Archive for the Privacy Category

Facebook Super-logoff

Posted in Facebook, Intellectual Propery, Privacy, Social Networking, Stuff You Should Read/See, Web & Enterprise 2.0 on November 15, 2010 by Kay & Project Management

New Facebook privacy tip: ‘Super-logoff’

John D. Sutter
By John D. Sutter, CNN
November 12, 2010 6:30 p.m. EST | Filed under: Social Media

(CNN) — If clamping down the privacy settings on your Facebook page isn’t enough to help you sleep at night, take a cue from the youth of America.

Try the “super-logoff.”

Performing the trick doesn’t take superhuman powers. Instead of just closing a browser window or clicking the “log off” button at the top right of the Facebook homepage, some young, privacy-concerned users are simply deactivating their Facebook accounts each time they leave the site.

Then they reactivate their accounts to log back on.

Why go to all this trouble?

Well, for one, it’s not hard. Facebook makes it notoriously difficult to fully “delete” an account. But “deactivating” an account is easy — it only takes a single click, and deactivated Facebook users maintain all of their friend connections, wall posts, photos and the like. The upside, for the privacy paranoid, is that when a “deactivated” user isn’t on Facebook, no one else can see their profile, post on their wall or tag them in photos.

For privacy-minded people, it’s a soothing alternative. It gives them ultimate control.

Read more at article

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Facebook suspends app developers who sold user info

Posted in Facebook, Privacy, Stuff You Should Read/See, Web & Enterprise 2.0 on November 6, 2010 by Kay & Project Management

Steven Musil CNET News | November 1, 2010 7:28 AM PDT

Facebook has revealed that a data broker has been buying identifying Facebook user information from app developers, and as a result the social-networking powerhouse has placed some developers on a six-month suspension.

The announcement, which Facebook made Friday afternoon on its developer blog, comes on the heels of the revelation that many popular Facebook apps were transmitting user IDs–which can be used to look up a users’ names and, in some cases, the names of the app user’s friends–to at least 25 advertising and data firms.

Facebook did not identify the data broker that was purchasing user information but did say it had reached an agreement with Rapleaf, a San Francisco-based data aggregation company that was previously identified as receiving some user information. Facebook said that Rapleaf has agreed to delete all user ID information in its possession and agreed not to conduct any further activities on the social network. The blog post did not indicate whether Rapleaf was the broker involved in the sale of user information, and Rapleaf representatives did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

For more on this story, read Facebook app developers sold user info on CNET News.

More Privacy Concerns

Posted in Facebook, Google, Privacy with tags , on November 6, 2010 by Kay & Project Management

NY Times article:

E.U. Says It Will Overhaul Privacy Regulations

By ERIC PFANNER  Published: November 4, 2010

PARIS — The European Commission called on Thursday for stronger protection of Internet users’ personal information, after news of data leaks at companies like Facebook and Google highlighted concerns about digital privacy.

Viviane Reding, the justice commissioner, announced its intention to overhaul the European Union’s data protection rules to take account of the development of social networking, personalized advertising and other Web services that have raised privacy concerns. The new legislation, set to be introduced next year, would replace rules that date to 1995.

“The protection of personal data is a fundamental right,” Ms. Reding said. “To guarantee this right, we need clear and consistent data protection rules. We also need to bring our laws up to date with the challenges raised by new technologies and globalization.”

The commission said consumers should be informed “in a clear and transparent way” about how their data will be used. They should also have the right to fully delete digital information, like social networking profiles, and should be informed when their data has been used in unlawful ways, the commission added.

Several recent leaks of personal data have highlighted concerns about privacy in the digital realm, which have been more pronounced in some European countries, like Germany, than in the United States.

Google said last month, for example, that it had inadvertently collected information like e-mail messages and passwords when it gathered pictures for its Street View online mapping service; data protection officials in Britain said this week that this represented a “significant breach” of privacy laws, and officials in other countries are investigating.

Facebook, meanwhile, recently acknowledged that some of its social networking applications passed personal information to marketers without the user’s knowledge.

“The commission has planted the flag showing that the consumer’s right to privacy should not be undermined merely because it has become easier and more profitable to break it in the virtual world,” said Monique Goyens, director general of the European Consumers’ Organization, known by its French acronym, BEUC.

But the commission’s announcement was short on specifics — leaving open, for example, the question of whether Internet companies would have to secure consumers’ express permission before using or sharing personal data; currently, technology companies often do this unless consumers specifically forbid them from doing so. Submissions from privacy advocates, technology companies and other interested parties will be considered until Jan. 15, the commission said.

Rules requiring Internet companies to secure users’ consent upfront could hamper the development of services that align online advertising with Web users’ personal interests, as reflected in the Web sites they visit or the preferences they express in social networks and other online forums. From a marketer’s perspective, this could dilute one of the big advantages of the Web over traditional media.

Technology companies have also been calling for an update of E.U. privacy rules, however, saying there are too many different interpretations of existing legislation across the 27-nation bloc. This has hampered efforts to develop so-called cloud computing services, in which personal data sometimes crosses national borders, subjecting Internet companies to different sets of standards.

“It looks like the European Commission is not expecting a major overhaul of the existing data protection rules, but it is right about the need for harmonization,” said Wim Nauwelaerts, a lawyer at Hunton & Williams in Brussels, whose clients include a number of big technology companies.