Psychic smartphones ???

by Abel R
For this week, I came across an article titled “Your smartphone knows you better than you do” in As a smartphone owner/ user this caught my interest because it involves with how companies can use what I presumed was private information to their advantage. In this article, researchers are studying how smartphones can be used to predict human behavior. Researches have accomplished this by studying patterns of how and when people use their smartphones. This article also reveals how this kind of research can be used in the business world, for example: Wireless carriers can use this data analysis to determine who’s more likely to jump carriers (Cringely, 2011). read more...

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Online ‘Bill of Rights’

by Caezar M

this article talks about a proposed plan by the obama administration to place into effect a internet bill of rights that pertain to users privacy policy. for years it has been the objective of companies to obtain as much information about you as they possibly can. this has usually come in the form of what you put on facebook or your search engine searches, internet surveys, and what one website can get from another web site. it has gotten to a point that people no longer can trust others with information about their privacy. the obama administration has fuinally come to this realization and wants to offer a set of rules for the protetion of user information based on privacy principles from around the world. recently google made a new privacy policy that would allow them to collect and keep data from jsut about anything you do, no matter how sensitive or how stupid. this bill of rights would limit the type of information that web pages can keep about you and for how long they are allowed to store it for, along with many more other features. read more...

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Finally, Privacy For Those Who Want It

by Omar N.

This article is about the W3C’s first draft release for two standards aimed to protect online privacy by giving users the ability to opt in or out of online tracking. These standards are meant to “prevent surprises, to foster trust on the web” and also “to find a balance between the privacy of web users and the information collection requirements of websites”, as said in the article. The first specification describes the technical standard for using a DNT header (do no track header) in an HTTP request. When a user makes the web request, websites will be able to check to see if a DNT header exists and not track the user according to their preference. The second specification describes the definitions for a “Do Not Track” preference and sets the rules for websites to comply with the standards. read more...

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Digital World and our Privacy

by Tuyen H

With the constantly increase of mobile technologies, we do not have any privacy anymore because “Users of TVs, computers and smart phones leave technological fingerprints wherever they go, and companies are lapping up the data” said, David Sarno. In the article “there is little privacy in a digital world,” the author writes about Apple company collects its users who use apple products and sends the information to Apple Database center (Sarno, 2011). By doing that, Apple knows exactly where and when its customers been. For example, if you are using Apple IPhone, you are leaving your fingerprints anywhere you go. Apple keeps a record of its customers’ transactions in its database and provides them to businesses for advertisement. Recently, Apple introduce I Phone 4S with the voice search feature. You just speed to your IPhone “Show me my location” right away, IPhone load exactly the map showing where you are. It is seem to be cool, but imagine that the whole world knows exactly where you are, and where is your privacy? read more...

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Should We Update Electronic Privacy Act

by Jintien C
This article is about Electronic Communications Privacy Act(ECPA). ECPA was introduced in 1986, but since then it has not been changed a lot. Technology has brought many different ways that people communicate such as cell phones, search engines, social networking sites and so forth. In the meanwhile, these technologies also help and gather more user’s information to the government. One of big reasons that ECPA has not been updated is discouraged from law enforcement agencies. On the other end, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) and several other activist groups are trying to push ECPA reform. read more...

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Death, Taxes….Data Retention.

by Caezar M

We often take for granted the fact that the internet is widely avaliable everywhere and from many places and locations, we may also take advantage of the anonanymity the internet provides from time to time. but have you ever had the sneaking suspicion that you are being watched? well you are, passively anyway. every time you go online and visit a web page you are leaving a digital signature that you have been there. To that you might say “so what, IPs are not regulated, they are always changing, that could be anyone.” but the truth of this is that dynamic IPs are tied in with subscriber accounts so they might not know who you are directly, but with they can find out with relative ease. so whats in these records that your ISP is collecting? The Truth, nobody knows, it could be anything it could be as simple as the name of the website you visited and at what time or as detailed as the actual contents of your emails.  Now this wold not be so bad if we knew that they were just in storage and they could not be used against us. The truth behind that is all this data is subject to subopena and disclosure without informing the user. there have been new strides to regulate the ammount of data and the time period in which it is stored (HR 1981). unfortunately this works more towards the benefit of law enforcement. read more...

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Kindle Fire’s Silk Browser Poses Privacy and Security Concerns

by Daniel L

Tablet computers have established themselves in the consumer device market and Amazon wants to get its feet wet by announcing their own tablet known as the Kindle Fire.  What makes Amazon’s tablet different from its competitors is the way it handles web browsing.  Amazon has developed their own web browser called “Amazon Silk”, which uses Amazon’s cloud to process and render web pages off the device, improving website performance on the device itself.  Websites with a plethora of content, including pictures and videos, can take a long time to load on the standard browsers most tablets are using, but with Silk, web browsing will be a breeze.  However, security and privacy issues arise when using this model of web browsing technology.  Every time a user visits a website, it will contact Amazon servers instead of the actual website directly, making Amazon the “middleman” that lies between any website, including secure ones, and you.  According to the terms and conditions of the Silk browser, Amazon will keep a record of IP and MAC addresses along with web history and logs for a period of 30 days.  This information can be obtained by the government in the event of an investigation.  Moreover, if Amazon servers are breached in any way, critical data can be compromised. read more...

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