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internet privacy

  1. Reddit Privacy Policy Update Requires Consent to Post Nude Images

    Hooray! The bare minimum of human decency is now policy!

    For those of you who thought you'd never find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Reddit, the site is taking baby steps in a better direction: an update to their privacy policy bans the sharing of nude or sexually explicit images without the subject's consent.

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  2. Facebook Creates Guide For Domestic Violence Victims

    For A More Civilized Age

    Facebook and the NNEDV (National Network To End Domestic Violence) teamed up to create a guide to Facebook security and privacy specifically tailored to people who are victims of domestic abuse and/or cyberstalking. The guide walks users through the details of changing security settings, what the various privacy mechanisms do, and generally giving an in-depth tutorial on social media safety. Not only is it a great resource for anyone trying to grapple with violence, it is also just a well-written, straightforward guide about Facebook safety for any user.

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  3. Ironic: Facebook’s New Privacy Settings Cause Mark Zuckerberg’s Sister’s Private Photo To Go Public

    And That's Terrible

    I'm not sure anyone I know is truly happy with their privacy settings on Facebook. Either they don't understand them or, if they do, they find them unsatisfactory. Yet we all keep using the free social networking website. But oddly enough, the site's privacy settings recently caused some strife in founder Mark Zuckerberg's family. One of his sister's photos was posted publicly online even though she thought it was set to private. 

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  4. Facebook Is Testing A Feature That Lets Complete Strangers Message You for a Dollar

    the internet is serious business

    Facebook Messages are a seemingly simple offering by the social media giant that the company still manages to make somehow complicated. Messages, mobile messages, Facebook email, the Other folder... You mean, you don't know there's an Other folder? I don't blame you, it's practically invisible. So, the headline for this post that is way too long to actually use might look like this Facebook Is Still Overhauling Its Messaging System Like Every Six Months, Might Change it So Strangers Can Pay $1 to Send You a Noticeable Message.

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  5. Facebook Announces New Privacy Changes That Can Lead to External Advertising

    It's never good news when Facebook makes changes to its privacy policies, and the changes it's made this week are no exception. The new policies were put into place to allow Facebook to pool user data between itself and its other properties, such as Instagram, but one possible implication of this is that Facebook will be able to mine data from users to target ads outside of Facebook.

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  6. Bouncers In the UK Are Asking to See Facebook Profiles Before Letting People in Nightclubs

    what is this I don't even

    Here is an obnoxious new development in the Facebook privacy debate: Some of our friends across the pond might find themselves denied access to nightclubs in the UK -- because they denied a bouncer access to their Facebook profile. No, really. The BBC reports that bouncers are asking people to log into their accounts on their phones outside of nightclubs to see if their profile names match their drivers license. Let's talk about how little sense this makes!

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  7. Legislation Banning Employer Requests For Facebook Passwords Reaches the House of Representatives

    Meddling Kids

    At the end of March, we learned that members of the United States Congress -- meaning the House of Representatives and the Senate -- were officially looking into drafting a bill that would disallow employers from asking potential hires for private login information for their Facebook accounts. States had been instituting laws on their own, but after more and more stories came out about people feeling pressured to hand over their private information by someone in the position of giving them a job, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal said that enough was enough -- this is something that needs to be dealt with on a national level. And now, the Social Networking Online Protection Act has made it to the House of Representatives while the Senate continues to work on their own version. Important question: Do we get to call it SNOPA? I'm going to call it SNOPA.

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  8. Don’t Worry, President Obama Will Veto CISPA — Unless the Senate Has a Different Version

    Rights of Passage

    Your "small government" lawmakers are at it again, passing laws in the U.S. House of Representatives that give the government -- namely, agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency -- the power to basically obliterate your privacy -- in this case, via private businesses, namely large corporations. The good news is that President Obama has threatened to veto the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) if it made its way through Congress, due to its vastly overreaching provisions. However, while he has come out against the House bill, what if the Senate tones things down a bit?

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  9. New ISP To Make Customer Privacy Its Top Priority

    In this world where online privacy -- or more accurately the lack thereof -- is becoming more and more of an issue for many, there is no lack of complaints, but a distinct lack of solutions. One man thinks he has the way to put an end to this. Nicholas Merrill wants to start an Internet service provider with one thing at the forefront of its policy: Respecting user privacy. By means both technological and policy related, Merrill's in utero service would fight tooth and nail to keep its customers information from getting into the hands of anyone who doesn't need to see it. With bills like CISPA on the horizon, he could stand to find quite a few customers.

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  10. Things We Saw Today: Texts From Hillary

    Things We Saw Today

    So, we found Texts From Hillary today, and now you know about it, too. You're welcome.

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  11. Abandoned by Facebook and Foursquare; Creepy, Stalker-Enabling App Girls Around Me is Pulled by Developer

    what is this I don't even

    Gotta love those stories that you come across late in the day, and then by the time you get a moment to report on them, they've already sort of solved themselves. For about two months now, an app called Girls Around Me has be available on Apple's App Store, and, for what it's worth, it's not that it's explicitly intended to make it easy to pretend that you know a girl, or find a girl who may be susceptible to drunkenly going home with you... Well, actually I take it back, it's explicitly intended to do both of those things. As Cult of Mac expertly summarizes it: "Girls Around Me lets you identify women, find out where they are, look at pictures of them and then research their personal lives, all in pursuit of a 'one-night stand.'" Its creators wanted to make the lives of "ballers and pick-up artists" easier, which, while not my cup of tea, doesn't remove the fact that they're also giving would-be stalkers and date-rapists a incredible convenience.

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  12. The Facebook Privacy Issue Is Heading to Capitol Hill


    The cherry blossoms are a-blooming, and that means it's time for a Washington, D.C.-related post, following the inner workings of the sausage factory we call the government. And in this case, it finally doesn't involve transvaginal probing! No, this is an update to a story we brought you yesterday, concerning the issue of employers asking potential hires for their Facebook usernames and passwords. We briefly mentioned that one U.S. senator was introducing federal legislation to stop that, and now another has joined him. Which leads us to ask: "So, what do you think Chuck Schumer is really trying to hide on his Facebook profile, you guys?"

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  13. Dear Employers Asking For Facebook Passwords: Not Cool. Love, Facebook

    Assuming Direct Control

    Something that is actually happening in the world today is the act of employers asking the people they might employ for their Facebook passwords for the purpose of seeing what a person does in their private time when the company is not responsible for them. If that sounds like a blatant privacy violation to you, then you are not alone. Apparently, just looking for someone's profile to see if they were apt to spend their off-hours drinking alcoholic beverages and other unbecoming things was not enough -- they wanted to actually log in and read everything a person was doing, writing, and posting on Facebook. And now, Facebook is announcing that they are not okay with that and might file lawsuits against a company who did this to a potential hire. And now, this is one of those rare times I'm on Facebook's side.

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  14. Deactivated Facebook Accounts Can Be Used to Spy From The Shadows

    Facebook is notorious for wanting to keep its hooks in you. You'd be hard pressed to get Facebook to delete the media and information it already has about you, and likewise, while you can "deactivate" your account, you can't "delete" it. In fact, you can deactivate and reactivate you account on a whim as many times and as often as you please. That may sound useful, or even convenient, to those of you out there who are both impulsive and indecisive. This ability can be dangerous however; account deactivation can be used to spy on other Facebook accounts from the shadows by using accounts that don't appear to actually exist.

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  15. Facebook Comments Now Searchable On Google, Don't Panic

    Yes ladies and gentlemen, it seems that Facebook comments are finally showing up in Google search results. Google's bots have recently gained the ability to index pages that have AJAX and JavaScript content -- Facebook comments, for instance. Until now, Google wasn't able to index and rank most 3rd party commenting systems (like our own Disqus), but now that they're able to, you can bet they're going to. Concerned about privacy implications? Well, you probably shouldn't be. All the privacy options that are available with Facebook and such still apply, so if your account is locked down properly, you won't see any of your particularly embarrassing drunken rants showing up in Google searches until one of your so-called "friends" decides to submit one to all the popular comedy websites as revenge for a similar, but unrelated tirade directed at him that he thought was completely uncalled for, but that he totally had coming. Not that that's ever happened to me. Definitely not. (But really though, it hasn't.)

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  16. Facebook May Be Hoarding Information About Non-Members, Keeping Secret Dossiers

    Facebook users have started to get more and more concerned about the privacy of their personal data recently. Non-Facebook users might start getting worried as well. A recently filed complaint from Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner alleges that Facebook purposely uses covert methods to coax Facebook users into handing over information about their non-member friends and then hoards that information, creating dossiers on non-users.

    The complaint alleges that mechanisms like syncing phone books and email contact lists, sending invitations, and even search queries are being used by Facebook to not only collect and store information about non-members, but to con members into handing it over frequently and in quantity. As "proof" the complain points out that often, non-users will get invitations listing people whom they know in real life. This kind of information, the complaint suggests, could be being used for less than legal purposes.

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  17. Survey Shows Many Young People Not Upset By Facebook or Email Hacking

    Just recently, Kashmir Hill of Forbes dug through the results of a poll MTV and the Associated Press did about social networking and Internet use among young people. The staggering result she found is that around 21% of the 1,335 14-24 year olds reported that their email, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or "other" accounts or emails had been accessed and used by someone other than themselves without permission. The more staggering result is that, of those victims, 22% said it didn't upset them at all, and 37% said it only upset them a little. That's a total of 59% of victims that wouldn't say they were even moderately upset. When asked about whether they thought about the consequences of uploading things to the Internet, mainly that this is no going back, the numbers show that many younger users have barely given this any thought. 41% had given little-to-no thought to the fact that you can never tell where these things will wind up. 44% gave little-to-no thought that stuff might come back to haunt them. 69% gave little-to-no thought that, man, the cops could see this stuff.

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  18. Wi-Fi Picture Frame Steals Your Photos

    Autuin from the Free Geek Vancouver blog recently decided to do a write up of a project he has apparently had sitting around for a few years. This curious device, a digital picture frame, has an interesting little feature that separates it from its contemporaries. It uses your pictures. No, not  ones you upload to it or anything, just ones it finds hanging around once it sniffs out your insecure Wi-Fi.

    While this is sort of an invasion of privacy, Autuin suggests that it's more of a reminder that your privacy might not be as private as you think. Using insecure Wi-Fi is risky and this is intended to write that on the walls, so to speak. He's now looking for a daring, Wi-Fi enabled coffee shop where he can hang it up on the wall. But not before insuring it, since it probably won't last too long before attracting some negative, and maybe violent, attention. You can read about the creation process over on Autuin's blog.

    (Free Geek Vancouver via How-To Geek)

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  19. Etsy Reveals Users’ Real Names and Purchases: Here’s How to Opt Out [UPDATE]


    Hey, do you have an Etsy account? Have you ever ordered anything with it? Have you ever ordered any artisan dildoes? If so, you might want to revisit your account privacy settings, because what you bought might be showing up in Google search results for your real name. Last week Etsy rolled out a feature called People Search, presumably in an effort to give the e-commerce site (with a focus on the vintage and the handmade) a more social network-like place. The feature allows people to search by real name in addition to username, and links both of those identifiers to purchase history. According to Ars Technica, "The goal is to allow users to connect to each other and create "Circles," which then allow users to see which products their friends have favorited or purchased on Etsy." Unfortunately, this change went unannounced (except to sellers) and, in a classic no-no familiar to any Facebook user, Etsy automatically opted all of its current users into the program. And once all that searchable information was available for the culling, of course it wound up appearing in Google search results.

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  20. Facebook’s “Foursquare Killer:” Now Mom Will Know Exactly When You’re Getting Wasted

    With the recent launch of Twitter's Geolocation API, every social startup worth its rackspace has been moving in the direction of locational applications. Now, Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider seems to have inside confirmation that Facebook is working on adding capabilities for "checking into" to physical locations through its mobile service. Will parents soon know every time a college freshman hits up a frat party? Will your boss question your frequent trips to the free clinic? Will your significant other notice your repeated, um, "visits" to their best friend's apartment?

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