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Category Archives: Privacy

Facebook in the Spotlight: Dataism vs. Privacy

JURIST Guest Columnist Chris Hoofnagle of Berkeley Law, discusses the policing of Facebook’s privacy policies and FTC enforcement: “Are our institutions up to the challenge of protecting users from information-age problems? This is the high-level question emerging from the Facebook-Cambridge Analytica debate. While on one hand Facebook and similarly-situated companies will pay some regulatory price, our public institutions are also in the crosshairs. In the U.S., the much-praised and admired Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) approach is suffering a crisis of legitimacy. Facebook’s European regulator, the Irish data protection commissioner, is losing both control over its supervision of American companies and the respect of its regulatory colleagues. In a recent press release, the Article 29 Working Party announced that it was creating a working group focusing on social media, never mentioning the Irish in its statement. In this essay I explain the challenges the FTC faces in enforcing its 2012 consent agreement against Facebook and suggest ways it could nonetheless prevail. In the long run, everyone wins if our civil society institutions can police Facebook, including the company itself. While Facebook’s privacy problems have long been dismissed as harmless, advertising-related controversies, all now understand Facebook’s power over our broader information environment. After Brexit, the 2016 U.S. election, and violence in Myanmar, if consumer law fails, we risk turning to more heavy-handed regulatory tools, including cyber sovereignty approaches, with attendant consequences for civil society and internet freedom…”

See also – EPIC Sues FTC for Release of Facebook’s Audits

Peekier – privacy-oriented search engine

“Peekier (pronounced /’pi·ki·er/) is a new way to search the web. Peek through search results fast and securely on a search engine that respects your privacy. Faster information discovery – Peekier shows you a website preview of the search results. Clicking on a result will maximize the preview and allow you to scroll through the… Continue Reading

A dozen tech experts opine on what went wrong with Facebook and the answer is?

The Internet Apologizes…Even those who designed our digital world are aghast at what they created. A breakdown of what went wrong — from the architects who built it. By Noah Kulwin, New York Magazine. “Something has gone wrong with the internet. Even Mark Zuckerberg knows it. Testifying before Congress, the Facebook CEO ticked off a… Continue Reading

Verge reports Gmail’s new design will include a ‘Confidential Mode’

“Gmail on the web is getting a big update in the coming weeks with a new design and features, but Google is also introducing a new Confidential Mode. The Verge revealed the new design earlier this week, alongside features like quick reply to emails, the ability to snooze emails until later, and a new sidebar… Continue Reading

Protecting Email Privacy—A Battle We Need to Keep Fighting

EFF: “We filed an amicus brief in a federal appellate case called United States v. Ackerman Friday, arguing something most of us already thought was a given—that the Fourth Amendment protects the contents of your emails from warrantless government searches. Email and other electronic communications can contain highly personal, intimate details of our lives. As… Continue Reading

Google loses landmark ‘right to be forgotten’ case in UK

The Guardian: “A businessman has won his legal action to remove search results about a criminal conviction in a landmark “right to be forgotten” case that could have wide-ranging repercussions. The ruling was made by Mr Justice Warby in London on Friday. The judge rejected a similar claim brought by a second businessman who was… Continue Reading

The Right to Communications Confidentiality in Europe: Protecting Trust, Privacy, and Freedom of Expression

Borgesius and Steenbruggen on The Right to Communications Confidentiality in Europe: Protecting Trust, Privacy, and Freedom of Expression “In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provides comprehensive rules for the processing of personal data. In addition, the EU lawmaker intends to adopt specific rules to protect confidentiality of communications, in a separate… Continue Reading

CRS – Data, Social Media, and Users: Can We All Get Along?

CRS INSIGHT – Data, Social Media, and Users: Can We All Get Along? April 4, 2018 (IN10879). “In March 2018, media reported that voter-profiling company Cambridge Analytica had exceeded Facebook’s data use policies by collecting data on millions of Facebook users. Cambridge Analytica did this by working with a researcher to gain access to the… Continue Reading

Facebook, This Is Not What “Complete User Control” Looks Like

EFF: “If you watched even a bit of Mark Zuckerberg’s ten hours of congressional testimony over the past two days, then you probably heard him proudly explain how users have “complete control” via “inline” privacy controls over everything they share on the platform. Zuckerberg’s language here misses the critical distinction between the information a person… Continue Reading

The Verge – 7 takeaways from Mark Zuckerberg’s appearance before the House

These members of Congress did their homework: “Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg made his second of two appearances before Congress on Wednesday, enduring a five-hour session of questions from members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In contrast to their amiably confused counterparts in the Senate, members of the House committee demonstrated a generally better… Continue Reading

Latest update to Privacy Badger brings a new onboarding process and other improvements

“The new onboarding process will make Privacy Badger easier to use and understand. These latest changes are just some of the many improvements EFF has made to the project, with more to come! Privacy Badger was created with the objective of protecting users from third-party tracking across the web—all users. To do this, Privacy Badger… Continue Reading

The Personality Traits That Put You At Risk For Smartphone Addiction

Washington Post: “When the Trump-affiliated firm Cambridge Analytica obtained data on tens of millions of Facebook users, it used the “Big 5” or “Five Factor Model” personality test to target them with ads designed to influence their votes in the 2016 election. The test scores people on five traits — openness, conscientiousness, extroversion, agreeableness and… Continue Reading