Facebook to simplify privacy settings as from 26th May….. opps that’s today 😉
Your phone number, Facebook and Evil: a recent trilogy to be aware off.
Probably most Facebook users aren’t aware, but his/her phone number is probably out there, exposed and ready to be collected by anyone. Evil project “randomly displays the private phone numbers of unsuspecting Facebook users”.
Unfortunately, nothing new! ‘Just’ another USB stolen in a school in Woodbridge, Virginia, USA. The content: personal information about students. What I couldn’t understand was this phrase in a letter to parents from the Principal of Lake Ridge Middle School: “Unfortunately, it is difficult to prevent the loss of confidential data resulting from unanticipated criminal activity.” Well, fortunately, it is simpler than he thinks to protect confidential data: encryption! There are some free tools out there that every school principal, teacher and even student should know about, such as, TrueCrypt.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, said today, in an Editorial of the Washington Post, that simple privacy controls are coming in a few weeks. Apparently he realised that Facebook “missed the mark”, after several protests from users and after pressures from regulators.
The computer security organization Sophos recently conducted a poll, and found that 60% out of 1,500 respondents, owing to privacy concerns, were considering deleting their profile. It is not clear if this is indicative of a definite fall from grace for the website, but is at least more fuel for their bad news month.
I almost fell over laughing when checking my linkedin profile this evening and saw the section “viewers of this profile also viewed….” Barack Obama President of the United States of America! LOL….. well it is only a 2nd degree connection but still… talk about cool connections!
“The Hacker Highschool project is the development of license-free, security and privacy awareness teaching materials and back-end support for teachers of elementary, junior high, and high school students.
Today’s kids and teens are in a world with major communication and productivity channels open to them and they don’t have the knowledge to defend themselves against the fraud, identity theft, privacy leaks and other attacks made against them just for using the Internet. This is the reason for Hacker Highschool.” (Source: The Hacker Highschool Project)
I think these two paragraphs explain quite well the project. Although started several years ago, it is sufficiently interesting to justify a reading.
This is an excellent podcast on many aspects of privacy in the modern world. – Enjoy! From the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) Radio National.
Wow, I love this news that UK’scoalition government will be keeping their promises to “reverse and restrain many of the surveillance systems that have marked its citizens out as the most watched in the world,” THINQ.co.uk reports. Plans include scrapping the National Identity Register and ID card, as well as biometric passports, and expanding the Freedom of Information Act. Other coalition commitments include removing innocent people’s records from the DNA database, regulating the use of CCTV and halting the prior government’s plan to retain national records of e-mail and communications data.
This will include a proposal to “outlaw” the finger-printing of children at school “without parental permission”. It will be interesting to see how they pan out in the statistics department for Privacy International “Most surveyed countries report” in a couple of years 🙂
Adding more fuel to the fire that is feeding facebook’s fall from grace, here is a graphic that demonstrates the evolution of facebook’s privacy settings over time.
The Guardian’s Andrew Brown, who provided the link had this to say:
- “Ten years ago, when the British government proposed to make traffic data available to a wide variety of agencies under the Regulation of Investigative Powers Act, there was an outcry from civil libertarians. Their point was that you hardly need to know what people are saying to each other if you know who they are talking to. And now Facebook knows and makes this information freely available to almost anyone.
This may seem like a bad way to treat customers, but the whole point about Facebook is that users aren’t customers. Anyone who supposes that Facebook’s users are its customer has got the business model precisely backwards. Users pay nothing, because we aren’t customers, but product. The customers are the advertisers to whom Facebook sells the information users hand over, knowingly or not.”
As one of the comments read:
- This is a book that nobody should take at face value.