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privacy

  1. Facebook Launches Meaningless New “Ask Our CPO” Feature

    Facebook is trying to make it look like they are keeping their public dialogue on user privacy going by introducing their new "Ask Our Chief Privacy Officer" feature. It allows users to ask direct questions of Facebook CPO Erin Egan, but it's based around the idea that one person can answer the questions of a billion users. Every month Egan will answer a few submitted questions, but I have a better suggestion for how Facebook can deal with concerns from users.

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  2. Mark Zuckerberg’s Sister’s Private Photo Goes Public Thanks to Awful Facebook Privacy Settings

    Privacy on Facebook is essentially a myth at this point. They keep adding and changing settings to make users feel like they have control over who can see what they're posing, but in reality anything you put on Facebook, regardless of settings, has the potential to wind up in the public eye. It can even happen if you're related to the creator of Facebook . Randi Zuckerberg, Mark Zuckerberg's sister, had a photo she posted privately go public on the Internet. If a member of the Zuckerberg family can't even get some privacy on Facebook, what hope is there for the rest of us?

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  3. Post Pictures of Your Kids Online, They’ll Thank You Later

    In an editorial piece published yesterday on TechCrunch titled "The Gift of Online Privacy," Cyan Banister calls for parents to think twice before sharing every milestone in their child's life on the Internet. As the title implies, she considers privacy one of the greatest gifts a parent can give to their child. I disagree. As proof, the above image isn't some picture I pulled off the Internet. That's the 20-week ultrasound of my daughter. I'll post a photograph of her in about six weeks when she's born, because I think photographs make a better gift than privacy.

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  4. Does Google Maps for iOS Break EU Privacy Laws?

    It took long enough, but Google Maps is finally back on the iPhone. Most people celebrated its return, but the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany is saying a feature of the revived app violates European data protection laws. That may be true, but we're just glad we can confidently look up where Schleswig-Holstein is on the iPhone again.

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  5. App Kids: Developers are Lying About Advertising to Children

    Earlier this year the Federal Trade Commission(FTC) issued a report titled Mobile Apps for Kids: Current Privacy Disclosures are Disappointing (cringe-inducing emphasis theirs). They surveyed apps available from both iOS and Android platforms to see how available things like privacy practices were prior to downloading, and it's probably not shocking that their findings were disappointing, so the FTC told everyone involved to straighten up. Today the FTC released the findings of a follow-up study to see how things are improving. In short: They're not. In fact, the findings of the new report are even worse than the old one. Stay classy, app developers.

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  6. Stop Posting That Facebook Privacy Notice, It’s Completely Useless

    Last week we reported on Facebook's new privacy policies and how they could lead to external marketing. Over the weekend a lot of Facebook users started copying and pasting a statement about how their content cannot be used without their consent. This happens every time Facebook changes their privacy policies, and the gesture of copying and pasting a statement saying your content is protected is as useless now as ever. Please stop. Your friends who know better are getting annoyed.

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  7. Mannequin Spies May be Dressing You With Their Camera-Eyes

    Shopping for clothes can be, for some of us, a private affair. Some people will only shop with their closest friends, others prefer to do it alone. One thing is certain: Nobody wants to get caught and judged after finding that a pair of pants doesn't fit the way it should. It may concern you, then, to find out that certain retailers have begun employing a new type of camera to keep tabs on their customers, hidden behind the eye-sockets of mannequins.

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  8. Do Not Eat: Facebook Now Prominently Warns New Users About the Perils of Using Facebook

    Of all the privacy problems experienced on all the social media platforms, Facebook stands out by far as one of the worst offenders. If they aren't updating privacy settings to forcibly opt-in users to terrible schemes, they're keeping data on users long after it's been deleted. That's not even mentioning the various ways in which users open themselves up to exploitation with their privacy settings in relation to other users. Thanks to a privacy information update, however, the preteens of the world might just stop unintentionally sharing embarrassing photos with the world.

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  9. Australian Government Loses Online Privacy Alert Information in the Mail

    In what's surely to be the most ironic of today's news, the Australian government has managed to lose subscription information from their Stay Smart Online alerts service. But this wasn't the dastardly deeds of some nefarious hackers; the details were lost in the mail. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy alerted users yesterday that their information -- which had been burned to a DVD -- was wherever lost postal items go. This was surely comforting to find out.

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  10. Twitter Pushes Back Against Subpoena For Protester’s Tweets

    Social media makes for a tempting treasure trove of information for a lot of different people. Naturally, the government often has an interest in checking out your private social media interactions and since social media is such a new phenomenon, at least in legal years, the method of getting that info has yet to be firmly established. That's why it's so important for social media companies to put their foot down on privacy issues to protect their users. That's exactly what Twitter is doing in the case of Occupy Wall Street protestor Malcolm Harris.

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