Golden rules on SNS

…one more related to Karen’s article “Facebook ID theft” posted earlier this week…

SNS? I didn’t know there was an acronym for Social Networking Sites (SNSs). Somehow by being in this branch (IT) you tend to be fed with lots and lots of 3 letter combinations that depending on the context you are supposed to know what they mean, hmmm I’m sometimes -very often- overloaded but anyway that’s not the main reason for me to write here today.

The reason  is to give you all advice about a new set of rules that have been created to protect us!! when we (or those who do) access SNSs from our mobile devices.  The organisation behind this brilliant idea is  ENISA (again another set of letters -sorry!) what stands for European Network and Information Security Agency. An extract comes here:

“The paper also gives a comprehensive view of the SNS world under the lens of the European directive on data protection (Dir. 95/46/EC).The Executive Director of ENISA, Dr. Udo Helmbrecht, comments:

“This report provides practical, hands-on advice to the users of how to
more safely be online, anywhere and anytime, when enjoying mobile social networks.”

So this is in indeed gold for us users, worth to at least take a quick look at the full 49 pages report, specially if you are uch a user; here is the link

Here comes also the link to the whole article “Instantly online -17 golden rules for mobile social networks

What about USA’s Census 2010?

As an European citizenship first and as a individual second, I couldn’t help to be surprised when on Saturday night, as many other nights, I went to bed with last’s week issue of  The Economist . I was reading this article A count that counts” about USA’s census for this year and I reacted on how clearly they speak about the fact that companies will use census results for marketing purposes.

Half way through the article I had to ask myself: What was the initial purpose of the census?? Oh yes to count folks to distribute seats in the Congress, I answered myself. But seriously, I had to think hard because I was so very astonished to read things like this (directly quoted from the article):

-“But the census results also constitute the country’s biggest and most complete market-research survey, and are therefore invaluable to business.”

-“The census this year will ask households to say how many people live there, and to report their race, sex, age, and whether they own or rent. The data on population will help firms decide where to open stores and distribution centres. The other questions provide a profile of consumers in each area, and so help managers pick what products to stock in shops, among other things. “We use census data every day to make business decisions,” says Joan Naymark, director of research and planning at Target, a big retailer. “The 2010 census is incredibly important to us.” The results of the 2000 census prompted Target to offer more hair products for African-Americans and children’s books in Spanish, for example, in its stores in Washington, DC.”

-“The recession has made them reluctant to expand without good market data, ]…[, yet it has also caused them to cut back on research, making the free census data all the more vital.

And last sentence:

-“No wonder, then, that the Census Bureau has around 47,000 active corporate “partners” helping promote the census to their customers and employees—more than double the number in 2000. Their efforts come on top of the bureau’s own marketing campaign, which is likely to cost over $300m, and the enthusiastic support of local authorities, which are keen to promote participation and thus win more federal funding in future.”

Obviusly without a data privacy act as enforced as we have in Europe it is difficult to protect us from big corporations firstly as citizenships and secondly as individuals.

Unique note on a receipt from El Corte Inglés

Well hello to you all,

This is the first time I ever blog and I just wanted to share with you something that caught my attention a few days ago. As most of us have, I’ve been wandering around shopping centers during the Xmas holidays. In my case this year, I went to Spain to celebrate it with my family. The celebration brought of course lots of shopping along  -I just love shopping in Spain so much than in Sweden because of the limited selection of products they have over here-. But anyway I was caught when at Spain’s largest department store I get my shopping receipt and I read at the bottom:

” Para gestionar el cobro, todos los datos de la operación,  son transmitidos a un fichero informático gestionado por El Corte Inglés, S. A., con domicilio en Madrid, c/Hermosilla, 112, donde podrán ejecitarse los derechos de acceso y rectificación. “

Which I (not being an official translator) would translate into English like:

To transact this payment, all the operation data are transmitted to a computer file/database managed by the El Corte Inglés, S. A., residing in Madrid, c / Hermosilla, 112, where you may pursue rights of access and rectification.

I don’t know whether this (refers only to tickets) is a requirement by law however I wouldn’t think so as this particular store is the only one I found this little note. And I can promise you the pile of receipts I brought back home is not small. So there must be something unique in the El Corte Inglés way of doing.  They do have a customer data policy on their site but, as my curiosity has now been waken up, I do have a new item on my ‘to do’ list and find out whether this is a new rule or only an example for other companies to follow… .  So far I have not seen anything similar in Sweden but of course I’ve been a lot home because: 1) it’s too cold to go out and my car won’t start and 2) my account is just empty 🙁