The constant, buried & insidious corruption of an individual's privacy will be our doom. We rank it right up there with mismanagement of our earth's resources.
It can seem, on days when I stop and contemplate the depth of companies' greed, that there is a substantial reason for despair for the future of both the individual and 'society' that I mark with quotes because the word does not apply in any sense that we recognise from one day to the next.
Be prepared to be alarmed about this article's content.
Let me begin by clarifying something we all seem to have forgotten - or perhaps never knew. The "Patriot Act" is accurately called the following: the US PATRIOTACT which is a cleverly if contorted distillation of the following: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act.
What bent, cynical staffer thought that one up?
To get to the point the correctly referenced U.S.P.A.T.R.I.O.T. Act is being amended. Here's the scoop from lifehacker.com. in its entirety, which begins like this:
"You might have heard in the news that “the Patriot Act is expiring.” This isn’t technically true. The Patriot Act, as a whole, is still in effect. There are a lot of parts that are not controversial (or at least, not as controversial) and they will remain in place. However, certain provisions that give the NSA authority to spy on both Americans and foreigners were set to expire. At midnight on Monday, that finally happened. They’re probably going to return, but one thing at a time. Here’s what the provisions in question entail:
Section 215: Bulk metadata collection:
Unidentified roving wiretaps:
Lone wolf warrants:
All of these provisions (as well as many others) have been set to expire multiple times over the last decade, but Congress and the President(s) have ultimately decided to extend the programs repeatedly until now. While some in Congress have tried to prevent reauthorization or tweak the law, all those attempts have failed. This time around, for the first time Congress has allowed the above provisions to expire, which means the opposition is getting somewhere. They’ll likely be back, but with a few key limitations.
Those limitations came in the form of the USA FREEDOM Act, a bill with an acronym so silly it sounds like Marvel made it up.(my emphasis - they've done it again!) In its current form, the bill makes some important changes to the Patriot Act, but most privacy groups such as the EFF and the ACLU don’t think it’s enough."
Cory ... is a science fiction author, activist, journalist and blogger — the co-editor of Boing Boing (boingboing.net) and the author of many book, most recently IN REAL LIFE, a graphic novel; INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, a book about earning a living in the Internet age, and HOMELAND, the award-winning, best-selling sequel to the 2008 YA novel LITTLE BROTHER.
screen shot from NYAM
Cory has the capacity to distill the issues of privacy and human rights to a space in your head that immediately stores it and takes it away for further use. We loved his play in Chicago - "Little Brother"; difficult but necessary information. Without it we will surely lose our way.
He is speaking about INFORMATION DOESN’T WANT TO BE FREE, a business book (he wrote) about creativity in the Internet age (2014).
All your (electronically) recorded information is up for grabs, making you (and your information) accessible to organizations you’ve never even heard of (and never will!).
Companies and governments realise that your electronic devices - mobile devices, lap tops, home appliances with links to the internet and even implanted biometric devices are "powerful data collection tools."
Are you a victim or a willing participant in sharing of information about your life?
4 Million comments on social media to the FCC led to this:
Obama urges FCC support net neutrality, "the internet is an essential part of everyday life." Treat it as "a utility."
Here's the latest post from Democracy Now: (click arrow to play vid)
The FCC "Federal Communications Commission has unveiled what he calls "the strongest open internet protections ever proposed by the [agency]." Tom Wheeler backed the regulation of Internet service like a public utility in order to uphold net neutrality, the principle of a free and open Internet. The new rules would prevent Internet service providers like Comcast from blocking access to websites, slowing down content, or providing paid fast lanes for Internet service. It would also extend such protections to Internet service on cell phones and tablets. The proposal comes after the FCC received a record-setting number of public comments — nearly four million, almost all in support of strong protections. President Obama also released public statements in support of Internet protections. The FCC will vote on the plan February 26, ahead of an influx of lobbying by the telecom industry, which has also threatened to sue if the measure passes."
Here are some detailed findings from 2015 U.S. Internet of Things Privacy Index:
“…research found that 79% of consumers are concerned about the idea of their personal data being collected through smart devices, while 69% believed they should own any such data being collected.
More than 1 in 4 (27%) mentioned concerns about the security or privacy of the data collected as a reason why they did not currently own a smart device.
When asked how concerned they were about specific privacy and security issues that smart devices connected to the internet can lead to, consumers showed strong concerns over the use and control of their personal data
with the highest concern being personal information collected and used in ways they were unaware (87%)
followed by identity theft (86%),
the concern that their device would be infected by malware (86%) and
concern that their location might be revealed without their knowledge (78%).
To address the privacy concerns of the IoT era, TRUSTe held the first Internet of Things Privacy Summit in Silicon Valley last July, which provided a forum for privacy experts, policy makers and innovators around the world to come together and define the privacy needs of the increasingly connected world. In response to the success of the event, TRUSTe will host the 2nd annual IoT Privacy Summit on June 18, 2015 at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, California.
We aren't pleased that our warnings to our colleagues, friends and family are proving accurate.
The truth about 'free apps' for your Smart Phone has hit mainstream media and the news isn't pretty.
Information is being harvested from mobile phones... information and money, out of bank accounts, all approved automatically because users are giving permission to access bank accounts and credit cards. We'd like to say that these people are victims and unsuspecting but more accurately one would have to say that they are willingly ignorant of warnings that have been common knowledge in a large chunk of web-time.
This willingness to guard our private information on our home computers whilst completely pretending that security isn't an issue on our mobile phones is inexplicable and perhaps lays somewhere in the area of cognitive dissidence.
Whatever the reasons, we have to sit up and take note. Our information is being mixed up with that of our places of business, compromising our and our employers' privacy, this information is a commodity. It is used legally (because we give them permission) by the app developers and of course, illegally by those people who will always be with us, stealing whatever and whenever, to make money at all costs.
We are particularly interested in the reports that parents are finally paying attention to privacy now that charges are arriving on their credit card bills from 'purchases' made by their children when they downloaded apps. If only we could understand more about about privacy because it IS an issue and not just because it hits us in the bank account.
Today more than 300 committed citizens of the world are working to help you control your private and personal information. They are all global Ambassadors for PRIVACY by DESIGN. (PbD)
The "PbD framework" for the "unanimously (adopted)... resolution by International Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Jerusalem at their annual conference in 2010 ensures that privacy is embedded into new technologies and business practices, right from the outset – as an 'essential component of fundamental privacy protection'.”
Privacy by Design is a concept that was developed by Ontario’s Information and Privacy Commissioner, Dr. Ann Cavoukian, back in the 90’s, to address the ever-growing and systemic effects of Information and Communication Technologies, and of large–scale networked data systems.
"At the time, (when PbD was started) the notion of embedding privacy into the design of technology was far less popular – taking a strong regulatory stance was the preferred course of action. Since then, things have changed considerably and the Privacy by Design approach is now enjoying widespread popularity.
Privacy by Design advances the view that the future of privacy cannot be assured solely by compliance with legislation and regulatory frameworks; rather, privacy assurance must ideally become an organization’s default mode of operation.
Initially, deploying Privacy–Enhancing Technologies (PETs) was seen as the solution. Today, we understand that a more substantial approach is required – extending the use of PETs to taking a positive–sum, not a zero-sum, approach."
Privacy by Design does not wait for privacy risks to materialize, nor does it offer remedies for resolving privacy infractions once they have occurred – it aims to prevent them from occurring. In short, Privacy by Design comes before-the-fact, not after.
PdD (ensures that) privacy and gaining personal control over one’s information and, for organizations, gaining a sustainable competitive advantage — may be accomplished by practicing the 7 Foundational Principles.
Proactive not Reactive; Preventative not Remedial
Privacy as the Default Setting
Privacy Embedded into Design
Full Functionality – Positive-Sum, not Zero-Sum
End-to-End Security – Full Lifecycle Protection
Visibility and Transparency – Keep it Open
Respect for User Privacy – Keep it User-Centric
We are honoured and proud to announce that with Robert's acceptance at PbD,PLAN22 has just become a member Ambassador.
PbD keeps up to date with international Privacy Precedents.
"Increasingly, courts in Canada and the U.S. are deciding vital issues related to law enforcement, technology, and our right to privacy. In an effort to counter any impression that privacy is somehow dead or dying in this area, we will be pointing you to the latest privacy-protective decisions that caught our eye. You are invited to actively participate. Please submit any judicial decisions you see to firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for the site."
"Canadians have the right to be anonymous on the internet, and police must obtain a warrant to uncover their identities, Canada's top court has ruled.
The landmark decision from the Supreme Court Friday bars internet service providers from disclosing the names, addresses and phone numbers of their customers to law enforcement officials voluntarily in response to a simple request — something ISPs have been doing hundreds of thousands of times a year."
When Gabriel Weinberg launched a search engine in 2008, plenty of people thought he was insane. How could DuckDuckGo, a tiny, Philadelphia-based startup, go up against Google? One way, he wagered, was by respecting user privacy. Six years later, we're living in the post-Snowden era, and the idea doesn't seem so crazy.
In fact, DuckDuckGo is exploding
In 2008, launching a search engine seemed like a crazy idea. Here's how Gabriel Weinberg proved the critics wrong.
But things didn't start out that way. Weinberg, who says he has "always been a privacy-minded person," wasn't particularly concerned with search privacy issues when he first started building the service. In fact, he knew very little about the matter at all. Then early users started asking questions.
When you do a search from DuckDuckGo's website or one of its mobile apps, it doesn't know who you are. There are no user accounts. Your IP address isn't logged by default. The site doesn't use search cookies to keep track of what you do over time or where else you go online. It doesn't save your search history. When you click on a link in DuckDuckGo's results, those websites won't see which search terms you used. The company even has its own Tor exit relay, allowing Tor users to search DuckDuckGo with less of a performance lag.
Simply put, they're hardcore about privacy.
Like any company with a mostly remote team, DuckDuckGo experiments with all the latest online collaboration tools.
Skype. Yammer. HipChat. Asana. "We've tried everything that we know of," says Pappis.
Lately, they've been toying with Sqwiggle, an online collaboration tool that uses persistent video and periodic screenshots to let coworkers see each other--or know who's away from their desk."
We are early users of The Duck, won't leave home without it. Give it a try, you'll be pleased (and secure) that you did.
We need to know and show clearly and simply what the privacy policies are on sites we design and visit. McLean's Magazine's Jesse Brown reports on a system of icons that can simplify and our understanding of a site's privacy policies.
This site develped by students at Yale will allow youto generate code to place ICONS on your site to alert vistors about your privacy policies. Take a look.
One of the more important pieces of the proposal is a "new directive on open government that will provide guidance to 106 federal departments and agencies on maximizing the availability of online information;".
They are not alone in doing this. And neither are you, any more, ever. "Once you connect to the digital ether, whether via a computer, smartphone or tablet, your ostensible private information becomes public and prime for commercialization."
The Federal Trade Commission issued a warning earlier in February over apparent violations of children’s privacy rights involving the operating systems of the Apple iPhone and iPad as well as Google’s Android and their respective apps developers. Its report, "Mobile Apps for Kids," examined 8,000 mobile apps designed for children and found that parents couldn’t safeguard the personal information the app maker collected.
credit: David Rosen for Alternet