Internet Privacy

  1. Tech

    Facebook Announces New Privacy Changes That Can Lead to External Advertising

    It's never good news when Facebook makes changes to its privacy policies, and the changes it's made this week are no exception. The new policies were put into place to allow Facebook to pool user data between itself and its other properties, such as Instagram, but one possible implication of this is that Facebook will be able to mine data from users to target ads outside of Facebook.

    Read on...
  2. Tech

    Facebook Comments Now Searchable On Google, Don’t Panic

    Yes ladies and gentlemen, it seems that Facebook comments are finally showing up in Google search results. Google's bots have recently gained the ability to index pages that have AJAX and JavaScript content -- Facebook comments, for instance. Until now, Google wasn't able to index and rank most 3rd party commenting systems (like our own Disqus), but now that they're able to, you can bet they're going to. Concerned about privacy implications? Well, you probably shouldn't be. All the privacy options that are available with Facebook and such still apply, so if your account is locked down properly, you won't see any of your particularly embarrassing drunken rants showing up in Google searches until one of your so-called "friends" decides to submit one to all the popular comedy websites as revenge for a similar, but unrelated tirade directed at him that he thought was completely uncalled for, but that he totally had coming. Not that that's ever happened to me. Definitely not. (But really though, it hasn't.)

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  3. Tech

    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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  4. Weird

    Survey Shows Many Young People Not Upset By Facebook or Email Hacking

    Just recently, Kashmir Hill of Forbes dug through the results of a poll MTV and the Associated Press did about social networking and Internet use among young people. The staggering result she found is that around 21% of the 1,335 14-24 year olds reported that their email, Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, or "other" accounts or emails had been accessed and used by someone other than themselves without permission. The more staggering result is that, of those victims, 22% said it didn't upset them at all, and 37% said it only upset them a little. That's a total of 59% of victims that wouldn't say they were even moderately upset. When asked about whether they thought about the consequences of uploading things to the Internet, mainly that this is no going back, the numbers show that many younger users have barely given this any thought. 41% had given little-to-no thought to the fact that you can never tell where these things will wind up. 44% gave little-to-no thought that stuff might come back to haunt them. 69% gave little-to-no thought that, man, the cops could see this stuff.

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  5. Tech

    Wi-Fi Picture Frame Steals Your Photos

    Autuin from the Free Geek Vancouver blog recently decided to do a write up of a project he has apparently had sitting around for a few years. This curious device, a digital picture frame, has an interesting little feature that separates it from its contemporaries. It uses your pictures. No, not  ones you upload to it or anything, just ones it finds hanging around once it sniffs out your insecure Wi-Fi.

    While this is sort of an invasion of privacy, Autuin suggests that it's more of a reminder that your privacy might not be as private as you think. Using insecure Wi-Fi is risky and this is intended to write that on the walls, so to speak. He's now looking for a daring, Wi-Fi enabled coffee shop where he can hang it up on the wall. But not before insuring it, since it probably won't last too long before attracting some negative, and maybe violent, attention. You can read about the creation process over on Autuin's blog.

    (Free Geek Vancouver via How-To Geek)

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  6. Tech

    Facebook’s “Foursquare Killer:” Now Mom Will Know Exactly When You’re Getting Wasted

    With the recent launch of Twitter's Geolocation API, every social startup worth its rackspace has been moving in the direction of locational applications. Now, Nicholas Carlson at Silicon Alley Insider seems to have inside confirmation that Facebook is working on adding capabilities for "checking into" to physical locations through its mobile service. Will parents soon know every time a college freshman hits up a frat party? Will your boss question your frequent trips to the free clinic? Will your significant other notice your repeated, um, "visits" to their best friend's apartment?

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