Privacy Revisited: A Standard Information Sharing Label

June 21, 2012

I Agreed To What?!?

I Agreed To What?!? — Image in the article quoted

We all are very familiar with nutrition labels on milk bottles and groceries. They disclose to us that water has 0% fat and that the burger you are heating in the microwave contains 70%fat and some interesting chemicals.

But when it comes to privacy considerations of web services we are on our own.

Until now.

Joe Andrieu wants to change this. A standardized web site “health label” could help you out of the current situation. As he writes in A Standard Information Sharing Label by Joe Andrieu — Kickstarter (with video),

“Did you know that Google keeps your Searches forever? (Only “anonymizing” them if you stop using Google for at least 18 months!)

“Did you know that Facebook automatically shares your information with BingPandoraTripAdvisorYelpRotten TomatoesClickerScribd, and Docs, unless you manually opt-out?

“Did you know … that YOU AGREED to this?

“Most of use have no idea what Terms of Service we agree to when we started using our favorite websites. (Remember that little box that you checked as you signed up?)

“If we actually read all the Terms of Service we allegedly agree to, it would take as many as 300 hours per year (or nearly 7.5 weeks of full-time work).

“There should be an easyfair way for us, as consumers, to check the details of how OUR data will be used… right when we sign up.

“Instead of burying the details in huge “Terms of Use and Privacy Policies,” there should be a short, simple Label that explains who will get our data and what they will do with it.

“Here it is!   The Standard Information Sharing Label.

“(It’s like a USDA Nutrition Facts label for personal information that users will share with companies):”

A Standard Information Sharing Label by Joe Andrieu — Kickstarter

A Standard Information Sharing Label by Joe Andrieu — Kickstarter

In my opinion this would really make it easier to decide at which web sites we confidently can enter personal information and which ones we should avoid.

What do you think is the Web ready for such a label? Seems we are not since the authors could not get the requested funding on Kickstarter. But someone should take this idea up get wide support and help Joe to realize his (and our) dream.

Google’s New Privacy Policy: What Has Changed and What You Can Do About It

March 2, 2012 today published an article from a blog at Google’s New Privacy Policy: What Has Changed and What You Can Do About It | Webmonkey |

I posted an update towards the end of this article describing “Tom Henderson’s Divorce From Google”

I am quoting from the first article above:

(begin quote)

Google and Privacy

Why Google's Privacy Changes Are Good for Advertisers

It was on March 1st that Google’s broad new privacy policy went into effect. European regulators are claiming it violates data protection laws, but it’s here and it may be here to stay.

There are some not-completely-foolproof ways to hide from Google, but first let’s talk about what’s changed. Read the rest of this entry »

Act Now: Set Your LinkedIn Privacy

February 3, 2012

Retweeted from several messages that I received:

In case you don’t know it, without attracting too much publicity, LinkedIn has updated their privacy conditions.

Without any action from your side, LinkedIn is now permitted to use your name and picture in any of their advertisements. The network now allows advertisers to use pictures and names of other users in their network of connections who have recommended or followed that brand.

Most likely you want to opt out of this. Some simple actions to be considered: Read the rest of this entry »

“You Have Zero Privacy Anyway — Get Over It” (Really?)

October 20, 2011


Is privacy being erased everywhere? Image by alancleaver_2000 via Flickr

Scott McNeally has been quoted many times with this (in)famous phrase from 1999.

But as Steven Cherry discusses is his podcast (mp3) The Car as Informant – IEEE Spectrum “even he (Scott) would be surprised at the extent to which we can now be tracked, both online and in real life.

“The car navigation and emergency response service OnStar, revealed that it was tracking cars even after their owners cancel their subscriptions—recording where you drive and stop for gas, the diagnostics that the car itself collects, and the speed, direction, and other information generated at the time of an accident.

“You can opt out of OnStar, or even have its sensors removed, but nowadays law enforcement officials can put tracking devices on your car without your knowing about it.

“If that sounds like it might be a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s fourth amendment protection against unreasonable searches, you’re not alone. That very question will be raised in a court case slated for argument at the U.S. Supreme Court in November.”

Read the rest of this entry »