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  • Gerrit Eicker 11:49 on 30. November 2011 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , EU Commission, , , , , , , , , , , Privacy Audits, , , , Privacy Violations, , , , , , , ,   

    Facebook Privacy: FTC Settlement, EU Fires 

    While Facebook settles with the FTC, the EU commission starts firing at its business model; http://eicker.at/FacebookPrivacy

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 11:50 on 30. November 2011 Permalink | Reply

      FTC: “The social networking service Facebook has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that it deceived consumers by telling them they could keep their information on Facebook private, and then repeatedly allowing it to be shared and made public. The proposed settlement requires Facebook to take several steps to make sure it lives up to its promises in the future, including giving consumers clear and prominent notice and obtaining consumers’ express consent before their information is shared beyond the privacy settings they have established. … The proposed settlement bars Facebook from making any further deceptive privacy claims, requires that the company get consumers’ approval before it changes the way it shares their data, and requires that it obtain periodic assessments of its privacy practices by independent, third-party auditors for the next 20 years. – Specifically, under the proposed settlement, Facebook is: barred from making misrepresentations about the privacy or security of consumers’ personal information; required to obtain consumers’ affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences; required to prevent anyone from accessing a user’s material more than 30 days after the user has deleted his or her account; required to establish and maintain a comprehensive privacy program designed to address privacy risks associated with the development and management of new and existing products and services, and to protect the privacy and confidentiality of consumers’ information; and required, within 180 days, and every two years after that for the next 20 years, to obtain independent, third-party audits certifying that it has a privacy program in place that meets or exceeds the requirements of the FTC order, and to ensure that the privacy of consumers’ information is protected. – The proposed order also contains standard record-keeping provisions to allow the FTC to monitor compliance with its order.

      ATD: “Facebook has agreed to 20 years of privacy audits in response to complaints by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission that it unfairly deceived users about the privacy of their personal information, as was anticipated. The settlement, which is not particularly punitive and comes years after some of the incidents in question, shames Facebook for promising users that their information was kept private while it was in fact shared with advertisers and outside applications that the users or their friends installed. … Facebook’s punishment is in line with what its competitors Twitter and Google have already agreed to: Clearer privacy policies that are audited every two years for the next 20 years.”

      AdAge: “Facebook has settled with the Federal Trade Commission on charges that it rolled out upgrades that overrode users’ privacy settings without obtaining their consent and shared their private information with third-party apps and advertisers. – The settlement marks the first time that the FTC has taken action against the social network, though its European counterparts have been more aggressive in attempts to regulate Facebook and others. The European Commission reportedly intends to amend data-protection laws to ban targeted advertising unless users explicitly opt in, and Facebook would be subject to fines if it fails to comply. … Like the settlement reached with Google over its now-defunct social-networking Buzz product in March, the settlement carries no financial penalty. Facebook is subject to a $16,000 fine per violation per day if it fails to comply with the terms of the order.”

      SEL: “[T]he FTC settlement is also a reminder that privacy is alive and well. It’s also concrete proof that there are consequences for being cavalier about privacy. – This is even more true in Europe, where governments and regulators take privacy 10x more seriously that we do in the US. There are several investigations pending in Europe; and proposed legislation to be introduced early next year by the European Commission would place disclosure requirements and other constraints around Facebook’s ad targeting capabilities.”

      NYT: “Several privacy bills are pending in Congress, and Internet companies have stepped up their lobbying efforts. The F.T.C., meanwhile, has ratcheted up its scrutiny of Internet companies. This year alone, it has reached settlement orders with some of the giants of Silicon Valley, including Google. – The order comes amid growing speculation about Facebook’s preparations for an initial public offering, which could be valued at more than $100 billion. The settlement with the F.T.C., analysts say, could potentially ease investors’ concerns about government regulation by holding the company to a clear set of privacy prescriptions.”

      VB: “Now with third party audits required for the next two decades, including the FTC’s new ability to monitor Facebook’s compliance with the settlement (standard record-keeping procedure), Facebook users will be much more informed and kept up-to-date with any changes the platform might make that has the potential to distribute or share a consumer’s private information without his or her express permission. Or that’s the hope, right?

      Zuckerberg, Facebook: “I founded Facebook on the idea that people want to share and connect with people in their lives, but to do this everyone needs complete control over who they share with at all times. – This idea has been the core of Facebook since day one. When I built the first version of Facebook, almost nobody I knew wanted a public page on the internet. That seemed scary. … Overall, I think we have a good history of providing transparency and control over who can see your information.That said, I’m the first to admit that we’ve made a bunch of mistakes. In particular, I think that a small number of high profile mistakes, like Beacon four years ago and poor execution as we transitioned our privacy model two years ago, have often overshadowed much of the good work we’ve done. … I’m committed to making Facebook the leader in transparency and control around privacy. … Recently, the US Federal Trade Commission established agreements with Google and Twitter that are helping to shape new privacy standards for our industry. Today, the FTC announced a similar agreement with Facebook. These agreements create a framework for how companies should approach privacy in the United States and around the world. … Even before the agreement announced by the FTC today, Facebook had already proactively addressed many of the concerns the FTC raised. … In addition to these product changes, the FTC also recommended improvements to our internal processes. … As part of this, we will establish a biannual independent audit of our privacy practices to ensure we’re living up to the commitments we make. … Erin Egan will become Chief Privacy Officer, Policy. … Michael Richter will become Chief Privacy Officer, Products. … These two positions will further strengthen the processes that ensure that privacy control is built into our products and policies. I’m proud to have two such strong individuals with so much privacy expertise serving in these roles. – Today’s announcement formalizes our commitment to providing you with control over your privacy and sharing…

      RWW: “Since the settlement, Zuckerberg has penned a blog post outlining the Facebook features that the site has launched, which include friend lists, the ability to review tags before they appear on a profile, mobile versions of privacy controls, amount other notable updates. … According to the Sophos Security Blog, in addition to the privacy audits, if the settlement proceeds, Facebook also must stop misrepresenting its security and privacy policies, obtain consent when handing personal data, establish a stronger privacy program and, perhaps most importantly, prevent people from accessing information from deleted/deactivated accounts 30 days after they have been closed.”

      GigaOM: “Not surprisingly, Facebook appears keen to put the FTC incident in the past. CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday addressed the settlement with a lengthy company blog post in which he noted that it is ‘a similar agreement’ to those the FTC has previously reached with Google and Twitter. He also said Facebook has been proactive in bolstering privacy prior to today’s announced settlement with a number of product updates enacted in the past 18 months.”

      RWW: “On the one hand: As any IT security manager knows, the way to implement privacy control in an organization is not to make the private data available in the first place. Modern information security policies are never about per-instance restrictions to the otherwise free flow of information. The same level of controls can, and perhaps should, be provided for directing flow in the opposite direction. That is to say, share nothing by default, and opt in to services that other users and even apps may request. – On the other hand: Facebook’s responsibility for the protection of data provided by users of their own free will, and without any binding contract other than the implied consent agreement, is somewhat limited. The FTC made clear to cite Facebook for misrepresenting its services from the outset, and that misrepresentation gives the government the leverage it needed to force Facebook to change its policies (even though Zuckerberg implies no such change is necessary now). But had that misrepresentation not existed, the FTC may not have had much ground to stand on. It’s hard to establish a standard of care for property that so many millions of individuals willingly give for free.

      TC: “Zuckerberg Loves That The FTC Wants You To ‘Like’ Them On Facebook – You know what Zuck (and around 400 Facebook employees including PR rep Caryn Marooney) do take lightly, according to this comment thread on a Facebook internal network? The fact that the FTC ironically asks readers to ‘Like’ them on Facebook at the bottom of the release statement outlining today’s Facebook settlement. – My favorite part of this? ‘This would make a great public post.’ Be careful what you wish for.

      Telegraph: “Facebook faces a crackdown on selling users’ secrets to advertisers – The European Commission is planning to stop the way the website ‘eavesdrops’ on its users to gather information about their political opinions, sexuality, religious beliefs – and even their whereabouts. – Using sophisticated software, the firm harvests information from people’s activities on the social networking site – whatever their individual privacy settings – and make it available to advertisers. – However, following concerns over the privacy implications of the practice, a new EC Directive, to be introduced in January, will ban such targeted advertising unless users specifically allow it. … Viviane Reding, the vice president of European Commission, said the Directive would amend current European data protection laws in the light of technological advances and ensure consistency in how offending firms are dealt with across the EU. – ‘I call on service providers – especially social media sites – to be more transparent about how they operate. Users must know what data is collected and further processed (and) for what purposes. Consumers in Europe should see their data strongly protected, regardless of the EU country they live in and regardless of the country in which companies which process their personal data are established.’ … A spokesman for the UK Information Commissioner said: ‘Facebook should ensure that any data it collects should be used in the manner that its users expect. If personal data is being passed on to a third party or used for targeted advertising then this should be made clear to the user when they sign up to the site and reinforced when users are invited to use an application.'”

      SEL: “A new directive by the European Commission may stop advertisers from leveraging users’s information when advertising on Facebook. … The new laws would require that users would need to approve more than the standard 4,000 word contract if their personal information was to be used in ad targeting. … If Facebook does not conform to the new rules laid out by the EC, they could face legal action or a ‘massive fine.’

      VB: “Facebook’s entire business model is under fire in the EU – Facebook (and just about every other free Web service) has built a business on that saying and its implications, and the European Commission is taking the social network to task for it. The EU is considering a ban on Facebook’s practice of selling demographic data to marketers and advertisers without specific permission from users. … Facebook is on track for $4.27 billion in revenue this year, largely due to its wildly successful ad platform. The company also has a full 16.3 percent of the overall share of U.S. online display ad revenue.”

  • Gerrit Eicker 13:03 on 5. December 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , Anarchy, , , , , , Corruption, , , , , , , , , , , , , Ideology, , , , Informational Self-determination, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy Violations, , , , , , Reporters Without Borders, , , RWB, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   

    WikiLeaks: Pros and Cons 

    The impact of WikiLeaks? Duty to basically reconsider and agree on informational self-determination; http://eicker.at/WikiLeaks

     
    • Gerrit Eicker 13:04 on 5. December 2010 Permalink | Reply

      WikiLeaks: “…is a not-for-profit media organisation. Our goal is to bring important news and information to the public. We provide an innovative, secure and anonymous way for sources to leak information to our journalists (our electronic drop box). One of our most important activities is to publish original source material alongside our news stories so readers and historians alike can see evidence of the truth. We are a young organisation that has grown very quickly, relying on a network of dedicated volunteers around the globe. … WikiLeaks has combined high-end security technologies with journalism and ethical principles. Like other media outlets conducting investigative journalism, we accept (but do not solicit) anonymous sources of information. Unlike other outlets, we provide a high security anonymous drop box fortified by cutting-edge cryptographic information technologies. This provides maximum protection to our sources. We are fearless in our efforts to get the unvarnished truth out to the public. When information comes in, our journalists analyse the material, verify it and write a news piece about it describing its significance to society. We then publish both the news story and the original material in order to enable readers to analyse the story in the context of the original source material themselves.”

      Wikipedia: “The term informational self-determination was first used in the context of a German constitutional ruling relating to personal information collected during the 1983 census. – In that occasion, the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled that: ‘[…] in the context of modern data processing, the protection of the individual against unlimited collection, storage, use and disclosure of his/her personal data is encompassed by the general personal rights of the [German Constitution]. This basic right warrants in this respect the capacity of the individual to determine in principle the disclosure and use of his/her personal data. Limitations to this informational self-determination are allowed only in case of overriding public interest.‘ – Informational self-determination is often considered similar to the right to privacy but has unique characteristics that distinguish it from the ‘Right to privacy’ in the United States tradition. Informational self-determination reflects Westin’s description of privacy: ‘The right of the individual to decide what information about himself should be communicated to others and under what circumstances‘ (Westin, 1970). In contrast, the ‘Right to privacy’ in the United States legal tradition is commonly considered to originate in Warren andBrandeis’ article, which focuses on the right to ‘solitude’ (i.e., being ‘left alone’) and in the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects persons and their belongings from warrantless search.”

      Democracy Now: “Goodman: ‘…not all transparency advocates support what WikiLeaks is doing. Today we’ll host a debate. Steven Aftergood is one of the most prominent critics of WikiLeaks and one of the most prominent transparency advocates. … We’re also joined by Glenn Greenwald. He’s a constitutional law attorney and political and legal blogger for Salon.com who’s supportive of WikiLeaks.’ … Aftergood: ‘I’m all for the exposure of corruption, including classified corruption. And to the extent that WikiLeaks has done that, I support its actions. The problem is, it has done a lot more than that, much of which is problematic. It has invaded personal privacy. It has published libelous material. It has violated intellectual property rights. And above all, it has launched a sweeping attack not simply on corruption, but on secrecy itself. And I think that’s both a strategic and a tactical error. It’s a strategic error because some secrecy is perfectly legitimate and desirable. It’s a tactical error because it has unleashed a furious response from the U.S. government and other governments that I fear is likely to harm the interests of a lot of other people besides WikiLeaks who are concerned with open government.’ … Greenwald: ‘If you look at the overall record of WikiLeaks – and let me just stipulate right upfront that WikiLeaks is a four-year-old organization, four years old. They’re operating completely unchartered territory. Have they made some mistakes and taken some missteps? Absolutely. They’re an imperfect organization. But on the whole, the amount of corruption and injustice in the world that WikiLeaks is exposing… I criticize them, for instance, for exercising insufficient care in redacting the names of various Afghan citizens who cooperated with the United States military. They accepted responsibility for that, and in subsequent releases, including in the Iraq document disclosures, they were very careful about redacting those names.'”

      Reporters Without Borders: “Wikileaks has in the past played a useful role by making information available to the US and international public that exposed serious violations of human rights and civil liberties which the Bush administration committed in the name of its war against terror. … But revealing the identity of hundreds of people who collaborated with the coalition in Afghanistan is highly dangerous. It would not be hard for the Taliban and other armed groups to use these documents to draw up a list of people for targeting in deadly revenge attacks. … Nonetheless, indiscriminately publishing 92,000 classified reports reflects a real problem of methodology and, therefore, of credibility. Journalistic work involves the selection of information. The argument with which you defend yourself, namely that Wikileaks is not made up of journalists, is not convincing. Wikileaks is an information outlet and, as such, is subject to the same rules of publishing responsibility as any other media.Wikileaks must provide a more detailed explanation of its actions and must not repeat the same mistake. This will mean a new departure and new methods.

      Reporters Without Borders: “…condemns the blocking, cyber-attacks and political pressure being directed at cablegate.wikileaks.org, the website dedicated to the US diplomatic cables. The organization is also concerned by some of the extreme comments made by American authorities concerning WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange. … We stress that any restriction on the freedom to disseminate this body of documents will affect the entire press, which has given detailed coverage to the information made available by WikiLeaks, with five leading international newspapers actively cooperating in preparing it for publication. – Reporters Without Borders would also like to stress that it has always defended online freedom and the principle of ‘Net neutrality,’ according to which Internet Service Providers and hosting companies should play no role in choosing the content that is placed online.”

      Preston/Guardian: “Be clear, right from the start. Any editor presented with a quarter of a million US State Department documents on a WikiLeaks plate has a duty to sift, check – and publish. Newspapers exist to get news into print, not shilly-shally around as pompous (and, alas, often American) champions of the public’s right not to know too much. And if, thus far, the most unexpected story of the lot is Washington’s inability to keep its diplomatic traffic secret, that’s a public service, too. … At which point – casting aside assorted bits of legislation, editing codes and sheaves of moral guidance – a more basic test applies. Do you, printing the WikiLeaks bumper bundle, feel queasy or certain you’re trying to do the right thing? How would you feel if you didn’t print them? And, equally, would you feel chastened, angry, maybe ashamed, if your telephone hacking exploits were laid out to the full by Private Eye?” (Guardian’s WikiLeaks-coverage)

  • Gerrit Eicker 12:28 on 30. March 2010 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , Privacy Violations, Search Interest, , , ,   

    Buzz Over? 

    Buzz about Google Buzz bates and lawmakers ask the FTC to investigate consumer privacy violations; http://j.mp/chIi0J

     
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