to cover national parks, bicycle paths, college campuses, theme parks, any any other public place which isn't exactly van-friendly.
posted by AzraelBrown on Jul 15, 2009 - 58 comments

Neurosecurity

Neurosecurity: security and privacy for neural devices. "An increasing number of neural implantable devices will become available in the near future due to advances in neural engineering. This discipline holds the potential to improve many patients' lives dramatically by offering improved—and in some cases entirely new—forms of rehabilitation for conditions ranging from missing limbs to degenerative cognitive diseases. The use of standard engineering practices, medical trials, and neuroethical evaluations during the design process can create systems that are safe and that follow ethical guidelines; unfortunately, none of these disciplines currently ensure that neural devices are robust against adversarial entities trying to exploit these devices to alter, block, or eavesdrop on neural signals. The authors define 'neurosecurity'—a version of computer science security principles and methods applied to neural engineering—and discuss why neurosecurity should be a critical consideration in the design of future neural devices." [Via Mind Hacks]
posted by homunculus on Jul 8, 2009 - 22 comments

Privacy trumps idiocy...finally

In an 8-1 ruling, the Supreme Court ruled Thursday that school officials violated an Arizona teenager's rights by strip-searching her for prescription-strength ibuprofen, declaring that U.S. educators cannot force children to remove their clothing unless student safety is at risk. Clarence Thomas demurred, suggesting that panties would become the new drug underground.
posted by dejah420 on Jun 25, 2009 - 62 comments

Name, Rank, Serial Number

"Please list any and all, current personal or business websites, web pages or memberships on any Internet-based chat rooms, social clubs or forums, to include, but not limited to: Facebook, Google, Yahoo, YouTube.com, MySpace, etc.," the City form states. There are then three lines where applicants can list the Web sites, their user names and log-in information and their passwords. The City of Bozeman takes their job application process too far?
posted by hippybear on Jun 19, 2009 - 86 comments

Pinwale

NSA E-Mail Surveillance Renews Concerns in Congress. "Since April, when it was disclosed that the intercepts of some private communications of Americans went beyond legal limits in late 2008 and early 2009, several Congressional committees have been investigating. Those inquiries have led to concerns in Congress about the agency’s ability to collect and read domestic e-mail messages of Americans on a widespread basis, officials said. Supporting that conclusion is the account of a former N.S.A. analyst who, in a series of interviews, described being trained in 2005 for a program in which the agency routinely examined large volumes of Americans’ e-mail messages without court warrants. Two intelligence officials confirmed that the program was still in operation." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 17, 2009 - 44 comments

FCC claims authority to conduct warrantless searches

The FCC investigated a pirate radio station in Boulder, Colorado earlier this month and left a copy of their official inspection policy asserting that they have the authority to perform warrantless searches of private property if there is any FCC-licensed equipment on the property, including cordless phones, cell phones, wireless routers, intercom systems, and baby monitors. [more inside]
posted by notashroom on May 21, 2009 - 36 comments

Offal off-limits? Officially, no.

The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that a search of your trash doesn't violate your privacy. This decision is in line with that of the United States. [more inside]
posted by Lemurrhea on Apr 9, 2009 - 80 comments

MugTube?

Real-time mugshots from Tampa Bay. [more inside]
posted by joe vrrr on Apr 8, 2009 - 102 comments

Shame of the Survivors

In 1996, sixteen children and one adult died in Dublane, Scotland after Thomas Hamilton walked into a school armed with four handguns. In 2009, journalist Paula Murray tracked down and befriended several of the survivors on Facebook, waited until they turned eighteen, and then wrote this article for the Sunday Express. [more inside]
posted by permafrost on Mar 18, 2009 - 66 comments

"this chattering-class version of Heat magazine"

The novlist Julie Myerson has written a book, The Lost Child, about her son's addiction to cannabis, the violent behaviour she says this caused and her tough love policy. Extract. Her son is angry that she's published it, and says his parents over-reacted: "I wasn't doing anything that most other teenagers do, but such was their naive terror of drugs they were acting like six-year-olds". It comes out through MumsNet that Julie Myerson was the anonymous author of a Guardian column, "Living with Teenagers," which described her children's behaviour candidly without their knowledge. Extract. Myerson first denied this. The Guardian discusses whether it was right to publish the columns. Myerson is interviewed about whether she was right to publish The Lost Child. Her partner, and son's father, Jonathan Myerson supports her: This is an emergency. Her son says she's addicted to writing. [more inside]
posted by paduasoy on Mar 15, 2009 - 160 comments

Everyone's Favorite Upstart Mom-and-Pop Search Engine Tries to Yank Watchdog's Funding

Bob Boorstin, Google's Director of Policy Communications, wrote a letter to the Rose Foundation, suggesting that the foundation stop funding Consumer Watchdog, an outspoken Google critic. [more inside]
posted by univac on Feb 26, 2009 - 49 comments

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know

10 Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know [more inside]
posted by Afroblanco on Feb 12, 2009 - 52 comments

Another Day, Another Dispute at Facebook

A NEW FACEBOOK CONTROVERSY A NEW FACEBOOK CONTROVERSY has developed, this time over photos of women breastfeeding their babies. But Facebook is standing firm.. The protesters have also formed a Facebook group, of course, Hey Facebook, Breastfeeding Is Not Obscene. It's not the first controversy at the social networking site and this blog documents activities, rumors and news about Facebook. [more inside]
posted by etaoin on Jan 6, 2009 - 242 comments

Is Big Brother's little cousin willing to blink?

In a move applauded by some internet privacy advocates, Yahoo will retain personally identifiable search information for only 90 days. This places it above competitors Google and Microsoft in terms of protecting user privacy. Congressional representatives are taking notice, but others criticize Yahoo's method of preserving user anonymity as not enough, hearkening back to AOL's massive data leak in 2006.
posted by Law Talkin' Guy on Dec 24, 2008 - 11 comments

Privacy and Social Networking: If I Poke you, it indicates that I’m online, and I’m thinking about you.

Facebook and the Social Dynamics of Privacy (coming soon to the Iowa Law Review), by James Grimmelmann (law professor, programmer, MeFi's own grimmelm, and Level 1 Ensign Zombie): just in time for Facebook Connect and Google Friend Connect, Grimmelmann suggests we rethink what privacy means both in legal terms and how that impacts social networks and their users. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by ahughey on Dec 8, 2008 - 39 comments

Reality Mining

"Reality mining is just like data mining... except instead of being applied to text and web pages... we're trying to find patterns in real life." MIT students "swap their privacy for smartphones that generate digital trails." [more inside]
posted by tractorfeed on Dec 1, 2008 - 12 comments

NSA Has ‘Routinely’ Listened In On Americans’ Phone Calls, Passed Around ‘Salacious’ Bits

"Ever since President Bush confirmed the existence of a National Security Administration wiretapping program in late 2005, he has insisted it is aimed only at terrorists’ calls and protects Americans’ civil liberties ("This is a limited program designed to prevent attacks on the United States of America — and I repeat: limited.")....However, ABC News reports [text with embedded video] that the NSA frequently listened to and transcribed the private phone calls of Americans abroad....These conversations included those of American soldiers stationed in Iraq and American aid workers abroad, such as Doctors Without Borders."* [more inside]
posted by ericb on Oct 9, 2008 - 75 comments

Cats Defending Henhouses

Worried about social-network data mining? Facebook hires Ted Ullyot, former right-hand man to former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, as its general counsel. Tapping Ullyot, who worked on the infamous torture memo and other illustrious projects, is a sign that the burgeoning Scrabble platform "is a little more grown-up," says Facebook public-policy VP Elliot Schrage.
posted by digaman on Sep 30, 2008 - 40 comments

We admire your work

We know the NSA is watching. They have corporate buddies to help them out. But now they've found a true ideological soul mate - China [more inside]
posted by cimbrog on Sep 18, 2008 - 67 comments

It's not dead, it's just resting

Privacy is dead - get over it [part 2] is a talk by private investigator Steve Rambam. It's a talk he has been giving for a number of years where he shows how privacy is being taken away, not by sinister plots but because people are giving it away. With people putting up everything and nothing on MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and so on, as well as a growing quantity of data held in private databases, he shows how easy it is to find out enormous amounts of data on just about anyone. [more inside]
posted by bjrn on Sep 2, 2008 - 65 comments

WhoTubes?

Google has been ordered to turn over all of its electronic records of the videos watched by users on YouTube to Viacom. The 12 terabytes of data include records of every video watched by every user, including the user's login name (if any) and IP address. Google had complained that the disclosure would invade user's privacy, but this argument was blunted somewhat by Google's earlier statement that IP Addresses are not, in and of themselves, personally identifying information. Google was also ordered to turn over certain other information, including its video classification database schema, but was not ordered to turn over information regarding videos marked as private, its source code, or its advertising database schema.
posted by The Bellman on Jul 3, 2008 - 267 comments

Cyber Command Über Alles

Attention Geeks and Hackers: Uncle Sam's Cyber Force Wants You! [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jun 5, 2008 - 29 comments

Mental Privacy

The Government Is Trying to Wrap Its Mind Around Yours. Why the Next Civil Rights Battle Will Be Over the Mind.
posted by homunculus on Apr 13, 2008 - 54 comments

Keep your telescreens on comrades

With Comcast, your TV watches you. Comcast is developing cable boxes with cameras to watch the room. They will know who is there to provide shows in your profile, engage parental controls, and of course, deliver targeted advertising. Ceiling Cat Comcast is watching you....
posted by caddis on Mar 23, 2008 - 44 comments

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