Posts Tagged ‘privacy’

Internet Security Sounds Secure

Thursday, February 23rd, 2012

Security and privacy are concepts with remarkable favoring, when not associated with the Internet. Why does so much resistance to “Internet security” or “Internet privacy” exist?

-          Because of the freedom that the Internet allows for

-          Because of the restrictions that security and privacy can create

For many the notions of securing the Internet, protecting the Internet, and stopping online piracy, means actively censoring . At the same time, others take protecting and securing the Internet to mean that their works will no longer by illegally used or that false facts will no longer be published.

As a result of widespread outrage to concepts on limiting the open Internet, SOPA and PIPA were put on hold or moved for revisions. However, the movements for Internet security are proving to be relentless and look like they will turn into a major decade debate. Today, the Obama administration introduced the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights and the controversy has already emerged. Main points of the bill:

  1. INDIVIDUAL CONTROL:  Consumers have a right to exercise control over what personal data companies collect from them and how they use it.
  2. 2. TRANSPARENCY:  Consumers have a right to easily understandable and accessible information about privacy and security practices.
  3. RESPECT FOR CONTEXT:  Consumers have a right to expect that companies will collect, use, and disclose personal data in ways that are consistent with the context in which consumers provide the data.
  4. 4. SECURITY:  Consumers have a right to secure and responsible handling of personal data.
  5. ACCESS AND ACCURACY:  Consumers have a right to access and correct personal data in usable formats, in a manner that is appropriate to the sensitivity of the data and the risk of adverse consequences to consumers if the data is inaccurate.
  6. FOCUSED COLLECTION:  Consumers have a right to reasonable limits on the personal data that companies collect and retain.
  7. ACCOUNTABILITY:  Consumers have a right to have personal data handled by companies with appropriate measures in place to assure they adhere to the Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights.

This bill is with stated efforts to “protect individual privacy rights” but will the public reject it with the same passion used against SOPA and PIPA, or will they recognize the bill as a tool for their personal Internet security. The battle for or against seems crucial to the Obama administration as the pressure from both sides must be overwhelming.

One identifying factor for the “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights” is its aim towards protecting the individual whereas SOPA and PIPA aimed at protecting larger parties.  This may allow for the bill to receive a more welcoming introduction.

Further Reading:

Obama Administration Seeks Online Privacy Rules

What Are SOPA and PAPA And Why All The Fuss?

Microsoft Wipes Privacy Sidestepping on Google, Why Not Facebook Too?

Facebook Modifies Privacy Features

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

Once again, Facebook has modified its privacy features. After multiple complaints of accidental oversharing and too much accessibility by people other than your friends to what is posted on Facebook, the social media giant has decided to make some more changes.

According to an article from the New York Times, the company announced Tuesday that the new features will help users control what they share and with whom. These new tools to be introduced on Thursday will include specific icons that will appear when adding new content. Pictures, comments and content to profile pages will all be subject to the user’s specifications on who they would like to share it with.

As of right now, users must go to a separate page in order to set controls on who they share with. Facebook hopes that by integrating the sharing options into each new instance of content creation, it will help users become more aware of who they are sharing with and allow them more control.

Recently, the use of facial recognition to identify people in photos was a big concern among Facebook users. Not to mention that when somebody tagged a photo of you, it automatically popped up in you profile images.

With the new changes, any tagged photo of you will require your approval before it is posted to your page. It will still appear on the page of the person who tagged you but not on your own page without consent.

This is an appealing new feature, especially if you have ever been the victim of an embarrassing tag. Perhaps you don’t want that photo of you with your arm around someone other than your girlfriend emerging on Facebook. Or maybe you don’t really care to share that photo of you doing shots at the bar with your parents or employers.

With more than 750 million users, the new changes will make an impact. Facebook denies that the privacy modifications are intended to keep up with the competition that is Google+. Google’s new social media service lets you establish groups of friends that you would like to communicate or share certain things with. With Facebook, if you don’t pay a whole lot of attention to your privacy settings; your info is just out there for the whole world to see.

Oversharing and surprise-tagging can be big sources of embarrassment on Facebook, and in certain cases might even get you into trouble. The simplest solution to this dilemma is to not act like an idiot when you are out in public. Or if you are really worried about your social media image but insist on being an idiot, then maybe you should just not have a Facebook page. Now there’s a crazy concept.