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  1. 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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  2. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  6. 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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  7. 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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  8. Japanese Court Tells Google to Stop Search Autocomplete in Japan

    A Japanese court has ordered Google to shut down its autocomplete feature in Japan after a man took a complaint to court that said autocomplete feature was casting him in a negative light. The mans' name was not revealed, though the complaint said autocomplete coupled his named with over 10,000 negative words, and it is negatively affecting his career.

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  9. 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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  10. Google Forces All Profiles to Go Public After July 31

    After July 31, Google will force everyone's Google Profiles to go public. A message on the Google Profiles page explains:

    The purpose of Google Profiles is to enable you to manage your online identity. Today, nearly all Google Profiles are public. We believe that using Google Profiles to help people find and connect with you online is how the product is best used. Private profiles don’t allow this, so we have decided to require all profiles to be public.Keep in mind that your full name and gender are the only required information that will be displayed on your profile; you’ll be able to edit or remove any other information that you don’t want to share. If you currently have a private profile but you do not wish to make your profile public, you can delete your profile. Or, you can simply do nothing. All private profiles will be deleted after July 31, 2011.
    Not exactly something as staggering as the initial Blizzard RealID scandal, considering Google is only forcing a profile name and gender to be public, and technically, nothing is stopping a user from using a fake name. The change has been announced for a while now, but with the release of the Google+, Google is pretty much forcing users to submit to going public, assuming said users want to use a service that is currently garnering the biggest buzz across the Internet. Google+ does, however, allow users to remove their profiles from Google searches, so at least they can somewhat disappear.

    (via Search Engine Land)

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