Jun 292014
 

A 2012 experiment run through Facebook showed that moods expressed via social networks influence the emotions of others. Probably that result is not a huge surprise, but it is described as the first study of its kind to confirm it, and (more to the point in a privacy forum) they did this study by manipulating the digital feeds of over 600,000 users without their knowledge or consent.

 Posted by at 12:34 pm on June 29, 2014
Jun 112014
 

The data sought by the Feds is about US citizens but held in Ireland by a US company. Which laws prevail for invading the privacy? That is the key question brought in this suit by Microsoft, which was served with a search warrant which was crafted to look like it had properties of a subpoena (so the data location would be less relevant to the governance.) Quoting the linked article

One of the key unresolved issues that the case raises is the lack of clarity on what constitutes a search and a seizure and where they take place in the digital world — where data can be sent by a user in Paris, stored in Dublin and then retrieved by a company in Redmond, Wash.

Microsoft is pushing back, not the least of which out of fear that once people see the feds have access to all content in a US firm, no matter where it operates in the world, then people will move their mail and other business to non-US companies.

 Posted by at 6:03 am on June 11, 2014
Jun 042014
 

With a spectacular screed about net neutrality, and an invitation for viewers to comment directly to the FCC, John Oliver may have caused FCC site crash.

“The guy who used to run the cable industry’s lobbying arm is now running the agency tasked with regulating it,” Oliver said. “That is the equivalent of needing a babysitter and hiring a dingo … With the fact that they are practically overseeing their own oversight, it is hardly surprising that cable companies are basically monopolies now. A federal study found that 96 percent of the population had access to two or fewer cable broadband providers. It’s almost at if they’ve agreed to stay out of each other’s way like drug cartels.”

Indeed.

 Posted by at 7:55 am on June 4, 2014
May 192014
 

In an open letter to President Obama, Cisco’s CEO asks that the US not erode international trust in US high tech exports by introducing spyware en route. The allegation of this practice arose from materials released by the Snowden document dump. Apparently China’s practice – of which we have reported in the past – was not unique in the world.

 Posted by at 9:04 am on May 19, 2014
May 142014
 

Private companies already collect, mine and sell as many as 75,000 individual data points on each consumer, according to a Senate report. And they’re poised to scoop up volumes more, as technology unleashes a huge wave of connected devices — from sneaker insoles to baby onesies to cars and refrigerators — that quietly track, log and analyze our every move.

 Posted by at 2:37 pm on May 14, 2014
May 132014
 

The highest court in the European Union decided on Tuesday that Google must grant users of its search engine a right to delete links about themselves in some cases, including links to legal records. The decision by the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg is a blow for Google, which has sought to avoid the obligation to remove links when requested by European users of its service.”

 Posted by at 9:02 am on May 13, 2014