Accurate, Focused Research on Law, Technology and Knowledge Discovery Since 2002

Category Archives: Search Engines

How do I protect my online privacy from ‘surveillance capitalism’?

The Guardian UK – “…On [December 2, 2019], the Electronic Frontier Foundation published a 17,000-word report on this topic. Behind the One-Way Mirror: A Deep Dive Into the Technology of Corporate Surveillance, by Bennett Cyphers and Gennie Gebhart, covers both online privacy problems and the growth of real-word surveillance. BOWM, for short, explains how personal data is gathered, brokered, and used to serve targeted advertisements. In theory, users should prefer useful adverts to irrelevant ones. In reality, it provides a stream of data to anyone who wants it. Most of us, I suspect, don’t object to the ads as much as to the vast infrastructure used to deliver them. Non-targeted ads are fine with me. As the report points out, when you visit a website, data associated with your online identity will be sent to anyone interested in bidding in an auction to show you a targeted advertisement. A data-snorting company can just make low bids to ensure it never wins while pocketing your data for nothing. This is a flaw in the implied deal where you trade data for benefits. You can limit what you give away by blocking tracking cookies. Unfortunately, you can still be tracked by other techniques. These include web beacons, browser fingerprinting and behavioural data such as mouse movements, pauses and clicks, or sweeps and taps. Data brokers can try to connect whatever information they get to data that you are giving away in other areas. This might include your email address, mobile phone number, location, credit card and store card numbers, your car’s number plate and face recognition data. Some of this information may have been purchased from third parties..

As BOWM points out, real-world identifiers can last a lot longer than your browsers or even your devices. Your main email address, phone number, credit card number and car number plate don’t change very often. Good luck changing, or disguising, your fingerprint and face recognition data. “Gait recognition” is already being used in China. You can run but you can’t hide. Today, we are past the stage where it’s a technology problem. Only governments can protect our privacy by banning the collection of data and giving us the rights both to prevent its collection without explicit permission, and to delete data that has already been collected…”

Alternative search engine provides google results but with privacy

FastCompany – “Picture for a moment a version of Google Search that barely evolved from its early years. Instead of a results page cluttered by informational widgets, this one would primarily link out to other sites. And instead of tracking your search history for ad targeting purposes, this search engine would be decidedly impersonal. It… Continue Reading

2020 Guide to Web Data Extractors

New on LLRX – 2020 Guide to Web Data Extractors – This guide by Marcus P. Zillman is a comprehensive listing of web data extractors, screen, web scraping and crawling sources and sites for the Internet and the Deep Web. These sources are useful for professionals who focus on competitive intelligence, business intelligence and analysis, knowledge… Continue Reading

Internet Companies Prepare to Fight the ‘Deepfake’ Future

The New York Times – Researchers are creating tools to find A.I.-generated fake videos before they become impossible to detect. Some experts fear it is a losing battle…”For internet companies like Google, finding the tools to spot deepfakes has gained urgency. If someone wants to spread a fake video far and wide, Google’s YouTube or… Continue Reading

Why many in the search community don’t believe the WSJ about Google search

Follow up to previous posting – an article by WSJ.com – How Google Interferes With Its Search Algorithms and Changes Your Results – please read – Search is complicated. The WSJ appeared set on seeing that complexity through a conspiratorial lens. Barry Schwartz on November 18, 2019. “…At first, I thought maybe the Wall Street… Continue Reading

Univ of Texas Libraries Launch Access Tool for Digital Collections

“The vast digitized collections of the University of Texas Libraries are now becoming available through a new web portal. A new access point on the Libraries’ website – the Collections portal – allows users to undertake remote research and study utilizing rich resources that have previously only been available in person or through more time-intensive… Continue Reading

Google update on political ads policy

Google Blog: “…While we’ve never offered granular microtargeting of election ads, we believe there’s more we can do to further promote increased visibility of election ads. That’s why we’re limiting election ads audience targeting to the following general categories: age, gender, and general location (postal code level). Political advertisers can, of course, continue to do… Continue Reading

Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues November 15, 2019

Via LLRX – Pete Recommends Weekly highlights on cyber security issues November 15, 2019 – Privacy and security issues impact every aspect of our lives – home, work, travel, education, health and medical records – to name but a few. On a weekly basis Pete Weiss highlights articles and information that focus on the increasingly… Continue Reading