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RIP online privacy - is it right?

Discussion in 'General Discussion Forum' started by ManlyBacker, May 22, 2010.

  1. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    I've posted on here before about how some of the large corporations have little regard for their user's privacy.

    It has really blown up this last week with:
    - almost all social networking sites handing out information to advertisers that could be used to clearly identify users
    - the collection all over the world of wi-fi network info by Google street view that is potentially more dangerous

    Below is some of the information on the above two privacy threats.

    My question is how people feel about this. Have these organisations gone too far and should there be controls on how your private information can be used? Or do you have no problems with any online information being used (as there seems to be no limits)?

    "PC World - Lately, social networking sites have been bending over backwards to assure their users that user privacy is of utmost importance--but it may have all been in vain, as the Wall Street Journal discovered Thursday that several social networking sites are sharing, with advertisers, information that can be used to identify individuals.

    A report in the Journal said that a number of social networking sites (including Facebook, MySpace, and Digg) may be sharing users' personal information with advertisers. Since the Journal started looking into this possible breach of privacy, both Facebook and MySpace have moved to make changes.

    The practice is a somewhat defensible one -- and most of the companies involved did try to defend it -- in which the advertisers receive information on the last page viewed before the user clicked on their ad.

    This is common practice all over the Web, and, in most cases, is no issue -- advertisers receive information on the last page viewed, which cannot be traced back to the user.

    Depending on what those individuals have made public, advertisers can then see anything from hometowns to real names.

    The real problem is, of course, that social networking sites have the ability to obscure user names and profile ID numbers from advertisers -- but they simply haven't.

    While many of the sites only reveal information about the last page viewed (which may not be the user's profile and may therefore not reveal anything about that person), Facebook was a more serious offender as it sent information on both what profile was being viewed and who was doing the viewing.

    Other sites, including MySpace, LiveJournal, Hi5, Xanga, Digg, and Twitter, revealed the user names and profiles being visited when the ad was clicked on.

    "Computerworld - Google's secret Wi-Fi sniffing has prompted a class-action lawsuit that could force the company to pay up to $10,000 for each time it snatched data from unprotected hotspots, court documents show.

    The lawsuit, which was filed by an Oregon woman and a Washington man in a Portland, Ore. federal court on Monday, accused Google of violating Federal privacy and data acquisition laws.

    "When Google created its data collection systems on its GSV [Google Street View] vehicles, it included wireless packet sniffers that, in addition to collecting the user's unique or chosen Wi-Fi network name (SSID information), the unique number given to the user's hardware used to broadcast a user's Wi-Fi signal (MAC address, the GSV data collection systems also collected data consisting of all or part of any documents, e-mails, video, audio, and VoIP information being sent over the network by the user [payload data]," the lawsuit stated.
  2. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    Only a problem if you have something to hide.
  3. Zep

    Zep Active Member

    +8 /0
    The internet is simple, the more information you give it the more is available to anyone.

    Recently i had to spend 2 days rewriting an ex-employees code because he was storing passwords in Plain Text. Just as a test, i picked at random 5 records, then going to either gmail or hotmail and using the Email Account and the Password they provided i was able to access to 4 out of 5 email accounts. That is warning enough that you should be wary of what you provide. Just to add i didn't read any emails i immediately hit the logout link and then deleted all stored passwords so that other future employees won't stumble across them.

    Personally I have a set of 5 passwords.

    the first is for internet banking.
    second is for the internet account (and therefore its email) and other high end level access.
    third is for email
    fourth for forums/facebook etc.
    fifth for any garbage
  4. ConcernedSupporter

    ConcernedSupporter Member

    +2 /0
    How about real life privacy?

    I recently found out the Australian Electoral Commission (ACT) have a public computer that anyone can use to look up someone's name. If that person has voted (so all of us over 18) they are on the electoral role and you can see their full name and address. Well the address they have registered anyway.

    Great for checking your own details are up to date. Great for stalkers looking for the victim who has moved. Especially great for former police officers who spent a life time putting criminals in prison.
  5. fLIP

    fLIP UFO Hunter

    +1,324 /37
    If you dont want your information viewed, my advice would be not to put it on the internet of all places.
  6. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    For me - no Facebook, no Twitter, no never-ending cookies, as little as possible. It is nothing to do with having something to hide Mata. Identity theft is the biggest threat to almost all of us. It is way too easy for a complete profile to be built and to be abused in so many ways. I'm not paranoid, really have never been, but trusting of what others attempt and can do will always be an issue for me. The fact others know I love Manly is not a problem, but add another 50 pieces about my likes, habits, personal information and yes I believe it could become a serious threat.
  7. Matabele

    Matabele Well-Known Member

    +516 /14
    Facebook is the mark of the beast.
  8. ManlyBacker

    ManlyBacker Winging it Staff Member

    +972 /7
    Mata, you have got to stop drinking so much holy water late at night!
  9. Berkeley_Eagle

    Berkeley_Eagle Current Status: 24/7 Manly Fan

    +2,125 /14
    a lot of my paaswords are about 20 letters and numbers long
  10. Canteen Worker

    Canteen Worker Well-Known Member

    +215 /5
    The only issue for me is the endless emails soliciting viagra!!!! Grateful for spam filters!!!!
  11. nita

    nita Member

    +2 /0

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