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Submission + - facebook is tracking you when you're logged out (geek.com)

pcause writes: According to this article and apparently confirmed by a Facebook engineer, even when you are logged out of facebook they are still tracking you. The quoted engineer explains that this tracking is only for security related purposes. Maybe, but the bigger question is does this need to be disclosed and does it violate an implied contract with web users as to what logging out means?

Submission + - Third party cookies and web tracking

pcause writes: Most of the consumer web tracking is done by third party cookies. An ad network or ad targetting service puts cookies on your system to watch where you go and uses this ti figure out what to give you for ads and to build a profile. All of the major browsers have the ability to block third party cookies. The question is why they do't make this the default behavior, as doing so would immediately reduce unwanted tracking, especially if Flash respected this setting.

Submission + - Google trying to scare us out of optin

pcause writes: This article in Ars Technica discussed a proposal by a Virginia Congressman to give you back control of your privacy and make use of your personal and behavioral information opt-in. This scares the pants off of Google and they are trying to scare us with stories of how horrible the Internet will be if we have privacy. It will be terrible for Google's business, as they make more money the more they abuse your privacy, and they make a LOT of money!

Submission + - You call this cloud privacy?

pcause writes: Google and a coalition of tech companies want to create legal protections against the government accessing you content in the cloud. Of course, they aren't proposing any restrictions on how *THEY* can use you content, location information and the like to make more $$ and further violate your privacy. Unregulated, nontransparent and unaccountable corporate entities saying they are to be trusted. Ken Lay of Enron would love these guys.

Submission + - Eric Schmidt to user - It is all your fault

pcause writes: Seems that Eric Schmidt thinks that there was nothing wrong with Buzz and that it was just "confused" users that were the problem. Just when they begin to dig out of the mess, the CEO blames the users for being clueless instead of taking responsibility for a mistake that has forever shown that Google's "do no evil" was, to quote Steve Jobs, "bulls**t". Users understood that Google was violating our privacy to advance its business. He is right that we didn't udnerstand one thing at all — why these privacy violations for Google's profits were good for us.

Submission + - Time for a Bill of Rights for email accounts?

pcause writes: With Google demonstrating a disregard for the privacy of your email account is it time for legislation to protect your email account? Should the following be basic email rights:

- You are the owner of any email you receive, subject to copyright of the sender

- Your email content cannot be accessed or scanned other than for the purpose of preventing spam and malware

- The people who you correspond with is private information and cannot be used or shared in any way by a third party with the exception that an address book may be created for the sole benefit and use of the individual creating it. No use of the address book may be made without explicit opt in agreement of the user

- A company cannot ask you to waive these rights

- The FTC Can issue regulations about email, but all regulation must to the maximum reasonable extent be aimed at protecting consumer email privacy. Courts should interpret the intent of legislation to be to protect consumer email privacy to the maximum practical extent

This let's free email services still advertise and perform spam prevention, but it stops snooping and other creepy practices and accidental/intentional use of our private information to help some else improve their business results.


Submission + - Your location data, government access and privacy 1

pcause writes: The Department of Justice doesn't think it needs a warrant to get access to your location data. I know everyone's first reaction is outrage but most of you with a smartphone and applications are sharing your location data with random apps so they can feed you ads, providing it to Google for maps and search, Foursquare for check ins and much more. Why in the world would anyone who shares their application data so widely have any expectation of privacy of the data or, for that matter, privacy at all?

We all hate Big Brother, but maybe the biggest threat to our privacy comes not from the government but from ourselves and the unregulated commercial entities we give access to all of this data without ever reading the TOS, or really having a clue what those folks can and will do with the data.

Submission + - Is it time to regulate Google?

pcause writes: The Official Google Blog announces that Google will now offer "personalized" search results based on your last 180 days of queries EVEN IF YOU AREN"T LOGGED IN . This is just confirmation that Google is tracking you, even when you aren't logged in, and that it keeps at LEAST 6 months of history. We know from the event where AOL released data to search researchers that 6 months of data is enough to identify an individual despite the supposedly anonymous cookie.

Yes you can opt out of the personalization, but does that mean Google isn't still collecting data about you? I doubt it. Google has always invaded your privacy by tracking you, but they are now admitting it. There'd be huge flames here on /. if the government was doing this. Google is no more trustworthy than the government as they do all this to make money and are totally unaccountable.

Is it time to regulate Google?

Submission + - Android Apps and Privacy / Security

pcause writes: I recently got a droid and as I started downloading applications I noticed that many needed permissions to access to read "phone state and identity". For example, MixZing a popular media player needs to read this data. I can understand needing phone state to stop music when a call comes in, but why does this provide access to "identity". Is the security model of Android good enough to protect user's privacy and give them full control of who can access what or at least to give users enough information to know what an application is really doing?

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