privacy

Thu
04
Mar
Dennis Faas's picture

School Issued Laptops Bundled with Remote-Spy Cameras

A recently filed 17-page lawsuit (PDF) alleges that laptops issued to high-school students in a Pennsylvania suburb feature webcams used by school administrators to invade the privacy of almost 1,800 students and their families. (Source: zdnet.com ) ... According to the parents in Blake J Robbins v. Lower Merion School District (LMSD), the issue was discovered last November when the Robbins' child was disciplined for 'improper behavior at his home' and a photo taken by the webcam was used by the Assistant Principal as evidence. The activity the student was engaged in is not specified in the ... (view more)

Wed
13
Jan
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Privacy Removed By Default, CEO Adamant

The CEO of Facebook has sparked a new debate by claiming the site's users no longer see privacy as a priority. Mark Zuckerberg says recent changes that make more user data public by default represent the site reflecting a "social norm." Speaking at ... an awards ceremony in San Francisco organized by the TechCrunch blog, Zuckerberg said, "In the last five or six years, blogging has taken off in a huge way. People have really gotten comfortable sharing more information and different kinds but more openly and with more people. That social norm is just something that's evolved over time ... (view more)

Mon
09
Nov
Dennis Faas's picture

MS Sets Cloud Computing Policy for Future Apps Online

Microsoft has assured users that it will strive to give cloud computing customers the same privacy commitments given to those using desktop software. But it warns that this could be limited by government regulations, particularly where data is ... transferred across international borders. Cloud computing is a broad term, but generally refers to set-ups where data, an application, or even an operating system is stored on, and operative from, a remote server rather than a user's computer. As Microsoft notes, it's not a new idea: Hotmail is an example of a cloud-based service, with the emails and ... (view more)

Tue
22
Sep
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Class Action Lawsuit Prompts $9.5M Privacy Fund

The torrent of bad press over Facebook's privacy policies has led to the demise of its much-disliked advertising program called "Beacon." The program, which was considered a marketing coup when first unveiled two years ago, has been phased out in ... accordance with the settlement of a year-old class action lawsuit. At the heart of the lawsuit was the contention that Facebook had failed to properly inform its many users of the privacy compromises introduced by Beacon, which used the data collected from member pages to help third-party sites tailor more effective advertising schemes. ... (view more)

Mon
20
Jul
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Privacy Flaws Dangerous, Says Report

After a thirteen month investigation, Canada's Privacy Commissioner has announced its finding that Facebook's policies and practices violate Canadian privacy laws. According to Commissioner Jennifer Stoddart, there are "serious privacy gaps" in ... Facebook's operations. A complaint from the Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic, or CIPPIC, instigated the investigation, which started in May of last year. The initial complaint was comprised of 24 allegations pertaining to 12 different subjects, including Facebook's default privacy settings, what the site does with member personal ... (view more)

Mon
27
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook User Data to be 'Shared' with Developers

Facebook is about to make more user data available to outside websites. It's an attempt to promote third-party applications, but will inevitably bring attention back to the firm's privacy policies . The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) says speculates that ... the Facebook plans will be announced later today. The changes would mean companies could access and use data uploaded by users such as photographs, comments, blog-style note posts and videos. (Source: wsj.com ) Developers to Spawn External Sites from User Content Developers could then use the data to create an external website. For example, a ... (view more)

Fri
24
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

Just 0.32% of Facebook Users Turn Out for TOS Vote

Facebook's Terms of Service vote wrapped up yesterday, and although participation fell far short of what the social networking company had hoped, by a vote of three-to-one users supported its new TOS. Earlier in the week, Facebook attempted to right ... earlier wrongs over its Terms of Service by throwing the issue open to a massive vote. Controversy erupted earlier this year when the site tried to introduce a new policy that could have left accounts in Facebook's possession, even if a user terminated his or her association with the database. Some even feared Facebook would take users' personal ... (view more)

Mon
06
Apr
Dennis Faas's picture

UK Big Brother Data Retention Law Effective Today

Despite the fact that the UK parliament network was vulnerable to the Conficker virus just last week, reports suggest that the UK Government is forging ahead with their dubious plans to harvest all the personal electronic data of every citizen and ... storing it for one year, opening the door to the Big Brother super database . Mobile phone calls, emails and Internet activities of every Briton will be stored for a year, placing legal duties on Internet companies to store everyone's private information, including email traffic and Internet browsing histories effective Monday, April 6, 2009. The ... (view more)

Fri
27
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Facebook Opens Forum to Discuss Terms of Use Policy

Facebook is taking criticisms of its recent terms of use debacle to heart. According to reports, the social networking company is now asking members to help contribute to a more popular policy by making their own suggestions. Last week the popular ... social networking site faced condemnation from members after it was reported that its new terms of use policy would allow third parties to access user information even after they terminated an account. Although some felt users had long surrendered their privacy by joining such a network, most members were outraged with Facebook and demanded ... (view more)

Fri
20
Feb
Dennis Faas's picture

Can Facebook be Trusted in Wake of TOS Debacle?

Are you careful with the friends you keep? What about those on your Facebook page? According to a recent report , your "Friends List" could determine which doors are open and closed to you in the near and distant future. The report likens the ... situation to this: say you hung out with some super lefties during your early years -- perhaps even Communist Party members -- and you keep those chums, be they close or distant friends, on your Facebook Friends List. Several years later you decide to run for office or apply for an executive position at a big corporation; will those friends come back to ... (view more)

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