Category - Privacy & Security News

Top Online Privacy Predictions for 2012

Truste made public some predictions for 2012 and I mention:

  1. FTC goes after websites for privacy violations related to third-party tracking – this is something good for the users. The Companies will start to be held accountable for tracking conducted by third parties on their sites.
  2. Ad privacy notice and choice goes mobile –  The Companies will have to implement a mobile privacy solution now and offer customers a policy optimized for display on mobile devices.
  3. Privacy becomes a hot job skill – This is self explanatory
  4. Location-based technology breaks national news
  5. Europe says ‘When in Rome, follow our privacy rules’ – US companies that will do business in Europe will have to follow EU countries’ individual privacy standards
  6. Congress will NOT pass a privacy bill – I think this is a sure prediction in my opinion

EU: new rules for data cloud privacy

Viviane Reding, the EU Justice Commissioner, says, that the non-EU nations should respect the right to privacy of the European users of software that access online data clouds.

Many European companies fear, that the sensitive data transmitted through public clouds with US may be seized under the U.S. Patriot Act surveillance law.

This Pandora box was opened, when Microsoft UK admitted to reporters that the users of the new Office365 aren’t protected against the Patriot Act even if they are Euro citizens. Because Microsoft’s headquarters reside in the US, any data that is hosted or processed by Microsoft could be intercepted by US authorities under the Patriot Act. So storing your data in the Dublin Datacenter doesn’t mean, that you are out of the US authorities.

“Safe Harbor was a nice idea, but didn’t work” said Dutch Member of European Parliament Sophie in’t Veld, because this Safe Harbor could be overridden by the Patriot Act.

Censorship in Russia near elections

Several independent media websites were attacked on Election Day in Russia with the sole purpose to prevent journalist and rights activists from reporting election violations all over the country.

Several portals (Echo Moskvy radio station, Kommersant newspaper, The New TimesForbes Russia and Bolshoy Gorod) and even blogging services (like LiveJournal) were affected by this massive attack.

With the cyber-attacks preventing observers reporting fraud online, journalists and rights activists instead used Facebook and Twitter to spread and exchange information.

EA Games accused of violating privacy rights

EA Games is accused of violating privacy regulation in Germany by its online distribution system called ‘Origin’. As the German magazine ‘Der Spiegel’ reported,  EA Games just translated the US terms and condition to German, and those terms and condition are in direct violation with the German privacy law.

More than 8000 gamers signed a petition demanding EA Games to modify its terms. Due to this facts EA Games said, that it “regrets any confusion”  and that they will modify the condition of use to comply with German laws.

Verizon is spying on you

Verizon Wireless has decided to change their privacy policy and they will collect some data from your phones. Irrelevant data such as:

  • URL’s and search strings
  • Device location
  • Apps that you use
  • Demographic information such as gender and age range

The good thing is you can opt out: http://www.vzw.com/myprivacy
The bad thing is that you might not know about it.

Reid Hoffman – Privacy is for old people

In case you have no idea, who Reid Hoffman is, well, he is the founder of LinkedIn.

Now LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network used by firms and HR departments worldwide, and in this area there should be great interest in privacy. But after seeing their User Agreement things start to make sense. Did LinkedIn ever asked your permission to sell your information to recruiters and HR departments? I think not. So, don’t be concerned about LinkedIn selling your job-hunting information to advertisers or to your current colleagues or why not your current boss: Privacy is for old people.

How to Block Facebook Facial Recognition

Earlier this summer, Facebook released a feature that automatically opts you in and recommends that your friends tag you in photos when it recognizes your face. Here’s how to opt-out of it.

Start by clicking the drop-down menu on the top-right of your screen, then select “Privacy Settings.” Choose “Edit Settings” next to “How Tags Work,” then click the link next to “Tag Suggestions” in order to disable it.

Do note, however, that this setting does not prevent friends from tagging you entirely—they can still do so manually.

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