On Trust and Privacy: Why I No Longer Trust Google

Trust. It's a key factor in any successful relationship, whether that relationship is between two people or a person and an organization. Privacy concerns are ongoing and have been around on the web for a long time. Kee Hinckley wrote about them in 1999. Among privacy advocates, discussions about "do not track" go back at least four years; then in 2010, the FTC endorsed the idea. (As did Mozilla in 2011.) There's the W3C Platform for Privacy Preferences (P3P), now suspended, and a new W3C tracking protection group. Although it hasn't been battered with privacy-related consumer trust headlines as frequently as Facebook (Beacon, 2007, 2007, 2009; privacy settings, 2009, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2011, 2012; tracking, 20112012; FTC settlement, 2011), Google has flirted with trust issues since at least 2004. That's when Dave Winer warned: …continue reading →

LinkedIn Joins Facebook In “Personalized” Ad Push; Here’s How To Opt-Out

To some of you, this may be old news. After all, LinkedIn announced the change via a blog post last month. But I learned about it today on GooglePlus.

First, there were announced changes in the LinkedIn privacy policy in June. (Missed those, too.) Then last month, under the familiar guise of "deliver[ing] ads that are more useful and relevant to you," LinkedIn opted-you-in to agreeing to let the company use your name and photo in social advertising. …continue reading →

Facebook Changes Privacy Settings. Again.

It's the never-ending story of Facebook. The New York Times technology blog, Bits, reports that Facebook has turned on facial recognition by default. By default, this privacy setting tells Facebook servers to search its database for images you (and others) have tagged as you, and then compare that image to any new image a friend uploads. If the servers think they have a match, they will suggest your friend "tag" you in the photo. As the security company Sophos notes:
Remember, Facebook does not give you any right to pre-approve tags. Instead the onus is on you to untag yourself in any photo a friend has tagged you in. After the fact.
If you don't want Facebook to suggest your name to friends when they upload photos of you, here's how to change that setting. …continue reading →