Posts Tagged: ‘privacy’

Hot on the heels of recent changes to your Facebook profile is the f8 conference. That’s a developer conference held by Facebook that gives app developers a look into upcoming changes to the platform that will help them design the next generation of Facebook apps. Facebook was kind enough to live stream the keynote presentation of the conference, giving all of us a glimpse into what we can expect (beyond the predictable backlash that always accompanies any change). So what did we learn?

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When it rains, it pours. August tends to be a slow month for tech news. As the month began, it looked like this year would follow the trend as tech bloggers and reporters wait for the inevitable plunge toward the holiday shopping season. But some recent events really generated a lot of news in the technosphere. So much news, in fact, that I need to summarize several stories to catch up.

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Have you ever used Google to search for your own name? If you haven’t, I suggest you give it a try: The results may surprise you. Google probably knows more about you than you’d assume. And, although Google receives a hefty share of criticism for its policies regarding private information, it’s far from the only […]

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Earlier today, Marshall Brain blogged about the uproar about privacy. It’s been in the news a lot recently. The Epsilon e-mail hack gave attackers access to millions of names and e-mail addresses. Sony has had a pair of headaches with the PlayStation Network security breach followed closely by a hack of the Sony Online Entertainment servers. Apple is in hot water after a pair of researchers directed attention to an unencrypted file on iPhones and 3G iPads that stores location data. And now Google is under the microscope in South Korea.

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Today’s uproar is not occurring in a concerted cry of outrage like it normally does, but instead it is occurring in the volume of material being published on so many different fronts. Two weeks ago we covered the fact that smartphones track our locations: Today’s uproar – Apple’s iPhone and 3G iPad track your location […]

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The news broke earlier this week: Researchers Alasdair Allan and Pete Warden discovered that the iPhone 4 and iPad 3G devices — essentially cellular devices running iOS 4 — have a secret file hidden away that tracks the devices location regularly. It appears that these devices determine location through pinging cell phone towers and triangulating the resulting position. Then the device records the estimated latitude and longitude with a timestamp in a file called consolidated.db. Allan and Warden hasten to add that, as far as they can tell, this information remains stored locally on your phone (though it will transfer to any computer you synchronize your device to).

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The internet is alight with the news:Apple’s iPhone and 3G iPad track your location and store the data in a hidden file. Wired had one of the first reports: iPhone Tracks Your Every Move, and There’s a Map for That Your iPhone or 3G-equipped iPad has been secretly recording your location for the past 10 […]

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It seems like every other day I write or talk about privacy concerns in relation to the Internet. This week, a pair of stories about how the United States government values online privacy broke and they don’t exactly mesh together. It seems that, at least on the surface, the concern leans more toward corporations than citizens. The more cynical among us might say that this is just the U.S. government following the same course that was set years ago, in which giant corporations influence — or perhaps even dictate — policy.

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This morning, I read an open essay on Wired UK written by Andrew Keen, author of The Cult of the Amateur. Keen’s argument is that the Internet in general and social networking in particular is destroying privacy and that this, in turn, is erasing part of what it means to be human. I found Keen’s argument to be interesting but flawed. Part of my objection is that I think a few of his premises are faulty.

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Last June, Senator Joseph Lieberman introduced an act in Congress that would give the executive branch of government — essentially, the President — to command key pieces of infrastructure to sever ties to the Internet. Some critics of the proposed legislation fear it could lead to a situation similar to what happened in Egypt earlier this month. What if the President were to command Internet Service Providers to shut down in order to silence protesters? Despite multiple statements from Lieberman and others saying that the language of the act specifically prohibits the President from such actions, distrust and suspicion continue to fester. Perhaps Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s words about Internet restrictions and censorship will help.

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