David Kirkpatrick

March 11, 2010

It’s time to push for online privacy

Filed under: Politics, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:15 am

The argument about the generation growing up with social media and handheld audio/visual recording devices (otherwise known as mobile phones) is a pretty good one. I wouldn’t disparage the generation out of hand, though. It’s entirely possible they grow into a heightened sense of online privacy and a clear understanding of just what’s important and not in the public/private legal debate.

From the link:

If the public wants online privacy it had better fight now for laws to protect it because businesses won’t and individuals don’t have the clout, security expert Bruce Schneier told RSA Conference attendees.

The longer information-privacy policies go unset, the more likely it is that they never will be set, says Schneier, an author of books about security and CTO of security consultant BT Counterpane. As young people grow up with broad swaths of information about them in the public domain, they will lose any sense of privacy that older generations have.

And they will have no appreciation that lack of privacy shifts power over their lives from themselves to businesses or governments that do control their information. Laws protecting digital data that is routinely gathered about people are needed, he says. “The only lever that works is the legal lever,” he says. “How can we expect the younger generation to do this when they don’t even know the problem?”

March 1, 2010

Microsoft and your privacy

Food for thought

What is the “Spy Guide”?

The Global Criminal Compliance Handbook is a quasi-comprehensive explanatory document meant for law enforcement officials seeking access to Microsoft’s stored user information. It also provides sample language for subpoenas and diagrams on how to understand server logs.

I call it “quasi-comprehensive” because, at a mere 22 pages, it doesn’t explore the nitty-gritty of Microsoft’s systems; it’s more like a data-hunting guide for dummies.

Which of My Microsoft Services are Affected?

All sorts. Microsoft keeps user information related to its online services. The data ranges from past e-mails to credit card numbers. The information is kept for a designated period of time, sometimes forever.

The sites referenced are:

  • Windows Live
  • Windows Live ID
  • Microsoft Office Live
  • Xbox Live
  • MSN
  • Windows Live Spaces
  • Windows Live Messenger
  • Hotmail
  • MSN Groups

December 4, 2009

Concerned about a website’s privacy policy? You have a forum

Not a bad idea from the Center for Democracy and Technology.

From the link:

Don’t like what a website has done with your personal information? Don’t understand its privacy policies? A new privacy complaint site is now open for business–created by an Internet freedom and privacy advocacy group in Washington, D.C. called the Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT).

Complaints can be shared with your social network via sites like Twitter and Facebook, and also forwarded to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If enough complaints surface, it’s possible that the FTC will launch an investigation into whether a website is violate existing laws.

The larger point is to create a cudgel to get Congress interested  in enactingcomprehensive Internet privacy legislation. CDT has already put out a pretty good guide to online privacy problems, explaining existing and often narrowly-written patchwork of court rulings and laws, most of them falling hopelessly behind rapid technological advances.

October 10, 2008

Looking to get the dirt on someone?

Filed under: et.al., Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:46 pm

This CIO.com article gives you nine sites to hit for sensitive information.

One of the nine from the link:

Search Systems: Public-records sites do the legwork of collecting all kinds of public records from all over the country, and then sell access to them via the Internet. Search Systems, one of the oldest and most reliable of these companies, takes a no-nonsense approach to selling access to 36,000 public-records databases from around the country. You can access marriage and death records, property records, and business permits for a US$5 monthly fee, or buy the “premium” service, which includes bankruptcy and criminal records.